Bergantino’s Alex Lee

Hailing from Down Under and holding the low down on bass, Alex Lee started using Bergantino gear in 2017 and has never looked back.  In fact, he was the FIRST person in Australia to own the forté bass amp!  Here’s Alex’s story and why he chose Bergantino.

HB: Alex, why did you choose Bergantino gear?

AL: Tremendous headroom, utmost clarity, simple yet powerful controls and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. The only brand in the world that can do it all while allowing my bass to sound exactly as it should sound. The quintessential amplification system for bass.

My first encounter with the bass was back in 2004 when I was asked to play for my church youth group band. While I always enjoyed playing the bass, it wasn’t until 2013 when I truly fell in love with the bass and decided to take my playing to the next level. My musical journey started then, and I was blessed to have met some amazing mentors along the way. I would like to acknowledge my notable mentors in music: Songkyu Kim (bassist), Daniel Sing (bassist) and William Jeoung (saxophonist). They have been hugely influential in how I play my music today, and I could not have reached where I am without them. My favorite artists include Abraham Laboriel, Alex Al, Justin Raines, Sharay Reed, Pino Palladino and Nathan East, to list just a few.

Below are the list of current bands and projects I’m involved in:

  • Rio10 Trio: A Latin jazz band borrowing and mixing ideas from our favorite genres such as Bossa Nova, Swing Jazz and RnB. Currently working on our own arrangements of popular jazz standards but also working on originals which we hope to release as a single next year.
  • Grain of Soul: A blues/funk driven cover band gigging in various venues around Sydney. Influenced by the likes of Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Santana, B.B. King etc.
  • AKTC (Australian Korean Theatre Company): An organization annually performing popular Broadway musicals for Korean audiences in Australia. The pieces I have played on include: “Guys and Dolls”, “Godspell”, “Grease” and “The Sound of Music”

Finally, I would like to add that playing bass for God has always been my main purpose and I am still heavily involved in my church band at Sydney Full Gospel Church, serving as the band master and bassist. I am also actively involved in many other Christian events and conferences throughout Australia.

Besides playing the bass, I enjoy collecting boutique basses and am currently managing an online bass store. I also enjoy looking after my marine aquarium with my wife, Lauren, in our spare time.

Social Links:
YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/swalexbass
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/swalexbass/
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/swalexbass/
Bass Store:
https://www.facebook.com/bassboutiquesydney/

 

 

 

Bergantino’s Kenery Kent Smith

Chicago’s Kenery Kent Smith is full of exorbitant passion, not only with playing bass but with his gift of writing. Kenery wears his heart on his sleeve and we are honored to share his story with you.

Growing up in a city that has seemingly produced more successful low-end groove makers per capita than any city in the world, Kenery Kent Smith has worked hard to become one of Chicago’s best. A 25-year music industry veteran, Kenery is part of a rich tradition of world class Chicago bassists. His performance resume showcases the Chi-Town musical trademarks of talent, hustle and a versatility to work in any musical genre.

As a childhood resident of the infamous Robert Taylor Housing Projects, a young and impressionable Kenery was destined to play bass guitar; growing up he would hear nothing but the bass lines to the music coming through the walls of his parent’s apartment, as the neighbors would tend to play their R&B, Gospel, Jazz and Soul loudly (i.e. EVERY WAKING HOUR). Thus, the musical fire was lit. Already possessing an artist’s spirit, Kenery soon began to hang around the local bands rehearsals as well as going to neighborhood talent showcases, learning what he could from watching…and listening. Soon at age 11, Kenery made his public musical debut in his 7th grade talent show and became hooked on the allure of the stage. All this with no true formal training, he began to perform locally with different choirs, bands and theater groups, learning what he needed along the way.

Kenery’s experience includes performances with artists ranging from international Neo Soul recording artist Erykah Badu, to world renowned Jazz vocal siren Dee Alexander, to R&B/Soul diva Terisa Griffin. Kenery has provided low end grooves for Acid Jazz pioneers Liquid Soul, and he has laid down a funky groove or two behind world famous comedian Bernie Mac. He has toured extensively throughout Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg with the inspirational voices of Sue Conway and the Victory Singers, and with Pierre Walker & Project: Sanctified. Kenery has also performed with Gospel legend Kim Stratton, Grammy winning recording artist Darius Brooks and has been fortunate to provide the low-end groove with many other prominent Gospel recording artists including Phil Tarver and Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr. He has also worked in many other diverse musical settings, including performing music with the world-renowned tap dance ensemble MADD Rhythms, touring nationally with Jackie Taylor’s Black Ensemble Theater and with Chicago’s Free Street Theater (most notably at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.). Most recently, Kenery appeared in, wrote and produced original music for the independent film “The Rise and Fall of Miss Thang” (available on Amazon Prime). Additionally, for 15 years Kenery was co-founder and bassist of Chicago’s very own Nu-Jazz legends Detour JazFunk, with whom he shares writing, arranging and co-production credits on their debut CD entitled JazFunk.

