Interview with Michel “LABEX” Labaky
Mar 4th 2012 Rami Rouhana Interviews

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Michel Labaky, known by the name of “LABEX”, is the muse of the low frequency. At a very young age, Labex started performing in front of crowds with his proficiency on the bass guitar, double bass, and fretless bass. Michel is well regarded, not only has LABEX been involved in the continuing development of various techniques but also in his sense of lyricism and melodic bass lines. His complete musicality and ferocious artistry function as a timekeeper in the bass traditional role. He has performed with more than 50 international artists around the globe, a multi-style player with an outstanding showmanship performance (as described on the 8e ART website)

  • Tell us briefly how did you get into music? Who and what helped you at the start?

I lived in a house where music was always around, my mum was a pianist, and she was my first support, she bought me my first percussion set at the age of 7, at the age of 13 I was a heavy metal fan. She bought me my first electric guitar, but I always felt that it was not the frequency I was searching for, then I switched to the bass guitar in a year or two, and that was the real deal, I felt its frequencies in my bones hehehe, and my journey began.

  • Why the Bass Guitar? Does it have something that other instruments lack?

Well I felt it, the role of the bass guitar in the band made me feel so confident and responsible, this low end frequency that you can manipulate in different ways like finger funk, slap, arpeggio, chords, Rock techniques etc…  I felt that no other instrument can replace it, and it’s the instrument that sometimes u forget about in a band and u don’t hear it in front, but at the end it’s the bass who’s embracing all the other instruments, that’s how important is the “bass guitar“. So I chose it and on it I can translate all my thoughts and feelings.

  • Tell us about the gigs you most enjoyed. Who are the people you enjoy playing with? Who are the people you would like to perform with?

I always enjoy playing the bass no matter where and with whom, as long as the vibes of the musicians am playing with are positive, I performed in more than 50 local and international festivals with big artists like H.A.I.R, Demis Roussos, Elchato, Tino Favazza, Jose Fernandez, pegypavlakis, W.O.ME.X with Natasha Atlas and Robert Plant, Selim Sesler etc….” it was so much fun and amazing feeling the rush of it with such high level artists and huge crowd, but personally I prefer performing in small places playing my style of music, jamming, close contact to the audience, where I can make the bass scream out loud hehe, people I would like to perform with are Guthrie Govan, Richard Bona, Victor Wooten, Gavin Harrison, Robben Ford, etc.

  • What can you tell us about 8e Art Entertainment and MuseLab?

We founded 8eart in 2003, we started it with a band for private events and weddings, right now 8eart in a huge entertainment company covering more than 300 events per year with more than 50 exclusive musicians, my role is a team leader, casting manager and studio recording engineer. 

Muse lab is my own studio recording, where you can always find me drawning in my thoughts and composing.

  • Tell us more about the endorsement deals which dragged more ears to check your playing. Did MTV had a role in that progress?

No MTV had no role in this, not more than a media tv exposure, my endorsement is a pretty long story a friend “Derrick Murdock” an international bass player from the States filmed me playing the bass in a concert rehearsal, and took it back with him to the states and showed it to the owner of my first endorsement GRUVGEAR, two weeks later I got an email for an endorsement offer attached with a file of endorsement rules and conditions such as (playing abilities, techniques, style, performing more than 200 gigs per year local and international concerts and festivals, media exposure, etc …..)

I did my first bass movie “touchdown “and sent it to Gruvgear, my endorsement was featured in Bass musician magazine in The U.S (see HERE).

Then got my contact with FODERA bass and I already had my foderayinyang serial number 10 playing on it in the bass movie, they also have their endorsement conditions and we had an agreement (see HERE).

  • Can you describe to us the LABEX custom bass currently being designed and to be released by Fodera?

About the custom signature “labex” bass designed by Fodera, am still working on it am halfway through now, it’s my dream bass, my specs, my experience, my feelings, all in this bass.

Am changing a bit the shape of the monarch series, am using a korina selected core body with buckeye wood top, Brazilian rosewood (certified) fingerboard, three piece hard rock neck, dovetail, de lano pickups P/J, mike pope custom preamp, gold hardware, my custom designed signature inlay on the fretboard, and of course my hand measurement for the action and the width of the neck, some changes in the preamp layout knobs ,,, well that is the bass until now, I might change some stuff, still workin on it.

  • What are your future plans? Any album being prepared?

I just got my endorsement, for now am still enjoying the feeling of it, I got an invitation to the National Association of Memorial Masons – NAMM show in the U.S from Fodera and Gruvgear, I might take my band members with me for a performance, still working on it.

As for my album, Well yeah am working on it right now and will be released in about 6 months, now the second movie is on the way, will be done in a month, the album name is “US” coz too many guest artists are involved in it.

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