Chris Clemence of RapScallions checks in

I’m a rock bassist who listened to way too much George Clinton growing up. I love the grit of punk and hard rock, as well as the bounce and danceability of funk. I’ve always tried to marry the two styles in our songs and the result is usually pretty fun and makes for a great tune you can jump around to. I mainly play a four-string bass. I feel that it’s all you need. So much can be expressed and said with four strings that I don’t find it necessary for any add-ons. That being said, there are many great five- and six-string bassists out there, but there’s just something I love about the classic, stripped down four. When I slap, I try to do it in as much of a musical way as I can that fits the context of the song. When I was first starting out, it was all ‘who can slap faster?’, almost like going to the gym and seeing some steroid guys comparing muscles. I think it’s a maturity thing. Now, if I do slap, I make sure that it complements the vocals of the song, and sits in the pocket, rather than being a flashy ‘look at me’ kind of thing. Those licks belong in Guitar Center. The secret of playing bass well is to sing your parts and never lose the groove. If you start singing along with your lines you’ll start creating more melodic parts that might not just fly out from wagging your fingers around the neck in the mundane box patterns. The bass can be just as melodic as a guitar or horn, but also has the power to control the beat, so in a band situation its a big responsibility. My favourite bass is my current main bass, a Warwick Corvette. I have several Warwicks, including Thumbs and Streamers, which are also amazing instruments that I love, but for some reason this one bass just has the magic. I’ve used it on our first two records and will definitely be using it for our upcoming one as well. I have so many bass influences but I would have to say my all-time favourites are Jaco, Bernard Edwards, Bootsy Collins, Larry Graham, Rocco Prestia and Flea. Each of these artists have taught me a great deal of what I know and have heavily influenced my playing style. So many times, bassists lust after other’s tones but I have to say I truly love my own. It took years of experimentation and trial and error to develop and I have dubbed it ‘the fat whopper smothered in cheese’. The combination of a Warwick bass with D’Addario strings through a Gallien-Krueger amp turned up to 11 and played with aggression is the secret to my sound. Right now RapScallions are gearing up for our next studio album on Ignition Point/Capitol Records, produced by Wendy Starland. Our new upcoming single ‘Can You Feel It’ is currently being used at puck drop for the LA Kings games at Staples Center this NHL season, and will be on radio later this year with the album release. The new record will also be available to play along with on Rockband 3 on Xbox. Our current single ‘Got Your Love Comin’’ was chosen as iHeart Radio’s Music To Know and has been getting a great response.

Basses Warwick Corvette, Thumb, and Streamer strung with D’Addario ELX 165 strings
Amps Gallien Krueger 2001 RB with 4x10RBH and 1×15 RBH cabinets

chris clemence

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