• robertmelso

Musical Inspirations

Updated: Aug 18, 2019

A lot of people ask me who my biggest inspirations are musically, and that list can get pretty long, so I've decided to boil it down to my top inspiration for each instrument that I play in the One Man Funk Band. They are as follows!


Typically when I start loop, the drums are one of the most important pieces in keeping the time signature for all of the other instruments in the song. While I love many different bands and types of music, with the One Man Funk Band - because looping sort of limits you to how many bridges and choruses, etc you can do without having to totally revamp the song - I typically gear the drums to a sort of hip hop feel. In particular, I usually go for a 90s hip hop vibe, and by far, my favorite hip hop band fo all time is the Wu Tang Clan. I just love the RZA's style of percussion on the tracks he produces. In my mind, I've always wanted him to eventually hear what I'm doing and say, "man, that's dope... and that sounds like something I would do. I should get the gang together and collaborate with this white boy." (haha!).


After laying a cool drum beat, the canvas is wide open for what type of bass line will best accompany or compliment the accents of the kick and snare. Now, when I play the "bass", all I am doing is using a pitch shifter pedal over my guitar which drops it down an octave and gives the illusion that there's a bassist in the room slapping away. I'm not the best bassist, so luckily I only have to rock it for a few measures or so before the looper starts repeating the phrase, but I always go back to the first song I ever tried covering instrumentally as a one man band. That song was "Pusherman" by C. Mayfield. I think to this day, I still try and emulate that type of feel that he always had in his songs and especially on that soundtrack.


So many to name here, so I couldn't name just one. Even two was difficult. In the end, I have to go with Dave Gilmour first. His style of playing perfectly captures elements of blues, funk, and has this singable quality to all of his solos that just makes me flat out jealous at times that I didn't think of those ideas first. Granted, I wasn't born yet in many cases, but he just knows how to wail and bend the strings to the exact pitch, and those effects that he uses are incredible too. The guitar I uses is an American Stratocaster like the one he plays.

Honorable mention goes of course to Tom Morrello (Rage Against The Machine.). Often times you'll see me "scratching" on the guitar to get this kind of hip hop - record scratch sound that Tom has been able to perfect so well. I also really like experimenting with effects and delay to get some really interesting and unique noises. There's definitely a lot of Tom Morello in my jams.


Rick (YES) has some amazing solo albums out which he just dances on the Moog synthesizer and it is so much fun to listen to that I a lot of times go for a similar sound via playing with the envelope knob on my Mini Nova with my right hand while playing the keys with my left. The result is a cool, psychedelic feel - and the 70s are by far my favorite era for music. Anything I can do to trick you into thinking that my music is older than it really is will make me feel like I have succeeded!


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