Paramount+ has a new audio docuseries out now identified as Geddy Lee Asks: Are Bass Gamers Human Far too?, and its premise is deceptively straightforward and even a tiny preposterous. In point, even the show’s director and producer Sam Dunn—one of the top rated sequence producers in the rock tunes world—is shocked the method exists.
“I cannot imagine we acquired absent with making a present known as Geddy Lee Asks: Are Bass Players Human Much too?” Dunn exclaimed in the course of a the latest Zoom interview about the series, which just released lately on the streaming system.
The notion is straightforward: Get with each other some of the most proficient and effective bass players in the globe and get them talking about…something other than the bass. These musicians are so well recognized for their abilities in the studio and on stage, in bands like Nirvana, Metallica, and Gap, that few assume of what they are like when they are not rocking out.
The premise came from Hurry bass participant and rock superstar Geddy Lee, who required to show the world that bass players—sometimes these relegated to the again of the band—are much much more than just the keepers of rhythm. They are entirely-rounded human beings, with hobbies and interests outside of the songs they make.
Lee’s thrust to generate a Television application like this was daring, as it pulls in an viewers who may perhaps be expecting 1 matter and then provides them anything else. Sure, Lee and his guests do discuss store and perform a minimal bass, but which is not the essence of the series. It was a daring shift, and a single that did not necessarily have mass attractiveness in its pitch stages—but Paramount+ moved forward with it, and now the sequence that Dunn just cannot believe he built is genuine.
“From the starting point, we all desired to make a exhibit that would go outside of the bass,” Dunn explained in our chat, introducing that “for Geddy, that was primarily what he was fascinated in chatting about–what makes these musicians tick when they’re off phase?”
Geddy Lee Asks: Are Bass Players Human As well? solutions that issue in a lighthearted and entertaining manner—one which is wholly various and even at moments at odds with the hard rock some of these artists are acknowledged for. It is an unexpected and pleasant jaunt into the non-public lives of main rock stars, who, evidently, have passions just like other standard people today. So, certainly, it seems they are human.
I spoke with Dunn about his new present, doing work with Lee, and how these types of a specialized niche product designed its way into the earth.
Hugh McIntyre: I watched Geddy Lee operate close to and meet other bass players and fly and drink wine and all these, all of his small adventures and he’s a quirky, enjoyable, unusual tiny dude. I mean that as a compliment.
Sam Dunn: Geddy Lee is a quite curious fellow about the entire world all-around him, inside of new music and past. And for us, I believe that’s why he can make these a compelling host for a show like this. He is a creature of boundless curiosity, whether it be music, accumulating bass guitars, baseball, wine, photography, et cetera.
In numerous ways, that’s the perfect host to acquire you all-around the environment and fulfill with appealing persons and chat about what they do in their spare time. So yeah, I believe it labored.
McIntyre: Tell me how the demonstrate was made and how this was made?
Dunn: I am going to give you the very long backstory and then I will get to it. We 1st achieved Geddy Lee when we did our initial movie, termed Steel: A Headbanger’s Journey back in 2005 and we interviewed him for that show. Quick forward a quantity of years, we did a attribute film with Hurry identified as Past the Lighted Phase, which was a thriving movie for us, which was great. And we did a show called Rock Icons, and Geddy was a person of the featured artists.
The shorter version is that we might expended some time with Geddy at Banger [Productions] about the yrs, so there was a partnership. Speedy ahead to a couple a long time back. Geddy experienced penned and place jointly his Huge Wonderful Reserve of Bass, which was a like letter to the craftsmanship and the history and the tale of bass guitar. And we begun to speak with Geddy about basing a demonstrate all around the bass.
There is likely to be a lot of bass jokes, I feel, coming right here.
He needed to do the demonstrate, but not strictly based on that guide. He needed to do a thing a little little bit different. So the place it landed was a display about the bass that’s not about the bass at all. Truly, it truly is a catalyst for a dialogue and a romance with a famous bass player to speak about every thing else that they do in their spare time. So seriously, the genesis is in the Huge Beautiful E-book of Bass, variety of, but that was definitely extra of like a springboard to talk about the funnest and funniest sort of clearly show you could make working with that guide as a springboard.
McIntyre: Some thing that he keeps coming back to type of in the voiceovers all over is, “Are bass players human?” The place did that phrase occur from?
Dunn: The language came from Geddy and our writer on the series, Daniel Richler. Daniel and Geddy have labored with each other for a lot of, many several years and have a really near imaginative partnership. Daniel worked with Geddy on his the latest memoir as well.
I feel what is actually vital to say about the title is truly that the mandate of the present for Geddy, as he introduced it to me, was, “Sam, I will do the show if it truly is fun to make and amusing to check out.” That was actually the mission statement.
