Bergantino Artist Dave Hope shares his story with us! Enjoy!!

 

Dave Hope Interview with Bergantino’s Lee Presgrave 

Dave Hope should need no introduction, but just in case you’re a young whippersnapper and haven’t been introduced to his work, I’ll give you some thoughts. An industry icon and founding member of Kansas, Dave and his band of misfits, from the middle of the US, created, that’s right, created a genre of music. Refusing to be pigeonholed into a specific category, they combined elements of jazz, rock and operatic anthems. The band blazed a trail for many more who follow to this day.

Dave’s task on bass played an immense role in the band’s success by marrying Kansas’ complex melodies into one, cohesive wall of sonic greatness with texture, creative dissidence, and legendary hooks and riffs, all with mind-blowing vocal harmonies. Kansas was truly ahead of its time.

I got the chance to “virtually” sit down with the man himself, Mr. Dave Hope, and ask him a few questions. Please enjoy this as much as I did.

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Dave, it is an absolute honor. What would you like to share about your experience in the music industry for so many years?

For me personally, when I look back at the years in Kansas, the awards and being on stage never crosses my mind. What I value now was the opportunity to experience success and to tour the world with my friends from high school. Who gets to do that?

I can remember playing our first encore at Madison Square Garden, and saying to Rich before we went back on, “This is crazy. What are we doing here? We’re just some rubes from Topeka!”

What I experienced in the music industry could be summed up in our yearly schedule we did for ten years in a row. Nine months of constant touring. One month of working up an album from scratch. One month to record the album. The last month was divided into different four- to five-day breaks throughout the year. I never saw the industry part, but I’m an expert on Holiday Inn rooms.

 

How has the role of the electric bass guitar changed in regard to how it is utilized in the song?

Technically, the players I see on YouTube are much better than in my day. Yet even though I hear better licks, I do not hear better constructed bass parts. It was much more of a team/band mindset, rather than an instruction video/solo mindset then. Growing up, bass was only heard within the context of a band.

Personally, I admire any person who can play a Cello Suite by Bach on bass, but I also find it an extremely tedious to listen to. I want to hear great bass parts, not bass licks and exercises.

 

Where do you see the instrument going into the next decade?

Oddly enough, where I hear some of the freshest approaches to playing bass is from the women’s sector. I love how Tina Weymouth or Laura Lee and many others, have gone back to the bare bones of constructing a solid bass line. I only listen to players within a band context. So, the male players I admire most are along the lines of Joe Dart or Stephen Campbell.

One reason I believe there are more women playing bass is because basses now play much better and the amps are lighter. Very weighty basses and 300-pound SVT rigs were not possible for most women in the 1960s and 70s.

Personally, I do not believe in the mystic of the vintage instrument. I almost had to beat my 60s P basses into submission to get certain tones from them. My mid-priced Sadowsky is superior to any of the many classic basses I’ve owned.

I’ve never missed any of those old basses and neither does my arthritis.

 

Do you still play bass regularly?

When I first touched a bass in 1965, I had one goal: how can I do this forever?

Fortunately, God has blessed me in that I have always had a musical outlet. I am currently playing with a band called The Mulligans. We are a group of old coots who play 60s and 70s hits. It’s a lot of fun and very similar to being back in a high school group again. There’s nothing like going deaf with friends.

 

Tell us about your studio setup for recording the iconic album, Leftoverture.

There were just not that many options or toys to play with in the studio back then. The hot studio setup back then would have been a Neve board, Studer tape machines, and McIntosh tube power amps.

My memory of recording was of sitting in the control room and using the playback speakers as my monitor because I don’t like headphones. Ninety percent of my bass was just a DI into the board with a little compression.

The bass world at that time was void of any foot pedals that sounded good. So I have no recollection of using any effects while recording, they just didn’t exist outside of the studio board. Our recording process was to first get down a keeper drum track, and build from there. Phil usually cut his drum tracks to just a reference guitar or piano with me on bass. Sometimes Steve would sing during the verses so we could tell where we were.

Then, I would sit in the boardroom and play to just the reference/scratch track and “keeper” drum tracks. Studios were not my favorite places to make music, because I could never come close to warming up like I did live (and I’m hopelessly antsy). I can never remember walking away from a studio feeling like I just laid a great bass part. I mostly walked away with a sigh of relief thinking, “At least I didn’t screw it up too badly.”

