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Lars Lehmann - August 2003

Lars Lehmann
Biography: I was born in 1972 in Bad Harzburg, Germany. I picked up the bass when I was about 15 or 16. My parents were not musicians, but I'm glad my mom sang good-night songs out of a big blue songbook with me every night so I grew up singing very much. Actually this picture is one of the oldest childhood memories I can remember. Later on I played flute and accordion. A friend of my father was a musician who played guitar and bass. When we came to see him at his house one day, I was totally fascinated by the whammy-bar of his guitar. There seemed to be no doubt that I had to get myself a guitar as soon as possible. But at the same time, two friends of mine were playing trumpet and guitar in our school big band and told me that band was in need of a bass player. So although I wanted to become a guitar player at first, I picked up the bass because I wanted to join my friends in the band. I did my very best to learn as much as possible. I took lessons and practiced very hard every day when I came home from school. I started playing in other bands too, mostly heavy rock bands influenced by Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Uriah Heep, Alice Cooper, Billy Idol, David Lee Roth, and Mr. Big. As far as bass was concerned, I was blown away by guys like Mark King or Jonas Hellborg at that time. I was fascinated by the slapping technique, but I also liked guys like Billy Sheehan. It wasn't until some years later that I started getting interested more in other styles as well. I started listening to funk and soul like James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Bootsy Collins, but also liked good pop music like Seal, the Eurythmics, Simply Red, and others. Also at that time, I quit my heavy bands and started playing in funk and pop bands, while rehearsing and jamming a lot.

Some years later I decided to study "music and culture" (Kulturp�dagogik) in Hildesheim, Germany, because the bass teacher of this university has a great reputation. His name is Juergen Attig. Juergen taught me a lot about theory, soloing, and because he is referred to as "the german Pastorius", there also was lots and lots of Jaco licks and tricks to learn. I was teaching bass at a music school at that time also, and one day a student brought a cd with him. It was the first "Bass Extremes" recording. From that day, Victor Wooten was "my man", and I started getting into the "double thumbing" thing and so on. There is so much to learn studying Vic it's ridiculous! It was at that time that I started doing some studio work occasionally and also started playing in more and more bands which I think was the starting point of my career as professional bass player. I joined a local showband, and we played fairly big stages everywhere in Germany for three or four years. I did make some very good money at that time, but the most important thing is that I got a lot of experience as far as playing live is concerned.

In 1996 me and a friend of mine, Roland Kaschube, a fellow bassist, had the idea for a german-speaking bass magazine called Bass Professor. Having worked in the newspaper scene for years, Roland already had a lot of experience so we were lucky everything worked well. In October 1996 the first issue of the magazine was published with 5000 copies in Germany. Since then, lots of things happened. Today, Bass Professor is the only german-speaking magazine that offers 100% bass and is coming out quarterly with a circulation rate of 12,000 copies in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, so all the german speaking countries in Europe.

Being the editor of the magazine, I am able to take a deep look into new bass gear and the bass scene. Plus, I am also able to meet "my heroes" and the guys from whatever company face to face. But, because we're only coming out four times a year, I'm glad to find enough time to focus my attention on playing bass, not writing bass! I am really thankful to be given the opportunity to combine these two jobs with so few problems in my time schedule.

It was also in 1996 when I took part in a six-week workshop in Hamburg called the "Kontaktstudiengang" at the university for music and theatre which was a very important experience for me as well. The following years I played with more and more bands and also did more studio jobs which led me to where I am today. Today, most of my money comes from playing live as a freelancer with groups of every stylistic color ranging from wedding gigs, top-40, rock, hard rock, soul, funk, gospel, flamenco, musical, jazz, hip-hop, house, and even german "Schlager" and "Volksmusik." Very often I get calls from guys who are in need of a bass player because the player in their band is ill, on holiday, or whatever. These jobs have led me to several European countries like Portugal, France, Spain, Turkey, Switzerland, Holland, Austria, and a tour aboard a cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea.

In order to be a more flexible player, I started playing the double bass at the beginning of 2002 because I had some offers for musicals. But, most of the time musical playing means you do not only have to play electric but also double bass and be able to play with a bow. So I also took bowing lessons because I like to be able to offer as many bass sounds as possible. I also practice the rockabilly slap style for the same reason.

