Kyle Shimek of American Fangs talks bass

I would describe my bass style as Krist Novoselic attitude, low-end insight, plus cautious destruction. I’m actually a drummer, so bass comes naturally. I’ve always been drawn to the bass, though. Bass is its own living, breathing instrument. You have to allow the listener to know you’re there in the mix. Although guitar is what you typically hear in our band, the bass is what you feel, and if I can find a way to pop in and out of those rhythms while keeping it musical, then I’ve done my job. American Fangs are a four-string bass band. When we started this band I already had an idea of what the bass should sound like. When we were recording our record, I actually purchased a set of five-string bass strings and immediately threw away the high G string and strung the remaining strings on to my four-string bass. The bass sounds fat and deep on our record for that reason. The secret of playing bass well is feeling where those pockets are in the song you’re working on, and knowing when to fill out space and when to lay back. Less is more sometimes. But it also depends on what the song calls for. I usually listen to the drums and vocals and I let that tell me what to play. My first bass was an Epiphone Thunderbird. I remember showing it to our guitar player Chris one day in my garage a week after I had purchased it. I was so proud of it, and then he accidentally dropped it right in front of me! I ended up selling it to a pawn shop shortly after that. The greatest bass player that ever lived was Cliff Burton. Not only could he shred on a bass, I just loved his energy onstage more than anything.

Basses Fender Precision Special
Effects Pigtronix Disnortion
Amps Ashdown EVO II

american fangs credit Tracy Mailhiot

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