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"Belief in yourself is a starting place. It must be backed by professionalism, time in the woodshed, and true love for music." - Angeline Saris

Posted: December 5, 2022
I just loved the bass, plain and simple. I love the supportive role it plays in a band. I love the soothing yet powerful low frequencies. I love dropping a low E and just feeling the walls shake. I love playing a funky line and watching people get out of their seats to dance. I love the connections music allows us to make both with fellow bandmates and with the audience. It’s all such a gift.

There is a common mis conception, that all you need is to believe in yourself. At that point, you will discover that you can overcome any obstacle. There is truth in the statement. “You must believe in yourself”. However, you must exercise that belief. In what ways? Develop your craft. Perfect technique. Practice, and preparation. These are action words. Then in between these action words, are specific elements to accomplish your purpose. Everything you do, to prove yourself “music ready”, is encompassed by exercising belief. One might say faith is all you need. Well, faith helps, but you must also exercise that faith and believe in your ability. Otherwise, you are going to be left behind.

The other elements that contribute to your belief in yourself is important. You need encouragement. This comes from family and friends. Fans and professionals that are educated in the music field. It is important to decipher, real contributions to your success. Is it feel good moments, or are they unbiased opinions without something to gain? This an important topic to consider. It could be a game change for you, regardless of the number of years invested in your talent.

I would like for us to review the accomplishments of an artist that has been in the music industry for several years. Bass player, Angelina Saris is quite a talent. These words are not emotionally charged words because she is interviewing with Guitar Thrills Magazine. We have a basis for making this acknowledgement. Let’s consider details, that will convince you of her abilities as an artist.

ABOUT ANGELINE SARIS

One minute of Angeline’s low-end thumping coming at you and you’ll know she is just as much beast as beauty. She is a monstrous talent and has the schedule to prove it. Her credits include her decade-spanning work with Narada Michael Walden Band, Ernest Ranglin, Kehoe International, Zepparella, Gretchen Menn, and most recently the Celebration of Bowie. Additionally, she’s shared the stage with legendary musicians such as Carlos Santana, late Ronnie Spector, Dionne Warwick, Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Richie Sambora, Orianthi, Steven Adler, Angelo Moore, and Neal Schon.

Angeline is a bass player who understands and celebrates the instrument. Her playing pulls from some of her favorites such as Pino Palladino, John Paul Jones, Willie Weeks, Larry Graham, and James Jamerson, yet she brings a quality and sound that is uniquely her own. An admirer wrote a single word on the back of a set list during a show and tossed it back on stage. “Filthy!” it said. Angeline maintains it is one of the best compliments she ever received.

Angeline is brilliant! I met her when she was 16 and she was bad then. you know she’s magnificent now! Grounded and funky. Flair and bottom. Beauty and the beast!

— Narada Michael Walden, Grammy award-winning producer (Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston), acclaimed drummer (Jeff Beck, Aretha Franklin, Mahavishnu Orchestra)

Her raw talent as a player is equally matched by her dedicated work ethic, which is why she’s the first-call bassist for artists across the music world. Regardless of which style or genre she’s taking on, she prepares tirelessly to be stage or studio ready, and has continually exceeded all expectations from musical directors, artists, and bandleaders alike. “I show up prepared and will always prioritize being solid and supportive over flashy and busy. For me, that translates to locking in with the drummer, laying pocket, staying out of the way, but also knowing when to dig in and deliver a bit of flash to send a song into lift-off.”

That flash comes in many forms for Angeline, whether it be her charismatic stage presence or or her use of a multitude of techniques. With an arresting combination of versatility, focus, taste, and chops, she is a seasoned professional and compelling performer. Her jazz background shines through in her melodic lines; her rock leanings mean she isn’t afraid to lay down a solid, heavy grove, and her chops allow her to burn when the moment asks for energy. Whatever the song calls for, that is what she honors. Fluent on 4 and 5-string basses, electric-upright, and a quick read on charts, Angeline spends much of her time in the studio when not on the road.

