Interview: Dirk Schlächter of Gamma Ray

Gamma Ray Photoshoot for "Empire Of The Undead"

I would describe my bass style as outstanding, amazing, incredibly innovating: the best style ever heard. Just kidding, but I would say that I’m very flexible in my bass style. I play with fingers, I play with a pick, I love to slap and I’m influenced by all kinds of music. For a bass player I have very small hands and that’s why playing six-string basses is a pain in the ass. Five-string basses are okay, but I don’t really like them. For low tunings I use a four-string bass strung B, E, A, D. That does the trick. I slap, because I absolutely love it. When I started playing bass at the age of 19, slapping was the first style I learned. The secret of playing bass well is playing together with other musicians. My first bass was a Squier Precision built in the 80s. I put in an active Alembic P/J pickup system and I still use it a lot in the studio today. My favourite bass ever to date is a Hoyer T-Stax with Kent Armstrong pickups built in the 80s for the Frankfurt Music Fair. I got it from the owner of a local store who took it directly from the fair. At first he didn’t wanted to sell it, but about one year later he asked me if I was still interested. Of course I was. My bass heroes? I’m too old for having heroes. The bass players who influenced me when I started playing were Mark King, Stanley Clarke, John Entwistle, Steve Harris and Colin Hodgkinson.
Basses ESP RD 380 with Seymour Duncan Bass Line pickups, Squier Precision with Alembic P/J pickups, Fender (Mexico) Precision with Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder pickups, Steinberger L2, Rickenbacker 4001, Hoyer T-Stax, Fender Jazz, Hohner B2A
Effects Ibanez (Maxon) CS9 Stereo Chorus, Zoom B2.1u
Amps Hughes & Kettner BassBase 400, 2x Rocktron Velocity 300 power amps, HK Audio VC1200 power amp and 2x SansAmp Bass DI Drivers, Ampeg SVT, Marshall JMP 100, Engl Straight, Vox AC30, Sessionmaster JD10

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