This was mainly because after the first album, our yearly schedules were something like this: We would come off ten months touring, take a two-week break and then have to get back at it. We only had a month to work up an entire album up from scratch before we went into the studio. So, we hardly knew the songs more than a few weeks or even days before recording them.

We did not build songs from scratch in the studio. What I always felt set Kansas apart from most other “prog” groups (that term didn’t exist then), was not only could we play the highly orchestrated stuff, and also weave in and out of weird time signatures fairly fluently, but we could also turn around and do straight up rock and roll songs like, “Carry On.”

We admired/loved the British groups like Yes, Genesis and King Crimson, but none of those groups, to my knowledge, could just play a straight-up rock song. We never avoided any style because we were fairly apt in all of them.

 

When Kansas started playing some of the bigger venues (arenas, stadiums), tell us about some of your favorite live rigs from back then. 

I started this evolution of rigs back in the club days. As a foundation, I always kept an SVT amp and its 810 cab as half my rig, but I kept experimenting with the other half.

First, I put an acoustic 360 and patched it together with the SVT half. That was too powerful on the bottom end; it was hard to hold down. Then, I got my hands on a used Marshall 415 bottom with a 200w Marshall Major head. This one was the best of the lab experiments. It had that deep scooped sound with that Marshall grunt. (Sounds like me and my dog “grunt and scoop.”)

Then, the stupid musician looking for the euphoric amp took over, and I ditched the Marshall. My third experiment was a Sound City 412 with a Sound City head. It didn’t have the headroom. By the time I got it loud enough to compete with the SVT tone I liked, it went way “farty” (technical bass term) on me. These were rigs that I used on stage during my club on throughout our theater-size concert days. Once we hit the arenas, the bass was a joke in those days.

 

What led you to find Bergantino gear?

After I left the priesthood five years ago, I found the whole bass world had drastically changed since leaving Kansas in 1983. So, as I gathered online information about what the quality players were using, Bergantino was a name that kept popping up. I live in a tourist trap, in the panhandle of Florida, so our music store can only afford to stock the basics. I took a leap of faith and ordered a forté HP.

The first minute I messed with it, I knew this amplifier was a thoroughbred, rather than a work horse. I kind of hesitated when I learned Jim was an engineer rather than a player because engineers usually build amps that come with an owner’s manual the size of a telephone book. I found this a very easy amp to figure out. I’ve never understood owner’s manuals; the options to nail the right tone are vast. I’m loving my forté HP and

my highest compliment is that at the age of 71, for the first time in my life, I am not in the market for an amplifier or a bass! I now have the best of both for my needs.

 

Anything youd like to share with your fans?

To bass players, I would say, don’t get caught up in one genre. Try and learn some very basic theory. I never played a chord instrument until I was out of Kansas, only trumpet and tuba. I will also pick up guitar for church, and it definitely adds a depth to my knowledge of bass. Also, learn the modes and you will learn the neck. Yes, it’s somewhat boring, but you are also in the muscle memory business.

Personally, I think it’s essential you learn to play in a few odd-time signatures; try to learn “Song for America.” You might not ever use it, but it will strengthen your overall sense of rhythm.

But most of all, thank the good Lord for giving us the gift of music.

Thank you Dave!

 

 

Bergantino Artist Christopher Harold Wells

Bergantino Audio Systems would like to welcome Christopher Harold Wells to our artist roster. We first met Christopher at NAMM 2020. With a larger than life personality, smile and penchant for hats! Christopher is a multi-talented musician who’s been busy with the release of his new album with his band, The Neverlutionaries. Welcome Christopher!

 

Christopher, what have you been up to these days?

I’ve been preparing for the release of my new album that will be coming out on Polychromatic Records in February and trying not to lose my mind during the pandemic and recent social unrest. What better time to create new material!

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Philadelphia. We moved to Virginia after that and then Raleigh, NC when I was a teen. Before the pandemic, I was dividing my time between San Francisco and Nashville. I can’t wait to get back out west when the virus is under control and travel restrictions relax.

What makes the bass so special to you and how did you gravitate to it?