“I’d say it’s my versatility that has put me in a position to be considered for a variety of gigs. When I first started out, I spent a lot of my career saying yes to just about anything for the sake of learning, and because I found the challenge fun and interesting. I grew up playing bass in the jazz band in high school and learning how to craft walking bass lines made for an excellent foundation for moving between genres with ease. When I am out with Narada, a typical set will include some odd-time Mahavishnu Orchestra, some Hendrix, a few Whitney Houston tunes, a few Aretha tunes, some of Narada’s original fusion or pop stuff, and maybe some stanky Larry Graham or George Duke inspired funk. It’s all over the map and I love that!”

While her musical resume covers a lot of ground, at the core, Angeline’s natural inclinations reside in rock, pop, R&B, and soul music, which is evident through her songwriting as ANGELEX. Teaming up with drummer Lex Razon and enlisting some of the Bay Area’s finest musicians, Angeline showed the world her voice as a songwriter with ANGELEX’s 2018 debut release of Tight Lips. The album met rave reviews and as Bass Player Magazine stated, “Her vibe on the album is that of a musician finally creating her own musical identity, after years of playing other people's material–and it's a sound that suits her well.” Beyond ANGELEX, Angeline has also composed music for the esteemed Paufve Dance Company and is currently in the studio wrapping up work on her highly anticipated solo album.

“I have some friends who feel completely fulfilled being a hired gun and have no desire to write their own material. That is definitely not me. I am equally both hired gun and artist. I absolutely love my work as a hired gun and will always want that to be a very large part of my career. That being said, I have songs that live in me and a desire to hear them come to life. When I recorded “Top Down” for my Angelex record, it was a really fulfilling moment to see this idea that literally just poured out of me one morning come to life. I have a vision for the future of my own art, and I hope to carve out more time to cultivate that vision.”

As an educator, Angeline is a skillful instructor who is generous in passing her wealth of knowledge and experience on to her eager students. On top of recording four instructional DVDs for Hal Leonard, she has been a featured instructor at the Warwick Bass Camp, the National Guitar Workshop, and is currently writing an educational book of her own. When she’s not juggling her various projects or touring the globe, she offers private lessons for students, who get to learn from her directly.

“Music is one of the most powerful and unique ways humans can connect with one another. It’s that connection and the music that comes from it that I live for. When everyone on stage is totally in sync and the music takes on a life of its own, you just feel like you're floating. The cherry on top is when you look out and the audience is right there with you. There’s really nothing in the world like that feeling. I wish everyone could experience that at least once.”

After holding down the low end for the all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band Zepparella for seven years, Angeline is preparing to embark on one of her biggest tours to date with Celebrating David Bowie. This all-star tribute to David Bowie features an A-list cast of musicians including Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Famer Todd Rundgren, Adrian Belew (Bowie, NIN, King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Talking Heads), guitarist Scrote, Spacehog’s Royston Langdon, Fishbone’s Angelo Moore, solo artist Jeffrey Gaines, saxophone great Ron Dziubla (Jon Batiste, Joe Bonamassa), and drummer Travis McNabb (Sugarland, Better Than Ezra). No stranger to honoring the playing of music icons, Angeline was the perfect fit to take on such celebrated bass lines.

“Bowie had so many different bass players, which has shaped my approach in a really big way. Trevor Bolder, George Murray, Herbie Flowers, Willie Weeks, Barry Campbell, Carmine Rojas, Tim LeFebvre, and Gail Ann Dorsey are just a few of the names that come to mind. Obviously, each player has a different style and approach that helped to shape the music and serve Bowie’s artistic vision. The bass plays a huge role in Bowie’s music that definitely shapes my approach to these songs. I even like to push that envelope a bit whenever it feels like the right musical choice.”

Angeline is already a force to be reckoned with, but her ambition and inexhaustible hunger to grow as a musician will only propel her to new heights as a bass player and songwriter.

“What continues to evolve is my sense of self as a player. The thing you can’t be taught is the musical instinct you get from time on stage. There is a trust you build in yourself when you have put time into a craft consistently for years upon years. I feel that more than ever at this point in my career and I think it translates to how I show up in a band setting.”

