Reader Spotlight: Massimiliano “MarFi” Gentilini
Meet Massimiliano “MarFi” Gentilini, a bassist from Barcelona who got his start 20 years ago so he could join a band with his friends. He’s done a lot since, including work in a Quentin Tarantino OST cover band.
MarFi is this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight (you could be next). Here’s his story…
Born in Milano, Italy, in 1988, I started playing bass at the age of 14, just to join a band with friends and have some fun. I kept playing for passion as an amateur until when I was 23 and I moved to Barcelona (Spain). There I started to work as a busker and a session musician, playing in the streets of the city for 10 years, and giving private lessons. At the same time, I was saving money to pay the courses to study a college degree in music at Jam Session high school, first school in Spain with a superior degree in rock and modern music. Just two years after I started studying, I was hired by the same school to teach instruments and theory at their medium degree, and finally, in 2022, I obtained a superior degree.
As a bass player, I’ve been playing for 20 years right now, recording as a session musician, producing and touring with many bands of different styles, from metal to salsa, passing through jazz, pop, funk, soul, rock, hip hop… I’ve created two bands here in Barcelona, one is a Tribute to Quentin Tarantino’s movies soundtracks, called TarantiNation, and the other is an original progressive rock and metal project called “Aran Prog Project”, where I write all the song and work as a producer too. I’m also the Bass player of “Death Keepers” band, where i have the luck to share my art with the vocal legend Mike Vescera (ex Yngwie Malmsteen, ex Loudness) and Gorka Alegre (Ex Baron Rojo). I also manage a Youtube channel about the bass called “Bass Tunes”, with many bass covers with tabs and sheet transcribed by myself, as well as many original bass compositions.
Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
Why I play the bass:
I always wanted to play the drums, but for my parents that was too loud so the bass seemed the best solution, an instrument you can play with headphones…
I’ve never been that kind of guy obsessed with expensive and original gear because I was taught (and still believe so) that your true sound comes from your hands and not for your money, even if i know that is not the same playing a Squier than playing a Fodera. But I think the difference is real less than we think.
Still, in the last years I’ve been adding many pedals and basses to my collection.
- Yamaha RBX John Myung signature 2
- Lakland Skyline 44 aj
- Fender JazzBass Marcus Miller (MiJ)
- Ibanez Sr H500f fretless
- Markbass micormark (for small gigs)
- Hartke HA5500 + Hartke 4×10 vx
- Markstudio 2
- Waves GTR
- Radial Bassbone Tonebone 2
- Boss TU3
- Markbass Compressore
- Markbass Synth
- Digitech Drop
- Darkglass microtube vintage
- Ashdown Games LoMenzo Bass HyperDrive
Geddy Lee, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten are with no doubt the first names that comes in my head when we talk about influences. I love Geddy’s sound and phrasing, and Victor is the God of almost every technique, and always play it with love. And Marcus is like a father for me.
If I go back some years ago, the people who inspired me to play the bass were Steve Harris and Flea, and their legacy is still alive in me for sure, just like in progressive metal, bass players like John Myung and Conner gave me the direction to follow. Last but not least, the Italian Bass players Saturnino (Jovanotti) and Luca Vicini (Subsonica).
My bass superpower/claim to fame:
I never surrender. I started playing in the street and right now I’m a teacher, a session musician, and an album producer. I recently composed my first album by myself. I really believe that if you never surrender and works hard, sooner or later the results come.
I also can play a lot of different styles: I started with Punk, Rock and Metal as a child, then passed to Fusion and Funk as a teenager. Later, life gave me the chance to play with Latin bands that taught me a lot regarding salsa and tumbao bass lines. Then I started playing in Blues/Rock, classic Jazz and Soul bands, and in the last years I went back to Metal roots, but more oriented on progressive and psychedelic Rock. I had the pleasure to study with many different teachers through the years and I tried to take advantage of the good thing of each of them, so I pursued to create a big repertoire of many different styles, and I tried to not forget any of them…. you never know as a professional player when y who’s gonna call for a gig or recording the next time.
More on the web:
- Aran Prog Project Website
- Aran Prog Project Youtube
- Aran Prog Project Instagram
- Aran Prog Project Facebook
- TarantiNation Youtube
- TarantiNation Instagram
- TarantiNation Facebook
Want to be featured in an upcoming Reader Spotlight? Just fill out the interview questionnaire.