After hearing the Rush song, “Freewill”, there was something about the low end and Geddy Lee’s aggressive riffing that really spoke to me. Soon after, I found myself always picking out the bass lines on songs. After that, I really got into playing bass and knew that it was to be a big part of my calling.

How did you learn to play?

I learned how to play, listening and mimicking my favorite records…everything from Zeppelin, to Cream, to the soul sounds of Philadelphia that I was raised on. Bass guitar is the essential anchor for all music. Without the bass, the music would not translate the same way.

Are there any other instruments you play?

I play guitar, a bit of piano and I sing as well but bass will always be my first love!

How has your playing evolved over the years and have you made changes?

My playing has evolved over the years as I have gained more musical knowledge and was exposed to different types of music and experiences. At first, I was influenced by a lot of pop and soul, then as I got older, I got into jazz, hard rock and metal. I try to keep a very open mind when it comes to listening to new music so I can constantly increase the range of my palette.

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

I have a subtly aggressive style. I started out playing with my fingers like my heroes Geddy Lee, Steve Harris and Jack Bruce. When I got into recording later in my career, I started using a pick for some recordings as it made my parts meld with the rhythm better. As far as tone goes, mine is between Geddy Lee and John Paul Jones. As a musician, I will always be open to growing and evolving as more influences get introduced over time.

Who would you say, out of four players, that would make the cut as your influencers and why?  

I adore the unbridled funk style of Bootsy Collins! He is so darn funky that you can’t help but groove to it. Verdine White is so melodic and free that it’s just plain thrilling to hear! John Paul Jones is another huge influence.

He brings versatility to the game. Led Zeppelin played many genres but his sound translated perfectly to whatever type of song he was playing. Last but not least, the late, great Mike Starr had a wonderful style that pushed AIC songs along like a locomotive. That Spector sound is amazing and sits in the mix so well. If I had to choose just one, John Paul Jones is the end all/be all for me.

Can you share with us a little bit about your band The Neverlutionaries and your new release, Ariana?

The Neverlutionaries is my way of celebrating all of the genres that have made me musically who I am today. I have ballads, gritty rockers and tunes in between. I liken it to life. There are easy days, hard days and days in between. I really wanted to convey this while I was recording the record and I hope that we succeeded. “Ariana” is one of my favorites from the record. It’s like a little trip to a beautiful place. I love the bass tone that I got on it and I am pleased about how the listening public has embraced it thus far! It’s a cool little, vibey love song that almost anyone can get into…my humble opinion, of course.

What meaning does the name Neverlutionaries”?

Essentially no revolution will ever be again. I was having a conversation with gifted guitarist, Johnny Axtell, who plays on a couple of tunes on the record and that word popped up. I was looking to name the band something cool and boom, there it was and here we are!

What was it that inspired the song Ariana”? 

“Ariana” is about a love that I’ve searched for for my whole life, that up until now, wasn’t ready to receive. The song is essentially a call to the universe like, “I’m ready for you if you’re ready for me.”

Your new album released February 12th, can you share some of the details?

The self-titled debut album comes out on Polychromatic Records, based in Nashville. It has different vibes and genres represented but it sounds like me as I love all of the different elements on it. Some folks may not dig every song but there’s one or two that should grab you no matter what type of music you are into. It’s my life’s soundtrack.

Let us know what you are currently working on (studio, tour, side projects, etc.).

I am focused on doing press for the record and beginning to write the follow up. When it is safe to tour, I want to rock the whole planet. It seems that I’m always working on getting a cool new sound or something. I’m a studio rat for sure!

Howd you find Bergantino and can you share your thoughts on our bass gear?

I was at NAMM 2020 with a couple of buddies and we were walking through the huge floor. Ironically, I was mentioning to my friend how I didn’t want to be one of those guys that plugs in at every booth and just turns up really loud and starts being obnoxious!  Ironically, within twenty or so steps, I heard someone playing one of Bergantino’s amps, my buddy, who was with me who has been a friend of mine since we were teens, looked at me at the same time we said, “It’s the sound!”  Essentially, I told him of a sound that was my dream sound eons ago. Bergantino amplifiers were the closest thing I’ve heard to the sound that I dreamt of and heard in my head. In my opinion, as I have played most of the amps and gear out there, Bergantino amps just have an articulation of the notes that second to none it sounds like your fingers amplified allowing each player to sound like them not like certain amps that are made in no matter who’s playing through it, it sounds the same. Being introduced to Bergantino Audio Systems and their amazing amps has been a game-changer for me.

