What Makes BILLY SHEEHAN 'The Bass Player's Bass Player'? He Responds

February 24, 2023

In a new interview with Rockin' 101's "The Johnny Rock Show", legendary bassist Billy Sheehan was asked what makes him "the bass player's bass player." He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, I'm very, very honored that anybody even hints that that was the case. I appreciate that very much. I'm still learning. It's still an adventure to me. I'm still excited about it. I'll be in my car, driving, and I'll get an idea, [and I'll, like], 'I can't wait to get home to try this.' So I think, to some degree, that exuberance may reflect through my playing and it may be a positive thing. But I just love music, and I love playing bass. And the adventure never ends. There's always another mountain to climb. And I'm always working. I get up every morning, feed the cat, go down to my little studio and go for hours. I was down there for a couple of hours already before these phone calls today. So I hit it hard, and I love it. And performing it is essential to me. But I'm very, very grateful when people would say such a kind thing about me. I do very much appreciate that."

In October 2020, Yamaha introduced the Attitude 30th bass celebrating the company's 30-year instrument collaboration with Sheehan.

Sheehan, known for his work with TALAS, Steve Vai, David Lee Roth, MR. BIG, NIACIN, SONS OF APOLLO and THE WINERY DOGS, has been a Yamaha artist for 39 years. He first experimented with features such as scalloped fingerboard and dual outputs on his original, heavily customized bass, which he affectionately refers to it as "The Wife," and brought these defining elements to his signature Yamaha Attitude series.

"The Wife" was the inspiration behind the Attitude 30th, and with the help of Pat Campolattano, senior designer and luthier, Yamaha Guitar Group, the new bass incorporated the design elements, playability and feel that met Sheehan's playing standards, as well as the quality he had come to expect from his signature model.

"After all the joys of playing the Attitude bass for three decades and over a thousand shows around the world, I'm so pleased to see the release of the Attitude 30th-anniversary edition — to pay tribute to its roots, and pave the way to the future for myself and the hundreds of Attitude players around the world," Sheehan said at the time.

Sheehan and the rest of THE WINERY DOGS — guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen and drummer Mike Portnoy — are currently touring in support of their third album, "III", which arrived on February 3 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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