A Phil Brodie Band
New York, USA
In the shadows of
the growing technical rock bassists of the early 80s, ruled by Billy
Sheehan and Stu Hamm, was an evolving talent ~ rippling beneath these
mammoth sounds; who through the 80's and 90's would erupt into one of
the finest cutting edge bassists in the rock industry. Randy Coven is
now sort after by the top named musicians and influencing fellow bassists
worldwide. This bass virtuoso, has also shown us, with great passion,
another side from his heavy rock and metal persona, through his albums
we hear a rich soulful and sometimes jazzy musician, stunning us with
his awe-inspiring bass solos.
has performed with:
David Lee Roth
Joe Lynn Turner
and many more
Randy Coven [far right]
in the band Holy Mother
from an interview with Bass Inside Magazine
what point in your life would you say that you decided to approach this
incredible instrument of ours as a melodic and lead instrument as well
as the rhythmic heartbeat it is?
started for me when I opened my ears up to really listening to music
as a musician wannabee. I know this might sound stupid but I was listening
to a Beatles song a million years ago and I heard the bass in the mix.
I then realized Paul McCartney was the bass player of the Beatles, and
he was playing the bass with a lot of movement using a style similar
to the left hand of a piano player.
Was it one particular
player, a Stanley Clarke, a Chris Squire, or did it just seem to be
the way you hear the voice of bass?
Randy: I started
by listening to Hendrix, Cream, Led Zep, The Who, and Mountain. So my
first real influences moving in the direction I was heading were bassists
who could improvise. Jack Bruce, Felix Papalardi, John Paul Jones, Billy
Cox and the man(!) John Entwistle. All these guys were playing with
amazing guitar players and I couldn't help noticing how they would express
themselves, especially Hendrix.
Anyway, one day one of my friends came over and said, "You´ve
got to hear this". He put on Return To Forever and I heard Stanley
Clarke for the first time. I knew then that what I wanted to do on bass
was possible. I knew that I would be able to lay down some solid playing
that included expressing my bass as a solo instrument.
The next big influence that came along was Jeff Berlin. Jeff was actually
a neighbor of mine, his younger brother Ross used to beat me up.
One day I was sitting in my room desperately trying to learn Vulcan
Worlds by Stanley Clarke. My room had a door that opened into the backyard.
Jeff was walking by and must of heard me trying to play this thing.
He probably felt sorry for me, so he came in and took the time to really
show me how this riff was played as well as writing it out on music
paper. I couldn't believe it!
He also said he knew and had played with Stanley Clarke. I was blown
away. This incident changed my life forever. I decided to go to Berklee
to really learn music, especially because I couldn't read music, and
it took me the rest of the summer to learn the damn thing. I wonder
if Jeff remembers this. Thanks, Jeff.
PAVEL"RANDY COVEN"SIGNATURE SERIES
had just finished a busy schedule with Lesley West when he received
a phone call from Yngwie Malmsteen asking him if he could he could learn
his show in TWO weeks to do a world tour. He also asked Randy other
very important questions like: "Do you drink beer?" "Do
you play with a pick?" "And do you play a Fender bass?"
which Randy answered, "Yes..Yes.. and Yes". Randy has always
maintained "If you have 5 fingers why play with one pick"
He can't understand why a bass player would want to play with one pick.
"If you play with your fingers you have 5 picks". Yngwie's
material is complicated, Randy was ripping through the fast riffs, no
problem with his fingers, but it was a totally different thing with
the pick. However over the next two weeks he had learnt all 40 tracks
from the set lists ~ with a pick. When Randy flew to Florida to join
Yngwie, Yngwie sat him down with a beer saying "You´re a
finger player, right?" Randy had been busted. Then he said, "Let´s
hear you play this riff with your fingers." The riff was some awesome
32nd note passage. Yngwie said "I thought only Billy Sheehan could
do that! Right you play with your fingers" So Randy did!
Randy Coven and Yngwie
was born in Great Neck, NY, he was into music at a very young age. At
5yrs old, in 1965, his parents
took him for his first concert experience
~ The Beatles at Shea Stadium. After seeing that, he used to make believe
he was on TV playing music . When the movie Woodstock came out he was
at the preview in New York again with his parents and that was it!
He and his
brother Les... played together, Randy on the drums, his brother on the
guitar. Luckily they had a very understanding Mum, who let them "wail"
in the basement of their home! Randy however felt restricted sat behind
the drums, needing to be up front, to be free to leap & jump to
express his feelings while dreaming and re-enacting Hendrix, Cream,
Led Zeppelin etc. So here enters "The Bass", which he played
in several high school bands. Two major things then happened; as we
read above Jeff Berlin's influence and advise, then Randy's enthusiasm
made him realize in time and hard work he may be able to solo with his
bass. These 2 things changed Randy's direct of life forever, when in
1978 he decided to go to the renowned Berklee School of Music in Boston
to really learn music.
Arriving at Berklee he was surrounded by an impressive list of soon-to-be
renowned musicians Steve Vai, Steve Smith, Victor Bailey, Jeff Berlin,
etc. He formed a life friendship with fellow student Steve Vai. 1979
saw Randy and Steve founding the band "Morning Thunder". This
band consisted of David Rosenthal - keyboards, Eddie Rogers on drums,
Steve Vai - guitar and Randy Coven - bass. Also while at Berklee he
he met up with some Canadian musicians joining their band "Orpheus".