I am not only a freelance player, but I also have some groups that I work with constantly. First, there is a rock band called Dodoleo with a great singer from Switzerland called Dodo. Right now we are working hard on some promotion material because a swiss record label is interested in the group. Then, I work together with a great singer from my home town called Britt Peters. I met her in a show band, and we formed a duo consisting of bass and vocals only. We're not writing new material but instead like to work on our own versions of well know pop, rock, and jazz tunes. At the beginning of this year we released, Rebirth, featuring 12 songs from Lionel Ritchie, Queen, Alanis Morissette, Elvis Presley, and others.

When I was promoting the duo album, I got in touch with a lot of guys who are running bass magazines all over the world. Because Rebirth received great reviews, I came up with the idea of producing a solo bass recording which I will start working on at the end of this year when most of the other jobs are done. I'm also looking forward to finishing my slap bass book which is an extract of a bass workshop column I did in Bass Professor.

Gigs: Here is a list of people and groups I have worked with past and present:
Konstantin Wecker, G.G. Anderson, Maricel, Phil Barnes, Daniel Hall (USA), Mike Williams (USA), Joe Whitney (USA), Charlemaine Thomas (USA), Carl King (USA), Darren Lee (USA), Ricky Gittens (USA), Maud R., Ron Ringwood (USA), Masaya, Alex Prince, D.J. Air-Knee (Jazzkantine), Dodoleo, Too Many Cooks (CA), Rai Hamilton (Jamaica), Meike Koester Band, Cosmopolitan, Ayda & Band, Body & Soul, Roy Brenningmeyers Hit-Transporter, Klub Royal, Pulp Culture, Public, Bray D. Bunch, Mastix, Motzfrosch, Robbie Ballhause Band, Good Times Gospel Voices, Roland Loy Band, Blues Pirates, Cymin Schwarz Band, Jaundice, Raphael & Alejandro, Edgar R. Rubin Band, Tokunbo Akinro, Bright And Blue, Big Fish, Calima Flamenca, Ellen Obier, Souled Out, Hannover Vocal Allstars, Britt Peters & Lars Lehmann Duo, Fine Time, Music Family, J�rg Jar�, The Ward Brothers, Big Mama & Band, Hit Radio Show, Mel Edmondson Band, and � la Carte.

Recordings: I have recorded with the following musicians or groups: Marla Glen, Konstantin Wecker, Cultured Pearls, Maricel, Phil Barnes, Redd (SCO), Colorblind (DK), Audrey (F), Shopmouse, Summerfield, Meike Koester Band, Robbie Ballhause, Stefan Toeteberg, Peter Jordan, Paganini, Jeff Harrisson, Audrey Mouton, Justin, Red Light Blue, No1Nose, Viva, Unmada Manfred Kindel, Maxx, Tokunbo Akinro, Fireball, Britt Peters & Lars Lehmann Duo, Landesb�hne Hannover, and Schauspielhaus Hannover.

Gear: Basses:
1973 Fender Precision Bass
1978 Fender Precision Bass
1978 Fender Jazz Bass
1976 Music Man Sting Ray
1983 Music Man Cutlass 1
1992 Music Man Sting Ray V
Vigier Arp�ge
Guild Pilot V
Neuser Cloudburst V
Neuser Courage V
Magnus Guitars VI fretless
Astro Semi-Acoustic
Double Bass

Strings: I've been endorsing Elixir Strings since 2001

EBS Fafner
Ampeg SVT Classic
Trace Elliot AH 350 SMX

2 x SAD 2x10 (+ Tweeter)
Trace Elliot 4x10

Electro Harmonix Q-Tron
Line6 Bass POD Pro
Tech 21 Sans Amp
Boss RC-20 Loops Station
Boss CEB3 Bass-Chorus
George Dennis Bass Wah
Ibanez Black Noise Soundtank
Boss FV200 Volume Pedal
Boss SD-1 Overdrive

Contact Information: Please check out my web site for more information, pictures, and music.