Currently, Kenery can be seen and heard each week in the role of first chair bassist on the syndicated weekly Sunday morning broadcast of Victory Apostolic Church in Matteson, Illinois, as part of their extraordinary music ministry.

Q: Please share any accomplishments or achievements you would like to share with everyone.

A: I have been able to live a wonderful and fulfilling life using a God-given gift, sharing music with the masses! In the process I have been blessed to travel the world, meet and perform with many extremely talented people (some of whom were childhood musical inspirations), and most importantly, I have been able to share the healing and inspiring power of music. As musicians, when we take to the stages of the world to play our instruments and sing our songs, what we are doing is having interactive and meaningful conversations with each other; we are sharing our stories, our history, our dreams, our pain…our joy with each other. Then, subsequently invite the audience into those musical conversations so they can feel what we feel…so that they can share in our common human experiences through music and to inspire the audience to therefore reciprocate in the sharing.

Q: What else do you like to do besides playing bass?

A: I LOVE classic movies, comic books (I’m a Marvel Man…sorry DC!), listening to music on high end audio gear on quiet afternoons with my favorite beverage in hand. I enjoy writing both music and prose when I can squeeze it in.  I, also, enjoy a good book or two.

I love house parties with close friends, breaking bread with the same, deep conversations with deep minds, and laughing hard and often. Every now and again, I will attempt to revive my skills as an artist and draw something cool. Also, if God says the same, I love the idea of being in love with a woman who truly knows and loves me for me. Maybe someday…J

  1. Why do you choose Bergantino gear?

A: For as long as I can remember, in my head the ideal sound of my live bass has been the sound of best recorded basses in recorded music history. Whatever the appropriate tone for the tune, that’s what I’ve always wanted to hear in the setting of a live performance and that means that I want to hear ME, my bass, my fingers, my inflections and expressions.

Bergantino Audio Systems is literally the FIRST time I have felt fulfilled in this aspect. Playing through my forté, in combination with either my HD210, HD112 or through my Reference 210…I don’t hear a “company sound”. I don’t hear coloration, unless I choose to color. I don’t hear snippets of my playing while the rest of my bass line is swallowed up in the band mix.

I now hear MY voice.

I now hear articulation of every note I play…warts and all…lol!

I now…finally…hear ME.

And THAT is why I LOVE Bergantino!

 

You can follow Kenery on the links below here:

https://www.facebook.com/musical.low.b

https://www.facebook.com/k2sproductions/

https://www.facebook.com/detourjazfunkchicago/

https://www.instagram.com/kenerysmith/

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1019449/fullcredits/?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm

https://wordpress.com/view/aviewfromthebottomofthegroove.wordpress.com

Performing on the latest release by Andrea Love, “Twisted”: https://www.andrealovemusic.com/music

Bassist with Simone Green https://simonegreenlive.com

http://www.ascendantmusic.com

Coming Soon: K2S Productions.com

 

 

Bergantino’s Bobby Fernandez

High-end carpenter by day and extreme energy, face-melting bassist by night, Bobby Fernandez started his bass journey 41 years ago and has been going strong ever since!  As a 14-year-old kid, like many, Bobby looked no further for inspiration than KISS.  With their larger-than-life persona, Bobby and his friends were emulating KISS and as luck would have it, they were asked to play and party and the rest is history as his bass journey had begun. When he was 14 years old, his parents rented his first bass guitar.  It was a P-bass except the pick-up was not long enough so you couldn’t hear the G string but he managed to fall in love with the instrument regardless of its shortcomings.

Bobby states, “My parents have always been very supportive of my music. When it came time to purchase a bass, we were near a city called OceanSide and they had a store called Ocean Side Music Supply. That is when I got my first professional bass, a Gibson Ripper. I was sixteen years old. I got it because I saw a picture of Gene Simmons playing it.  Also, Louis Johnson had played a Ripper and they didn’t call him the “Human Rhythm Machine” for nothing! I took three years of lessons and learned the basics. In terms of playing, I emulated the people I liked. I was also influenced by Cheap Trick, Paul McCartney, even Neil Sedaka and Elvis!”

