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Rolling With a “Band Of Psychos”

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Walking into a sleepy Kava Bar in Melbourne Florida, we find ourselves a few hours early to the party. David Pastorius is showing me videos that were taken by AlIen Warr, drummer for the recent Band Of Psychos tour with Tech N9ne. There is refreshed air about Pastorius after having come off this tour. I grab my coffee and we sit down to talk Tech N9ne, and the upcoming Jaco Pastorius documentary produced by Robert Trujillo, and what life is really like out on the road with Band Of Psychos.

To clarify to the people living inside the box, we are talking to David Pastorius, who has just recently gotten off touring with Tech N9ne in the Band Of Psychos Tour.

 

Yeah it was the “Band of Psychos Tour” with Stevie Stone. We had the Band of Psychos, Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, and Stevie Stone.

 

So what can you tell us about being on the road, the tour itself, and the gigs that you played along the way?

Well, it was definitely a lot of fun! Probably the most fun I have had playing out. The tour was really cool, but it was also (pauses to think), these guys know how to tour, they got it down. It was not so hard, like you hear about with other bands.
You know when they go out and its like “the sh*t tour from hell”. It was like really nice, every bunk had a television. It was cool! Definitely went off without a hitch, it was good.

 

So coming from your background as an artist having played out and around before, would you say that this had a little more production to it?

WAAYY more production to it, yeah it was definitely way more. These guys had it to like, the beginning of each show, they had these screens that went along with the whole show that would play graphics through each song that they had set up which they had worked out. Before the show started, it was awesome, because he plays a song off of his new album that is not out yet. Almost like in the movie theater when you see a preview you know? THEY ARE SMART! You know what I mean? The beginning (he looks up reminiscing), Special Effects, that is the new album that is coming out. Then the date that it is coming out on, its really cool!

 

So most of the readers that are going to be listing in, kind of have this background of “Oh we are metalheads \m/, we do not listen to rap!” What do you have to say regarding that?

You know, I get it because of my experience. I also come from Metal. Metalheads are probably the most open minded... you know fans, out there. I think a lot of times it seems like that is the difference. I saw one time there was this big argument about jazz and metal, and this metalhead said it right. He said “the difference between jazzheads and metalheads, is that we will actually listen to your music! We will give it a chance and you guys do not.” You know metalheads are pretty open-minded, but you know, I mean I know, there is some that are stuck in their ways. For the most part though, Tech N9ne’s had that rock element going for him since a looooong time. He has got some serious rock element.

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Do you think that is what drew you initially to starting, and sending out your covers of his songs to him?

Not really, I have been a Tech N9ne fan for a long time, but I have also been a very big hip-hop fan for a long time. As much of a fan as of Metal, probably more Hip Hop as of late than Metal, but yeah I have always dug what Tech N9ne was doing. It is funny the first song I covered was a song called ‘Questions’, which is definitely straight Hip Hop. There is not a rock feel to that at all.

 

So tell us a little more about that initial concept and how it came to light. When was it that you decided, “hey I am going to do ‘Questions’ and I am going to film it?”

Haha With ‘Questions’ I had had that idea for maybe four or five years, but I was always just too lazy. Finally, Brendon from “Studio 101” when we were actually just hanging out, one night, just hanging out, he was like “hey you want to record that song?” I was like “ehhhhh, I do not know.” It was funny, because he was like “yeah we could probably just go out tonight, or you could stay here and try to change your life!” He actually said that! It was really cool too, because I have always felt that I play bass similar to the way Tech N9ne raps. He has got that Midwest, which is like a lot of double time lyrics over half time beats, being like (starts clapping a beat and over dubbing with his mouth “dub a bu dab ba bu”). Its just like over like a half time feel. And I play like that a lot! Actually, Tech N9ne has had an influence on my playing, which is weird because he is a vocalist. His vocal patterns, his rhythmic patterns, and his cadencies, I do a lot of the same stuff on bass. So I always had this idea, like a while ago, to follow his cadence as a bass solo and put it out. Matter of fact, we originally just did it as a recording, and I had Trujillo to check it out, I was like “hey what do you think of this” and he was like “dude you got to do a video for this.” So it was like within a day and a half, we had a video done. Then it was funnier, because of the whole reason that they hadn’t even heard of me. That is a funny story because I was like “man how am I going to get this to Tech N9ne” and Trujillo was not too keen on the idea, or did not know much about Tech N9ne. Like I think he had heard of him, but he did not know what he was and I was like “yeah he is doing this album right now. He is crazy! You got to check him out, he is doing an album with Ross Robinson!”

