Brian: How long
did you have your Glissentar before you played it on a gig?
Fareed: Two days! I was appearing as a Special Guest with ‘The Slip’.
The instrument made quite an impression and the sound! Especially with
a bit of distortion it’s huge and has a very vocal quality.
Brian: Is this
your first fretless instrument?
Fareed: No. I do play string bass so I have some sense of how to
deal with a fretless instrument.
Brian: How are
you amplifying it?
Fareed: I’m using a Trace Elliot amp and running through the
clean and distortion channels simultaneously. It’s hard to go back to
the limitations of frets after a few gigs on the Glissentar.
sort of gigs are you using the Glissentar for?
Fareed: I’m using it with most of the groups that I’m playing in,
but especially where I don’t have to play too many chords. Chords can
be hard to play in tune, but I am able to play quite a few chords on
Brian: Are you
using standard guitar tuning?
Fareed: A lot of drop D and otherwise standard tuning.
Brian: You have
an amazing capacity to move between different musical bags. For example
switching from a straight eighths feel (something classical perhaps)
to something that swings. It
sounds as though you are able to just put the other ‘hat’ on and go?
Fareed: It can be exhausting sometimes, but it is made easier
by developing a deep feeling for the tradition of whatever style I’m
digging into. If I can culturalise the music, in other words, feel it
in its cultural context then you could say that it’s a bit like switching
hats. Not musical hats - cultural hats.
schedule is packed. When do you find time to practice and what do you
Fareed: I practice classical music for upcoming concerts and recordings
in trains and hotel rooms.
on your CD player?
Fareed: I hate music! What do you think I do all this playing and
then listen in my spare time? Gimme a break man…I read Kazuo Isheguro,
poetry by Neruda, comedy by Richard Pryor and drive aimlessly from gig
to gig to studio searching for the BBC on my car radio.
Hey, we’re not professional
interviewers - as if that wasn’t obvious - but we’re pretty sure this
one just ended.
In the meantime, keep
an eye out for any of the many projects that he is currently working
on. There is a jazz trio recording in the works for Arkadiajazz as well
as two classical CD’s; one featuring his own transcriptions of the music
of Federico Mompou and one featuring the music of Camille Saint-Saens.
We highly recommend a visit to www.fareed.com to find out more about
these projects, to check out the fantastic lesson material that he has
posted, and just to learn more about Fareed. Also, to find out more
about the Garajmahal project check out www.garajmahal.net. This isn’t
new, but if you haven’t checked out Fareed’s CD ‘Déjà Vu’ (yeah, that
Déjà Vu) track down a copy immediately - it’s on Blue Note - we’ve had
it on heavy rotation for about 5 years and it seems to groove harder
with each listen. Highly recommended.
is the former Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Godin Guitars.