Jaime Rodriguez


My name is Jaime, I am a bass player who has been playing bass since the late 80’s. For the longest time I never even owned a bass guitar but somehow I could play one instantly. Some of my friends were older than me and I would hang out with them and listen to them play cover songs and when they took a smoke break, I would pick up the bass and play. When they heard me, they would perk up and the bass player would scowl because he knew right away I could take his spot. The drummer would come into our space and lay down a beat and we locked into a groove right away. When I was like 11 or 12 years old I took up the violin in the Intermediate School Orchestra. Just to have such a fine instrument available to me felt really great though I didn’t know how to really play it like it should be played properly. I found out that I already had an ear for music because I was playing different parts that were different from the music I had directly in front of me. I went for a while without the teacher finding this out but one day he asked me to play a section and then he knew. He knew that I was playing actual music because I was basically harmonizing and playing combinations. I finally decided that I wanted to try and play the bass guitar but my father shot down that idea right away. I knew that one day I would be able to get an instrument of my own but that didn’t happen till way later after my parents went through a divorce. Basically, I just heard so much music early on that I would be influenced by it and was able to hear the different styles that were there all the time for my choosing. All of the musicians I worked with before were basically constructing songs and would show me the parts without writing any chord charts so I didn’t have much to go on but the sound itself. I am more into the sound than anything but when I started to work with acoustic purists in Seattle, they would have like 11 or 12 songs ready to go and this was like that with every musician I met. I would write a lot of spoken word and poetry and had this stockpile in my notebooks. Later on, I started to write music for what I had written but it was maybe like 1 or 2 songs. I never set out to write songs, I just wanted to play bass. The band wanted lyrics, so I submitted a few writings and we ended up turning them into real songs. Imagine that… Every musician I have played with before made an impression on me in one way or another. One person may have an amazing sound, another can write great songs or another may have an expanded ability to improvise and play for a long time without losing their grip. Sometimes you get along well with the band or there is an unspoken conflict but everything is relevant. Tension between members can produce great music and you can usually hear it in the recordings. I used to carry a Marantz Pro cassette recorder and set it up with a boom stand in the far corner of the room. I would then take it home and review it and was able to hear a lot that some would soon forget. It was my way of hearing good parts and working on them and stay sharp and improve my recall. I have come across some real characters in bands and in the music scene but then again I am sure they thought that way about me. Those experiences have made me into the musician I am today. Right now, I am just working on sections and developing my music for the feeling and expression I come up with and stay in the moment. Good things are happening as I am playing more guitar, keyboard and bass. I am real satisfied with what I am hearing right now. I never really auditioned for a band. It was more like we would meet, they would see my equipment and they would know that I was ready to go and start playing right away. I guess the exception to that is when I started playing music in Texas. I had all my equipment stolen but I worked twice as hard to get it back. Musicians from Houston were way different than Seattle. More rough around the edges and it took some time for me to get into a groove. Some personalities are jammed with a lot of ego and I don’t care much for that but, for me, it created a tension in the music that strengthened it at the same time. There isn’t really a music scene in Houston. It’s not like Austin cause there are even fewer places to play there now and you end up playing for the same 8 friends who show up on a weeknight and maybe once on the weekend. It’s not impossible but it’s just hard to stay interested when you experience that. It’s a thankless job and you really have to like the pain. I have some personal selections and bands but there are so many gems to be discovered… I do recommend Swans, though. You may not like everything but they are worth checking out.






What is music to you? What does it give you?

music is a lot of things to a lot of different people. to me it is about creativity and originality. it is about taking your influences and your lifestyle and incorporating it into your own personal expression. it is like a finger print and no one else has the same one as you. when a person plays a song or a part that they came up with it may sound similar to something you may have heard before but technically it is not the same. we are not clones. music gives me the satisfaction of knowing I am proactively and progressively working on something that has never been heard before.

What is your music dream?

to be playing in a band and playing live in front of a whole lotta people.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

division is a big problem. music should unite people. we have enough problems in this world without thinking of reasons why we should not get along. music is the cure for that.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

Harry Nillson's Jump Into The Fire. the bass line is memorable and the vibe of the song is hallucinogenic. if you don't feel or see anything while hearing it, your not alive.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

SWANS is my favorite. Gira is such a great composer and visionary and remains a mystery to me. he says so much with music and sound and vibration. Better Than You captivates my mind to this day.

What inspires you to make music?

Kiss did it for me when I was a kid. it was more than Gene that got me into bass. the sound, the attitude and the sheer audacity to play music what hasn't been done before. totally made me want to throw my violin out the window.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

anyone can play music. with a key board or computer, a guitar or anything you can get your hands on. don't ever let anyone tell you can't play music. just because they are insecure doesn't mean you have to be.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

it's everything. it is the main reason why I play bass guitar. there is a special connection that I make with non-musicians that gets me going. they are literally right there with me when I'm jamming.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

get off the internet and write and play music. think of how much more you would be if you had your instrument in hand as much as you are on your phone or computer ?

What do you think of Drooble?

when I was asked to do an interview, I wasn't sure if they were serious because you can't be too careful. I was real surprised and flattered that they would even pay attention to my music even though I knew the music I created with other musicians was worthy and quality. I use their platform to inspire other people like me who work hard to accomplish the ultimate goal and that is to be heard. there are so many great musicians on Drooble.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

finding other players in my area. for some reason, they are more concerned about partying than about getting anything done musically. I didn't come this far to just watch my instruments collect dust.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

I have been to a local show more than once here in Salt Lake City. it seemed there were a lot of supporters but I really want to switch my focus to creating my own music. I don't just want to be a spectator.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

good question. I am still trying to figure that one out. you have to trust your music being produced by another person besides just you and your band. the producer knows things that can get you noticed and heard as well. otherwise you will be just another garage band and not get out of the music experience that you really could.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

I'm finding that Swans is a common unknown band but I kind of like it that way. I miss the underground the way it was back in the 80's and 90's. every thing was by word of mouth and we relied on magazines and records and tapes being exchanged. music had a way of finding you and meeting a person right where they were at. I got the messages early on and made some lifetime friends because of it.