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QRD #44 - Bass Player Special
about this issue
Bassist Interviews with:
CJ Boyd
Monte Allen of Rollerball
Nicholas Slaton of slicnaton
Trevor Dunn of Fantomas
Jeffrey Roden
Phillip Palmer of Port City Music
Nat Baldwin of Dirty Projectors
Frank Alexander of Triplicity
Brian Preston
Jason Ajemian
Darin DePaolo of IANTH
Jill Palumbo of The Torches
Jon Case of Irata
James Newman of Plumerai
Matteo Bennici
Tim Dahl of Child Abuse
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Bassist Interview with Darin DePaolo of IANTH
October 2010

QRD – What was your first bass & what happened to it?

Darin – Freshwater large mouth….. I released it.

QRD – What’s your typical set-up from bass to effects to amplifier?

Darin – Bass to amp, no effects.

QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig – bass, amplifier, or effects?

Darin – Bass… amp & effects don’t work without it.

QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?

Darin – Always been a fan of Gallien Krueger.  It’s fun to say… “Gallien Krueger.”

QRD – Do you prefer upright or electric bass?

Darin – Electric bass.

QRD – Do you prefer to use a pick, fingers, or a bow?

Darin – Finger… pick only for fast playing.

QRD – How many strings do you think a bass should have?

Darin – SIX.

QRD – Why do you play bass instead of guitar?

Darin – That is a trick question, a bass can be a guitar.

QRD – How is a bass different than a guitar other than being lower in pitch?

Darin – Thicker strings.

QRD – What’s your main bass & what are the features that make it such?

Darin – Left-handed, Carvin, 5 string, fretless, it looks cool.

QRD – What do you think of the thumb rests on some basses?

Darin – I like it, I play a five string just so I can rest my thumb on the top string because it doesn’t have a real thumb rest.

QRD – If you had a signature bass, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?

Darin – It would be exclusively left-handed & have built in wireless.

QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?

Darin – I would call it a gas pedal & it would be a sustain &/or whammy bar effect.

QRD – How many basses do you own?

Darin – Three.

QRD – How & where do you store your basses?

Darin – Two in cases & one as décor.

QRD – What features do you look for when buying a bass?

Darin – Left-handed.

QRD – How much do you think a good bass should cost?

Darin – $1,000.

QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your bass or just stick with what you get?

Darin – Do better quality strings count as an upgrade?

QRD – Are you after one particular bass tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?

Darin – I am only worried about one tone at the moment.

QRD – What are some basses, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?

Darin – I do not lust after any material possessions.

QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first bass that aren’t always there?

Darin – Autopilot.

QRD – What have been the best & worst bass related purchases you’ve made?

Darin – I bought a beverage holder to attach to my mic stand.

QRD – What are some effect, amp, & bass brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?

Darin – I simultaneously like & hate all brands.

QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a bass?

Darin – “Smoke on the Water.”

QRD – How old were you when you started playing bass?

Darin – Twenty-eight.

QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best bass playing?

Darin – Still waiting after 12 years.

QRD – Do you feel bass lines should echo & emphasize guitar & drum parts or be their own distinct elements?

Darin – Depends on the song.

QRD – Would you rather people hear or feel your bass?

Darin – Depends on the people, I would like some people to feel my bass up along the side of their head.

QRD – Why do you think a bass fits you more so than other instruments?

Darin – I look gay playing the triangle.

QRD – Do you see your bass as your ally or adversary in making music?

Darin – Both.

QRD – Who are the bassists that most influenced your playing & sound?

Darin – I don’t like to insult my influences by mentioning them.

QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing their bass is natural or silly (e.g. naming their bass)?

Darin – I say “natural,” but my bass says “silly.”

QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a bass & how did you do it?

Darin – Ripped its lip when removing the hook.

QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?

Darin – Guitar Hero.

QRD – How many hours a week do you play bass & how many hours would you like to?

Darin – SIX & FIVE.

QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?

Darin – I forgot.

QRD – How often do you change strings?

Darin – Not often enough.

QRD – How often do you break strings?

Darin – Never.

QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming/bowing hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?

Darin – Fret, makes me not sound so bad.

QRD – What tunings do you use & why?

Darin – Normal, don’t know any different.

QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?

Darin – Etch-a-sketch.

QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?

Darin – Playing bad.

QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone’s bass playing?

Darin – Drumming.

QRD – What’s a type of bass playing you wish you could do that you can’t?

Darin – Upright bass playing.

QRD – What’s a bass goal you’ve never accomplished?

Darin – Playing good.

QRD – What’s the last bass trick you learned?

Darin – I don’t do tricks, I do illusions.

QRD – Did you ever take bass lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?

Darin – NO.

QRD – What would you teach someone in a bass lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a bass teacher?

Darin – How to use your bass as a makeshift parachute.

QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?

Darin – Bash there hands with a hammer.

QRD – If a band has good bass work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?

Darin – My lawyer advised me not to answer this question.

QRD – What famous musician’s bass would you like to own & why?

Darin – Cliff Burton…. I like cliché answers.

QRD – Who do you think is currently the most innovative bass player & why?

Darin – I don’t pay attention to current musicians.

QRD – Where can people hear your best bass work?

Darin – In my dreams.