Rytmi Interview, May 2001
The article, in it's orginal Finnish, can be found here. Thanks to Jens for the translation!
"I'm a singer first, then a bass player," says angel-voiced Eagles bass player Timothy B. Schmit.
"I don't practice singing other than with the band. But then again, the Eagles practice enough as it is," he sighs. "As a matter of fact, the Eagles rehearse extremely hard Before the tour, we rehearsed and rehearsed. It can be extremely tiring. We rehearsed so hard before this tour, we had to take a week off to rest our nerves before we headed out on the road." Timothy says. He says that the Eagles have been working on a new studio album for years, for which Timothy wrote a couple of new songs.
"We went into the studio a couple of years ago. We thought, this isn't working out, so we headed out on tour."
So some of the songs ended up on Timothy's recently released solo album. Which, incidentally, sounds quite like an Eagles album.
"We'll try it again after this tour. Of course, I try to keep my solo stuff separate from the Eagles. Right now, I don't have a single song for the group, but I think we'll try to collaborate on some songs in the future. Everyone has fragments of songs that we're trying to put together."
Timothy became a bass player by coincidence. He started on the violin, and then moved on to the trumpet, ukulele and guitar.
"I always sang, no matter what I played. When my buddies and me got some electric guitars, we tried figuring out who played what best, we switched instruments around and tried out. So that's how I ended up on the bass. My first bass was a 1962 Fender Precision I got when I was 16. I wish I still had it."
"They asked me if I wanted to be an endorsement artist, and what kind of instrument I wanted. So I took away all the electronics, save for one volume knob. They made three guitars for me, of which the white one is the best. It sounds great, and the touch is fantastic. So I don't use anything else." Carvin asked Timothy to pose in their broschures, but the photo was taken so the simplistic controls wouldn't be noticable.
"I used a Trace Elliot amplifier for a long time, but I recently switched to an SWR amp. It's a bit simpler, and sounds great for me."
Effects-wise, he uses a touch of chorus with the fretless bass.
"It's a Fedula Buzz bass. I play it in a couple of songs. And the chorus is minimal. The sound gets nice and soft."
Aside from the bass, Schmit also plays the guitar.
"I don't play the guitar with the Eagles, we've got plenty of guitarists already. In the studio and on my album I play a lot of acoustic guitar. I play with my fingers, just like the bass."
The Eagles tours are very demanding, physically speaking. So three hours before every show, the players stretch their muscles.
"The shoulder and hand muscles get really strained, so you have to take care of them. After a show I'm usually beat. On the other hand, touring improves both the musical and physical condition. At the end of the tour, the band is at the top, everyone plays better."