During his high school years, Bobby played a lot of shows but gave up bass for a small time period and found himself unhappy or not fulfilled.  He started playing again, and in doing so, found happiness again. From there things started to grow.  His life changed from doing “crazy and stupid things” to getting serious about his music and career.

Bobby now anchors the low end in a San Diego-based band called “Symbolic”.  Best described as a heavy-hitting dynamic force hailing from power/prog metal midst of the San Diego, California metal music scene. Symbolic combines their melodic energy with the excitement of old school metal mixed with the power and skill of modern metal. Since the inception of the band Symbolic has built a strong fan base both locally and Internationally.

Last year they signed with EMP Label Group. Bobby says, “David Ellefson is a smart guy and fun to talk too. Being associated with the name is a very good thing for Symbolic.”

Bobby Fernandez on Bergantino gear:

“I had a chance to play a couple of Bergantino cabinets.  I tried them out at Bass San Diego. My friend, Rob Jones and Rick Gauthier stressed that I should really give them a try. Then, I connected with the Bergantino team at NAMM 2019.  The first time I used the cabinets with my band, they said it was the clearest sounding bass tone they ever heard me play and it sounded amazing!  Being lightweight was also huge bonus! In my band context, I need to find my own frequencies between the two guitar players and the drums. It’s a huge win for me because Bergantino gear makes it so effortless.  They are pure aural perfection that touches ALL your senses!”

Also, of note, Bobby is an endorsed Dingwall artist and can be seen at the Dingwall NAMM booth every year.  Thank you, Bobby, for being an ambassador for Bergantino Audio Systems.  We look forward to many more years of your music!

https://www.facebook.com/officialsymbolic/

https://www.instagram.com/symbolic5/

https://twitter.com/Symbolic5ive

https://www.symbolicofficial.com/

Bergantino’s Van Gordon Martin

We are excited to add Van Gordon Martin, an amazing Boston-based electric guitarist to our roster of Bergantino endorsing players. Van Gordon Martin has been a veteran of the east coast music scene for over a decade. He just finished a run run of shows with Toots and the Maytals.  Also, Van is now heading out with Mighty Mystic’s Summer Tour and he will be using the Bergantino AD212 Guitar speaker.

Van has many hit song releases including his new single “Life Is One” from May 2019 and his 2018 album, “Let it Grow” was inspired by Van’s endless devotion and love for Roots Reggae and Dub Music.

While Van started his music career at age 7 in Chicago, he is now a part of Boston-based Reggae collective, Dub Apocalypse, a Moroccan/Jazz/ Electronic group Club D’elf, Hip Hop Legend Big Daddy Kane’s live band, Paul Wolstencroft of Slightly Stoopid’s Organically Good Trio, The Naya Rockers and many others. Van Gordon Martin is a guitarist, (that’s right, he is not a bass player) songwriter and multi- instrumentalist producer. He always pushes acoustic boundaries…just watch him on stage!

“My goal is to share my story and love for guitar with the world.  It has been always been the thing that makes me feel connected to the spirit realm. Rasta, Reggae, Soul, Jazz, Blues and Roots Music…it speaks the truth. Every artist is part of the building blocks of our social and creative consciousness. I feel honored and blessed to share my ideas with anyone that will hear me.  Every note we play with honest intention, we tear down a part of the injustices in the world. Love and music are indeed one. Music:  It is our highest meditation” – Van Gordon Martin

We’re looking forward to videos and photos of Van’s upcoming tour! Best of luck on the tour, Van!!

Follow Van here:

https://www.facebook.com/VanGordonMartin/

http://www.mightymystic.com/admin/  Summer Tour info

@vgmb13

Bergantino Artist Mitch Starkman shares his bass journey with us!

WERE YOU BORN AND RAISED IN CANADA?

Yes, I was born and raised in Toronto, CANADA.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED PLAYING THE BASS?

