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Mike Bendy: “I interviewed Victor Wooten for my high school newspaper - an eye-opening experience for a young bassist”

(Image credit: Greg Rhein)

Dear Moon bassist Mike Bendy comes down from low-frequency orbit. We talk beginnings, meditation and his multiple projects.

Currently I’m involved in three projects. Dear Moon is a band with Sam Smith (bass), Bryan Kopchak (drums) and Chris Ward (sax). This is a very important project for me because the music is all my originals. We debuted at the 2019 Bass Bash at NAMM, and I must say that it’s very fulfilling to finally release this music to the public.

I started developing my style around 10 years ago when Julius Pastorius and I had our dynamic duo, Shotgun Face

Bendy Effect is a group with my brother John Bendy on guitar and vocals. It’s always an amazing experience to share the stage with my big brother. The Hipster Assassins is a group consisting of Felix Pastorius (bass), John Bendy (guitar), Chris Ward (sax) and Kenny Grohowski (drums). We have a monthly residency at the legendary 55 Bar in NYC. If you’re ever in the area, it will definitely be worth your while to check out this supergroup. Each of these projects plans on recording in the near future; I can’t wait. 

My brother John started playing guitar when we were 10 or 11 years of age. I didn’t want to rip off what he was doing, so I asked our father to buy me a bass. His challenge was to play a song for him, so my brother helped me out by showing me how to play No More Tears by Ozzy Osbourne - and that was it, the rest is history. I was hooked. That first bass was an Ibanez CT- Series four-string.

Music and meditation

I am an endorser of Fodera Guitars and Trickfish Amplification. Both companies are aligned with my vision. My six-string Fodera Imperial Elite allows my chordal and rhythmic approach to really take flight. This instrument is truly special. There is no creative block with this instrument in my hands! Playability, tone and ease of use is unsurpassed.

Jaco Pastorius changed the world. It will take generations to fully understand his significance

I started developing my style around 10 years ago when Julius Pastorius and I had our dynamic duo, Shotgun Face. I went through a Victor Wooten and Matthew Garrison phase in my teens early twenties. I learned everything from the bass masters. I even interviewed Victor for my high school newspaper - it was an eye-opening experience for a young bassist.

Jaco Pastorius changed the world. It will take generations to fully understand his significance. Jaco’s energy is an undeniable, timeless force. I believe he was sent here as an awakened individual. It seems the world wasn’t ready and couldn’t keep up with his pace. It is unfortunate that he doesn’t have an opportunity to make music and most importantly be with his four beautiful children John, Mary, Julius and Felix. They are so special.

As a bass player, you must be focused and aware. You must be present in your current situation. It’s not what you think, but who you are, that matters. The more that your consciousness expands, the more you will remember who you truly are. Once the awakening begins, you must continue to be present and aware... but let go. Have no misconceptions about what is happening, we are an orchestrated vibrational experience.

For a long period of time I thought hitting rock-bottom would unblock my creative ability. At my lowest, I was introduced to transcendental meditation by the great David Lynch and I am forever grateful to for this gift. I am fortunate to have music in my life.

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