Wednesday, October 7, 2020


Launched January 25th, 2019, the now formerly “Palanaeum” is the result of WNC bassist Christian Justus (founding member of 28 PAGES), guitarist Jake Valentine, drummer David Sylvester, and keyboardist Holly LeBlanc coming together to create original, semi-progressive, mystical rock with an edge. Some of their influences are Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Cream, Wolfmother, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Guns ‘N Roses, Rage Against The Machine, Drivin’ and Cryin’, Tom Petty, Queensryche, and Dream Theater just to name a few. The band got their name from a place called the “Palanaeum”- pronounced: “PAL-A-NEE-UHM”, a vast, detailed library of texts named in the The Stormlight Archive, a series of fantasy novels by author Brandon Sanderson. In the novels the Palanaeum is the largest known library on Roshar, located in Kharbranth and holding over seven hundred thousand texts on various subjects. They felt that the name encompassed the overall idea of the project as being a home for pieces of music that together form a collection. However, the name was also strange and complicated. later, a band discussion took place about the name, followed by a vote. Then on February 28th, 2019 the band decided to simplify their name by changing the spelling to “PALENIUM”, which in turn also changed the pronunciation. The name is now like the word “millenium” except with only one “L” in the middle. The now better named PALENIUM are currently in the process of writing and recording a three song trilogy called The Way of Kings Saga which will include the songs The Way of Kings, Blood & Honor and Crown of Redemption. They also have several “stand alone” songs in the works as well as a five-six song concept tentatively titled “Second Sun Eclipse: The Story of Xander & Rose”, along with a few select cover songs that will eventually make for a great live show experience. Like and/or follow this Facebook page and/or their Instagram page www.instagram.com/paleniumband to receive updates on their progress, original music releases, and possible show dates! The band can also be found on Reverb Nation: www.reverbnation.com/palenium1 Also feel free to contact the band through e-mail at palenium228@gmail.com.

1.Why Bass?

I started with trombone in junior high school which led to tuba (concert and marching) in high school. Little did I know at the time, but my ultimate destiny was the bass guitar. My parents had their own touring band when I was growing up and always seemed to have issues with bass players staying loyal, so they encouraged me to learn the bass and I played bass with their band off and on for many years, before starting my first band. I still continued to help them years after that by supplying the low when their band needed it. Plus, I always thought that bass players were just plain awesome and cool, if not a little misunderstood and overshadowed by other instruments. I felt that the world could use more bass players! 

2.Do you think it is unfair or just lack of knowledge bass gets so little credit?

It is definitely unfair, but it could just be by proxy and come with the territory. Bass originally was designed to be a “supporting” accompanying instrument, so I believe that more lead driven  instruments such as guitar and keyboard started out getting more attention, therefore this was ingrained in the hearts and minds of the music fan community. It was later that some great bassists began carving new territory, showing that the bass as an instrument could be just as versatile and melodic as any other instruments.

3.What kind of bass do you use? Model , color , year , And why

My primary instrument is a teal blue 1996/1997 Yamaha RBX 765A 5 string model with gold hardware. John Myung of Dream Theater possibly played the 6 string version of it back in the 90’s, he still might occasionally I am not sure. Even today, this many years later, the bass has great tone, response and sustain, with some very hot, active pickups! I usually only have to have it set up once a year. When it was designed and manufactured, I believe it was one of a kind and at the time, Yamaha wasn’t really known for basses, mainly just PA and sound equipment. I think back then the bass sold for around $800-900. You can now find them in decent used now in decent condition for around $200-300 believe it or not. I’m not for certain, but Yamaha may have retired this particular model years ago. I probably will never trade or sell this bass.

4.Tell us about your amplification

For small to medium shows I use a MarkBass combo amp with a 15” speaker, connected to my pedal board which includes a ZOOM B3 pre-amp and amp modeler and effects unit. I also have a POG 2 octave pedal that I sometimes use. For larger shows, especially outdoors I use an SWR 8 x 10 Goliath bass cabinet with a 1400 Watt Mackie stereo amp, also powered by a pre amp model of my choice in the ZOOM B3 unit as well.

5. With all of that being said do you feel tone is an important thing for bass?

Tone is very important and it is hard to obtain. It can be difficult to amplify and get the sweet tone that you want, especially from 5 string basses with such a low frequency range. There are also other things to consider such as frequency domination situations between left hand of keyboardists and the bass frequency range, even some frequencies that are shared high on the bass neck but low on the guitar neck. It sure does help to have a keyboardist and guitarist that are considerate and aware of things like this happening, rather than just simply “walking all over” the bass. 

6. Do you prefer 5 strings over 4 strings?

5 string definitely. I have played a 5 string for so long now that it feels awkward and weird sometimes to put on a 4 string bass and try to play it. I am expecting that low B string and it is just not there! I used to play a 6 string, which had a high string that you could tune to a high B or C. The bass was so heavy that I found myself constantly adjusting the position of the bass during a show and my shoulder was hurting bad after the show. I had to eventually trade that bass.

7. Who is your favorite bassist?

I cannot name just one. John Myung of Dream Theater, Eddie Jackson of Queensryche, Geddy Lee of Rush, John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Tony Levin of Peter Gabriel, Liquid Tension Experiment, King Crimson, Paula Cole, Stanley Clarke, Victor Wooten. My list could go on and on lol!

8. Who is your least favorite bassist?

Believe it or not Flea of The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

9. Why do you think women seem to be attracted to playing bass?

I’m not sure. My guess would be because of some of the same reasons I was drawn to it and maybe some more personal reasons that would only apply to women. I can say that I’m glad that more women are in music in general, especially hard rock and metal!

10. What bassist dead or alive would you like a private lesson with?

Actually Billy Sheehan. The man has always fascinated me in his style and approach, plus he brought bass finger tapping into the spotlight, I just don’t know how he does what he does. It would be great to sit down with him and learn from him.

11. Bonus question

Bobby Doll , Nikki Sixx , Les Claypool , Billy Sheehan  which is more ridiculous and why

I would have to say Les Claypool. I respect his talent, as he is and amazing slap technique player. However, I think the whole package of what he does as in demeanor, stage presence and the way he acts on stage just becomes way too comical for my taste after awhile.

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