I was 12 and already had been taking classical piano lessons since the age of 7…and very reluctantly at that time.  I had also been listening to popular music on the radio and on records when someone I knew said that in the music I was hearing there was a “guitar -like instrument that had only four strings and played low notes”. Without even seeing or touching a bass I knew that was it..that’s where I wanted to be. It was like a huge light went off in my head and I was obsessed from that moment to find one and play it. It took another year for me to actually find one and put my hands on it, but I was sold sight- unseen. My first bass was an Epiphone Humbucker model that I rented from a local shop. It actually sounded great in retrospect… but I had no idea at the time! It sounded a lot like one of my “Bass Heroes” at 12: Glenn Cornick from Jethro Tull. Like most of you out there reading this, I wished I had that first one back.

DID PIANO HELP YOU IN YOUR EARLY BASS PLAYING?

Ultimately, immensely. Although my family would have probably disagreed with that considering the horrible noises coming from the basement in the first few years. It’s funny also that at that young age we didn’t have any concept of volume, and the effect it had on the victims around us. 🙂 But I’d have to admit at 12 the basic theory you learn from that formal piano education and ear training (plus the way music is laid out on a keyboard) gave me a huge head start in translating to the fretboard. Relationships and basic interval understanding was pretty much immediate and gave me a big head start. I continued with classical piano until I was 16 or 17 so the growth continued between the two. Although no one knew it, being forced to take piano lessons so early was one of the best thing that happened to me.

WHAT HAPPENED THEN?

I got into some early bands and then transitioned to doing mainly original music which was always my goal…being creative was always my main interest if I was allowed to do it. Early progressive rock projects transitioned to  doing demos/sessions and in my late teens and into my early 20s I found myself the “in house” bass player for many studios of different sizes, working with various producers and generally just hitting the recording scene as hard as I could. I should say that at that time in music culture the push to concentrate on your own music and record it in a studio where you need session players was much stronger than now. Machines and smaller digital studios with samples hit pretty hard starting in the 80s.  Then in my teens I discovered fusion, jazz, R and B, and funk/soul, getting into Weather Report, Headhunters, Return To Forever, Jaco and his band, and tons of other artists. That really began the process of maturing my playing and way of thinking (which never stops)… except for the dreaded “slap” that started to pierce the walls of my home and convinced the dog to never come downstairs again.

WHAT DID/DO YOU LIKE ABOUT STUDIO WORK?

The bright sun-lit rooms, the endless hours of getting a snare sound, the freshly prepared healthy meals, the bass always being way too loud on playbacks, and listening to every guitar through every guitar amp for every guitar part …while you were asked to just “plug in your Fender over there”…there’s so much! I kid, of course lol.  Really, the challenge of trying to be creative and authentic in different styles is very stimulating to me, and that you really have to be a good listener and be on your toes. The environment makes you better technically too, and allows you to play with different people, which is fun.

CAN YOU GIVE A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE WORK YOU’VE DONE?

I’ve done albums for major labels including Capitol/EMI, Attic Records, appeared on JUNO winning albums, commercial work, and numerous independent releases. I probably can’t count the number of demos also to add to that. 🙂 On the live side I’ve done the large arena, big stage, club circuit, and small venues of course.

WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCERS?

That is almost impossible to answer fully..not enough space. 🙂 Just off the top of my head would be Anthony Jackson, Marcus Miller, Pino Palladio, Jaco, Peter Cetera, Chris Squire, Nathan East, James Jamerson, Gino Vanelli, Ian Anderson, Paul McCartney, Steve Gadd, Ralphe Armstrong, Coltrane , Tom Johnston, Herbie Hancock and a hundred more including my wife who tells me when I should ” stop doing that”, and I listen because she has better ears than I do. Really, its anyone who has moved me in some deep way with their talent and expression.

TELL ME ABOUT THE BASS R AND D INTEREST YOU HAVE.

It’s really a fun side interest I fell into in the last 20 years or so that was fueled by the quest for ultimate bass tone. I began to analyze what makes a bass sound the way it does and at the same time hooked up with FBass which is fairly close to where I live. There was a good opportunity to explore and discover (by experiment) all the factors and elements that affect tone using our ears and hands as the tools, and trying to improve anything that we could.  Bass is such a hands-on instrument, one where the relationship between the point of contact of your bare skin on your hand and the tone you eventually hear is so connected. That’s what makes it exciting for me to explore the R and D side to bass guitar. My R and D relationship with FBass remains up until today, along with being one of their artists. I’m also an artist for Alleva Coppolo Basses And Guitars and La Bella Olinto Basses, and have contributed to R and D for Alleva Coppolo as well.

THOUGHTS ON BERGANTINO AUDIO SYSTEMS?

