Grammy® Award-winning producer and premiere bassist, Andrew Gouché, recently released his anticipated debut effort entitled, We Don’t Need No Bass, on Prayze Connection Entertainment.
With over 30 years experience as the bassist for many gospel and R&B legends as Prince and the New Power Generation, Gladys Knight, Michael Jackson, Andraé Crouch, The Winans, and musical director for Chaka Khan, We Don’t Need No Bass, featuring Fred Hammond and Jackie Gouché, speaks to Andrew’s gospel roots but also showcases a broader musical gift blending Jazz and R&B into a soulful variety of songs. Although a self-proclaimed church musician, Gouché shows the world, with this album, that he is much more as the project reaches out to music lovers of all ages and genres.
The premiere bassist, musical director, producer and composer discuss the man behind the bass, the journey and the music. Many people would be amazed by his story. Here is your chance to get to know him
Elev8: We want people to get to know you. So, who is Andrew Gouché?
Andrew Gouché : Andrew Gouché is a church boy at heart that’s loves God and his family, and has been blessed with a gift to touch and inspire through his instrument.
Elev8:When did you know you wanted to be a bass player?
Andrew Gouché: In 1974, the year I saw Larry Graham (Graham Central Station) on Soul Train, I begged my mom to buy me a bass!
Elev8: When did you enter the music industry and who was the first artist you worked with?
Andrew Gouché: In 1980, I started working with Rev. James Cleveland. He allowed me to sit at his church, on the side, and try to figure out the bass lines.
Elev8: How many artists do you think you’ve worked with in your career, to date?
Andrew Gouché: Probably at least 200!
Elev8: You’ve worked with Prince and the New Power Generation, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, Andre’ Crouch, The Winans, Snoop Dogg, Mary Mary, the Hawkins Family and was recently the musical director and bassist for Chaka Khan. What is the main difference in working in the gospel music industry versus R&B or rap?
Andrew Gouché: Playing Gospel is much more fulfilling spiritually, but the other genres tend to pay much more!
Elev8: Let’s talk about your current CD, We Don’t Need No Bass. What does the title mean?
Andrew Gouché: The title comes from my early experiences playing in church. I would go to some churches to play, and they would tell me, “We don’t need no bass, the organist can play bass on the pedals.”
Elev8: What inspired you to finally do your own thing after working with so many artists in the music industry?
Andrew Gouché: I think that was a natural progression. For over 30 years, I’ve played with just about everyone, putting my ideas on everyone else’s albums and shows. I have something to say musically, and this is just the next step in my musical evolution.
Elev8: Your playing sparked the interest of Luthier Michael Tobias, the New York-based manufacturer of electric bass guitars, who would later release the Andrew Gouché Signature bass. What is the name of the bass? How does it feel to have a bass line named after you?
Andrew Gouché: The name is the MTD Andrew Gouché Signature Bass and it comes in 4, 5, or 6 string models. To have a bass line named after me is kind of surreal because I remember when I used to go in the music store and look at the basses on the wall, wondering what it would be like to own a Fender!
Elev8: Is it true you were hand picked by Prince to play with Prince and The New Generation? How did that come about?
Andrew Gouché: Yes. In 2011, I was the MD for Chaka Khan, and we opened up for Prince. He was so impressed that he came backstage looking for me! He really complimented my playing and my musical arrangements for Chaka’s show. Later in that year, he called me personally and asked if I was interested in working with him!
Elev8: You’re known as a mentor and a great teacher. Do you work with any organizations?
Andrew Gouché: I don’t work with a particular organization, I’ve just been able to help many musicians over the years, either hooking them up with gigs, giving them gear, or training them to play in professional situations.
Elev8: In regards to your audience, what do you hope to achieve with We Don’t need No Bass?
Andrew Gouché : I hope to inspire musicians and non-musicians alike and to help show that real music is still alive.
Elev8: What would you say to any musician that feels like giving up?
Andrew Gouché: I would say, NEVER give up on your dream! This music life can be extremely rough, but also extremely rewarding, and not just from a financial standpoint.
Elev8: Do you have any upcoming gigs where we may hear We Don’t Need No Bass, live?
Andrew Gouché:My 1st official show, to showcase my new album, is the Long Beach Jazz Festival, Aug 8th
‘We Don’t Need No Bass’ is available on iTunes.com. Andrew Gouché will perform at the 2015 Long Beach Jazz Festival. For information, visit longbeachjazzfestival.com.