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  The Swiss Army Bass
Heart Of Gold - Neil Young
The Rage " In recent years I've adapted to be able to doing stuff  like this completely live.(including drums)
Johnny Skilsaw at Brownies in NYC circa mid 90s
Related instruments
The Egotar
The Fractal Harp






Yes, It's a bass guitar with a midi keyboard mounted on it-......Yes, the two are played simultaneously. The bass is played with the left hand alone using a guitar technique known as “hammer-ons” while the keyboard (sounding similar to a distorted wha-wha  guitar, -if you kind of squint your ears) is played with the right  . This instrument has a weight equivalent to that of a small motorcycle, and as you  may have guessed, take a "special" knack to play.

I discovered my ability to play Bass & keys simultaneously as a young guy living in NYC in way back in the 1980s. Experimenting, I found that  whatever limitations playing two in instruments at the same time had were more than made up for in the ability to use it to improvise and create fully realized balls of music, in real time. Growing up on jazz and prog rock playing guitar and piano gave me the musical bone yard of riffs to develop the ability to play this way fairly fast.

The next the logical progression was to go out and get one of these nerdy keytars popular at the time and mount on a bass to have the two instuments together.

I've always found keytars completely  detestable...BUT,,, somehow, mounting a keytar on a beat to shit, sawed off bass and playing it at the same time while putting it through tons of distortion at 120 decibelssome me how made a keytar  "okay",,, in my eyes.

I started gigging around town at venues and was well received due to the fact that audiences had never seen anything like it and the music had far more cord/time changes then they were used to. I built outlandish rigs out of milk crate, wire and duck tape to travel do so and developed my own kind of "ascetic"

The world I was living in at the time was full of aggressive sounding punk and hardcore bands. My own and most of the taste of the underground music scene in NYC was ferociously anti synth-pop. I struggled to find a way to make the keyboard sound like a big stupid,tripped out, slide guitar. To get the sound, required playing LOUD through big guitar amps with a wha-wha pedal. I was blessed enough to have access to gear and rehearsal space because I worked, jammed  and eventually  lived in a huge music loft on 14th st. 

The instrument was christened " The Swiss Army Bass"   on the stage of CBGBs  when the drummer in another band  on the bill complimented me  on my "Swiss Army Bass"  a far more dignified title then what I called at the time ...."The Self Abuser".

It's a long story but my band Johnny Skilsaw picked up steam and eventually signed with Tag/.Atlantic.

My simple little experience of simply sticking a keyboard on a bass has lead me down a long road of  constantly perusing new and different ways of creating music.  

Johnny Skilsaw - Stuffed and Motorized - Music written and performed on Swiss Army Bass
Stuffed and Motorized (wicked cool flash site!)