The word “legend” has become ubiquitous when discussing anyone who’s had success or notoriety that exceeds a decade, but for Billy Sheehan it’s a well-earned and apt descriptor. The man who made his bones in Buffalo New York as part of Talas gained the attention and respect of fans and fellow musicians alike when he played with David Lee Roth and Mr. Big in the 80s.
Sheehan is a rocker at heart but he has a profound passion for pushing the envelope of what a bassist is all about. He’s been involved in so many wonderful projects over the years, and in 2010 even reunited for a new album with his mainstay, Mr. Big.
This month Sheehan has seen the release of a new album from his project with Mike Portnoy, Tony MacAlpine and Derek Sherinian, “Live in Tokyo”,. On April 2 his long time, instrumental neo/jazz fusion project, Niacin, with drummer Dennis Chambers and keyboardist John Novello, will release its sixth studio album, “Krush”. It marks the trio’s he first record in eight years. You can check out 30 second clips of all 14 tracks from the album here.
On Billy’s 60th birthday, March 19, Metalholic caught up with the Lord of the bass to discuss Niacin, “Krush”, the possibility of a new Niacin live album, and his upcoming power trio project; The Winery Dogs. The latter, which features Portnoy (again) and his old Mr. Big pal, Richie Kotzen has completed its debut album and expects to release it in May, 2013. Having a lot on his plate is nothing new for Sheehan.
Check out our full 30 minute birthday interview with the legend below:
You can also check out our 2011 interview with Sheehan here.