I have a sensitive ear and am pretty particular on the way I like my tone. My bias is for transparency and a natural organic sound. This is the main reason why I’ve gone to Bergantino head and cabs. When I plug into this rig I hear my bass the way it sounds when I use a pretty direct recording chain. Although every situation or piece of equipment you plug into colours your bass to some degree, after years of hearing my instruments through a short recording chain I got to know how they basically sound like as instruments, and when I plug into Bergantino that’s what I hear. Sold! If I’m going to spend all this time and energy and money into getting the bass specs perfect for what I wanted in any instrument, that’s what I want to hear come out of an amp. I believe in getting the flavour of my tone from the bass specs and my hands, and the amp should just reproduce that as accurately as possible. Currently, when I do want to color my tone significantly I tend to use a tone shaping direct box with tubes or otherwise.

WHAT BERGANTINO RIG DO YOU HAVE CURRENTLY?

I have a Reference 2 10” cab, a Reference 1 12” cab, and a Forte head. This gives me a good combination of flexibility, bottom end, definition, punch, and transportability.

I opted for the Forte because I’m not really a “wires” guy, I’m a wood guy, so although the features of the B amp are great and the digital interface works well I just want something simple and fast …plug in and play. That’s what the Forte was designed to do and it does it well. I love it for that. Again, the natural basic sound of this rig is accurate and transparent to my bass which is what it’s all about for me.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO BESIDES PLAYING THE BASS?

I love to travel, especially to do mountain trekking or hiking. I’ve gone to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, and trek through the Swiss Alps regularly, now with my wife. We also love to be on wheels either bike or roller-blades. Travel and adventure are things that excite me, and I guess there is an analogy there with music and working with different projects. They are adventures, new or otherwise. Other things are aviation, hearing live music, and some relaxing time with the people around me.  The important thing is to have passions and interests to keep your life varied and meaningful. I also believe these things can make you a better musician.

 

 

 

 

“Rick Eats Bacon” aka Rick Gauthier Jr. the bearded Bergantino Artist with the Super Colossal personality shares his bass story with us!

“Rick Eats Bacon” aka Rick Gauthier Jr. the bearded Bergantino Artist with the Super Colossal personality shares his bass story with us!

How did you get interested in the bass and when did you start playing bass?

Like so many others, I started out not desiring to play the bass. Most people from my generation remember how cool “Slash” looked with his Les Paul slung low, doing his ripping guitar solo standing on top of a piano with the spotlight on and his hair blowing back in the wind. Turns out I don’t have the hair to live that dream. I actually started off playing the drums and I was terrible at that. When I was in middle school I caused some trouble and got grounded….for a long time! My parents took my drums out of my room and the only thing I had left was this old guitar that we had bought for a buck at a yard sale. I taught myself how to play out of shear boredom. To be honest, I was pretty terrible at that too, but I enjoyed it. I played the guitar in different bands in middle school until I had a friend who needed a bass player. I wanted to play with these people and learned how to play the bass out of necessity for the sake of playing with this group. It just worked for me, and it wasn’t before long that I realized playing bass just connected with me. It turned out to be something I could do well. I felt comfortable, I felt like I belonged somewhere.

You have been playing bass for quite some time now almost twenty years- how did you get here?

Growing up, you hear people saying things like “find something you love to do and you will never have to work a day in your life”. I heard the words, but I never took the advice. I spent so many years playing bass as a hobby, and not a career. I was afraid if I relied on this for income, and it was not my choice, I would stop enjoying playing so much.  I thought it would not be fun anymore if it became an obligation and I never wanted that fire to die for me.  I spent many years working at a job that I hated and playing the bass on weekends just to make myself happy.  When I hit my mid 30’s I thought “if I do this right I can make this a career”, and it will be the best time of my life. Ironically, I’ll be the first to tell the young kids that same advice. Do what you love. Make that what matters.

Who were your influencers?

As a musician in general I am probably the biggest Chris Cornell fan on earth. Unfortunately he passed away last year which was very sad. As a bass player, a couple of the top guys I look up to include Tim Commerford with Rage Against the Machine, Chris Wolstenholme from the band Muse, and Pete Connors from The States. I really like a lot of the extremely flashy stuff. A lot of the stuff Victor Wooten lays down completely blows my mind. The more I learn how to do borderline outlandish things the better I can get at everything. There are not going to be a lot of occasions where I could make practical use of those skills with the crazy all over the board slap stuff and the kind of wild stuff that Les Claypool does. Those things are impressive and amazing and learning how to do them will only make me better, but I find that if I work hard on stuff that I am terrible at, focus on what I don’t do well, I can get better at things that I am already good at (the basics, staying in the pocket, giving the song what it needs).  I get a lot of influence from people and musicians who do things that are not particularly applicable to my world but I like going out of my comfort zone a lot, it helps me to figure out where I need to be.

