Bass on Bass Spotlight: Q&A
Widespread Panic’s Dave Schools and Moon Taxi’s Tommy Putnam Interview Each Other
Ahead of Trondossa, Dave Schools and Tommy Putnam got together to ask each other some questions…and it got a little silly.
Tommy Putnam: If you could have any other last name that is also a building like Dave Police Stations or Dave Minimarts, etc. what would you choose?
Dave Schools: I had a football coach in school who, upon the first time seeing me each fall would ask, “How’s it going Church?”
To which I would respond, “The name is Schools sir.”
And then (here comes the kicker) he would say, “Ahhhh…I knew it was some kind of institution!”
And then he would walk off cackling to himself.
This continued for 7 years.
Tommy: I have always thought Widespread Panic is a killer band name. On the other side, what do you think is the worst band name of all time?
Dave: Anything having to do with food. I don’t mind songs about food, but no food oriented band names. Although “The Incredible Sandwich” was a great band name.
Tommy: Do you think 6 string basses give you a tactical advantage over 5 string basses and therefore also over a 4 string bass? Asking for a friend…
Dave: It’s all about serving the material and the intent of the band. For Panic there is a definite tactical advantage to using a 6 string bass because there are so many shifting soundscapes and improvisational opportunities. It’s non-traditional playing. For pretty much any other gig I’d choose a 4 string. I had a 5 string for a little while but it upset my OCD need for symmetry.
Tommy: May as well ask this – Do you think I’m any good at bass?
Dave: You make it sound like flower arranging when you put it that way. Of course I think you’re “good” at bass…otherwise we wouldn’t be having this discussion. 😉
Tommy: A little off the wall but, who wins when they arm wrestle each other on the bus, Sunny or JoJo?
Dave: The correct response to this really depends on when the arm wrestling match occurs. In the AM it’s even odds, in the pre-show window Sunny would win, post show my money is on JoJo.
Tommy: I saw you guys at the very first Bonnaroo as headliners when I was 18 and I couldn’t wait to be on a stage like that someday. It was great. Pretty sure you remember looking out at me and saying to yourself – “that redhead kid will never make it….he’s just not cool enough.” – How pumped are you to see us perform at Trondossa on the same stage as WP, knowing now what you didn’t know then? You were looking at me, right?!?!
Dave: This is an intentionally complicated question filled with psychological trickery. I refuse to answer it. Glad y’all are joining us and I’ll see you onstage. I’ll be looking right at you, my eyes will be boring into your very soul.
Dave Schools: Fill the readers in on the state of Moon Taxi in 2018. What’s on the horizon for you this year? What are you most looking forward to?
Tommy Putnam: Moon Taxi has big year ahead starting with festivals like Trondossa and Bonnaroo. I’m probably most excited about this festival we’re playing in Norway, Skral Fest. We went once last year and that country is incredible. I’ve heard the festivals they put on in Europe are massive and I can’t wait to see how they do it.
Dave: What album and artist has influenced you the most as a musician?
Tommy: Tough question because so many different artists influence you in different ways. If I had to pick one artist, I would have to say the Beatles. Not just because they influenced me, but because they influenced everyone, so both directly and indirectly me. I think abbey road was the one that hooked me on them.
Dave: If you could put together a lunch with any three other people living or dead who wold they be?
Tommy: Teddy Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, and Beethoven. All at the same time. And as long as Beethoven could communicate. In English. If not, he’d be replaced by Lindsey Lohan.
Dave: What is something that happened on the road that almost made you miss a show?
Tommy: I took a ride in a Lamborghini with a guy in Memphis on a whim. He drove 100mph and said he wouldn’t take me back (he did). I walked out of the car onto the stage shaking.
Dave: Should any book or artwork ever be banned or removed from public view?
Tommy: It would be difficult to permanently ban something completely today. But if you could, I don’t see the point. Let people decide for themselves.
Dave: Is space the place? Pick one:
Tommy: I’m gonna go with (a)