Doug Tackett attacks the bass like he does the stage, with a raging expression of energy and power. Founding member along with Uncle Nasty, Doug also formed Nasty's Nightmare with Uncle Nasty in 1990 which played the Denver music scene from '90-'93. In 1991 Doug won “Best Bassist” in the Denver Granny Awards. Doug and Uncle Nasty formed Horse in 1998 and, aside from a brief hiatus, the band has been playing continuously playing almost every venue in Colorado including Red Rocks and the Fillmore and opening for national acts to long to list.
Interview with Joe Bullet
JB: What was your first instrument?
DT: I first started playing piano with some lessons my mom had me start. In 5th grade I picked up the saxophone when the school was introducing instruments to people. I made all county band that year and was asked to be in the jazz band when entering 6th grade. I bought a guitar with my paper route money that summer and it was all over as far as wind instruments. I still play guitar.
JB: What was your first bass?
DT: My first bass was borrowed. I joined my first band as a bass player in high school. I was playing a bass off of the wall in a music store and the singer for one of the top bands in Pueblo, Colorado, Justin Sane, walked in, heard me play and asked if I was in a band. I first joined the band borrowing a bass and bass amp until I saved the money to buy my own gear.
JB: Who were some of your previous bands?
DT: My first “real” band was Justin Sane in Pueblo, Colorado. I joined while I was still 17. I had just turned 18 on my first gig.
I moved to Denver to go to music school at UCD and was playing in a band called Loose Tooth. The guitarists, Tommy Harrison, left to join a band called the Dog's of Pleasure. He met Uncle Nasty who was looking for a bass player and Tommy recommend me. Nasty and I hooked up in 1990 and we played until 1993. I moved to Texas after that and played in a blues band that toured around Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. When I moved back to Colorado, Uncle Nasty had also just moved back from Utah and we immediately started the band up again. We first called it U-Joint but after our first show changed to calling it A Band Called Horse. We later shortened the the name to Horse with our last CD, US Metal.
JB: What influenced you to be a bass player?
DT: I loved the sound of the bass. Having had the opportunity to play some of the big stages and do some touring early in my music career further influenced me to continue playing bass.
JB: Describe for Horse fans how you came into the band.
DT: Nasty and I started the band when both of us found ourselves back in Colorado after about 4 years of bouncing around the country. We started with Jimmy Strickler on drums and Kevin Martinez on guitar. Kevin wanted to go in a different direction and we needed a guitar player. I was talking with a friend Greg Gladman who played with Nasty and I in Nasty's Nightmare asking if he knew any available guitarists. He suggested Donnie and I hung up on him to call him as fast as I could. I had to call Greg back and apologize but I remember Donnie from his band Assassin and felt he was the perfect player to create this band. I am a HUGE fan of the songwriting Donnie has done.
JB: Who writes the songs for you guys?
DT: Donnie writes just about everything. I think Donnie is not just the best guitarists in the scene but he's also the best metal songwriter you could ever want to have in a band.
JB: What is your philosophy when it comes to the heart of a good song?
DT: The rhythm. The song needs to make you move.
JB: If you were not a musician what would you be?
DT: Not sure really. I have always worked in music or music related fields. I worked at record stores when I was in college. Currently I work for myself booking tours for bands around the world and I'm the talent buyer for many rooms around Colorado.
JB: What do you like to do in your spare time?
DT: I like to spend time with my kids and my wife. We like to travel and go to places like the museum. I love college football and during football season I'm a football nut. My favorite team is the Ohio State Buckeyes.
JB: What do you do right before you go onstage?
DT: I am usually pacing back and forth and jumping up and down in the green room building up my energy. I love playing and I get very energetic before I hit the stage.
JB: Who would you like to work with in a side project, alive or dead?
DT: I would like to have a side project with my wife with me playing acoustic guitar and her singing. She's resistant though but I'm persistent.
I am currently working with a side project with another metal group called Swami. It's fun and I have found I enjoy having a different outlet of music to express things that wouldn't be worked on with Horse.
JB: How would you describe Horses style to a potential fan?
DT: Horse is a heavy, high energy metal band that is best seen live.
JB: What is your career highlight so far?
DT: My biggest highlight would clearly be playing with Vinnie Paul at the Fillmore. Second would having Ivan from Five Finger Death Punch on stage with us at also at the Fillmore. Playing Red Rocks would also be in my top list of career highlights.
JB: What are some of your favorite gigs?
