Andy Saxton is no stranger to the bass world. After working along side Bon Jovi, Sepultura, Alexisonfire, Jimmy Eat World, and the release of his own album ‘ Evolution Of The Thumb’ shows his diversity as a solo artist. We caught up with Andy and asked him about some his past and future projects.
BPU:When did you get your first bass:
AS:I got my first bass as a birthday present when I was 15.
BPU:How did you start playing, and where did you study bass, or self-taught?
AS:I was the lead singer in a band at high school and I got kicked out because the guitarist (who formed the band) suddenly decided he could sing. We didn’t have a bassist so he said I either learn bass or not be in the band anymore. Luckily my birthday was around the corner, and my dad and I went to a music shop where he bought me an Aria Legend fender copy) I then took up some weekly private bass lessons from a local bass teacher also called Andy!
BPU:What where your inspirations and trials you ran into?
AS:I took to bass very easily and I picked up techniques like slap fast. The only problem I had was I didn’t like the boring theory stuff which I regret not knuckling down and learning more of. Perhaps I could have been a much greater bassist, or maybe it would of narrowed my creativity with the instrument. I do know some theory but I have never used to to write any songs.
BPU:Who would name as your biggest influence?
AS:Stuart Zender probably for his slap style and his awesome bass lines in the early Jamiroquai stuff.
BPU:Can you tell us a little about your gear?
AS:Now a days all my gear I use live is mainly equipment from my studio, I use a lot of focusrite preamps, I have KRK studio monitors and I use Lynx Technology AD/DA convertors. The sound I can get through my studio rig is my favorite bass sound, especially coupled with the plugins I have for my UAD DSP card. I especially love UAD’s ‘Pultec Pro’ and ‘Neve 1081’ EQ’s on bass. I also use another effect for my ‘Chorus’ sound but that info’s top secret!
BPU:What type of music do you enjoy playing most?
AS:I love playing music with rhythmic displacement, polyrhythms, this opens up more opportunities for me to develop myself musically.
BPU:What is the biggest thing to recommend any bass player at any level?
AS:Learn to walk before you run!
BPU:What types of strings and fingerboard combinations do you like?
AS:I love Elixir Nanoweb Medium Gauge, with an added high ‘C’ I am endorsed with Elixir although I am not mentioned on their website.
(PhotoCredit above picture-Kate Monroe)
BPU:You’ve played along side many familiar musicians such as Bon Jovi, Sepultura, Alexisonfire, My Chemical Romance, and many more. What do you take from those experiences?
AS:I have learned that if I go to a major bands gig and the support band sound crap, it may not be their fault. It may be because they were given a 10min sound check, limited channels on the FOH mixing console (so the main band sound much bigger than them sonically) and they could be very tired from sleeping in their beaten up van the previous night. I also learned that big rock/metal bands play to backing tracks to thicken their sound up a lot.
BPU:What do you look for in a bass?
AS:At least 24 frets, low action, small string spacing, punchy acoustically (when slapped about) looks sexy!
BPU:Your album Evolution Of The Thumb showed of great diversity of talents! Can you tell us a little about your latest album, Drum & Bass?
AS:I set myself a challenge of creating a dynamically heavy EP without touching a electric guitar once. There are no other instruments or samples here other than my bass playing and a drum kit. The 5 track EP is called ‘Drum & Bass’ because I have used my bass guitar for everything i.e. using guitar amps and guitar fx on bass. I am very proud of what I have achieved so far with my knowledge of sound design and passion for giving bass guitar a fresh and hopefully unique voice.
BPU:Can you tell us about any future/current projects you are working on?
AS:My next release is an E.P. with a solo acoustic star who lives in Thailand. He goes under the name Aplin and he is famous in Thailand (he gets played on the radio there, his music is used on feature films and he plays live on MTV etc) Aplin, or rather his real name Ashley has developed the acoustic percussive technique that Andy Mckee and Antoine Dufour play. Together we called ourselves ‘The Reunion’ because we wrote the first song on the E.P. within minutes of seeing each other again for a very long time.The EP is finished and is in the final stages of mixing. It is very relaxing and beautiful music. If anyone liked ‘Fair Weather’ from my first album they will love this EP. I am also half way through writing and recording ‘Drum & Bass’ EP 2
Adam Phillips([email protected])