Reader Spotlight: Michael Modeste

Michael ModesteMeet Michael Modeste, a jazz-turned-metal bassist from Hartford, Connecticut. Michael is our player in the spotlight for September 6, 2011.


I am the bass player in a metal band called Dead by Wednesday. I’m a finger style bass player with a jazz background that somehow fell into the world of heavy metal. I’ve studied privately with John Patitucci and Doug Wimbish, and I incorporate my jazz background into my bass playing and it sets us apart from other metal bands.


Hartford, CT

Day gig:

When we aren’t touring I’m an IT consultant.

Years experience:

15 years

Bands & Gigs:

I’m in the band Dead by Wednesday. We are a nationally touring band that does around 250 shows a year around the country. We have two albums under our belt. The first released on Stillborn Records and the second released on Eclipse Records. Our new album titled The Last Parade will be out on Sept 9 in Europe and Sept 13 in the US.


  • Spector basses are my main basses as of recently
  • Spector Forte 5
  • Spector NS-4CR
  • Spector NS-5CR
  • Warwick Thumb 5
  • Roscoe SKB-3005
  • Hartke 1000 bass head
  • SWR 750 bass head
  • MarkBass 4×10 cab
  • Hartke HyDrive 4×10 cab

Why I play the bass:

Originally it was because the band I played with in high school couldn’t find a bass player, so I switched from guitar to bass to fill the spot. Then a few months later I heard Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” and it was all over after that.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I am constantly told at shows that I have incredibly fast fingers, which stands out since a majority of metal bass players play with a pick. I also get a lot of compliments on how my jazz influence comes through in my playing.

My influences

My main influence is Jaco Pastorius hands down. Then it would be Marcus Miller, Chuck Rainey, Geddy Lee, Neil Peart and Danny Carey of Tool (I’m heavily influenced by drummers).

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