Photo by Ming Wu. Source: Jon Hynes via Live in Limbo
Meet Jon Hynes, a multi-instrumentalist from Canada who has covered a lot of ground with his music. When all of his friends wanted to play guitar, he knew he would have to pick up bass if they wanted to have a band. Since then he thinks “of the bass as the ‘responsible’ instrument,” he says.
We like the sound of that.
Jon is the No Treble reader in the spotlight for the week of October 14, 2014.
Jon started playing bass when he was 13. Being surrounded by guitar players and drummers he decided it necessary to learn bass so he could start a band. Since then he has learned both guitar and drums and has been playing all three instruments with dozens of bands, in both touring and recording environments. After making the move from his hometown of Upper Gullies, Newfoundland to Toronto in his early 20s Jon started playing with well known indie bands almost immediately, to which he is still baffled how it all miraculously happened. Since then he has toured North American and Europe several times over and recently released his debut album Watchful Creatures on Shuffling Feet Records.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Recording, touring and education.
Since I was 13 (18 years)
Bands & Gigs:
I currently tour and record with The Wooden Sky (Chelsea Records) and Evening Hymns (Shuffling Feet). I also released my debut album on Shuffling Feet Records called Watchful Creatures.
In the past I’ve toured with The Hidden Cameras, Gentleman Reg and Hey! Rosetta.
I toured extensively with the Hidden Cameras in both North America and Europe.
- Bass: Japanese Fender P-Bass ’62 Reissue (1989)
- Head: Orange AD200
- Cab: Ampeg 4×10 HLF
- Pedals: Korg Tuner, Ibanez Bass Stack, SansAmp DI
Why I play the bass:
I remember all of my friends picking up the guitar and drums and noticed that no one wanted to play bass. I figured if any of these things are going to develop into a band we need a bass player, so I took it upon myself to start learning. Since then I still think of the bass as the “responsible” instrument. If the bass is doing too much, or not enough, then the band will sound bad. It will just feel like something is off. It has to lock in perfectly or everything will come across as sloppy.
My bass superpower/claim to fame:
Probably my Orange AD200 head with my Ibanez Bass Stack pedal. The Orange provides such a warm and thick sound that I even find the classic Ampeg SVT to be inferior (crazy, right?). And the Ibanez Bass Stack has been such a great conversation piece amongst musician friends.
“What’s this bass stack thing? It sounds incredible.”
“Oh, this thing? Yeah, it’s my secret weapon.”
I love melodic bass players that don’t try to cram too much in your ears yet still possess the ability to give a song lift and motion. Paul McCartney is the king of that. “Taxman” is still the best bass line ever written, in my book.
On the flip side of that, Rob Pope of Spoon has some of the tastiest yet basic parts I’ve ever heard. The bass stands out so much and occupy’s it’s own space, yet moves each song along with such force. And his setup is badass.
Oh, and Ron Blair from the Heartbreakers. He sits in under Petty and Campbell so well. Also, his dreamy melodic lines in ‘The Waiting’ is the best.