We first featured bassist Oskar Alex back in 2013, with his Dirty Loops inspired band, Alfons Åberg Fusion.
Now we get to learn more about him. Oskar is this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight. Here’s his story…
A native of Stockholm, Oskar Alex has been studying music there for the past four years at the Royal College of Music, and is currently exploring what it is to be a musician and a human being in the year 2015.
Besides finishing up my last semester of school, I do some extra work at my father’s business, editing subtitles for movies and doing quality control. I’ve always had a strong interest in computers (gamer), and I’m used to working with them so it’s a fun job!
I’ve been playing for 12 years.
Bands & Gigs:
I play in a few different bands, some more steady and recurring than others. I play bass with Sabina Ddumba, an up and coming artist here from Sweden who blows my mind with her voice. I have a few bands of my own, for example “Tall Tales” which is a project I have with my best friend, trombonist Arvid Ingberg, where we write music and run the band together. We also have a duo called “Music For Trombone And Precision Bass”. I also play with “Tensta Gospel Choir”, which is how I met Sabina.
- Fender Custom Shop Precision Bass ’63 Closet Classic
- Fender US American Std 5-string Jazz Bass
- Moog Sub Phatty
Why I play the bass:
I had a very powerful musical experience discovering The Beatles as a child, which coincided with (and no doubt influenced) my budding ambition to play an instrument. My mother is a bass player, so we had a bass at home (her pre-EB MM Stingray) that I started playing. She could also show me the basics and help me learn songs. I joined a band with some friends and also started taking bass lessons at a wonderful institution we have in Sweden called “Kulturskolan”, meaning “culture school”, a state driven school for the arts in almost every municipality with very low attendence fees. Playing and learning about music affected me so much in a positive manner that I simply felt it was something I had to pursue, which I ended up doing,
My bass superpower/claim to fame:
Hmm, that’s a tough question. I’d say I quite like my sound, most of the time. I feel it’s a constant quest, getting the bass to sound the way I want it to, and it’s something I’ve always given a lot of attention. Not with effects or gear, but with technique, touch and dynamics. Even if I’m unhappy with a performance or recording, I’m usually happy with my sound, which at least is one less thing to lose sleep over.
In terms of the bass, an early influence was definitely Jaco Pastorius. Also John Patitucci, Janek Gwizdala, and Jimmy Johnson. I just realized all of their first names begin with the letter J. Weird. Oh, and of course Sir Paul McCartney.
In more recent years I’ve been listening to Michael League, Joe Dart, Derrick Hodge, Pino Palladino and Fima Ephron. I’m also very inspired by a lot of my bass player friends here in Sweden, as well as my teacher Robert Sundin.