How did you learn to play?

I taught myself. I picked up that cheap yard sale guitar that we got. I would hear things on the radio and just spend time figuring out how to match pitches and find the sound I was looking to find. I started with one note at a time. I followed the root of the songs. This was all before YouTube and internet were tools you could use to learn! I had to figure out how to get my fingers to cooperate and figure out the physical skills to get my right hand and left hand to cooperate with each other and to get the sound I wanted to hear. There’s just no substitute for putting the work in, spending the time with your instrument to really understand it inside and out. It’s a relationship. You can’t get more out than you put into it. You have to put those thousands of hours in behind the scenes.

Are there musicians in your family?

My father loves to tell the story of taking me fishing when I was young. I was a kid, I didn’t really get it, the appeal of fishing. I did love spending time with my dad and my brother out by the water. He’d work hard all week and be so happy to get out and relax with a fishing pole on the weekend. I was more interested in wrapping the hook back around the base of the pole and plucking the fishing line while changing the tension on it, trying to play songs on my fishing pole. My heart was in music before I knew what music would mean to me. My grandfather on my mother’s side was a fantastic guitar player as well.

How would you describe your playing style?

I have a very realistic view of what my role is in the world of music. I use my right hand to communicate with the drummer. I will match up and lock in with percussive things the drummer is doing and follow the bass drum as a root guideline. I communicate with the guitar player and singer with my left hand by finding the actual note. My style is whatever the band needs. Sometimes that means I am playing single notes at a time and staying very basic. Sometimes there is just a lot of space left to be filled into full chords and or melodically pull things apart a little bit to fill the space. My style changes depending on who I am playing with. A bass player’s role is to use your fingers to communicate with everyone around you and fill in the holes as needed. You need to listen more than anything else, figure out what the song needs, and adapt to the moment.

What styles of music are your favorite to play?

As I play bass professionally, I find myself spending a significant amount of time listening to music that I would not normally listen to. You have to learn songs for different bands and it’s like any other job in that way, some of the parts of the job you love and some you don’t. Every great job has tasks you won’t love. Sometimes you have to clean the toilet or wash the windows (which is how I view playing “Footloose”). I do like to play anything outside my comfort zone. I find that I am at my best when I am the most uncomfortable and I do my best work when I am the worst musician in a group because I HAVE to work harder.  I am forced to bring my “A” Game and I do!

What was the first bass you have ever owned?

I picked it up in the late 90’s and it was a four string Ibanez ATK. Basically a MusicMan style bass with a single pickup. I own three basses currently-I always have a functional use for more than three but that’s what I currently have in rotation.

My main instrument that I play 90% of the time is my Dingwall NG2.  It’s a five string and by far the most comfortable and most versatile bass I have ever played.  It is physically high quality enough to withstand being played every single day of the week and has every type of sound you could want in it. It has a Darkglass preamp onboard which is very strong, loud, and versatile. It has all of the different tone options for basic jazz, a MusicMan style Humbucker sound, a P neck type sound, and everything you could need in one package which is really cool. Being a multi-scale instrument the clarity you get out of this instrument is just unparallel.  I’m a huge fan of these basses, and Sheldon Dingwall is one of my favorite people on earth.

My second favorite is a semi vintage Fender “P Bass” that all bass players are required to have in your tool box! I run Labella flatwound strings and it has EMG pickups in it and is from the early 80’s. I use it for blues and country stuff. It has this really nice woody thud type of sound to it. If you really bite in hard with your right hand it gives you a very flat, cool, woody warm tone which I like a lot. It’s black with a white pick guard.

The last one is a Warwick Streamer Stage 2 and I considered it my dream bass growing up. When I first started playing bass P nut from the band 311 and Dirk Lance from the band Incubus both used this bass. I always wanted to have that exact sound and I love the look of this bass. I saved up and traded up for this and got the holy grail of basses. I have so many memories with this bass touring the country and it never let me down. I’ve had this for a long time and it’s going nowhere.

