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Reader Spotlight: Carter Fox

Carter FoxMeet Carter Fox a bassist from the greater Philadelphia area who is studying at Drexel University, and our player in the spotlight for November 2, 2010.

Bio:

Hailing from Lansdale, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia, 19 year old Carter Fox has been playing the upright and electric basses for the past decade and has played in every style of band from rap to R&B to rock to jazz. Currently attending Drexel University as a Music Industry major, Carter plays in various groups around Philadelphia, including his own solo project which releases new music on his and co-founder/roommate Dan Toll’s indie label ToFo Records, as well as his own small label Intrepid Fox Music). He has had the opportunity to share the stage and/or appear on works with great artists over the years including Ju-Taun (Climax Entertainment), Chris Farr, Jessy Tomsko,and Hale Allen to name a few. He plays shows, does recording sessions, and will most recently be heard in the 11th Hour Theater Company’s production of RENT at the Mandell Theater this November (playing bass of course!)

Location:

Philadelphia, PA, USA

Day gig:

I am a student in the Music Industry program at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Years experience:

I’ve been playing upright for 11 years and electric for 7.

Bands & Gigs:

I’m not exclusively in a band at the moment. I guess you could call me a “session player” (laughs at self). I’ve started a jam band at school though, and we’re trying to get on tour with Phish (but we’re not good enough yet!) I also play and record in a duo called the Water Ice Boyz. Our first release, “Perfect Story”, is available on iTunes. I have played with Ju-Taun, a great group of singers that the world needs to listen to, Kevin James Devine, Jessy Tomsko and others. I also play in musicals in the pit bands (another love of mine). Most recently I played bass in Reefer Madness, which was a great experience! Next up, RENT!

Gear:

Basses:

  • Benavente SCD Series 6 String Fretless
  • Benavente SCD Stand Series 5 String
  • Ibanez SR 496 (6 string)
  • Ibanez 300bdx (4 string)
  • A really awesome, German-made upright 3/4 upright bass

Amps:

  • Eden Nemesis 650 head
  • Aguilar DB 210 cab
  • Genz-Benz Shuttle 6.0 Head
  • Epifani 15″ speaker w/ tweeter
  • Eden Nemesis 410
  • Peavey 115 Combo

Strings:

  • D’Addario

Why I play the bass:

A lot of things in my life have inspired me to be who I am today. From my father playing Grover Washington Jr, George Benson, Dave Koz and Smooth Jazz 106.1 and 97.5 all the time (when the stations were around of course) to my brother, who was once a sax player but now becoming a respectable broadcast journalist in Boston, MA, and me on car rides to my family’s overall love of music (my mother played sax, my dad played a little piano and always had a good ear, and my extended family all loves music). But literally, I broke my wrist when I was 12 and when I got the cast off, I was in a music store with my mom trying out different instruments and fell in love with this beautiful Ibanez SR 300bdx bass, and it’s been history from there! Plus all the great people I’ve had to look up in my life about music, bass, and life – Gerald Veasley first and foremost, Richard Waller, Kjell Benner, and so many others.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I think my versatility and openness as a musician is definitely my bass power. I listen to so much music and play so many different kinds of music that I’ve kind of made a library of sounds in my brain about how a bass should sound for an R&B gig versus a rock gig versus a jazz gig. I always make it the best I can. I also like to make the bass more of not the low, root instrument it is generally known as, but rather a counter-melodic instrument that plays just as important a role as the lead. I like to make the lines almost speak as much as the melody (of course, only if it sounds good and is appropriate) as well as solo, which I don’t see as many bass players doing so in different styles. But that’s what I like to do and will continue to do so superpower or not… I guess it’s my Carter-power!

My influences

I have so many! But I’ll try to make a little list here: Gerald Veasley, Victor Wooten, Adam Nitti, Brian Bromberg, David Benoit, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, James Jamerson, The Motown Records catalog, Herbie Hancock, Dragonforce, Foo Fighters, Bakhiti Kumalo, Rob Thomas, Charles Mingus, Christian McBride, Jared Leto…

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