Tell us about your favorite basses.

I am currently waiting for a Mercury Fender Jazz bass II to become available from my bass retailer . I have always been a sucker for a Spector bass and tracked a couple of songs on the record with one. They are so wonderful sounding and the midrange cuts through any mix so nicely.

What else do you like to do besides playing bass?

I really love to cook as I find that cooking and creating music are very similar. It’s all about timing, the right ingredients, and knowing when it’s done.Since the pandemic, I’ve been smoking briskets and pork shoulders. I’m not an expert yet, but I’m getting close to a really great product.

What have you had more time to work on or explore since the pandemic?

My spirit. I have dug deep with all of this time on my hands and brought to the forefront a few things that I safely stored away in my subconscious. The process was not easy at all but dealing with things and getting through them has made me a lot happier, appreciative and patient, which is something I’ve needed to focus on for a while now.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Yes there is! Thank you all for creating such wonderful products. Discovering  Bergantino’s sonic offerings was the highlight of NAMM 2020 for me!

Please follow Christopher:

www.twitter.com/Neverlutionary1

www. facebook.com/TheNeverlutionaries

www.instagram.com/TheNeverlutionaries

 

Bergantino Artist Matthew Meyers shares his story with us!!

Whitinsville, Ma– Bergantino Audio Systems is proud to welcome Matthew Meyers to our family of artists.

Matthew Myers hails from Sydney, Ohio and is not only known for his massively impressive Appalachain-style beard but his funky and soulful bass playing.  Read about what drives this gentle giant and how he formed into the player he is today.

Okay Matt, right out of the gate, we need to know about that awesome outstanding beard of yours. This is a question Lee Presgrave made me ask you!

Ah yes, the bet! So, I’m a hockey fan and I might make a side bet here or there. Seven years ago, my bearded bassist buddy (say that five times fast) and I made a bet we would shave our beards if our team missed the playoffs and well…we didn’t and I saw my baby face for the first time in a long time. And since then I have not shaved once.

What have you been up to lately?

The pandemic really threw a wrench in my plans for 2020 as I’m sure other folks as well. I dumped my fretless bass funds into a Pro Tools studio build and began learning to use that DAW. It really is nice to be able to organize your thoughts and to have an outlet for ideas. I also began Jeff Berlin’s lessons to improve my reading/writing skills and that has been an amazing experience. I have recorded bass with The Funk Factory on our EP we released this summer and I’m back in the studio Dec 5th and 6th to do another EP so we’ve been busy writing as well as doing live streams and limited outdoor events.

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Xenia, Ohio and then moved to Mobile, Alabama at an early age. I went to school in Mobile Alabama, Marietta Georgia, and Sidney Ohio growing up.

What makes the bass so special to you and how did you gravitate to it?

Bass is the best part of the music I grew up with, all of the Motown and music my mother played growing up. I was exposed to some of the best bass players of our times. So, I’m sure that has to be what made me appreciate the instrument and maybe obsess a bit, too! It’s amazing to hear what folks have done with the instrument throughout the years from the introduction and reintroduction of tapping and slap bass to how bass-forward the mix bass has become in modern recordings.

How did you learn to play?

When I was still in high school,my best friend, Mitch Lawson, played guitar in a metal cover band on the weekends and their bassist departed a week before they had a show. He honestly showed me how to play 13 songs in a week and I practiced on my mom’s old acoustic with five strings until his brother lent me his bass to use. We went on to form the first original band I ever played with who are still a great band playing today! Ever since then, I have been trying to adapt to different styles and playing techniques while working on reading and music theory as I am a “self-taught” bassist.

Are there any other instruments you play?

I have been known to play bass and drums at the same time when there isn’t a drummer available and I did get my first drum lesson from Doug Johns at a clinic but I’m just going to stick with bass if it’s all the same.

How has your playing evolved over the years and have you made changes from your start until now?

