Interview: Sem Christoffel, Vandenberg’s MoonKings

Sem Christoffel credit Sharon Duursma

Pic: Sharon Duursma

I would describe my bass style as raunchy, quick and to the pointless. I like four-string basses most, because they’ve got that classic vibe and sound of how the electric bass was originally invented. In my opinion, having limitations – like only four strings – actually stimulates creativity. Besides, it’s bass. Four strings is all you really need. Two of my early bass heroes were Marcus Miller and Larry Graham. I studied my ass off learning about their slapping techniques and melodic approaches. I hardly ever use the slapping technique for rock music, though. The secret of playing bass well is having telepathic conversations with your drummer while playing. I started playing bass when I was 11. In the first few years I learned most things on a 1976 Ibanez copy of a Rickenbacker 4001. The playability was rather poor but I didn’t care about that back then. It had the flair I was looking for. Our self-titled debut album is out now on Mascot.
Basses Fender Mark Hoppus Precision, Fender American Vintage Jazz
Effects Fulltone Bass Overdrive, Faralley Designated Driver
Amps Ampeg SVT Classic, Ampeg SVT II, Orange AD200B MK3, 8×10” cabinets

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