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Reader Spotlight: Eric “Pedals” Thompson

Eric "Pedals" ThompsonMeet Eric Thompson, a bassist who goes by the nickname “Pedals”, who keeps busy with a life devoted to music… including owning and operating a store dedicated to (as you may have guessed) effects pedals. One of our favorite parts of Eric’s profile here is the description for one of his bands, quoted by an “old man” who said “it’s like listening to two lions fighting on a boat.”

Eric is the No Treble reader in the spotlight for the week of August 5, 2013.

Bio:

After experiencing my first small venue rock concert (Soul Asylum at the local college), I became hooked on the energy of a live show. I worked at taking any opportunity to play, meet, or just listen to as many groups as I could manage. Since then, I’ve played in groups ranging from folk-singing sisters, jazz groups, hippie jam bands and straight up rock-n-roll outfits. I never quit seeking that thrill of playing something new.

Location:

Eau Claire, WI US

Day gig:

I own and operate Pedals Music, a music store specializing in effect pedals and designed to service the working musician.

Years experience:

23 years

Bands & Gigs:

I currently play in four steady groups along with various freelance gigs and a jazz orchestra.

Jim Pullman Band is a high energy rock outfit with some pop sensibility.

Snifter is a group that toys with sound, time, basically whatever we feel like. An old man once described it as “it’s like listening to two lions fighting on a boat.”

Revolver is a blues group with dual raging guitars and driving rhythm section.

The Bug is my newest group. Dancing between R&B and fusion, we’ve been focusing on tight arrangements and the heaviest possible groove.

Gear:

  • 70’s Japanese Univox P-bass
  • Fender Mustang Bass
  • MTD-KZ6
  • German Engelhardt 3/4 acoustic
  • ’77 Fender Bassman 10
  • GK MB200 w/ GK112 cab
  • Ernie Ball VP jr (2)
  • Heavy Electronics Ascend
  • Heavy Electronics Radio Havanna
  • Sub Decay Octasynth
  • Zvex Seektrem
  • EHX Freeze
  • Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay
  • Earthquaker Devices Ghost Echo
  • Dwarfcraft Devices Shiva
  • Dwarfcraft Devices Robot Devil
  • Radial Big Shot Mix
  • Radial JDX DI
  • Radial Bassbone

Why I play the bass:

A friend in middle school wanted to date a girl who played drums, so we started a band. I fell in love with the bass, but that band only lasted a couple weeks.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

One of my drummers nicknamed me “Pedals” once I started bring more effects than the guitar players. I used to love the looks I got from elder bass players when I showed up to a blues fest with a pedals board filled with 15+ boxes!

My influences

Jaco Pastorius, Oteil Burbridge, Victor Wooten, Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, Phil Lesh… there’s too many to count. Chris Bates (one of my old teachers) really showed me good path and still inspires me today.

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