Reader Spotlight: Chris “Topher” Clark

Meet Chris “Topher” Clark, a bassist studying at Berklee who got his start in music after hearing Led Zeppelin at the age of 5.

Chris is our player in the spotlight for the week of April 10, 2012.

Chris Clark


I started playing the drums after hearing Led Zeppelin around five years old. After playing in bands, I wanted to explore something more melodic and harmonically pleasing without losing the heavy rhythmic aspect of playing. The bass was so organic! It felt great and i understood it immediately.


Boston, MA, USA

Day gig:

I attend Berklee College of Music and play professionally in a group called Charlotte Locke.

Years experience:

About six years.

Bands & Gigs:

I play in a rock band called Charlotte Locke. I sit in the pocket and make our sound big! We just signed to an indie label, RoundCat Records. We are recording our new EP in June and have a big east coast tour too.


Right now im playing:

  • Eden Electronics Time Traveler 550 Fusion Tube Head
  • DNA (David Nordschow Amplification) 2X10 Cab
  • Fender American Precision
  • Hofner Violin Bass Custom (in electric blue)
  • Michael Kelly Acoustic 4 string bass

This rig thumps!

Why I play the bass:

I wanted to be as cool as John Paul Jones or Paul McCartney growing up. I listened to all these great rock and roll bass players, and I always thought they were the coolest members of the group… always relaxed and keeping everyone alive and breathing.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

The groove and the pocket! There is nothing better than playing like lint-deep in the pocket. It feels great to be the foundation for the rest of the players in the group. I play with a “no BS” attitude. No prancing around, just straight in the pocket goodness.

My influences

So many to choose from! I try to pull something from every artist I have come across. However, the ones that resonate with me the most are John Paul Jones, Paul McCartney, John Entwistle, Nate Watts, Willie Dixon, Matt Freeman, Jack Bruce and Rocco Prestia. I am getting more and more into jazz and listening to Paul Chambers, Jaco Pastorius, Victo Wooten, Marcus Miller and all the greats.

More on the web:

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  1. Awesome – way to go Chris!