Bass in the USA

As summer approaches, all we can think about here in the States are the upcoming mega-shows that await us in hte coming months. But while the summer festivals typically showcase the upcoming bass talent, this month celebrates some veteran heavyweights that are going to show the young ’uns how the four-string should be played.

Adding to his continual efforts to push the boundaries and raise the bar of live performances and bass exhibition, Les Claypool and the boys in Primus are hitting the road in May with the next chapter of their 3D enhanced tour format.

Utilising a massive 3D backdrop behind the stage and a quadraphonic sound system, Claypool has created his most masterful visual aid yet, as different images will come to life. Joined by Primus founding members Larry ‘Ler’ LaLonde on guitar and drummer Jay Lane, Claypool believes this will be a truly unique concert experience that is not to be missed. “We’ve expanded the 3D show since the last run, but it’s still one of those things that we’re waiting to see how it goes,” said Claypool in a recent interview. “We’re going to actually turn around during improv sections of the songs and sort of jam along with our visualist and the images that are being created for this tour. Every show will be different, as different venues and environments will lend themselves to different experiences. People who are going to be moshing around probably won’t get any of this, but the heads will get it.”

claypool, les

The band will be making 17 stops in May, beginning with the Bottle Rock Festival in Napa, California on 9 May, and concluding their US run on 26 May at the Sasquatch Music Festival.

In great news for the alternative metal world, Alice In Chains are on their way back with a new record and plan on travelling across the US to support it. The fifth studio album, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, will no doubt feature the heavy hitting bass of Mike Inez, who dominated the band’s last album, 2009’s Black Gives Way to Blue.

The first single from the record, ‘Hollow’, features a driving bass-line by Inez, accompanied by the wailing guitars of Jerry Cantrell, vocalist William Duvall and the solid drumming of Sean Kinney, making up the unmistakable signature sound of the Seattle-born and bred rockers.

Inez, who is also known for playing extensively with rock greats such as Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, Jerry Cantrell and Black Label Society, has always been a collector of fine basses, but will likely be hauling his Warwick Streamer Stage series basses along with him for the upcoming tour. He also tends to use a massive Ampeg stage setup, typically featuring a slew of SVT-2PRO heads with 1×18” and 8×10” cabinets. The tour kicks off its US 13-date May run on the 1st in Augusta, Georgia at the William B. Bell Auditorium and will conclude the dates on 24 May at the Pinewood Bowl Amphitheatre in Lincoln, Nebraska. Tickets are on sale now, so what are you waiting for?

The immortal Fleetwood Mac are hitting the road for the first time in four years this May, with 14 US dates. Bassist John McVie, singer Stevie Nicks, drummer Mick Fleetwood and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham are reuniting to celebrate the 35th anniversary, a huge achievement for a band with such a history of issues. The band will also be reissuing their hit album Rumours, which has gone on to sell over 40 million copies worldwide. McVie is known to play everything from Alembic basses to Fender Precisions, and became well known in the bass world after the success of Rumours. Celebrate the album’s anniversary by catching the band, beginning on 1 May at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They will finishing their run on 6 July at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California.

Getting back in to the dark world of metal, bassist Liam Wilson and his mathcore cronies in Dillinger Escape Plan are hitting the road this month after completing their fifth studio album One Of Us Is The Killer. Even with the slew of line-up changes the band have experienced in the past few years, the head- spinning, time-shifting music of Dillinger is still held down by the masterful bass playing of Wilson. This man is always ready to throw down a selection of mind- boggling riffs with his collection of Zon, G&L and Spector basses.

On top of a new album and tour to follow, Dillinger will be playing on 2 May at Club Nokia in Los Angeles for the Revolver Golden Gods Show, with Metallica, Anthrax, Five Finger Death Punch, Stone Sour, and Halestorm for what is sure to be the most metal night of the month. Just the thought of Wilson, Robert Trujillo, Frank Bello and the others sharing a stage is likely to bring forth the LA riot police. Following that blowout, Dillinger will embark on their headlining tour, which begins on 4 May in Newport, Kentucky and concludes on 8 June in Detroit, Michigan.

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