Oh, I like both! [laughing] They provide two different kinds of energy. The studio gives me real thinking time. Playing on the stage is like "butterfly time," filled with nervous energy like jumping off a plane or something. When you're in front of people, you're not thinking. You're as excited as the people are. When I perform or go to a show, they are giving me energy and I give them energy back. When I'm in the studio, the music is coming back at me through the speakers, so I'm playing off of that. At a show, I'm playing off of people. They're two completely different things, but I enjoy them both.
I see. Well, two of your greatest musical contributions have been handled by D'Angelo – "Lady" and "Untitled (How Does It Feel)." What is it that you most admire about his talents?
We're kindred spirits. We kind of grew up through the same things. We work differently, but we like the same things. We accompany each other very well. He's the piano player. He'd accompany people in church, same as I did. So, we knew how to accompany each other's talent. That's what really makes the magic work. We can walk through it, we can talk through it, we can play through it. That's the triple threat. That's when the magic happens.
Rumor has it that the two of you, along with Q-Tip, were going to be collaborating with the group Lynwood Rose. What's the significance of the name for the group?
Lynwood Rose is something me and D'Angelo came up with before Lucy Pearl. Lynwood is a guy in Virginia and Rose is a guitar bridge called Floyd Rose. So we took Floyd out and put Lynwood with it to create "Lynwood Rose."
What's the group's current status?
It's all a dream, man. They're both doing their solo records so there's no telling when it's going to happen. We talk about it. But we'll see [laughing].
When you mentioned Floyd Rose, I was reminded of the fact that you've been playing the bass since you were six years old. At what particular moment did you realize that music was in your blood?
The first day I picked up a guitar, I knew that was it! [laughing]
What was the first bass line that you ever played?
"You Got the Love" by Rufus and Chaka Khan.
For more information on Raphael Saadiq, visit his official website.