Shri’s bass has a character and function of its own. It is hand carved and designed by Shri especially for his unique approach towards bass playing. It all started on a bored hot afternoon in Bombay for an ‘out of work’ Shri, when experimentation was a way to stay focused and to constantly challenge himself to move forward.
These experiments, one with a bow and the other applying the Tabla technique to bass ended up with the style that he plays with now apart from fingerstyle. This led to finding a shape for the bass which allowed for normal bass playing and also all these other techniques.
This further led to Shri designing his own bass because of his 3 reasons.
– couldnt afford to buy a really good bass anyway.
– loved to tinker around with carpentry and make things.
– wanted an instrument unique to himself that would stand by his music and also allow for all the techniques he had developed.
Thus … the bass.
The bass was made out of an old piece of teak wood that Shri had found discarded near his home in Bombay. He left there as it might have belonged to someone else – but it was still there 3 years later, covered in muck, pigeon shit and moss! A quick clean showed that the piece had a lovely resonance in sound and look. All sorts of rules and theories he had read about guitars and basses seemed to fall into place while he measured and cut out the shape, which was especially for bowing the instrument. The carvings on the bass were done with a Swiss Army knife while on his very first tour, out of India, in the Far East and the USA. The circular one (the rising/setting sun…same as the Shri logo) was done in a hotel room in Hong Kong. The second and more prominent one was done sitting in a San Fransisco Greyhound bus station at 5:00 AM with a police officer as a curious and wary onlooker!!!!!!
As Shri says he cut his finger so many times carving the bass that the policeman was actually getting a bit worried and started getting him loads of band-aids .. but because of it there was real blood shed making this instrument and hence the connection with it !!!!!!
The bass has given Shri’s music a completely unique edge both on albums and live and it is still an object of massive curiosity or compliments. He is very often asked what that amazing, mystical, spiritual instrument is and the answer always is…
”It’s a traditional rock and roll instrument called bass!!!!”