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Reader Spotlight: Connor McClelland

Connor McClellandMeet Connor McClelland, a bassist from Queens NY who is pursuing the dream.

Connor got his start on a $70 Toys R Us bass (his gear list has improved since then), and he refers to playing bass as his “my piece of sanity.” We like that attitude.

Connor is the No Treble reader in the spotlight for the week of July 1, 2013.

Bio:

I spent my childhood in a small town in Queens called Middle Village. When I was 8 years old I met the drummer in my band, Ronnie Bruno. A year later, I met our guitarist and lead singer, Joey Wunsch. The three of us instantly became best friends and soon decided it was time to start the band Dry Clean Only.

I bought my first bass at the local Toys R Us for 70 bucks. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world.

We are all self taught and began covering Blink-182 songs in my basement every single day. Music was the only thing that made sense to me as a kid and allowed me to find my place in this world.

Location:

Queens NY

Day gig:

I’ve worked so many odd jobs over the years while playing music such as a Deli Clerk, Super Market worker, Camp Counselor, Waiter… the list goes on. Currently, I’ve been working on various local political elections. Politics has to be the only other thing I find interesting other than music.

Years experience:

7 years

Bands & Gigs:

I play bass in the band Dry Clean Only, and we have been together since the summer of 2005. Dry Clean Only is my baby, and I get to play music with my childhood friends – I couldn’t ask for anything better. We all watched this band grow together and are finally at the point where we are ready for the next level. We’ve played various NYC venues including Webster Hall, The Knitting Factory, The Bitter End, Tammany Hall and have shared the stage with national acts including Andrew W.K and Hawthorne Heights. We are currently planning our first summer tour for this August in order to promote the release of our debut EP Swamp Donkey and could not be happier.

We’ve been a band for a long time, but we were just kids. I feel like now we have decided who are and what we want to be all we want is to share that with the world.

Gear:

  • Fender Mark Hoppus Signature Jazz Bass
  • Fender Standard P Bass
  • Fender Standard American Jazz Bass
  • Music Man Sub
  • Ampeg PF-500 Portaflex (Head)
  • Ampeg-115HE (Stack)
  • Ampeg Micro-CL 100W 2×10 Mini Bass Stack
  • Boss GEB-7 Bass Equalizer Pedal
  • Boss TU-3 Chromatic Pedal Tuner

Why I play the bass:

I always loved rock and roll music, and I remember listening to the song “Basket Case” by Green Day and just dreamed about being able to play that song. My friends started playing music before I did, and it just made sense after a while for me to buy a bass in order to complete the band. To this day it is my piece of sanity.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

My style of playing is definitely pop punk-inspired. It isn’t the craziest style of music, but personally it’s the most fun to me. I’m all about fills and bass breaks – you can find many of them within our original songs. I love all kinds of music styles and admire the way other bassists perfect their craft.

I aspire to learn more and more every day about bass playing and how the bass works – it’s fascinating. If you come to a show, you’ll always see me running, jumping, falling – and most importantly: having fun on stage!

My influences

My biggest influences have to be Mike Dirnt/Green Day, Mark Hoppus/Blink-182, The Descendants, Justin Pierre/Motion City Soundtrack, Jesse Lacey/Brand New, Flea, Nirvana, and all the kids from my hometown in the local bands doing their thing.

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