I’d say that my playing has made some drastic progression in life, no doubt. I started off with metal, then after learning some punk covers we began to write and I have been doing mostly original music ever since. So far I have played with punk bands, metal bands, bluegrass bands, jazz bands and jam bands. I started playing a four string with three fingers to learn that gallop in the Iron Maiden songs then moved to using a pick for fast punk rock. Then I heard Les Claypool and began learning how to slap and tap which threw me down the rabbit hole of Flea, Victor, Larry, Marcus and the folks who can do it justice. Along the way I’ve learned the importance of giving the songs what they need on bass and to serve the music in whatever technique I use to approach it.

Describe your playing style, tone, strengths and areas that can be improved on the bass.

I’m a big (6’3”) fan of diversity in music so I like to play and learn as many styles as is humanly possible. I can do slap, double-thumb, fingerstyle, plectrum, tapping, and right-hand muting well. I would love to know more about soloing vocabulary and harmonics, as well as reading and writing so those are parts that I focus on the most in my daily routine.

Where do you see the instrument 5, 10 or even 20 years from now?

I see live instrumental music coming back into the fold again and that’s a great future for all bassists. I’ve recently gone with a Midi setup and that changes the game on the flexibility of the bass quite a bit and it’s a new road for me and one I look forward to exploring.

What four bass players influenced you the most?  

Growing up in the punk scene, we were lucky enough to have folks like Matt Freeman show us the ropes on rock bass and how to destroy a four string. The first time I heard “Sailing the Seas of Cheese” by Primus, I locked myself down and really began to see the instrument in a whole new light, so Les Claypool for the win and the reason I play 6 string basses. I’m not exactly sure how it happened and I believe that all bass players have him in their blood the first time a broken string cuts you, but Jaco has been a huge influence but more as an idol than a direct influence. “Soul Intro” is just huge and his version of “Donna Lee” is mind altering. Lastly.was Mr. BakithiKumalo. I’d give credit to my folks for listening to Paul Simon a lot and giving me the opportunity to hear, once again, what potential the instrument has. His style of speaking with a fretless bass is mesmerizing. I’ve never been a fretless player myself but he definitely makes you want to be one.

Let us know what you are currently working on.

I have a recording studio now so I’ve been hard at work learning how to use Pro Tools. I have also gone Midi with my effects pedals and that has quite the learning curve, but I love the ease of operation now. The Funk Factory has an EP out and we are headed to the studio to record our next album.

Howd you find Bergantino, and can you share your thoughts on our bass gear?

Ah, Bergantino…the worst kept secret of NAMM. I first got to hear the B|Amp at the winter NAMM show and was glued to the floor listening to the flexibility and tone that it put out. That was my first time hearing where I wanted to be, sonically. So, now I have a forté HP and an HG312 cabinet. I really couldn’t be more content with my tone. I think there are two crowds in the bass world: The baked-in-sound amp folks and the transparent amp folks. I’d like to think I fall in the latter category. I have a very, very nice bass and I love to listen to it sing. I think my Bergantino forté HP really lets the instrument come through without being sterile or dry. I assume it’s magic but my EQ is pretty near neutral now and it’s HUGE sounding!

Tell us about your favorite bass or basses.

Easy Question: I have one bass, It’s pretty famous and I call her Helga. Helga is a Michael Tobias Design 635-24 made with an ash body and neck with a birdseye maple fretboard and a myrtle burl top. If you could pull the sound a bass makes out of my head, that would be it.

What else do you like to do besides playing bass?

I’m an avid gamer and one day would love to have a restaurant because I love to cook. Bass is pretty much my life for a while, honestly.

What have you had more time to work on or explore since COVID?

I’ve really had more time to focus on reading music and getting ideas out of my mind and into recorded material. It’s a lot of fun to explore ideas and hear the final outcome as you originally expected it to turn out and then have your band mates take it a step further to its fullest potential. I don’t have much time to put ideas down while out playing all the time so it really is nice. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with us? 

Yes, I would like to let folks know how kind and helpful all of the folks at Bergantino have been to me and let you know you are appreciated very much by so many in the bass world. I can’t wait to see what you think of next! Thanks everyone who loves music and thanks to my sister Sue, I miss ya…

Please list all of your social links that I can share on this post.

https://www.facebook.com/matthew.c.meyers

https://www.instagram.com/matthewcmeyers

https://thefunkfactory.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/FunkFactoryToledo

https://www.facebook.com/birdintobear

https://www.facebook.com/dragonwagonband

Thank you Matt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bergantino Artist Ricky Bonazza conjuring up some agressive J tone with the forte’ HP. Having drive, low and high pass filtering and a big, fat tube drive built into the amp makes recording a breeze.

