Patrick ‘PW’ Farrell is a solo artist, session musician, producer, composer, author, teacher and band manager. He is a graduate of both the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (Bachelor of Music – Jazz Performance) and the Victorian College of the Arts (Graduate Diploma of Performance). He has toured internationally with artists such as Jetty Road (‘Golden Guitar’ winning Australian country music act), appeared on television with the likes of Jessica Mauboy (Australian Idol) and worked in theatres, clubs, ships, hotels, cafes, bars and concert halls the world over. PW Farrell hails from Brisbane, Australia.
When did you start playing bass? I started playing bass when I was 13 years old. I’m 35 now so you’d think I’d have figured it out by now….. But no, every day I learn something new!
To what music styles do you gravitate? My favourite music is that which involves a decent amount of pocket/groove playing and also improvising/spontaneous creating & self expression. From an early age I was listening to Miles Davis, Brothers Johnson, Parliament, Weather Report, Tribal Tech, James Taylor and Rage Against the Machine so that probably explains why I still consider Jazz Fusion to be my natural music. You pour jazz language into contemporary feels and that’s really what I naturally hear. Though the older I get the more I’m drawn to the nuances of of different styles too…. Lately I’ve really been digging on Afro Cuban music.
Who have you played with? I’ve had the honour of recording, performing and/or touring with stars of International and Australian pop music, RNB, country music and performing at international jazz festivals with some incredibly gifted and passionate jazz and world music musicians.
These artists include;
Lynda Laurence (of ‘The Supremes’, USA)
The Brothers Nelson (USA)
Jetty Road (two time Golden Guitar winners at the Tamworth Country Music Festival)
Jessica Mauboy (as seen on ‘Australian Idol’)
Tyrone Noonan (key member of ‘George’, chart topping Australian pop/rock band)
Lachy Doley (Australian blues legend)
Mikki Ross (as seen on ‘The Voice’)
Teale Jakubenko (as seen on ‘Australian Idol’)
What new projects are you working on? I am completing my second album under my own name this year, it’s still a way off but should not be long now!
Also I’m in an exciting jazz group called ‘Jackal’. Basically we seem to keep writing material that breaks our brains and then rehearsing it until it sounds easy. It’s so much fun! We have a tour happening this year, details to come.
What are some of your favorite basses? I love a good 5 string. I’ve got a great Custom Shop ’64 Fender Jazz Bass but in truth 5 strings are my jam. I grew up playing a Modulus Fretless Q5 and that kind of set the bench mark. I love my MTD and Warmoth and I can’t wait for my Wood & Tronics single-cut bass to be finished so I can start shedding on that bad boy!
What makes up your rig? In my studio I run through an Aguilar DB750 because I love the tone of that thing. Live I use a Tecamp Puma 900. It’s easily the best sounding and most reliable D-class head I’ve owned. I use the Aguilar GS 410 cabinet or my EV 15 cabinet.
This might sound silly, or too obvious, but I really like MUSICAL sounding gear. Lots of gear out there in the market place has all the specs in the world but when you actually hear it, hear the tone of it, it’s not actually musical (not to my ear). The Nordstrand stuff sounds warm yet clear when soloed, is punchy enough to be heard in the mix but perhaps most crucially, it isn’t so ‘midrangey’ that it gets in the way (unlike some modern bass gear). On top of that the Nordstrand customer service is second to none.
How did you come to have interest in working with Nordstrand? I just spent years searching for musical solutions to musical riddles. The Nordstrand stuff just works so well and the vibe in communication seems really genuine and warm/proactive.
Who are some of your influences? Paul Chambers, Neils Hennins Orsted Pederson, Alphonso Johnson, Jaco, Stanley Clarke, Flea, Gary Willis, Paul Jackson, Louis Johnson, Marcus Miller, Kai Eckhardt, Matt Garrison, Hadrien Feraud, Janek Gwizdala, Nathan East, Neil Stubenhaus, Victor Bailey, Neil Jason, Hubert Eaves IV, Tom Barney, James Hutchinson, Jimmy Johnson……. Should I stop?
Do you have some links to recordings or video that utilize Nordy stuff?
Uptown Funk lesson – this one kind of blew up on the interwebs
Nardis arrangement – my take on a jazz standard
Jackal – warm tone on this
What other hobbies do you have? I’m a certified personal trainer and I’ve got a mean single speed push bike. I love teaching and composing almost as much as playing. I recently became the bass teacher at the QLD Conservatorium of Music which is the premier music school in my part of the world.