I know you were born in Chile, Felipe, and that you started your career as a teacher.
Can you share a little bit about this with us, and how you went from a warm country as a teacher to touring the world on a bike with a bass guitar strapped to your back?
I wanted to see the world with my own eyes. I wanted to do it on a horse, but I didn’t have money for one, so my bicycle became my horse.
How did you land in Saskatoon, Canada, from Chile?
I started teaching kindergarten in Saskatoon, and I fell in love with the city.
When did you start to play bass, and what is it about the bass guitar that drew you to it?
As many other bass players, everyone else was playing guitar, and if I wanted to be in the band, the only spot left was bass.
I started at the age of 16.
What is your favorite bass and why?
My favorite bass is my Dingwall. It’s the one I took over the Arctic Circle on my bike. There were moments when I wished I had a gun instead of a bass, because there were so many grizzlies.
What is your favorite style to play? Thrash, slap, etc. Why?
I love tapping. It is my go-to technique. I love that I can create a full range of frequencies without a band. I have not been successful in convincing a band to tour on a bicycle with me.
Besides playing bass, you have also written some beautiful melodies. What was your inspiration?
Nature is my muse. I have loved the relationship between man and nature since I read The Odyssey. I wanted to do something like that—to create the soundtrack of my adventures.
Can you tell me how you came to find Bergantino?
I tried the B|amp at the Dingwall shop. After hearing how well-rounded my tapping sounded, even without adding any pedals, I was convinced I needed one.
What is it about Bergantino that is important to you for your sound as a player?
I love how it doesn’t color my playing. Most of the sound comes from the fingers and the bass.
I love the crystal-clear sound, and Bergantino is the clearest and most responsive amp I have tried.
Bonus points for the One Big Knob, too. I love that one.
You are a traveling man, Felipe, and have been to many places with Bike Bass and Tour. Can you share with everyone how this came to be and about all the good work you are doing and the causes you support?
After some tours to remote areas, I became aware that I really enjoy visiting places and sharing my music with locals. So, I try to do that as much I can. I am not originally from Canada, but I love this country, and I want to do my part.
What is it you have learned by traveling the world that is most important philosophically and as a musician? Share some wisdom with all of us!
Be your best friend, and eat as much watermelon as you can. You never know when it is going to be -20 degrees again.
What has been your favorite experience as a musician?
Right now, I enjoy collaboration. I am creating music with my South African friend Chris Van der Walt.
What has been your favorite experience traveling?
That one is impossible to answer. I try to enjoy as much as possible whatever in the world I am doing at that moment.
I just came back from Africa. I still think wild dogs are cute.
Besides playing bass and traveling, Felipe, you are also the marketing manager and videographer for Dingwall guitars and, until just recently, for Bergantino Audio Systems. Can you tell us how you got involved with this work?
At the beginning, it was all research, as I had to do the marketing for myself. I had to tell people of the idea of doing a solo bass tour on a bicycle.
Eventually, I became good at editing videos, doing bass demos, etc. I am fortunate to work with amazing brands. It is always an evolving job, but I truly enjoy it. It makes me feel part of something big and part of the legacy of the brand I am working with.
Can you share some of the important things you have learned about FB, Instagram, and YouTube that you feel would help other musicians and the like who are looking to promote themselves?
For a personal online presence, it is important to make a schedule, be accountable for the content, and really focus on creating content that makes you happy, not on what you think people want.
This past February, you were in a polar exploration group on Lake Winnipeg, surrounded by freezing cold weather, high winds, ice, snow, and grey skies. Why? ☺ Why do you embrace winter escapes?
I am obsessed with man vs nature. I want to see if I can do it.
What is the next adventure plan for you, Felipe?
I better not tell. My mom may get mad at me.
Follow Felipe Gomez aka Felipe the Bass Invader