Bergantino Artist Daniel Sing

With incredible technique and a clean style, bassist Daniel Sing is laying a lot of lowdown groove and it’s coming all the way from Down Under. Not only a bassist but he is an educator and musical director based in Sydney, Australia. Whether playing electric, upright or key bass, he keeps a regular schedule working and teaching diverse genres. We virtually sat down with Daniel and he’s what he had to say.

Daniel, what have you been up to?

I’ve been teaching music, practicing a lot and spending time with my family. COVID restrictions are easing here in Sydney. It’s been amazing to get together with old musical friends and colleagues again, as well as meet new ones, too! For all the challenges the year has presented us, it has pushed me and many around me to innovate and create new things.

Where were you born and raised and how did you end up in Sydney, Australia?

I was born and raised in Southwest Sydney and proud of it! I’m privileged to have grown up and live in a city rich in diversity and opportunities.

What makes the bass so special to you and how did you gravitate toward it?

Bass represents the perfect marriage of rhythm and harmony and I continue to learn and understand this more profoundly with every musical experience I have.

The reason I originally gravitated to the bass is probably different to why I still love and play it. I picked up the instrument relatively late, at 15 years old, after seeing a school friend play it in music class. I wasn’t a musician at all and I remember feeling awe inspired when I heard it. I naively thought to myself, “It only has 4 strings? One note at time? How hard could it be?” The rest is history.

How did you learn to play?

It took a while to convince my parents that bass was not just a fad for me. With some persistence, I was fortunate enough to get lessons from some bass teachers through high school who helped me find my voice on the instrument. Like all of us, I’m forever a student of music. Every musical experience teaches us something, even if we can’t always quantify it.

Are there any other instruments you play?

I double on upright bass and keyboard bass, which I really enjoy. I’ve also had formal lessons on guitar and I’m currently learning the trombone too.

How has your playing evolved over the years and have you made changes?

As I’ve learned to really listen more on stage and in the studio, I find myself playing less, but with more intention and conviction. Anytime I pick up the bass, my aim is to play parts with a compositional mindset from start to finish even if it’s just driving eighth notes!

More specifically, in the last few years I’ve focused on further developing my harmonic vocabulary as well as control over note lengths in my articulation.

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

At risk of sounding incredibly cheesy, I think I’d describe my style and sound as soulful and melodically funky.

Nowadays, I’m ok with knowing my strengths (and weaknesses) as a musician.

Where do you see the instrument 5, 10, or even 20 years from now?

As I scroll through my socials, I see the next generation of super young bassists playing at such a high level, which is both scary and exciting at the same time! I think it’s an interesting time to learn music, there are really no limits anymore to finding musical inspiration.

It’s also amazing to see companies like Bergantino continue to innovate and push the envelope for what is possible musically.

What four bass players are your influencers?   

In terms of bass players, in no order I’d say, Sharay Reed, Anthony Jackson, Marcus Miller and James Jamerson.

What are you currently working on? 

I’m co-writing some instrumental music set to be released early 2021 and I am recording bass for a Christmas album. Rehearsals are about to begin for a conference I’m directing in January. I’m also in the early stages of a new side project but can’t mention much yet.

How did you find Bergantino and can you share your thoughts on our bass gear?

I’m thankful to have a Bergantino dealer thirty minutes from where I live. Even before hearing them, I’ve always thought the design of Bergantino amps and cabs are beautiful. I’ve spent over a decade messing around with various rig changes and finally, Bergantino feels like home. I’m constantly impressed by how full range the sound is. My Bergantino rig reproduces details in my playing like no other amp I’ve ever played.

Tell us about your favorite bass or basses.

My number one is definitely my custom F Bass BN5. I also have a super nice Fender Custom Shop 1960 P strung with flats that I love.

What else do you like to do besides playing bass?

I love spending time with my wife and our 18-month old daughter. I’m a part of my local church community, where I am the musical director.

I also enjoy collecting LP records, automatic watches, trying new whiskies and wearing sneakers!

