Daft Punk's new single "Get Lucky" is huge right now. Everywhere you look, people are talking about the electronic producers' collaboration with Nile Rogers (Chic) and Pharrell (the Neptunes) - it's even earned them a #1 hit in the UK, their first ever. But missing from the conversation is the fact that Nathan East is the man who layed down that funk fueled bass line. Maybe it's because he's so modest, or because he didn't appear in the now infamous video that first appeared on SNL. Either way, it's a big deal to be involved with this - so we reached out to Nathan with some questions about collaborating with the elusive robot-men known as Daft Punk.
Nathan East: Yes, vaguely but hadn't really studied their music yet.
AW: Did you travel to France to work with them?
Nathan East: No, we recorded here in Los Angeles at Conway Recording Studios.
AW: Had you worked with electronic producers before?
Nathan East: Not really.
AW: Can you describe the vibe in the studio, was it similar to a typical session or different at all?
Nathan East: Very retro vibe and instrumentation around the studio ... old synths, new synths, keyboards everywhere!
AW: How long did you work on this project? Did you have the music in advance?
Nathan East: We spent a few days in the studio about 9 months ago with a full rhythm section, then came back for a few more days of bass overdubs recently. No music in advance.
AW: You play bass on their new single "Get Lucky". How was the collaboration process? Did you have a lot of freedom in what to play or were they pretty specific?
Nathan East: I heard the song and we discussed the approach so I played a lot of bass tracks with various ideas and they comped the best takes.
AW: Were they in the studio while you played? Did they give you a lot of feedback/notes?
Nathan East: Yes they were in the studio and gave us initial vibe and direction and we took it from there... it was a collaborative effort.
AW: Did you work with Pharrell or did the vocals get recorded later?
Nathan East: His vocals were recorded later... he's great!
AW: What surprised you about working with Daft Punk?
Nathan East: Just that they were so cool and willing to try anything.
AW: Did you expect such a massive build up to their new album?
Nathan East: Not really, everyone is so low key in the studio but then once the project was finished, the build up was on full force!
AW: Did you know "Get Lucky" was to be the lead single?
Nathan East: I had a feeling since both Nile Rogers and Paul Jackson Jr. were playing guitar on it and it's such a fun groove!
AW: Is there anything more you'd like to tell us about working with Daft Punk?
Watch Nathan's Free Bass Lessons
Nathan East: I can tell you that they are very meticulous producers and pretty much try everything to insure all possibilities and options are covered. It's great to see that they care so much about the final outcome and really pull out all the stops to insure that it's going to be GREAT! They hired the best engineer Mick Guzauskii, and all the top players & studio in an effort to make an amazing record. I really enjoyed working with Daft Punk!
Check out the full version of "Get Lucky" below and tell everyone you know that Nathan East (who also has an online learning school with ArtistWorks) is on bass!