Steve Reilly of Afterlife talks to BGM…


My style is percussive, and it’s usually hard work due to the drop tunings the guitarists in our band insist on! I play a four-string for songs in drop B, so my notes are B, F#, B, E. At first I was playing with a normal set of 105 strings, but I was constantly pushing the B off the fretboard because it was so loose, so I took a five-string set and used the low B as my E string. It’s a 130 gauge now and is much tighter on my bass. It’s pretty tiring to play but it sounds so low, and it really helps with the sustain too. I could never play a six-string bass: my hands are just too small. I do play a five-string: having that low B, which I tune to A#, gives me that extra low on some of our songs. We also play half our set in C#. My bass heroes are Cliff Burton, Rex Brown, Flea, DD Verni and Jeff Ament. The greatest bass player that ever lived was Jaco Pastorius. If I could get the bass tone of any album ever released, I would choose Rex Brown’s sound on Pantera’s Cowboys From Hell.
Basses Spector Euro 5 LX, Warwick Corvette
Effects SansAmp bass driver
Amps Aguilar AG 500 SC, David Eden 1×15, 4×10 cabs

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