What have you had more time to work on or explore during the COVID pandemic?

In the past few months I’ve been trying to up my video and lighting chops and I’m realizing what a rabbit hole it is. I’m definitely enjoying the process, though.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I want to say a big thank you to the team at Bergantino Audio Systems for welcoming me into your artist family and also to Bass Gear Direct here in Sydney for all the support they’ve shown me. I’m excited to be representing Bergantino here in Australia.

Please follow Daniel:

www.instagram.com/dsing90

www.facebook.com/danielsing90

 

 

 

 

The magical and extraordinary Bergantino Artist “Ayumu” has taken time to share a bit of his background with us. Ayumu’s innovative playing coupled with his stunning videography is something we always look forward too sharing!

ayumu

 

Where are you from?

I’m from Hokkaido, Japan.

Ayumu, you have so many things going on as a creative artist, can you share with us what you have been working on?

I am an instructor and provide clinics, I work on producing videos for Instagram and FaceBook for my social media channels, and I also write columns in Japanese bass magazines.

What makes the bass so special to you particularly, and how did you gravitate to it?

I hated music class in school when I was a kid. I was really bad at the instruments we were supposed to learn, so I received nothing but failing grades. But when I was 13, a friend invited me to play in a school talent show and I tried the bass with a more playful attitude. I didn’t know that music could actually be fun up until that point, so when I managed to learn a song on the bass, it was exhilarating. We started a proper band after that, and I just got more and more into the instrument.

Describe your playing style(s)?

I want people to be able to tell that it’s me just from listening, so I play in a very unique style.

Have you taken any lessons?

I went to a music college for two years and learned the theory.

The videos you produce are stunning. Can you share your inspiration here on how your goals as an artist and objectives are established here?

Thank you. I just play whatever I want to play. In terms of style, I’ve never had a specific person who I aspired to imitate, so I just enjoy myself while searching for the style that feels most like my own.

Can you also share the amount of time and work it takes to put a video together: preproduction, filming and editing. 

It takes a long time! Transcription and performance are the easy parts for me, but I don’t know much about video editing, so that delays my process. I want to surprise people, so I’m meticulous about my performance and about the videos. I sometimes wonder if I’m the first person to shoot a bass video with a drone.

Because I’m aiming for very particular productions, the costs of photo studio space and human resources add up as well. These videos aren’t necessarily funded by the companies whose products I endorse, so I lose money on most of them.

How do you see the role of a bass player in a band?

These days 7and 8-string guitars are becoming more common, and there are some bands now that just don’t have a bass at all. So I think we bass players have to start rethinking our position. If the guitarists can cover the lower registers, then maybe bassists can switch it up as well.

What else do you like to do besides playing bass?

I used to swim before I started playing the bass, so sometimes I’ll go swimming at the gym to clear my head. I also like soccer and often go to watch games.

What are you looking for in sound and quality from your amp and how does the Bergantino B|Amp live up to that expectation?

My ideal amp is one that brings out my style. Since I’ve started using the Bergantino B|Amp, my sound has become very clean.

What is it you like about the B|Amp in terms of sound, tone, etc? 

The high resolution audio means I can hear each individual note clearly. Even when I play chords, which tend to sound muddy on the bass, they ring out very clear. I like the fact that you can fine tune the EQ settings and easily create presets. The Bluetooth foot switch is nice since it gets rid of the stress of cables.

What do you feel will change or would like to see happen with bass amplification in the next 5 years?

I think amps will change as bass performance styles become more varied. I’m sure many players with new styles will emerge in the next five years, so I imagine amps will evolve together with those trends.

What basses do you currently play and do you play any other instruments?

I’m using a custom model from Dingwall Guitars and do not play other instruments.

Let us know what you’re currently working on (studio, band, side projects, etc.)

Various productions have stopped due to the coronavirus. I have some videos and recordings already taken, but I don’t know when they will be announced.

What is your best advice to aspiring musicians trying to make their way in the music business?

There’s no right or wrong in music, so don’t worry about what other people think. Explore what you like with everything you’ve got.

Thank you Ayumu for taking the time to answer these questions for us.

Please follow Ayumu:

Instagram: @Ayumu_bassist

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https://www.ayumubass.com/