Their show featured a pair of songs penned by Coven. Randy had 4+ very
useful learning years on the road with this band, touring Canada full
Eventually 1984 sees a much more seasoned Randy returning to his native
New York, full of ideas with the need to form his own band. He first
teamed up with guitarist Jim Hickey and drummer Todd Turkisher, which
was the start of 'The Randy Coven Band'. The trio recorded their debut,
Funk Me Tender, in 1985. The title track featured a guest spot by Coven's
old pal Steve Vai. Coven's debut album sent Randy's name echoing across
music scene, causing mass ripples. A deal with Guitar Recordings soon
followed (run by the magazine "Guitar" for the Practicing
Musician), which resulted in many recordings through the late 80's,
such as "Sammy Says Ouch!" bring Randy together with Blues
Saraceno - guitar, Mark Wood - violin, Al Pitrelli - guitar and John
O'Reilly on drums who featured as his band on this album. Which lead
to "C.P.R." Coven - Pitrelli - John O'Reilly and included
many guest stars such Zakk Wylde, Vito Bratta, and Steve Morse.
The late 80's and 90's was a busy time for Randy, who had taken over
from Billy Sheehan writing The Bass Secrets monthly column for the "Guitar
Recordings ", which lasted for 5 years, the longest time for any
one writer. He was also appearing on a host of compilations put out
by Guitar Recordings. "CPR" had bought Randy, Al Pitrelli,
and John O'Reilly international fame. The 90's also sees Randy on world
tours and recording with musicians such a Leslie West as part of "Mountain"
and bassist in Yngwie Malmsteen's touring/recording band. Amongst all
this Randy forms yet another mega band ('94), the metal band "Holy
Mother" with New York metal vocalist Mike Tirelli, Tommy Hellbent
and Jim Harris. Their 2nd album, Toxic Rain. was awesome groundbreaking
power metal and with hard touring, appearances at major European heavy
metal festivals all over Europe, certainly gave the media & metalheads
worldwide something to grind their teeth on. "Holy Mother continued
for 9 years working round Randy's busy schedule. By 2003, Holy Mother
had progressed and their 5th & last brilliant album "Agoraphobia"
being much heavier, melodic and aggressive, the band pushed themselves
to the cutting edge with a refined explosion of sound and rhythm which
will have lasting impression on the metal scene for years to come. Year
2000/1 saw Randy touring and recording again with Yngwie J. Malmsteen's
"Rising Force War To End All Wars World Tour" and he released
his solo album "Witch Way" in 2002.
Randy's latest Thumb Bass !!
Band A.R.K. which includes Jorn Lande - vocals, Randy Coven -
bass, John Macaluso - drums, Tore Østby - guitar and Mats Olausson
- keyboard, have toured the world promoting their album "Burn
In The Sun"
MCM which stands for Alex Masi on guitars, Randy Coven on bass
and John Macaluso on drums. All from different musical backgrounds,
was created in a rather wild Mexico City suburb for the purpose of working
out some numbers to play at the gig the following night. These 3 very
different musicians exchanged ideas and the result is called "Ritual
Factory" an album containing 11 tracks, spanning everything from
progressive rock to experimental jazz.
Randy has spent time in the studio with Russian virtuoso pianist Vitalij
Kuprij's new CD. The Album features Vitalij Vitalij, John Macaluso,
Joe Lynn Turner, Doogie White, and guitarist Micheal Harris. "Which
may prove to be one of the heaviest classically orientated metal albums
ever," Coven Quote. Also this year among many guest appearances
has completed several live performances including European festivals
with the classic hard rock/metal act 'Riot'.
COVEN / HOTLICKS 60 min.
This video by
Randy Coven features: Modes, special exercises & licks, harmonic
techniques, thumb slapping & picking, strumming, finger picking,
and Randy divulges information to improve your harmonic understanding
of the instrument.
Berklee College of Music
Orpheus II Orpheus
Steve Vai Flex-Able
Jack Starr A Minor
Blues Saraceno Never
Randy Coven Funk
Randy Coven Ultimate
Various Artists Guitar's Practicing
The Randy Coven Band
Sammy Says Ouch!
CPR Coven, Pitrelli,
Various Artists Guitar's Practicing
Leslie West Dodgin'
Jeff Watson Lone
Holy Mother Holy
N.O.W. Tabloid Crush
Holy Mother Toxic
Holy Mother Criminal
Leslie West As Phat
As It Gets
Various Artists Slave
to the Power: The Iron Maiden Tribute
Holy Mother My World
Randy Coven The Best
Of Randy Coven
Blues Saraceno The
Best Of Blues Saraceno
Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising
Force War To End All Wars US Tour
A.R.K. Burn The Sun
Randy Coven Witch
Various Artists Warmth
In The Wilderness Vol.II - A Tribute To Jason Becker
Holy Mother Agoraphobia
ARK Burn In The Sun
2000 The Best of Randy Coven
Also Appears On
1989 Guitar's Practicing Musicians
1991 Guitar's Practicing Musicians, Vol. 2
2004 The Spirit Lives On: Music Of Jimi Hendrix
Revisited, Vol. 1
has signed a deal with BPH, Bohemian Productions,
for a new solo album in 2008
Check out Randy's
site for special clinics
February 14th - 23rd, 2006
and drummer The Mac Attack were out in Milan, Italy recording an Italian
rock opera. They were recording with a 27 peice orchestra. "Dream
Theater's" singer/guitarist, Marco Stogliis also involved in this
19th - 22nd, 2006
Winter NAMM in Anahiem, California
performed at the 2006 Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California. Maybe
you were lucky enough to see him Jan. 21st at the Ashdown booth # 4778.
Randy's current Ashdown Rig consists of two ABM 414 cabinets and an
ABM 900 head.
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