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One of the top bass players around, Billy Sheehan has appeared with Dave Lee Roth (the classic 'Eat 'Em And Smile'), the big stars of the 90's Mr Big, Talas and now as part of jazz/rock/fusion combo Niacin. Check out the latter's new live album, well worth a listen.

1. What are you currently up to?

New Solo CD (my second!), new Niacin CD (our sixth!), new Steve Vai CD(my first with him since Roth!) Upcoming G3 tour in the USA--in October/November. 2 new instructional videos and a DVD re-release of my old ones. Mr. Big Greatest Hits on Rhino early next year.

2. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoints(s) of your career to date?

I'm lucky enough to have had the numerous highlights completely obscure any lowlights! That's a good thing.

3. How did you first get into the music business? Who have been your main influences on your career to date?

I just started playing in a band. A bar band. All copy tunes. Just like most everyone I know in the biz. That simple. My influences are too many to list. The list continues to grow as well.

4. What style of playing gives you the most pleasure and how has your style of playing changed over the years?

I've played & still play many styles. I'm not a style snob - I like almost everything.

5. Niacin have a new live album has just come out (& very impressive to my ears I must say!). How did the band come together and what has been the live highlights so far?

I just wanted to PLAY MORE. I found a keyboard player (B3) and got in touch with DENNIS CHAMBERS. Dennis changed my life! Playing with him has been awesome. Live is an absolute riot. I love it!

Billy Sheehan

6. What was it like working with Dave Lee Roth? Would you be likely to work with him in the future at all?

That was a hundred thousand years ago, bro! Wow! Dave was awesome.

7. Mr Big How did the band decide when the time was right to call it a day? What do you think made the band so successful, especially in Japan?

We worked hard & played as best we could always. The band was packed with talent. The Japanese were wonderful to us. We always did our best for them and anyone on Earth who came to our shows. Mr. Big was an awesome band. Period. I can say that now that it is no more.

8. Is there anything you would still like to achieve musically?

So much! Personally, I've still got a LOT to learn! I loveplaying and I'll continue to try to grow as long as I live.

9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?

What's spare time? Never heard of it!

10. Message to your fans...

My fans are my friends. I'll always give all I can for them. Always.


Interview © 2003 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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