-David stops telling his story to ask-

You know who Ross Robinson is?!?! You know like Slipknot, Korn, all this nu metal sh*t like he is an icon. And Trujillo was like “dude he is doing an album with Ross Robinson!?” He was like “Dude! The guy is like my next-door neighbor, he is like one of my best friends! Send that to me, I will get it to him,” and that is how it happened.

 

It must have been a few weeks ago now that you posted a video of a bunch of superstars jamming where you played with Kirk Hammett, Stephan Perkins, and some others in what seemed like an all star band. Was that Trujillo that I caught singing in that video? Was that what I caught there?

At the beginning, when you hear ‘From Melbourne Florida’, that is Trujillo. He is kind of like MC’ing the whole thing. It was at the Mill Valley Film Festival. Trujillo is funding, or putting together a documentary about my uncle Jaco Pastorius. Basically they had this thing at the Mill Valley Film Festival where they showed the documentary, and it was like a work in progress. It is almost done but its still got some more edits, so they showed us the video and they flew us all out, and we all saw it. Then they had this all-star show at the Sweetwater where everyone played. I played with my cousin, Mary. We had a group, and uh, we played and we did our set. Then after our set they gave us a chance to just jam with the drummer for a little bit and that was where the video starts and then you see Hammett run up and cross the screen and grab the guitar. It was pretty awesome!

 David Pastorius 4

So back to touring with Tech N9ne. You toured with him and you obviously played with him, but did you get to talk to him at all about future projects or future prospects?

Actually it is pretty cool! This Tuesday they are flying me back out to Kansas City to record on his album and few things. Tech N9ne asked me about April, to do a real two months to three months tour. So yeah its definitely happening!

 

That must be very exciting!

DP: Oh it is AWESOME! Its awesome first off because it is a great gig, and second off because he is one of my musical heroes, which is good, you know what I mean? Tech N9ne and Mike Patton, those are like my two, when I think of influences (laughs). Neither one of them are bass players! You know what I mean? Music is music, you can take influence from anywhere.

 

Well it is interesting, and we did have this discussion at one point about you know, what it was that made you want to start playing bass, and funnily enough it was not Jaco.

No it was actually a buddy of mine. But of course I respect and appreciate Jaco.

 

I would imagine, given your history.

Well, I knew that I had an uncle that played music and played bass, but I did not even know what the bass looked like! I When I heard my buddy playing, I was like “is that the bass, or guitar?” you know? It was like that, so I did not really know.

 

So how old were you when you made that discovery?

Fifteen was when I started playing bass.

 

That is a nice Segway to jump into a little bit more about what Trujillo wanted to do. Are you involved in any way, shape, or form with this Jaco Pastorius production that he is trying to make?

Little things, its funny I got this song. I am actually going to be in the credits playing, because they basically got some artists like Rodrigo Y. Gabriela, Crosses which is Chino from Deftones, me and Tech N9ne on the track. But we have already done the track and it is actually at the end of the film. They are supposed to have me playing along at the end of the track, which is pretty cool! But that is about how involved in it I am. I mean we have not done anything too huge, just at the end of the documentary, but then again I did not know Jaco like that. You know? It was kind of cool for me to see it. I thought the documentary was great, what I saw, because I am looking at it as an outsider even though I am related but I did not know Jaco that well. You know the first thing it did was captivate my interest. It moved well, it was good, and I think it is going to be something great.

 

So stepping off of this touring stuff, as far as you go, David Pastorius, what is it that you have been up to since prior to Tech N9ne, and what is it that you have been doing since?

I have done my thing and you know the Tech N9ne thing is awesome, but other than that I have Local 518, which is my band. It is all instrumental stuff, we are finishing up our third album, that has got to be finished. For me, music is just music and I have enjoyed it with this Tech N9ne thing. I want to just get to a spot where I am comfortable. I love the touring thing! I want to be able to make my own money and not have to always be touring, but do not get me wrong, I love touring with Tech N9ne and it is great! It is great getting to go on tour! But I can tell with getting older that it is going to be be rough, you know. I have a family, I have kids, and it is hard you know?

 

It takes a lot of stamina to go on tour and it is hard to be away from family.

