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Reader Spotlight: Michele della Malva

Michele della Malva

Meet Michele della Malva, a bass player who hopes to play for 1,000 years. Michele’s dad got him his start with music and playing, and though it was the wrong instrument (guitar), it paved the way for Michele to find the bass.

Michele keeps busy playing in a variety of bands and is wrapping up work on his on solo release. He’s No Treble’s reader in the spotlight for the week of November 24, 2014.


I grew up listening to Santana with my father, who encouraged me to take up the guitar. I only did it to please him, and I thank him even today. So I took classical guitar lessons for four years and later fusion-metal. But with the guitar I always felt incomplete. When I switched to bass in a funk band, I realized what I was missing.

Lessons in jazz music followed, then years of learning all kinds of music on which I put my ears on, and many hours spent emulating my heroes.

Nowadays I still try to express myself with the music and in exchange the music gives me strength and something that I can call happiness.


Parma, Italy

Day gig:

I’m not a full-time musician, but I’m always surrounded by music, teaching, having gigs with one of my 5 or 6 bands, and working with musical video editing.

Years experience:

Since 2000, and I hope to continue until 3000.

Bands & Gigs:

I’m playing bass and synth in several bands including Reflue (indie-rock), Le Cavie (reggae-dub) and many jazz-swing based combos, but the one that best represents me is R-11, a kind of post-jazz-rock, guitar-bass-drum trio in which each instrument goes beyond its conventional role. Recently, R-11 released our second album, Waschmaschine, so I’m very proud and happy. I finally found the time and had the opportunity to work on my first solo EP (coming soon) in witch I play every instrument. I’m very excited and a bit scared!


  • Wood & Tronics Zoid 5
  • Jazz Bass 4 string natural
  • Warwick Alien 5 Fretless (I love the way that simulates a double bass and a fretless without being neither one or the other )
  • Novation Mininova
  • Without mentioning them all, the effects that I would not do without: Digitech Synth – Soundblox MultiWave Distortion – Phaser Boss
  • MarkBass LIttle Mark 2 head and TC Electonic cab

Why I play the bass:

According to the doctrine of karma, I must have played a lot of bass guitar in previous lives because I really feel in a natural connection with this instrument, and the sound it produces. A more realistic explanation is that I started in the most trivial way: I played guitar but the band at the time needed a bass player, so…

My bass superpower/claim to fame:

Maybe my superpower is to not get enough! Also: being versatile, being a composer before a bass player and try to put myself in the shoes of those who are listening.

My influences:

When I was 18, and after years of classical guitar and metal, I heard one of Gary Willis solos and I thought, “what the heck?!” Since then, he and Jaco and Stuart Zender have forged my love for the electric bass. In recent years Tony Grey, Evan Marien, Chris Wood, Richard Bona and many many others are big influences. In addition to bassists, there’s Kaki King, Tosin Abasi, Pat Metheny, Mike Patton, Jojo Mayer, Devin Townsend.

Everyone is a piece of my puzzle! “Keep your ears open!”

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“Everyone is a piece of my puzzle!” Right man!