DT: Some of my favorite gigs have been actually some of the smaller shows we've played. Yes, the Fillmore, Red Rocks, Fiddler's Green and the Ogden are all great venue's and it's been fantastic opening for the national names we've been fortunate to play with. But some of the club gigs we've played along the way would definitely rank up there as my favorite. Cheyenne has always been fun. We played a gig at a small downtown room one time that was so packed the crowd was literally spilling on to the stage. Another Cheyenne show was so crazy packed a pit started on our first song sending a waitress flying across the stage cutting Donnie's cord in half that connected his petal board. Gigs back at the old Sport's Field Roxx were epic. Great crowds, great fun.
JB: Do you have any pointers for young players?
DT: My recommendation to young players would be to keep playing. Get out and play live as much as possible. You will only get better by continuing to get out there performing live.
JB: Speed round, one answer, ready?
Beer or wine?
JB: Sushi or Steak?
JB: Beach or Pool?
JB: Football or Hockey?
JB: Cats or Dogs?
JB: Coffee or Tea?
JB: Comedy, Drama, or Horror?
DT: Sci-fi actually
JB: Blonde, Brunette or Redhead?
DT: Redhead definitely
JB: Canada or Mexico in March?
JB: Movie or Book?
JB: Coke or Pepsi?
JB: McDonalds or Burger King?
JB: Snow or Rain?
JB: The Beatles or The Stones?
DT: The Beatles
JB: Slayer or Metallica?
I love all the Star Trek movies, all the Star Wars movies and all the Lord of the Rings movies. I also watch any movie based on history.
I read history. I am currently reading US history and building a library attempting to create a literary history of the US from 1492 to 1900. I also enjoyed the Aztec series by Gary Jennings.
I love all sorts of music. While I'm working I find myself listening to contemporary jazz. I love the old standards. I love bluegrass music as well and very glad that bluegrass has become more of a mainstream sound. My grandfather use to tell me “when are you going to stop playing rock'n'roll and start playing real music and join a bluegrass band?”. Never happened. The rock bands I like are endless. I love Slayer. I have seen Slayer more than any other band. I love classic rock and went out to buy the new Pink Floyd when it was released. I love blues music and work with blues bands every day. My car currently has CD's by Iron Maiden, Sara McLachlan, Shinedown, Eric Clapton, Alter Bridge, Led Zeppelin, Slayer and Pink Floyd. I listen to everything. I even like old country like Johnny Cash and Hark Williams, Sr. I was in love with Crystal Gayle when I was a kid. I listen to a lot of classical music. This is what's on at night when I'm sleeping.
Event in music history:
My own witnessing of events in music history would include seeing the Page & Plant tour. I think that was a monumental tour of two of the greatest names in Rock'n'roll. I never saw Led Zeppelin so Page and Plant on this tour was the closest I could get. I think Monsters of Rock at Mile High Stadium is historical. I was front row and watching Axle Rose flip out and storm off the stage was great. Metallica's James Hetfield was playing with a cast on. The Nasty's Nightmare show that followed at the Broadway was personally historic more for how completely hammered we were and still able to play.
Patrick Stewert, Richard Harris, Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins
Merle Streep, Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Winona Rider,
Robert Plant, Tom Araya, Ozzy Osbourne, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan,
Paul Gilbert, Buckethead, Marty Freidman, Paco De Lucia, Andres Segovia, Eliot Fisk, Liona Boyd, David Gilmore, Jimi Hendrix, Randy Rhodes, Eddie Van Halen, Roy Buchanan, Pat Metheny, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Warren Haynes, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Chet Atkins
Victor Wooten, Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, Geezer Butler, Geddy Lee, Steve Harris, Les Claypool, John Paul Jones, Tal Wilkenfield, Charles Mingus, Gene Simmons, Jeff Berlin, Stu Hamm, Bootsy Collins, Roger Waters, Billy Sheehan,
Vinnie Paul, Neil Pert, Vince Lombardo, John Bonham, Buddy Rich, Mike Portnoy, Danny Carey, Terry Bozzio, Ginger Baker, Nicko McBrain, Dave Weckel
I plays a Mesa Boogie 400. The original one, not the new 400+. I run two stacks with one side 2 18” speakers and 2 10” speakers. The other side is 2 15” speakers with 2 more 10” speakers plus a horn. My bass is a Schecter 5 string. We tune with drop D but a ½ step down across the strings so my low string is a C#. I tune my two bottom strings in unison using Heavy GHS Boomers with a 130 gauge on the 5th string. For the big hits I have two low strings I hit together for a fat deep tone.