*Heaven knows what God gave to his fingertips. A legend in the making, Billy Sheehan is one of the best Bassists the world has ever seen. So at this hour, we talk to the Mr. Big himself, hello Billy!!
*So what’s hot and happening? What have you been doing lately?
Tons of stuff! Just finished touring all over the world with Mr Big, and now I’m at work on about 10 other things.
*Your first band was Talas. Tell us about it.
We played a zillion shows in Buffalo, NY, then spread out all over the USA, eventually wrote songs and recorded.
*After Talas’s success, the band opened shows for Van Halen which provided you a huge exposure. Magnify the big experience you had over that time.
It was a blast. We opened about 30 or 40 shows for them. All in huge sold-out arenas. We became friends as well. It was incredible. We learned a lot about everything imaginable regarding show business.
*It was all going on fine but why did Talas break up?
It just wasn’t working within the band anymore. We are all still good friends, and do reunion shows whenever we can.
*Then came in collaborations with UFO, David Lee Roth, etc. What was your game plan then?
I did UFO while I was still with Talas. Just a European tour. I’ve never had a game plan in my life. I deal with things as they come. I got a call from Dave, and he flew me to LA to start a band. We did.
*Mr. Big has always been one of my favourite bands. My first ever solo performance was ‘To be with you’ (Thanks to you guys!). How did Mr. Big come to being?
After I left Dave’s band I decided to start a new band. I knew Paul (Paul Gilbert) and Pat (Pat Torpey) already, then a friend of mine recommended Eric (Eric Martin), and we began. We started writing songs and playing together.
*How does it feel working with the Mr. Big gang?
Wonderful! We have a good time and make friends all over the world. Very nice.
*Describe your G3 experience.
Steve (Steve Vai) asked me to play with him, and he did a G3 tour.
*What influenced your music? What made the genius in you?
Everything and anything. I’m no genius. I just work hard. Harder than most. I still work at it constantly.
*So which of your works do you consider your best?
I’ve never looked at it that way. It’s not for men to judge.
*You are known as one of the best bassist ever! Your take on that?
It’s very kind for someone to say that, but it couldn’t possibly be true. I just play the best I can.
*Please share some enchanting memories of your musical life.
Enchanting? Well, not sure about that, but I’ve done about 4000 shows and been at it for many decades. I love playing and will do it as long as I live. I’m a music fan– there are currently 117,000 sings in my iTunes.
*How was your experience touring India in 2009 (especially Shillong and Dimapur)? Would you like to come home again?
Wonderful! A great experience to come to India. I love Indian food and culture. I would love to do it again anytime. I hope I can come to more cities.
*Besides creating magic with your bass, what else do you love to do?
Listen to great music, work on my gear and basses, write songs and music. Most everything revolves around music for me.
*Would you like to tell us about the gear you use?
Yamaha Basses– I have a signature model with them: The Attitude Bass; Hartke Amps, RotoSound strings, DiMarzio pick-ups & a bunch of other stuff.
*Which band of modern times makes you proud of?
Don’t know. Sorry.
*It has been an immense pleasure interacting with you. Would you love to share a few last words with the fans and musicians alike?
Music is the greatest art form. It is a universal language. It is one of the finest experiences in life, if not the finest. To be a part of it, as either a listener or performer, is to be in a higher state of living.
*Thanks a lot, Billy!