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Reader Spotlight: Gerald del Campo

Gerald del CampoMeet Gerald del Campo, our bass player in the spotlight for June 1, 2010.

Bio:

I was born in Argentina. I have been playing bass since I was 13 years old. I started with the classical guitar when I was 6 years old, but when I was introduced to rock music I had to make the switch. I wanted to move people, or cause people to move their bodies.

Location:

Portland, Oregon, US

Day gig:

I am a technical consultant

Years experience:

37 years

Bands & Gigs:

I am currently involved with two projects. One is a band called Trick Sensei. It is described as being psychedelic-rock, probably due to the fact that we have a theremin player, but I would liken it to hard rock and pop. It is a five piece band, with two guitar/singers, a drummer, the theremin player and me.

My other project is called Ego and The Ids. This is more of a goth/avante garde project in which I play all the instruments. Everything I write begins with the bass: everything. Once I have recorded that I layer the keys, guitars, and other instrument over it until I have a song.

Gear:

I have a Spector 4-string bass and I play that out of a Fender 300 Watt combo with a 15 inch speaker. I also keep a couple of speaker cabinets on hand in case I need them: a Working Man 2X10 cabinet with a horn and a Cerwin Vega with an 18 inch speaker.

In terms of effects I tend to be pretty traditional. In most of my applications the bass should be smooth and punchy. It’s function is pretty mercurial: it helps to blend the percussion with the rhythm instruments. Having said that, the most valuable pedal any guitar or bass player can have is the noise suppressor. I use a Boss NS-2. I also have a Boss DD-6 delay pedal, a Boss Bass Equalizer GEB-7, a Tech-21 Sans Amp, and a Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner.

Why I play the bass:

It had to be the HAIR sound track. There were some delicious bass lines in that play’s music. Punchy, powerful. There is nothing like thumping your bass and feeling the instrument vibrate against ones body.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I use a three-finger plucking technique I learned from John Entwistle when I had the opportunity to sit with him at a NAMM show. I used to be a rep for a musical company that used to sell Ken Smith and Staccato Basses, so every year John would come up to see what was new, and if we were nice to him he’d play one of our basses for people walking by. He was an awesome player and a very nice guy.

My influences

Of course, John Entwistle of The Who; Geddy Lee of Rush; Pete Trewavas from Marillion; Billy Sheehan from Talas; Roger Waters from Pink Floyd; Justin Chancellor of Tool and Simon Gallup of The Cure.

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Share your thoughts

Kelly

Saw him play a couple of years ago in Portland playing that Spector bass. Solid bass player that seems to enjoy playing harmonies. Punchy and ballsy.

Gearhead

Gearhead

I bought two titles from his project Ego and The Ids. He plays every instrument in those albums. The melodic bass lines provide the foundation for his guitar, keyboards and theremin work. Would like to know how he gets such rich bass tones.

James

James

I just hear he is no longer in Trick Sensei. That band isn’t going to be nearly as cool without him.

    Todd

    Todd

    LOL, I saw Trick Sensei before and after Gerald. In fact, my band played with them before and after. He really made a difference in that band. He seemed like the only person in the band that was serious about making music a career. Maybe now he can. He’s a nice guy, has his own style, and can play up a storm.

Rick

Rick

Heh! I knew him when he was in Lazarus, back in L.A. in the 80’s. He was amazing playing prog back in the day. I remember him being a pretty descent guitar player as well. Wrote good songs. Usually too deep for most people to appreciate. The stuff he is doing with Ego and The Ids is pretty amazing.

Nannete

I knew him when he lived in California in the 80’s. It was not unusual to see him at the park with his bass working on his scales. He and his band played for Parks and Recreations once at Sepulveda Dam. No advertizing, no posters, nothing. They just showed up and started to play. After their first set there was little walking room. They must have played for 4 hours.

After the show I told him I had a desire to play bass and asked if he had any tips. He told me that a bass player should know right from the beginning that the guitar player is going to get credit for every song a bass player writes or plays, no matter how well he plays his instrument. He said that for bass players it has to be all about the song, and not the glory.

I resonated with that from the second he said it. Because of that I am still a bass player today.

    Jim

    I may actually have seen that show at the park. I can’t remember the name of the band he was in, but I knew the drummer he plaid with. His name was Raymond Palmer. It was a three piece. Pretty tight. Those were the days, where if you wanted to do something, you just did it. If bands tried to play at that park now the cops would show up and shut it all down.