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Reader Spotlight: Josh Barber

Josh BarberMeet Josh Barber, this week’s No Treble Reader in the Spotlight. Josh has been playing music for most of his life, but it was at the age of 14 that his friends needed a bass player for their band, and Josh made the leap. Once he did, he said he had a hard time putting the bass down.

Josh makes his living in music, from gigging, recording and teaching. Here’s his story:

Bio:

I’ve always been surrounded by music and played different instruments from the age of about four, but I didn’t pick up a bass until I was 14 because my friends needed a bass player for their metal band. Ever since then I’ve been in various bands and projects of just about every genre of music going. It’s great because I still get to play with a lot of the guys I started playing with back in school. I still pull a lot of inspiration from some of the first bass players that I remember really paying attention to, Sam Rivers, Tim Commerford and Rex Brown. But like any musician, I go through little phases of getting really into different artists and genres. I think the biggest thing for me, playing wise, has been my main project Nomad Collective. I’ve had the chance to play and write with some of the best musicians in the country, spanning a bunch of different genres.

Location:

London, UK

Day gig:

Gigging, recording (both as a musician and engineer) and teaching.

Years experience:

Roughly ten years

Bands & Gigs:

My main project is the Nomad Collective. After releasing our self-funded album in June we’ve been gigging ever since. With our live act ranging from a seven-piece all the way up to sixteen, the logistics of touring are proving to be very interesting!

I am also working with UK artist Grace Barrett. She is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. The band she’s put together and the way which she is approaching the live shows has been a really great experience for me so far.

Gear:

  • Warwick Infinity 5 bass
  • Fender American Deluxe 5 bass
  • Mark Bass Little Mark 800 head
  • I’ve played through a Mark Bass NY604 for years, but Ive just been sent a Big Twin II from a great new company called Barefaced. I’ve used it on a few gigs now and it has really blown me away.
  • EHX Micor POG Pedal
  • EHX Bass Balls Pedal
  • Mooer Thunderball Pedal
  • EBS Multi Comp Pedal
  • Boss Chorus Pedal
  • Fender Volume Pedal

Why I play the bass:

I wanted to be involved in a band, a bass player was what my friends needed. I do remember loving it, and I don’t remember a time in my first few years playing when I didn’t have my bass in my hands.

My bass superpower/claim to fame:

My micro POG, I’ve been using it for about five years now. I still love it as much now as the day I got it.

My influences:

I tend to look at my influences as one massive bag of everything I’ve ever heard. I started playing metal and rock, which is something that still has a massive influence in my playing. One of the most drastic changes came after a friend gave me Voodoo by D’Angelo. The entire album changed the way I looked at playing my instrument. That is not to say I don’t pull influence from some of the greats like Jaco, James Jamerson and Ray Brown. But I think its very easy to get lost when you just focus on one instrument. I really feel that the people you play with are really important too. I know my playing wouldn’t be where it is at if it wasn’t for people like Mehdi Karimi-Langroodi and Owen Snider, the drummer and guitarist of the Nomad Collective.

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Share your thoughts

Steven Smith

he has a really good tone. nice phrasing. his band, nomad collective, is very urban. sounds like they draw big influence from the early 70s r&b band sound. i was digging their tunes on bandcamp till i got to hendrix’s “machine gun.” dude! they tear that one up!!! deep groove on that one. i think even jimi would dig this version big time.