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Reader Spotlight: Brad Bradly Jenkins

Brad Bradly JenkinsMeet Brad Bradly Jenkins, a bassist from Lafayette, Louisiana and our player in the spotlight for April 12, 2011.

Bio:

I hail from a Cajun family from hot and humid Lafayette, Louisiana. I’ve been playing for almost five years, and I’ve received no formal music training. Throughout my career as a bassist, I’ve always focused on experimentation, creating new sounds, and implementing various kinds of effects, and I am a firm believer in equal participation in writing and creating. Most of my projects have been indie, experimental, electroacoustic, and metal, but I’ve recently been playing fusion with roots in gypsy jazz, funk, and progressive rock. In most bands I’ve been in, I’m characteristically the one that brings the weirdness. I hope to maintain that reputation as long as I can.

Location:

Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Day gig:

I just finished my BS in psychology a couple months ago. In the meantime, I’m a bass instructor at the Baton Rouge School of Performing Arts. I also fix guitars and work in the service industry.

Years experience:

5 years

Bands & Gigs:

I play bass in Gypsy Space Caravan, a gypsy jazz/fusion/funk/progressive rock/experimental outfit from south Louisiana. We’re releasing our first EP in March on Phantom Party Records.

I also play bass and sing in Elegant Deadguy & the Mr. Jimmy Carter, an experimental/progressive/indie/noise/electroacoustic project that has been on hiatus recently.

Gear:

  • Main gigging bass is an active FrankenFender 4 Fretless
  • Ampeg Sub-Blaster
  • 3xfx Fatman V2
  • Devi Ever BIT
  • Devi Ever TP
  • Crowther Audio Hotcake XLF
  • HBE Psyolcibe
  • EHX Stereo Electric Mistress
  • Morley Mini Volume
  • DOD FX-75B
  • Eventide Timefactor
  • Line6 Verbzilla
  • Digitech Jamman Stereo
  • Turbo Tuner
  • AIMS VTB-120 tube head
  • Ampeg SVT-15e

Why I play the bass:

When I was 19, I was noodling around on vocals and keyboards with a jam band. One of the guitarists and I would jam together occasionally, and he once expressed interest in playing with a bassist. Someone had given me a broken bass guitar in high school, so I pulled it out of storage, got it fixed, and have never looked back. Within a couple of months, I was gigging several times a week with two bands. The feel and versatility provided by the bass are paralleled by none.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I suppose that would have to be my willingness to experiment and push boundaries. I’m interested in trying things that challenge myself as a player and a musician. I’m also an avid user of effects in both live and studio settings, and I try to implement them in new, less-than-conventional ways. I believe that effects can be played as instruments themselves, and I actually have designated “effects solos” in my groups. Music can be just as much about sound and texture as harmony and melody.

My influences

Oh man, the list is unending. I try to learn something from everyone I can. My main influences include the following in no particular order:
Michael Manring, Ryan Martinie of MuDvAyNe, Rob Crow and Armistead Burwell Smith IV of Pinback, Reid Anderson of The Bad Plus, Lar of Terrordactyl, Les Claypool, Doug Wimbish, Jean Baudin, George Porter Jr. of The Meters, Charles Mingus, Jonas Hellborg, Jaco Pastorius, Victor Wooten, Stu Hamm, etc.

Video

Live at Chelsea’s in Baton Rouge, LA:

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