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Reader Spotlight: Harrison Caruana

Harrison CaruanaMeet Harrison Caruana, a bass player hailing from Hastings in the UK. Like many bassists in our spotlight, Harrison had an awesome parent supporting his love for music – and helping shape it. Harrison is our player in the spotlight for October 9, 2012.

Bio:

When I was seven my dad taught me the bass line to The Chain, by Fleetwood Mac. When I was eleven/twelve I would get up and play a couple of songs with his band, anytime I went to see him play.

Turn sixteen and a move to the sea side, I became a musical prostitute. Playing with anyone and everyone. At one point I was in five bands, going through all manner of styles. As well as session work, both live and in studio.

Now twenty two, I’m having more fun than ever. Touring the UK and playing some sweet music, in sweet venues, to sweet audiences, with some pretty sweet musicians.

Location:

Hastings / United Kingdom

Day gig:

I’m a chef by day, and boy do I love doing that!

It’s something I can do well and there’ll always a job. After a day in the kitchen and a sweaty nights gig you end up smelling pretty bad, but equipment costs money and with equipment, quality usually means lots of money.

Years experience:

Since I was seven. Fifteen years now

Bands & Gigs:

Oh yeah. Adonis Fuzz; ProgFunk three piece. Lots of fun with that band. Still young, not a year old yet. Picking up pace very quickly. Gotta pay attention live, though. New songs spring up, almost accidently, whenever we play and we like to mix up dual time signatures, obscure phrasing. Good plain fun, really.

The Kid Kapichi is my other main band. Good ol’ loud rock, with indie twangs all over the place.

Same drummer in both bands and we do lots of session work. Playing regularly with three other artists and studio work for anyone.

When you find the right drummer you stick with ’em. We’ve been in too many bands to count. Playing all sorts of styles in all sorts of settings.

Gear:

I have had some lovely bass’ in the past, always wish I could’ve kept them all. I would have arsenal. At the moment I have four ready to go.

1976 Music Man Stingray. Made in the first six months of production, this is my heavyweight hitter. No longer my gigging bass (for obvious reasons)I get this out in the studio and use it at home to exercise. It’s a beast.

I have an awesome bass made by Bozo Podunavac. A master luthier, who makes amazing acoustic guitars. I’ve only ever been able to find one other Bozo bass. It’s my mysterious wonder.

Due to value of both bass’ I had to have a workhorse. Something to be played week in, week out.

I purchased a fifty pound jazz copy, stratacaster red. I stripped it to the wood, threw on an Alambic bridge. Took out the tone pot and replaced it with a kill switch (for fun), changed the clover’s in the machine heads for fifty pence pieces. It’s set up really nice and always shocks people by how nice it sounds and plays.

I’ve got a nice, unbranded acoustic. For playing in bed. Records well too.

I’m also putting together another live bass together, although it’s not quite there yet.

My main bass rig is 150W Trace Elliot head. Pimped out with a fan and new insides, to boost it up to 300W.

Going through a TE 2103H cabinet and a TE 1153 cabinet. An almighty stack, unnecessarily big. Í’m actually in the process of replacing this cabinet setup, with a Barefaced cabinet. They make amazing bass cabinets. And they’re only down the road from me!

They have some nice twin 15″ cab’s. Loving the look of the Dubster.

The first speaker cabinet designed for Jah!! You gotta love that.

I’ve got a Peavey 210 and an Ashdown 115 Mag Deep cabinets. Preavy and Ashdown amp heads. These are in my studio and rehearsal space. Back ups.

Why I play the bass:

My Dad has played bass since he was young and was always in bands when I was growing up. He’s still gigging now. So it was always in the blood.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

They call me Fingers Harrison for two reasons. Haha, I suppose thats my superpower.

My influences

Tim Commerford. Probably my main influence and definitely the bassist I stolen the most stuff from. With the guitar style that Tom Morello has and Zach De La Rocha’s rapping, the bass becomes the main notation focal point and his bass style is soo sweet. Really leaning into that low F#. I also learnt my favorite lesson from Timmy C. “If you can play it with one finger, do. It’ll sound much cooler.”

Chris Wolstenholme. When I was younger and just learning a ton of songs, Muse bass lines were always the ones I considered ‘hard/impressive’ ones. Really fun to learn and always fun to play.

Steve Harris. The Bomber! Always a legend and where I got my fast fingers from. My Dad has all of the albums on vinyl, so I’d sit there and just loose myself. The best thing about Maiden, is that the bass lines are the same as the guitar lines. So in theory it is ALL bass.

Ben Kenney. I loved him, playing guitar, in The Roots and I love him even more, playing bass, in Incubus. Such a groovy player and my favorite ‘pick’ bassist. He makes a plectrum sound as smooth as fingers. You gotta love that.

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