BILLY SHEEHAN Explains Why He Chooses To Go Out Of His Way To Make His Fans Happy
November 10, 2023
During an appearance on a recent episode of "The Sheena Metal Experience" podcast, legendary bassist Billy Sheehan spoke in general terms about the relationship between fans and artists and weighed in on whether artists owe their fans anything other than a base level of respect for their support. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I often said — because I see other musicians; they don't do the same thing I do. Some do; some do more, probably. But when somebody buys a record or a ticket or a t-shirt, you got the record; we're even. Ticket — you got the show; we're even. I don't owe you anymore. And some people get a little upset. [They say] 'I bought a ticket to the show, and we didn't get to shake your hand or get your autograph afterwards,' and [they] get a little upset. But I go way out of my way, because I choose to do that. Sometimes it's impossible. We've gotta leave as soon as we're done, because we've got a 12-hour bus ride or whatever, so I'll explain that to people. But it's always been my philosophy that, yeah, you bought it and you have it and we're even, but I have to step back from that and say everything I own, everything I have, all my material goods and wealth come from somebody buying a ticket, a t-shirt or a record. Everything I have. So I choose therefore to go with the extra mile and do that for people. Some people don't, and that's perfectly all right, but I wish they would change their mind. Plus, it's rewarding. I step outside of the venue in Taipei, Taiwan, and there's fans there, and I'm hanging out and talking with them, in, Frankfurt, Germany and Reykjavik, Iceland, all over South America, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia. For a while, I got more e-mail from Indonesia than anywhere in the world. In Indonesia, we played, which is [a country where] no Western band had ever played before… And it's incredibly rewarding."
The 70-year-old Sheehan has played bass on dozens of records and toured all over the world for many decades, with a unique and original style of playing that has been widely celebrated and documented. Starting in his original hometown of Buffalo, New York with the now-legendary hard rock trio TALAS, he went on to join former VAN HALEN singer David Lee Roth in 1985, along with guitarist Steve Vai and drummer Gregg Bissonette. In 1987, Billy left to start his own band, MR. BIG, and in 2002, he founded NIACIN, a fusion/blues trio that featured drummer Dennis Chambers. More recently, Billy joined DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy and guitarist Richie Kotzen to form THE WINERY DOGS. Billy Sheehan has had a huge and undeniable influence on modern bass playing, with a mutual love and respect for his loyal fans all over the globe.
Sheehan and the rest of THE WINERY DOGS are currently touring in support of their third album, "III", which arrived in February via THE WINERY DOGS' Three Dog Music label (via Burnside Distribution/The Orchard). Following in the footsteps of their first two albums, "III" was once again produced by THE WINERY DOGS and mixed by longtime band associate Jay Ruston.
"III" is the follow-up to the band's critically acclaimed and Billboard-charting album "Hot Streak", which was released October 2, 2015 on Loud & Proud Records via RED (a division of Sony Music Entertainment).
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