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New School: Nathan Navarro

Nathan Navarro

Nathan Navarro has been experimenting with the bass’s role in different genres for some time now, but his recent exploration into electronica and dubstep bass have captured the attention of the bass community. His band’s live cover of Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” has reached over 2.5 million hits on YouTube.

We caught up with Nathan to find out more about this “new school” bassist.

What makes you new school?

The contemporary variety in tones that I use is the most “new school” aspect of my playing. Through the use of technology and a hybrid of playing techniques, new and old, I’ve found a way to achieve sounds that previously have been incapable and unheard of in the realm of real-time bass guitar.

What I’m really trying to say is, I’ve found the brown note and I’m sorry about your pants.

How did you discover your new school style?

I feel that discovering my style as a bassist and composer is an ongoing journey. It’s what keeps music from growing stale to me and brings me back to it every morning.

In my early stages of playing, my focus was solely on technique. That later grew to incorporate expression in composition, and recently, more advanced sound design. My current writing process most often begins with expanding on ideas from my head, as apposed to noodling with my bass for ideas as I did in years past. Essentially, the more I develop as an artist, the less I write from a bass player’s perspective, and the less I write from a bass player’s perspective, the more I am challenged as a bassist. This has encouraged me to grow as a technical and innovative player while helping me define my current new school style.

Do you have any Youtube videos that show off your thing?

Yes! I put up Youtube videos often because I love feedback from the bass community, fellow musicians and the general public. Doing this has also helped me grow as an artist.

What kind of gear do you use?

Spector basses:

  • Legend 5-string (de-fretted, holoflash)
  • NS-2A (1986, Kramer Era, white)
  • NS-2O (1980’s, flamed maple) *stolen at a gig this summer

Source Audio effects:

  • Hot Hand
  • Bass Envelope Filter Pro
  • Multiwave Bass Distortion Pro
  • Midi-Exp Controller

What kind of gigs do you get with your new school style?

I’ve been working full force with Pinn Panelle over the last few months, and we’ll be touring much of the U.S. beginning in February. Our band is heavily influenced by electronic music, and this has helped us develop a new school sound of our own.

Any traditional playing gigs?

Absolutely; I’ve toured with the California Baptist Male Choral, worked in the studio with producer Sylvia Massy (Tool, RHCP, Sublime, etc), and have worked as a non-private music teacher. Currently, I worship with music at my church in Lexington, MA, compose for online clients and teach lessons via Skype and in person.

Do you have albums where we can hear your new school style?

I’m currently writing with Pinn Panelle. Our album will most likely be out in mid 2012. Stay tuned at pinnpanelle.com

Where can we find you on the web?

What’s next for you?

Right now it’s all about writing and preparing for the spring. I’m very excited for the tour coming up because my band members and I will have a chance to meet our fans! They’ve been tremendously supportive and we can’t thank them enough for helping our dreams become much more of a reality.

What else do you want to share?

Thanks to everyone at No Treble. Your site is such an instrument of inspiration to bassists like myself. God bless.