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Reader Spotlight: Matt Sanchez

Matt Sanchez

Meet Matt Sanchez, a bassist with an interesting combo of work and music. Like many people here, Matt didn’t start with the bass. But while most either started on drums or guitar before making the switch, Matt tried both – starting on drums, switching to guitar and then finally finding home on the bass.

Matt is No Treble’s reader in the spotlight for the week of March 31, 2014. Here’s his story…

Bio

I’m a Harvard-educated business lawyer by day and a metal musician by night. Many people find the combination confusing, but it sure makes life interesting for me! A busy local gigging schedule helped pay for my college education, and regular contributions to Bass Player Magazine provided both a financial and creative release during my busy law school days. While I work a 9-to-5 (or more) these days, I always make time to work on my “real” craft . . . and to crank up to obnoxious volumes! My current band, Sorus, is in the process of writing its second EP and planning its first East Coast tour, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Location

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

Day gig

Attorney

Years experience

15 years.

Bands & Gigs

My main project is an original rock band called Sorus, which currently gigs in South and Central Florida but hopes to set up an East Coast tour shortly. I also sporadically work with a local multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter and have plans to resume a collaboration with an Atlanta-based hip-hop producer.

Gear

Carvin LB-70 with Aero pickups, Zon VB-4 custom 32″ headless bass, MarkBass 4×10 cabs, BBE BMax preamp, QSC GX5 power amp, Pedals from Fuzzrocious, Iron Ether, EarthQuaker Devices, and Blackeye Effects

Why I play the bass

I started off playing drums, but hours spent watching Metallica concert videos (on VHS tape!) led me to pick up the guitar. Very shortly afterward I snagged a cheap bass and loved the instrument’s unique ability to handle both rhythmic and melodic roles.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

The trick to excelling as a bassist in heavy music is knowing when to lock in precisely with the guitars, when to play a simple groove with the kick drum, and when to do something “more.” Too many bassists never think beyond the “riff,” while a growing minority disdain the idea of ever following a guitar part. I’d like to think that my best attribute is knowing when to do each of these things — and being willing to work hard to develop the chops to pull it off! My heart will always prefer thick, two-fingered grooves, but I’m not afraid to add a third voice to a two-part guitar harmony or pull out a pick and copy a complex riff note for note, palm mutes and all.

My influences

James Jamerson for melody, Les Claypool for inventiveness, Michael Manring for defying all “limitations” of the instrument, and players like Bryan Beller and Cliff Burton for bringing an extra level of class to heavy rock bass. Outside of the bass realm, I can’t listen to guitarists Stevie Ray Vaughn and Guthrie Goven or drummers Yuval Gabay and Marco Minneman without itching to pick up my instrument.

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