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Interview with Bassist Aaron Rieseberg

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Aaron Rieseberg

Interview with Bassist Aaron Rieseberg…

By Holly Bergantino 
Photographer, James Rexroad

In this Bergantino artist spotlight we are excited to introduce our new artist, the amazing Aaron Rieseberg. As the bass player for Eugene, Oregon doom metal band YOB, Aaron is a talented addition to the Bergantino family. We wanted to get to know Aaron a little better, so we asked him some questions and he enthusiastically answered them for us. 

Tell us how you started on your bass journey.

It all began when my dad took me and my older brother to see AC/DC. I think I was 12. The show was so powerful, loud, and entertaining, and we were utterly floored. On the way home we talked to dad about how badly we wanted instruments,but my brother wanted me to play bass because he was gonna play guitar. That Christmas dad got me a cheap Ibanez starter pack and I was off. 

You’re currently on tour with your doom metal band YOB. Can you share more about the band?

YOB is a trio where the music is crushingly heavy and pays equal attention to both song craft and enormous riffs. A lot of attention is paid to the minutiae in the way the songs unfold with a lot of small twists and turns. We don’t consider ourselves a progressive band, but on occasion it gets heady and a tad bit ADD [laughs]. It’s not uncommon for lengths of songs to reach past the 10-minute mark, sometimes well beyond. Dynamics also play a big role, and we play with space a lot. There is a deep well of influence ranging from the many forms of metal, rock, singer/songwriter, punk, alternative, folk, and country. Funnel all this through A-standard tuning and heavy distortion and you have an idea what YOB sounds like.

What does YOB stand for? 

Mike came upon the name YOB while watching a Chuck Jones cartoon called Rocket-Bye Baby. There was an alien called Yob. He liked that it didn’t sound like anything or paint the band in any sort of corner.

People hate this question, but if you were constructing your personal Bass Mt. Rushmore, who are the four players that would make the cut and why?

John Entwistle – I picked up The Who’s live at Leeds early on in my teens and really was knocked out by his playing as well as his sound – a big gnarly P-Bass cranked through all those Hi-Watts. It’s so fun listening to a bass player who can play so busy and it still serves a song so well. John had dynamics for days, I love the calm delicate passages before the storm of fury and distortion rolls back in. 

James Jamerson – who is probably on most people’s Rushmore. Absolutely mind-boggling player. He just completely changed the game as far as what the bass could do melodically and rhythmically in a pop song. James had impeccable taste for when to lean in and when to lay back. 

Dave Edwardson (Neurosis) – total hero of mine. In the world of heavy music there is a different set of physicsand obstacles. Dave is wildly creative and a master within this realm. When Neurosis plays live he embellishes/improvises in ways that inspire me. And great use of effects too. He gets truly monolithic tones that sound awesome beneath a dense wall of guitars.  

Geezer Butler – I can’t think of a more crucial contributor to my own personal development as a player. He is the complete package: songwriter, lyricist, and true pioneer of the bass. When I was cutting my teeth, I learned as many Black Sabbath lines as I could get my hands on. 

Tell us about some of your favorite basses. 

With YOB lately I’ve been playing my old 1988 Gibson Thunderbird. I swapped the stock bridge to a Hipshot super tone and I put in a set of Thunderbucker Ranch ’63 pickups. It sounds stout in the bottom and has a certain wood-like midrange crunch that fills out a 3-piece very well. For recording I have used a Rickenbacker many times, though they don’t work quite as well live for me for some reason. I have a couple old Fender-style basses that get a LOT of mileage at home. A ’74 P-bass, a ’68 jazz and a Moollon P-Classic. I played the P on the YOB record, Atma. The sound, the feel, everything about that bass is great. 

Describe your playing style(s), tone, strengths and/or areas that can be improved on the bass. 

I play primarily with my fingers unless the song is demanding a pick. My instinct is to try and make the rhythm sound as big as possible. I have a tendency is to play way behind the beat which heavily plays into that.I believe that my ability to play slowly with a tight pocket is one of my biggest strengths. There is a lot of power in patience. I’m very fortunate to play with such monster players in Mike and Dave.I like playing with variations on where space is left open, where to let the daylight in and where to block it out. I learned by ear for the most part. I’d like to make improvements with my music theory. It would be mega helpful and fun to be able to analyze and communicate better at that level.

You have a monstrous bass tone. What lead you to incorporate large amounts of drive in your sound? 

I think it came from listening to music and being drawn to that type of sound. The bands I’ve played in have always been in a heavy genre and to a certain extent it comes with the territory. A lot of times distortion and monstrous sounds is what helps make the music speak. I’m a little obsessive about how the bottom end comes through and about the way it helps to balance out the sound of the whole band. 

Tell us about your experience with Bergantino and the forte D amp as well as the NV610. What settings do you use on the amp?

The Forte D is a new addition for me and I’m blown away by this thing. I’ve always been way into tube amps, and I was looking for something that could cop that sound very convincingly without having to shell out the money on maintenance. The amp is simple so it’s easy to dial in. I like running the drive about 1/2 way up so it sounds like tubes getting pushed, then I use pedals for when I need extra grind. 

