Interview with Tim Dahl of Child Abuse
Name: Tim Dahl
Bands: Child Abuse
QRD – What was your first bass & what happened to it?
Tim – A 1983 Ibanez Roadstar II. It is still the main electric bass that I use today, although it has been modified.
QRD – What’s your typical set-up from bass to effects to amplifier?
Tim – Bass-active splitter -
QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig – bass, amplifier, or effects?
Tim – All equally important.
QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?
Tim – With Child Abuse I use a GK RB1001II head. I can get my sound out of it & it is also super durable on the road. With that, I use Bag End & Mesa cabs. With quieter clean bass gigs, I often use the Walter Woods head.
QRD – Do you prefer upright or electric bass?
Tim – Most of my art music gigs I play electric bass. Most of my local money/working gigs I play upright. I love them both.
QRD – Do you prefer to use a pick, fingers, or a bow?
Tim – I don’t know how to play with a pick. I enjoy both playing with my fingers & a bow. I rarely play music that requires arco parts, so I usually play with my fingers.
QRD – How many strings do you think a bass should have?
Tim – As many as it needs.
QRD – Why do you play bass instead of guitar?
Tim – I know how to play bass. I don’t know how to play guitar.
QRD – How is a bass different than a guitar other than being lower in pitch?
Tim – An electric bass guitar isn’t a whole lot different than a guitar except that it is constructed differently. It is an octave lower & it is traditionally tuned only in 4ths. Where a guitar is traditionally tuned in 4ths & one 3rd between the G & B string. The main difference is its role in the music rather than the tool itself.
QRD – What’s your main bass & what are the features that make it such?
Tim – My main electric bass is the first bass that I ever had. It was originally a P-bass design. I have since made it fretless, installed Bartolini P-bass pickups & a Bartolini humbucker bridge pickup. I also converted the tone knob into a pan knob. Lastly I put a Wilkinson bridge on it.
QRD – What do you think of the thumb rests on some basses?
Tim – I don’t have any real experience
with them to comment.
Tim – It would be setup the same way as
my bass is now.
Tim – It would interface with my brain
& any timbre I imagined would be applied on demand.
Tim – 6.
Tim – At my house & my rehearsal studio.
Tim – I haven’t bought a bass in 8 years
& am not even thinking about it.
Tim – It really depends on what one is
going for. For some music you can get away with a $50 piece of shit.
Other music truly sounds best with a $30,000 Italian double-bass.
It all comes down to what you’re trying to achieve.
Tim – I change my tone around a lot.
But it is these multiple timbres that make “my tone” on a macro-aesthetic
Tim – The ones I have.
Tim – General solid construction.
Tim – A guitar strap was the best bass
purchase I made because it enabled me to walk around & play.
The worst was some faulty strings I bought once.
Tim – I like the GK heads & Bag End
cabs because they hold up on the road. I was in a car accident where
all of my gear was launched out of the vehicle. The GK was under
water & the cabs were about 50 yards into the woods. They all
work fine to this day.
Tim – A bunch of random notes.
QRD – How old were you when you started playing bass?
Tim – At age 11 I started fucking around
on the bass because I wanted to be in a rock band. I didn’t start
taking lessons until the 8th grade.
Tim – I am hoping I haven’t achieved that
Tim – Depends on the music you are playing.
QRD – Would you rather people hear or feel
QRD – Why do you think a bass fits you
more so than other instruments?
QRD – Do you see your bass as your ally
or adversary in making music?
QRD – Who are the bassists that most influenced
your playing & sound?
Tim – I think everyone should do it.
QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a bass & how did you do it?
Tim – I broke a tuning peg by dropping my bass once.
QRD – What do you do to practice other
than simply playing?
QRD – How many hours a week do you play bass & how many hours would you like to?
Tim – 20+ hours in general.
QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?
Tim – 105, 85, 65, 45.
QRD – How often do you change strings?
QRD – How often do you break strings?
QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient,
your strumming/bowing hand or fretting hand & how does that effect
QRD – What tunings do you use & why?
Tim – Standard EADG.
QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music,
or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?
QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?
Tim – Not properly warming up before performances.
QRD – Playing what other instrument do
you think can most help someone’s bass playing?
QRD – What’s a type of bass playing you
wish you could do that you can’t?
QRD – What’s a bass goal you’ve never accomplished?
QRD – What’s the last bass trick you learned?
QRD – Did you ever take bass lessons &
if so, what did you learn from them?
QRD – What would you teach someone in a
bass lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a bass teacher?
QRD – What’s something someone would have
to do to emulate your style?
QRD – If a band has good bass work, can
you ignore the rest of the band not being good?
QRD – What famous musician’s bass would
you like to own & why?
QRD – Who do you think is currently the
most innovative bass player & why?
QRD – Where can people hear your best bass
QRD – Anything else?