Music lovers and low enders alike are excited to see where her path will take her next.

Interview with Angeline Saris and Guitar Thrills Magazine

Guitar Thrills: I am really stoked about interviewing you. Before we get into what is happening in your career, I would like to ask questions pertaining to today’s topic. It is ok, to have a different opinion then ours. We want to make sure that we are on point if we are not. Is mere belief in yourself enough to be successful in the music industry?

Angeline: Belief in yourself is a starting place. It must be backed by professionalism, time in the woodshed, and true love for music. Belief is also a practice that must be cultivated each day. In this industry, you will inevitably encounter tough times that will make you want to give up. It could come in the form of a close friend or relative doubting you, a show where no one shows up, struggling to make a living, or a band member that is highly critical or hard to work with. When you face these types of challenges, you must renew your belief in yourself. It is not how often you fall, but how quickly you get up.

Guitar Thrills: The point we were making is that you must exercise that belief. This requires action on the part of the individual. Actions that are effective, and forward focusing. What action did you take to exercise the belief you had in yourself?

Angeline: I listened to what was inside of me – and I still do. Everyday. There is a voice that says “Hey, you can do this!” and then there is the gremlin who tells you all your deepest fears. You must learn to quiet the gremlin and to give power to the inner voice of encouragement. This can be through a meditation practice, through journaling, or a nice walk in the woods. However you do it, you must find a way to still your mind enough so that you can hear your spirit inside. That spirit will guide you.

Also, stay focused on meeting your daily goals. By meeting those goals, you will inevitably gain confidence as you make headway. Those goals should feed into bigger goals for the month or the year. For me, the more I practice, the more my confidence grows. And vice versa. If I have a week where I got caught up in distractions, I can tell my belief in myself is rattled. Small steps!

Guitar Thrills: Now, that you made it over that hump. Everything and everyone seem to agree with your talent. What do you do to continue producing at the level fans have come to expect?

Angeline: In this industry, I don’t think we ever really arrive. I am always striving to be a better musician. I do my best to practice every day, which can be hard the more successful you become because you are busy all the time! I continue to take lessons in jazz theory and I’m working to become a better multi-instrumentalist by studying drums, piano, and guitar. Since I’ve been doing more background vocals recently, I spent some time taking voice lessons this year as well.

Guitar Thrills: Very nice. We can tell that you have purpose behind your career path and choices. When you started out in the music industry, what was the driving force behind becoming an artist?

Angeline: I just loved the bass, plain and simple. I love the supportive role it plays in a band. I love the soothing yet powerful low frequencies. I love dropping a low E and just feeling the walls shake. I love playing a funky line and watching people get out of their seats to dance. I love the connections music allows us to make both with fellow bandmates and with the audience. It’s all such a gift.

Guitar Thrills: What is next for Angeline Saris? What goals are you focused on?

Angeline: I’d love to do more touring. It can be hard work, but it’s my happy place right now. I just finished a six-week run with the Celebrating David Bowie tour featuring Todd Rundgren, Adrian Belew, Scrote, and Angelo Moore. I know they are booking more dates for next year, so hopefully I’ll get to be on those.

I’m also currently writing an educational book for bass players wanting to learn how to craft their own basslines. My hope is to have that out my early 2024. Last but certainly not least, is to continue to write and record more original music. I have a ton of new material in the pipeline and I’m clearing some things from my plate to get those finished up and released in 2023.

Guitar Thrills: Excellent. I know you are working on something special. Would you like to tells us more about it?

Angeline: Yes! I am going to be releasing a new single in January of 2023, so please check out my website and social media pages to listen. It’s a funky number that will get you up dancing!

Website: https://angelinesaris.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/angelinesaris/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/angeline.saris

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/AngelineSarisBass/videos

Guitar Thrills: We look forward to it. Let me assure you, that you have a lot of support from Guitar Thrills Magazine. When we measure an artist’s success, we look at the total body of work an what has been accomplished. In addition, there are other vocal and lyric requirements that we consider. You fit the bill, on our entire list. We look forward to your continued progress in the music industry. Thank you.

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