Reader Spotlight: Mike Voss

Meet bassist Mike Voss, a musician who has the right idea about bass, as far as we are concerned. That’s probably in large part to being raised by a bassist. That’s one cool family. Mike is our player in the spotlight for May 1, 2012. Check out his story and say hi.

Mike Voss


Bass is a force to be reckoned with. I approach my style of playing that bass does not always need to sidelined to only filling in the low end rhythm parts. It can also stand out and add so much more to music. It feels good to go out and dish out a bass in your face attitude when people don’t expect it these days.


Yakima, Washington

Day gig:

Owner – Awesome Grass Hydroseeding LLC

Years experience:

18+ years

Bands & Gigs:

UPAS Hard Rock / Metal Band from the Northwest. Been rocking the region for the last five years.


  • 1974 Rickenbacker 4001
  • Ibanez EDB-605
  • Ibanez EDC-705
  • Ibanez EDA-900
  • Ampeg SVT 8Pro
  • 2-Ampeg SVT 8x10HE cabs
  • Boss GT-10B
  • Line 6 G90
  • Korg Rack Tuner
  • Furman Power Conditioner
  • Moster Cables
  • Ernie Ball Strings

Why I play the bass:

My father played bass, so I had a ear for it early on. Only seemed natural to pick it up and play.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

With 16×10’s and 2500 watts of Ampeg power, I could save the world!

My influences

Cliff Burton, Getty Lee, Les Claypool, John Paul Jones, Evan Sheeley, Ray Riendeau, Billy Sheehan, Steve Harris, Larry Graham


UPAS One Last Toke, Live at El Corazon in Seattle

Bass Solo from The Cheyenne Saloon in Las Vegas:

More on the web:

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  1. Mike is an incredible musician and performer anyone that has the chance to see UPAS live should really check these guys out they bring a fresh sound to old time metal! Absolutely love these guys! Mike is THE BEST!

  2. Complete bollocks

    • frustrated guitarist by the sound of it…

    • Totally agree John Daniel. Chorus on bass??!!! it’s 2012.

    • yeah, it’s 2012, we can play our instrument exacly as it fits us and use the effects we want on it.. (I’m a big fan of using chorus on my bass myself..)

    • I like to use the bass as a blank canvases. I enjoy using effects from time to time, as I feel it adds some flavor to a classic bass tone. In my bands genre Hard Rock / Metal I try to add something different to the sound , something you don’t hear every day. When people come to the venue odds are they have not seen many bass players take a lead approach the way I do. Yes it’s a sound that may turn off you bass purists , but I absolutely enjoy taking that classic Ric sound, and adding gratuitous amounts of gain, chorus, and whatever sounds cool! Playing music is about going out, enjoying yourself and having fun …even in 2012! m/m/

    • i dont think the two videos are a good example, one sounds like a wannabe guitar solo and the other one you cant really here the bass. I totally agree that music should be fun, im totally with you on that one! i think that using the bass as a mainly forefront instrument needs to be done very carefully, there are some really bad examples of it, however, people like Les Claypool have really nailed it. I remember years ago seeing an act called singlebass just a girl, a bass and her voice, she was awesome, a little bit like a solo meshell ndegeocello. when you try and be the lead instrument next to two or three guitars it very hard to distinguish what the bass in supposed to be doing. Mike you dont seem the type to be offended by this, so i hope you wont take it personally… I am fairly purist as a bass player, and dont really like all the showboating that some guys do, just because it can be played doesnt really mean that it should be. There are not many players that push the envelope at all, but sometimes it can be pushed to far and it seems to lead to a lot of sound and not to much clarity…

    • Andrew Laverick check out the recordings on our verbnaion page, puts my playing style more in focus on how I use it. Free downloads right now too! …>The Videos are live audo so, you know how that goes. I do like to throw in some “wannabe guitar” sounds into the mix, pinch harmonic’s I think sound rad on bass. I think more people should push the envelope, music has no rules, its art…if it all sounded the same it would be a very boring world. Check out some Larry Graham Videos! for a funk master of the 70’s he can get some wicked sounds from distortion/chorus >>

    • Mike Voss Yeh Larry was the man, he held together sly and the family stone. Jaco’s use of harmonics was very subtle but always corrrectly used, and unlike it squeely guitar counter part, portrait of tracey is a beautiful piece of music. A lot of the old style players like Larry and Bootsy, yeh they used effects, especially some of the mid period parliament, but they were still holding the bottom end down. I think it’s fair to say that we are both sides of a different coin, without which we would both have a blank side. I feel we can both exist within the same universe with our different perspectives, it’s what makes the world revolve…

  3. your solo’s always grab my & the audiences attention… you fucking rock voss!