Interview | Bootsy Collins
This Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee shares stories about music legends and how Darkglass has reshaped his sound.
At the end of the sixties, an unknown Cincinnati band called the Peacemakers was hired to play with a funk singer. That singer was no other than the “Godfather of soul”, James Brown, and this precise moment changed music history and the career of founding member Bootsy Collins. Since then, either with his solo work or leading a wide range of musical projects, he has influenced bass players all over the world.
“I was 9 years old when I saw my brother Catfish Collins playing guitar and I picked it up because of him” he says about discovering his calling as a musician. And on those first years, funk wasn’t even a big part of his life: “I started out in a gospel group and I was playing any and every kind of music… Jazz, rock, blues and R&B”. Then, his band crossed paths with Brown. “I think funk really connected to me because it spoke to my soul” he shares, “the rhythm of my being felt the pulse of the groove that was manifesting in me and playing with mister Brown put the icing on the cake”.
That time with James Brown lead to George Clinton’s Parliament/Funkadelic collective and Bootsy’s Rubber Band: “I was funked up for life then!”. And after 50 years in the business, the inspiration keeps coming: “I took 2016 off from the road to concentrate on recording a new album and now we will put focus on touring and promoting”. This recording and touring schedule also led to the Duality Fuzz: “It has a really smooth funked up fuzz/distortion that I love and I have not got it out of any of my others pedals” he adds about this classic, “the size of it and the glass shinny look were calling my name and we’ve been funkin’ ever since”.
“When I’m on the road a lot of musicians want to see what made tat sound” Bootsy shares, “Duality has greats effects, great sound, it’s built with quality and it easily fits into your pedalboard or your pocket”. And for him, it has also a lot to do with the feeling you get when you play: “It reminds me of my very first experience with a fuzz box and how it made me feel when I heard it and felt it” he concludes, “It’s like making love for the first time every time”.