Well, for me it is kind of cool, because in a way I am a lot healthier than I was back then. I quit drinking. Drinking is a problem for a lot of people on tour. It messes people up, so I am lucky that way. I pretty much go to sleep earlier and wake up before everybody, which is cool. I like it that way. I am not out there to party. I mean I am not out there to be a prude either, not trying to be a d*ck here, I am just not downing on people, you know, just do your thing. I think it is awesome, it is fun, it is FUN! But just for me, I like to be, you know, me, I am not much of a party guy.

 

I have surfed the ether that is the Internet, and there are a few bass articles like Talk Bass and the likes. I came across one where they were talking about how you had had some heart complications not too long ago. What was your mindset coming out of that?

Yes, that was back in 2011, the 17th of December, 2011. I was actually playing at Off The Trax with Elephant Gun and it was weird. I started feeling like sh*t, and I was like man! I played a whole set doing that! I did not like fall out or pass out you know, like go down, but I was like this, this is bad, something was just not right. So I went right to the hospital, and the doctor was like you are having a heart attack. I was like “No Way! Really?” They took care of me right there. It was very slight, very little, and they said there was very minimal damage of anything, which was good.

 

So how did that change your mindset afterwards?

Well, it freaked me out! My age, you know, someone younger, like too young to be having a heart attack. They say it depresses you. And that is what happened, I got really depressed for a while and really bummed out, but it passed. It was really weird though. It was definitely weird for me, because I had never experienced something like that before. It is your mortality, its normal. It is going to freak you out a little bit, but I feel better now. I feel good now.

 

Well it seems like you are back on the road, touring and really rocking out!

Well I was also, at the time, smoking like three packs a day. That was a very stressful life in general for me. Stress is a killer, stress will do it more than anything (points at his heart) stress will do it more than just about anything. Even doctors will be like (holds hands up) you got to just chill, whatever it is. But yeah things are better now. All is good.

 

So you mentioned another band, Elephant Gun any word on that stuff?

Maybe, you know Elephant Gun, I do not know. I mean Trevor ridicules talent. He is a great songwriter, singer, and you know we are just doing different things now. But you know, we always get back together and jam, because it is a lot of fun, it is a cool show.

 

Getting back to your tour with Tech N9ne, do you have any funny stories about what happened on the road?

It is kind of funny watching how fans get sometimes. It is just fun watching them get excited. But this would be a funny story for you. Tons of chicks on the bus going crazy with the guys and they are dancing and they got a lot of drinks, and then my nerdy ass trying to make coffee to get off the bus you know what I mean? (laughs) It is like how do you try and get off the bus when all of that is going on, and not look stupid? I do not really care, but that is just my nature. It is not my thing, I am not out there for that. But as far as actual stories, man, I know it would probably be involving Alien, like one time walking back and filming Alien. There is actually a film. It was like four in the morning and he is back by himself in the lounge area by himself and we are driving and he is just drinking Jack and intently watching “The Power Rangers”. You know! “The Power Rangers?.

 

The old kids show?

Yeah, he had bought a Power Rangers DVD (laughs). Just observing him watch that while he just laughs and claps his hands. That was kind of funny!

David Pastorius 3

So what was it like getting there at first meeting those musicians that you were going to be working with?

It was funny because I met Alien first, because I flew to Atlanta first then from Atlanta we went to Kansas City. He lives in Atlanta, so he was on the same plane from Atlanta to KC just like I was. I got to meet him a little bit there. It was crazy, because I do not get super star struck. That is what I would tell most fans, when you act like a crazy fan, you are always going to be looked at as a crazy. They will love you, and show you all the respect in the world, but I want to be looked at more as a peer not as a crazy fan. I just do not get as crazy as that, like I am with Tech N9ne and internally it was a trip, I am like going crazy like WOOW, I cant believe this. But on the outside, I am rehearsing with these guys, you know? But yeah other than that, it was very intense when we first started jamming with him. You just sit there and think about it, you know. Its like I am going next week to record on his album, I got Seven who is the producer on like all his music. Talking with him on the phone about airplane tickets yesterday, that was a trip to me, you know? It is pretty cool. I would love to get in on that, cut a song, get a couple points on a tune. That would be great!

 

That would be cool.

That is how you do it.

 

So you mentioned that you get a little worried when its not you driving on the tour bus, and that you have trouble sleeping.

That is just me, you know any time I am in a bus or something I like to be able to just see what is out front. On a tour bus they kind of just shut the door and he is up front and your just in that room. I will get fine after a while but it is the same thing like on a plane. I was petrified when I first started flying on planes when I was like 23. Now its funny I actually managed to fall asleep during take off for the first time.

 

Yeah that is me I just go into hibernation mode when I travel.