I also have a custom fretless being built by Simonetti Custom Basses. I am wildly excited about this one. Ray Simonetti makes some of the highest quality basses I have ever played and I’m really beyond happy about this bass!

How did you find out about Bergantino?

Bergantino is one of those names, that within the industry it’s well known that this is one of the highest quality of products. There were not a lot of dealers around where I grew up and it wasn’t until I moved to Chicago at which I spent a lot of time working at Bass Club Chicago and had the opportunity to play every product down the line side by side and choose what was best for my ears. What I found with the side by side comparison is if you were to put a blindfold on and have someone play what you will find is with this product you get unparallel clarity and really true tone. No matter what bass you plug into a Bergantino amplifier you are going to hear that bass in its purest form. What I love about the Bergantino fortè and B|AMP is that what you hear is not colored…. It amplifies the instrument you are using in the clearest way possible.  I find the same thing with Bergantino Cabs.  Your products are clean, transparent, and beautiful. Some amps sound like the amp no matter what you plug in. That greasy SVT tone for example. That sound is the same playing a P or a Warwick or a Lakland. The Bergantino amplifiers let you sound like your specific instrument. You’ll hear your bass more clearly than you every thought possible. Pure, transparent, and clean.

Tell me about the bands you have been with and who you are playing with now.

My current projects are as follows:

I play with Nick Drouin who is a country artist from New Hampshire and we just released our first record and it’s going really well. (www.Nickdrouin.com)

Romeo Dance Cheetah! It falls into the category of comedy rock. It’s a great time for everyone involved and really good music! We get to do very interesting things which makes it fun and it’s a talented group of people. (www.Romeodancecheetah.com)

I played with a band called the Vital Might and we toured throughout the NE through Maine to PA and upstate NY, SXSW from Texas where we got a record deal. This band was a huge part of my life those guys will always be family to me! (www.thevitalmight.com)

I grew up in NH and recently moved back to NH to be closer to my family.

What’s the one song you love to play the most?

On the most recent Vital Might record there is a song called “I Found You”. During the chorus the band is unified and there is a part in the middle of the song where I play some higher register melodic things that really tie the song together in different ways. I get to showcase my skills with a variety of styles I play. I love the chords and love playing this song. (https://open.spotify.com/track/6MFLH0zkAM59KEjIPiYENd?si=njGx3pc-SaKvURAQBw3Wgw)

Social media seems to be a very large passion of yours?

Social media has become an important part of the world and I enjoy the creativity of making something special out of it. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about other people’s comments. I’ve realized that I have the ability to share my thoughts and network with other bass players and musicians that have many of the same passions that I do globally and have met some great people in doing so.  I do not take for granted my position within the bass community.  It’s more of an honor than I can explain to know that there people out there who want to advice from me. You can get great advice through the internet from others on product reviews, playing styles, etc.  Some good examples are my friends Andy Irvine and Patrick Hunter. These guys in very different ways use the internet to help other musicians learn about new gear, and show pros and cons of each piece of equipment.

What other passions do you have?

I am a Baseball fanatic and a complete statistics nerd! I love numbers! I like to cook and cook all kinds of stuff. I love to make pies….. a cinnamon apple pie with a bacon weaved top is one of my faves to make. It’s a crowd pleaser 🙂

“Rick Eats Bacon”- how did you get that nick name?

For some reason in the US bacon has become a thing….. One of my best friends and I would have an annual bacon party starting about 10 years ago. Everything we had was bacon related. Between us we probably had 10 pounds of bacon at an event for 5 people. Some things worked and some did not.  One of my friends froze bacon in ice cubes and we used in in our scotch. This was a really bad idea. We were bold! I am not unhealthy Harry here! I eat good food and just have fun with bacon! Nothing like the smell of bacon cooking!

What advice do you have for fellow bass players out there?

Say YES to everything. Go as far outside of your comfort zone as you can. Play with as many people as you can. Accept the challenges you don’t think you’re ready for. Do things that you don’t think you can do. If you’re a rock guy and someone wants you to go play country, go figure it out! Reggae? Rap? Bluegrass? If it’s not your thing, MAKE IT your thing. How do you get in to a groove sandwiched between a trombone and a banjo? You won’t know until you GO FOR IT. The more time you spend with your instrument, the better you will be at everything you do. Just keep playing, stay eager and stay positive. You’ll be amazed by what you didn’t know you were capable of 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/RickGauthierJr

@rickeatsbacon