Meet Dave Lowenthal, a bassist who spends his time gigging around NYC – primarily in a band known as Phantom Pop.
Dave is this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight. Here’s his story…
I studied music and recording in my home state of Massachusetts and then moved to NYC without my instrument to pursue life as a recording engineer. Now I’m constantly playing bass and rarely on the console side of the studio glass. I mostly play funk, soul, hiphop, and fusion, but I love playing all genres and being challenged with complicated music. There’s too many talented musicians here to ever be a big fish, so we have to keep striving to be better. That’s the great thing about living here!
I have a 9-5 at a nonprofit. It’s cool because I have a steady income and they are flexible when I need to take time off for gigs or touring.
Bands & Gigs:
I play in several bands around New York but my priority is my band Phantom Pop. We play in the city regularly and tour once or twice a year. Our new album is due to be released fall 2016!
I asked some of my talented friends to help me with a recording project and it turned into a band. I do the majority of the songwriting and local booking. Josh, our drummer, is incredible and does all the tour booking.
We are an instrumental band in the vein of Lettuce, Snarky Puppy, and Robert Glasper. I hesitate to use the F word, but I think we would be classified as fusion.
Check us out as www.phantompop.com
Other groups I play(ed) with are Mostacho Xprmnt, JSWISS, Shareef Keyes and the Groove, The Clubs, Nescora, 12KO, Shilpa Narayan, Wolf Daddy, Pillow Theory, OTiS, & Urban Sun… Apologies to the artists I forgot
EBMM Stingray 5 with an all rosewood neck
Moog Sub Phatty
Aguilar Tone Hammer 500
Aguilar SL112 x2
Iron Ether Oxide
Iron Ether Subterranea
Iron Ether Polytope
3Leaf Audio Proton
Why I play the bass:
I don’t exactly remember, haha. My first instrument was saxophone at age 9 or 10. I played in concert band from elementary school through high school. I was ok but never first chair. Then I started playing guitar at age 12. I was not good, haha. I later got a digital 8-track recorder and I think I got a bass in order to record bass lines under guitar. Bass just clicked with me in a way that the other instruments never did. I love it! And I am extremely lucky to have supportive parents that encouraged me to play.
My bass superpower/claim to fame
I tend to play busy lines that carry a melody while locking in with drums and not stepping on other instruments. Is that a super power?
Also, I’m always early to gigs which a musician superpower!
Paul Jackson, Pino Palladino, Tim Lefebvre, Mike League, Erick Coomes, Scott LaFaro, Stevie Wonder’s left hand