Yeah its nice, it is really awesome. Not much you can do about it, right? The one thing that made me really chill out was like stewardesses. They do this every day of their lives. You know, they got kids and families and they are just going to work. Man, nothing is going to happen and they are fine. It is funny with pilots too, when a pilot gets off. I do not like cocky arrogant people, unless they are my doctor or pilots and that is about it. Other than that if you are a doctor and you are a little cocky, you know? I do not want a scared sounding pilot you know being “well I hope you make it” I want someone who is like “yeah I’m the man! We are going to make it.” Same with doctors, that is the kind of a thing you want, confidence. I like that.

 

Do you feel like you carry some of that confidence with you to the stage?

Definitely, like the first show, the Knotfest thing was weird because first it was not the strange music of the people who were doing the show. It was Knotfest staff, so we basically just got a quick line check and went on. So it was a little more nerve wrecking, because first off it was our first show. It was Tech N9ne’s mother’s birthday, and she had just passed, which was like damn man I do not want to mess up a song and look stupid. So I was just concentrating, making sure I did the songs right and was getting everything right. As the show goes on though, you start to loosen up a little bit. I think that with the crowd. I am lucky, because I do not really get nervous in front of a crowd of people. I like it.

 

That was one of those things that really kind of took me by surprise. Because when you look at a show like Knotfest, you have bands like Danzig, Anthirax, and Testament. You know like really heavy thrasher bands that are not synonyms to rap. But the reality of the situation was that it worked.

It worked great! Yeah he has done tracks with Five Finger Death Punch, he jumped up with them later. He is friends with the guys from Slipknot, they might be on the new album you know? He has got a lot of respect from the metal crowd. People who have something to say, they just do not know. They have not listened, they do not know, you know. They do not know much about Tech N9ne first off. He recorded some songs with Hed PE, he has worked with tons of metal. Man, he has always loved Metal, Serj from System Of A Down you know what I mean? He is all over it and he is one of the few who can do it. I cannot think of any other rap artist right now that could go to a Metal show and could still manage to pull that same kind of a crowd. THAT is impressive, and that is what awesome about Tech N9ne.

I think my last show before going on tour was at the Palm Pub off Palm Bay road. It was playing basically for like 20-30 people on a trailer. It was kind of cool to go from there, which I love too, it is great! I love that stuff! All those stuff are fun!

 

You will never meet the same kind of characters at a show like that.

Of course! Because there is that separation at big shows. It is almost like you are watching a screen. Itis weird. But its kind of funny to go from that to, you walk out and there are 45,000 people there, it is pretty awesome. I love both, though, they are cool.

 

So what kind of stuff did you play for these bar folk?

That was with this band called Blue Fusion. It is like blues-rock, it was cool.

 

I have noticed that you do get around and play a lot here, it always seems like you are playing somewhere.

Yeah or downtown even, I will be playing with Nate, you know, just sitting out on the street, just playing drums, and I still do these stuff. I want to do these stuff, because they are fun! Man, we are just, you know, that is the thing, at the end of the day it is just music man. There are people out there that risk their lives every day. Sometimes people get a little too full of themselves.

 

Last thoughts, anything else you want to shout out about anything?

Local 518 got a new album coming out soon. No name on that yet, but look out for it. Going out on tour with Tech N9ne coming up this April! Keep an eye out for his new album coming out Special Effects

 

Are you going to get us any of your band footage, kind of like how Alien does?

Yeah, there is going to be plenty of stuff out there, like when we were waiting while from the dressing room and the fans are out there going crazy and they are shouting “Tech N9ne, Tech N9ne!” and Tech N9ne walks in with his face painted up and he is like “all right upstairs everybody. We are doing a photo shoot” and we go up and take photos. I cannot wait to see them, because they looked badass. He sold out the Fillmore, which is crazy! You get a trophy for that sh*t! It was really cool. The Fillmore was probably the most awesome. It was Tech N9ne’s birthday during the last show, and they sold it out which not many people do. It was crazy we were out there from like 10:30 A.M. and there had been people out there since like 6:30 that morning! Its crazy, you know? But it was pretty cool though!

 

Any hope to get some of that tour action on this side of the States?

Yeah, actually if we do an April tour, it will be all over, pretty sure. It is going to be like 50-60 dates. Kaliko will be on that too. He is the man you got to check out!


In the meantime, you can keep up with David Pastorius on Twitter  and Instagram

 

Interviewed by: CJ El-Khazen
Edited by: Duha Mousa

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