Stefan Lessard: Swimming The Fretboard 

Dave Matthews Band’s low ender reflects on his three decades in the group, his evolved view on writing, and his new approach to old material

Stefan Lessard: Swimming The Fretboard 

Photos by Rodrigo Simas

Dave Matthews Band’s low ender reflects on his three decades in the group, his evolved view on writing, and his new approach to old material

Since age 16, Stefan Lessard has been the low-end anchor of the Dave Matthews Band through ten albums, continuous tours, decades of musical evolutions, stylistic shifts, lineup changes, and undeniable success. Now, on the cusp of turning 50, Lessard is experiencing a new sense of freedom in his craft by breaking away from the constraints of writing for the parts and feeling boxed in to riffs, by embracing improvisation and taking risks onstage. In reflecting on his career, he came to understand that his early days in the band were highly calculated, which led to his playing getting stifled.     “What I’ve realized is that a lot of the old things we were doing, between the guitar riffs that I had to play alongside the fills and parts that were already placed inside the music, didn’t leave much space for deviation from the bass standpoint. Carter [Beauford, drummer] and I were totally locked in on all of it, but there wasn’t much room for me beyond that to
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Jon D'Auria   By: Jon D'Auria

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