The NV610 is the best combination of tone, volume, and portability. It’s got punch for days, warm present mids, and a pleasing treble range (zero ice pick). I love deep and full bottom without flub. This cab has been on countless tours at this point and hasn’t let me down once. 

What else do you like to do besides playing bass?

I love playing basketball. I get outside a lot and soak up the nature. It’s the best part about the Portland area other than all the good food. I love to eat. 

Follow Aaron:

@bleachlightning (personal)
@quantumyob (Yob)
@living_gate (living gate)

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Tony Newton

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Interview With Bassist Tony Newton

Bassist Tony Newton…

I am always learning new details about Bass history when I get the opportunity to talk with seasoned players like Tony Newton. Tony, a Detroit native, came up in the golden years of Motown and laid down the low end for countless performers and studio sessions; he has performed on over 25 gold and platinum hit recordings.

As time went by, and the whole Detroit scene dwindled, Tony relocated to LA where he worked a busy schedule, even going back to school to learn about music theory and composition.

Over the years he performed on many historic hit recordings and tours with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson(music Director), the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, The Funk Brothers and more, as well as working with veteran rock guitarist, Gary Moore in the British group G-Force.

Presently, Tony is super busy and on the verge of releasing a movie titled “Mars Quest” among his numerous other projects.

Join me as we get to enjoy all the history and knowledge that Tony has to share along with the details about his new Signature bass from BITE Guitars named “The  Punchtown Bass”.

Here is Tony Newton…

Photos: Mary K. Brand, Mitch Snyder, Haneefa Karrim, Hans Adamsen

Visit Online:

tonynewtonmusic.com/
FB @ TonyNewtonMusic Artist
YTB @ antoniotonynewtonmusic

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Connor O’Sullivan

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Interview With Bassist Connor O'Sullivan

Interview With Bassist Connor O’Sullivan…

It is always fun to learn more about music happening in specific parts of the country. In the Bay Area, Midnight North has been making its sonic footprint in the Alternative Rock / Americana arena since about 2012. Connor O’Sullivan is the bass player who holds down the low end for this very cool band with some very interesting pedigree. Living the life of the musical hustle, Connor is also the owner of Unicorn Heads music production studio.

Join us as we hear about Connor’s musical journey, how he gets his sound, all the interesting details about Midnight North, and his work at Unicorn Heads.

Here is Connor O’Sullivan…

Photo credit  Ben Fimlaid

Back to California Official Video (Newest Midnight North music video)

Unicorn Heads – Trip Around the Moon (In Studio)

Unicorn Heads – My Train’s A Comin’ (In Studio)

Visit Online

Midnight North Links

https://midnightnorth.com
https://www.youtube.com/midnightnorth
https://www.instagram.com/midnightnorth
https://linktr.ee/MidnightNorth

Unicorn Heads / Connor O’Sullivan

https://www.instagram.com/unicornheads
https://www.youtube.com/unicornheads
https://linktr.ee/unicornheads
https://unicornheads.com

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Bass Videos

Interview with Toad the Wet Sprocket Bassist Dean Dinning

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Interview with Toad the Wet Sprocket Bassist Dean Dinning

Interview with Toad the Wet Sprocket Bassist Dean Dinning…

Hailing from beautiful Santa Barbara, California, Toad the Wet Sprocket has been a mainstay of American Alternative Rock for over three decades. Dean Dinning, one of the founding members, has been an integral part of this band’s success, contributing both tasty bass licks and vocals.

Join me as we hear all about Dean’s rich musical heritage, musical journey, how he gets his sound, and his plans for the future.

Without further ado, here is Dean Dinning!

Photos: Chris Orwig, Kate Scott

Follow Online

www.toadthewetsprocket.com
FB @ toadthewetsprocketmusic
IG & X @ toadthewetsprocket

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Features

Robb Harper Artist Update II

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Robb Harper Artist Update II

Robb Harper Artist Update…

I am sure many of you will remember our initial interview with Robb Harper back in 2017 and an update in 2019. You will also recall that we recorded some of Robb’s live performances at the NAMM show. Well, it has been a while and Robb has been very busy… so lots get caught up and see what he is up to now.

Here is Robb Harper…

Bootsy Collins gave him a video shoutout about his new CD:

Follow Online:

www.RobertHarperBass.com
YouTube: @RobertHarperBass
Facebook: @RobertHarperBass
Instagram: @robertharperbass

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Bass Videos

Interview With Tesla Bassist Brian Wheat

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Interview With Tesla Bassist Brian Wheat

Interview With Tesla Bassist Brian Wheat…

Brian Wheat has been rocking hard with his band Tesla for nearly four decades. Not only does he play bass, but he is also a songwriter, vocalist, keyboard player, record producer, photographer, and band manager. As you might imagine, Brian has accumulated a treasure trove of experiences and information and we are fortunate that he is sharing some of his insights with us today.

Join me as we discover Brian’s musical journey, how he gets his sound, his thoughts on the industry and his plans for the future.

Here is Brian Wheat!

Photo, Oliver Halfin

Visit online at teslatheband.com/

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