He did not want to make a form of deep-thinking, meditative, very long-in-the-tooth exhibit about the bass guitar or about songs. He was sensible to say people phrases simply because we are guilty of making these shows. We shell out hours and several hours meditating on the record of the story and the indicating of certain artists and specified genres of new music. That’s sort of our DNA at Banger [Productions]. He wished to start off on a really different foot. He wished to seize the humor and the humanity of these musicians, for the reason that commonly we see musicians as monolithic. We see them as one issue. We see them as these figures on stage. And we don’t, still even with social media, we even now will not know significantly about what will make them tick outside the house tunes and off the stage.
McIntyre: This is a genuinely area of interest product or service. It is really bass gamers speaking to other bass players. So notify me about the course of action of offering it or acquiring it with Paramount
Dunn: It really is a valid point. It is really really potentially the most niche principle you could conceive of–a exhibit about bass gamers. We built the display with Paramount+. Paramount+ has a new music mandate. We ended up psyched about the truth that I think they identified you can find considerably additional to Geddy Lee than him remaining the bass participant and lead singer of Rush. I consider there was an knowledge there that there is a compelling human at the heart of this show and that they could see that it could be the entertaining travel demonstrate that it ended up becoming.
That is wherever it will come from. It will come from Paramount+ and us operating collectively to determine out what is actually the ideal possible show we could make with Geddy at the center of it.
In a lot of techniques, you happen to be suitable. I get up in the early morning and I are not able to feel we received absent with generating a display referred to as Geddy Lee Asks: Are Bass Gamers Human As well?
It truly is absolutely absurd in some way. To some extent, correct? So, you know, Rush has a large lover base. We have to understand that this is a legendary band that’s been close to for lots of, lots of a long time with an particularly faithful enthusiast base at its main. So, we all knew there is certainly a viewership for this present. It was just a subject of how do we, of training course, appeal to and give something new to that Rush diehard supporter foundation, but then also develop a thing that could convey in a broader vary of viewers? It could be like, about the drinking water cooler, “Hey, have you seen that exhibit with that male from Hurry, Geddy Lee?” Get persons conversing about it as a fantastic and enjoyment demonstrate unto its possess, and not just mainly because he’s the front guy of a famous band.
McIntyre: I savored especially that it’s about tunes, but it employs music as a gateway to place us into another entire world. We are conversing about wine, we are talking about flying, we’re speaking about numerous varieties of artwork. So I feel it’s neat that you might be capable to connect audio to other items and you are heading to get Hurry followers in, but let us carry them to a new area. Was that a mindful decision?
Dunn: Yeah, totally. From the setting up level, we all desired to make a present that would go outside of the bass. Geddy performed a significant position in shaping the series with us and deciding upon the bass players that would look in the display, regardless of whether it truly is Les [Claypool] or Krist [Novoselic] or Melissa [Auf der Maur] or Rob [Trujillo].
These are all gamers that Geddy understood experienced some seriously potent pursuits outside of audio. And that was actually the main of the present. Because once again, I feel for Geddy, that was generally what he was intrigued in speaking about–what makes these musicians tick when they are off phase?
Sometimes people forget–when an artist is on a tour, they’re only on stage for a pair of several hours max for every working day for each and every exhibit working day, ideal? What do you do with the rest of your time? What I liked about the show was that Geddy was willing to set himself in conditions in which he has expertise about artwork or photography, like in the circumstance of the Melissa Auf der Maur episode. But he was also willing to, like, cruise down the Venice Strip on a cruiser bicycle with Rob Trujillo and go to the skate park. Geddy appreciates very little about skateboarding, correct? So there was a willingness to be the fish out of h2o that certainly, from a directorial standpoint, is genuinely appreciated.
McIntyre: When you are building a show like this, and you have a host who’s professional and inclined, and he is acquired the connections to access out to these other folks that you need to have, what is the hard element about building this?
Dunn: Schedules. It is really a just one phrase sentence, my good friend: schedules. In actuality, we had a few of other large profile bass players that ended up interested in the sequence, who I are unable to mention for noticeable reasons, but it just couldn’t perform for the reason that of schedules.
What I favored about the present is that some of the bass gamers in the series, Geddy had rather strong friendships with already, namely Les Claypool. They can variety of end each and every other’s sentences. And then we have artists like Melissa Auf der Maur, who he didn’t know at all. So it was quite a lot a get to know you in the context of the present. I appreciated that harmony.
For this demonstrate, obtaining the schedules to align demanded some luck and maybe some divine intervention right here and there, I am not certain.
McIntyre: The folks who did not operate out will be in seasons two and a few, of study course.
Dunn: [You’re] speaking my language.
McIntyre: Is there a environment in which you get an individual to do Are Drummers Human Too? Are Keyboardists Living?
Dunn: The limited respond to is I think every little thing is on the desk. And in actuality, you know, I’ve assumed of variations of this demonstrate where it can be not even musicians, which I imagine would be super exciting as well. But for now we’re in the entire world of bass and the place it can go from there, we are going to just have to see. But I assume there’s potential that it could explore.