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Reader Spotlight: S.A. Sebastian Gnolfo

S.A. Sebastian GnolfoMeet S.A. Sebastian Gnolfo, our bass player in the spotlight for January 12, 2010.

Bio:

I am currently the bass player, recording engineer and co-producer for the New York- and Austin-based rock band Atomic Brother. Originally from Long Island, NY, I began playing bass at 12 years old. I left New York at 19 to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Professional Music at the Berklee College of Music. After Berklee, most of my career has been playing bass, writing and recording original music, and driving the sonic bottom-end for many NYC-based bands, as well as an international pop-rock/country band. I performed bass on over a dozen albums, Eps and singles and at hundreds of concerts in 5 countries, with performances at the Montreaux Jazz Festival; on Nickelodeon’s Big Band Week; in the heart of a salt mine in Switzerland; at the 1996 Grammy Party in NYC; at the NYC Blade II Movie premier; and from the back of an 18-wheeler in front of over one million people in NYC.

Location:

Austin, TX, USA

Day gig:

To pay the bills while writing and recording my own music with Atomic Brother, by day I work as a manager of Software Quality Assurance, and as a freelance bass player.

Years experience:

I have been playing bass for over 25 years.

Bands & Gigs:

I have been the bass player for the rock band Atomic Brother since 2003. Atomic Brother is a NYC- & Austin, TX-based alternative hard rock band whose musical influences range from rock to metal and punk to blues, often drawing comparisons to Megadeth, Alice In Chains, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix — sometimes all at once. We released the single, “Elected,” in 2004, the album, See Me Comin’, in 2007 and the Ep, Silence Collide in 2009. We are currently in production on 3 more Eps to be released in 2010. I am also working freelance, and recording bass on the Colorado-based artist Freedom’s album, Angels and Monkeys.

Gear:

  • 5-string Fretless Music Man Bongo Bass
  • 4-string Fender Jaguar
  • 5-string Pedulla Thunderbass
  • 4-string Ibanez SB1200
  • Mark Bass TA 501 Amp
  • Mesa Boogie Road Ready 1×15 & 4×10 cabinets
  • Boss GT10B

Why I play the bass:

Gene Simmons. I saw a KISS concert on HBO when I was seven or eight years old. When I saw how cool Gene Simmons looked spitting fire and blood I knew I had to be the bass player in a band.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

For many of my family and friends, my “claim to fame” is jamming with Prince Albert of Monaco and pop star Haddaway (“What is Love?”) in Monaco, performing on Nickelodeon’s Big Band Week and playing bass on a track with The Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian. For me, it’s that bands and artists let me do my thing on bass for them, on record and in concert.

My influences

Jack Bruce and Joe Satriani probably influenced me the most as a young bass player. Jack’s playing, and the band’s music, knocked me out. I learned almost every one of Jack Bruce’s bass lines. The melodies on Joe Satriani’s songs are great, and I learned a lot of them on bass. Those two are directly responsible for the grounded, yet melodic style of playing I’ve developed. Now, I think technology is my biggest influence.

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