Reader Spotlight: Adam Tanner

Adam Tanner aka ZenBeerMeet bassist Adam Tanner (aka ZenBeer), our player in the spotlight for August 25, 2009.


I mostly play solo (ZenBeer). I have three solo CD’s out with ItsAboutMusic: The Cosmic Trigger EP, Grand Unified Chaos and, most recently, Bass, The Universe and Everything. It’s all bass, all the time!

I played at the Denver Bass Bash in 2009 and Lodo Bass Bash in 2007 along with guys like Jean Baudin, Yves Carbonne, Jeff Schmidt, Trip Wamsley, Gregory Bruce Campbell, Edo Castro, Darren Michaels and Stew McKinsey.


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Day gig:

I work for the Canadian federal government.

Years experience:

16-17 years. I forget exactly when I started.

Bands & Gigs:

Mostly doing the solo bass thing nowadays, but am also in a jam band called Spacepeople. I also do a bit of studio work around town when the opportunity presents itself.


  • Bee Worker custom 9-string
  • JAF Minuteman II custom 6-string
  • JAF Minuteman 4-string
  • Schack Carbon fretless 5-string
  • ’76 Fender Jazz
  • ’84 Ibanez Roadstar
  • Avalon U5
  • QSC Powerlight 1.8
  • Schroeder BMF1210

Why I play the bass:

My two best friends at the time were musically inclined and were learning guitar. I didn’t want to be left out… and then I discovered Primus! It snowballed from there.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

Hitting you with a little bit of everything both musically and performance-wise. Also improvisation – I spent many a night out jamming when I should have been sleeping, and I think it stuck somewhere.

My influences

I try to learn something from everything I listen to. I’ve always been a really huge Tony Levin fan in particular, though.

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