Friday, October 9, 2020

DEEP AND HARD WITH : Lyndon Ehlers - Pit Lord


Lyndon Ehlers - Pit Lord

1.Why Bass?

I initially was interested playing guitar actually. I had played piano and was in orchestra as a cellist and later on upright-bassist, so I already had a short history playing music. Once I started discovering more music, I developed an interest in playing guitar.  By 13 or 14 I’d shifted to wanting to play bass after listening to Korn. As much as I can’t stand it now, that bass tone and style that idiot was using really stuck out. I became more of aware of the versatility of the instrument. Once I was introduced to Alex Webster and Cannibal Corpse, I was decided. I probably got my first bass within a week of hearing death metal and was jamming with friends pretty quick after that. I learned Anesthesia (pulling teeth) and Hammer Smashed Face after about 6 months.  The choice was pretty much made bass was my instrument. Ive been lucky to have plenty of talented drummer friends to play with over the years which really helped with understanding the purpose and possibilities of bass in metal and other genres as well.  There are so many ways to play a bass and they almost all transmit seamlessly across the spectrum of music. I wish I had the time and mental capacity to figure out all of it!

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

I feel like bass gets plenty of credit to be honest, thanks to the wide array of platforms provided via the internet. There are sooo many ways to discover talented bassists nowadays, some that make a living just by posting instagram videos!  But even in the past, with players like Cliff Burton, Geezer Butler and John Entwistle, I feel like there were plenty of examples of phenomenal bassists out there if you were paying attention.  However there is this idea of bassist being in the back, not heard or even noticed, maybe that could be seen as unfair, and maybe also bass and its place in music can seem a little more complex to people who are less than educated about the subject. Where as guitar is front and center, with guitarists throughout history being seen as these kind of gods (some of them legitimately were gods). I guess this comes down to the player at that point. I think its important to understand the role of the bass, but also attempt to take different paths, experiment and go outside the box with either your playing style, or how you perform. Someone like Les Claypool has all of that figured out and is responsible for so much in terms of how the bass is seen today. 

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

I just started using this new Ibanez MHB1506MS 6-string, released earlier this year.  

About 4 years ago I made the transition from 5-strings to multiscale 6-strings. I kinda have short dwarf fingers so it seems to be more comfortable playing 6-strings. I also like the feeling of a heavy instrument. With this new Ibanez, I was curious about playing something headless. Its been great so far. As far as the color/finish, there wasn’t much choice with the 6-string version at the time I purchased it, but it fit with what I normally like. I’m big fan of Mad Max and anything post-apocalyptic, so this whole look really fits in with that and i’m totally into it. My Ibanez SRFF806 has a similar look with the grey/silver-ish finish, that now also features damage from my gross, hobbit-like fingers.  Also with a multiscale its been easier for playing in low G like Pit Lord does...

4.Tell us about your amplification

For the past three years I’ve been using this Yorkville Bassmaster 800. Its a hybrid style head thats mostly solid state with a single tube for the dirty channel and its filthy. I use a tiny bit of distortion on stage so this head makes a huge difference. It was actually gifted to me by my friend Bruce Duncan, ex-bassist for Waco Jesus.  The cabinet I’m currently using is a Trace Elliot 2x15. Its actually Dan’s cabinet he uses with his other band Rezonator.  A decent to good setup I’d say, or at least it works for what we’re doing at the moment.

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

Absolutely. ESPECIALLY in metal. Everything is moving at a thousand miles per hour and when all instruments are prominent it makes that experience so much more dynamic.  Obviously just about anything can be made to sound good in the studio, so the live tone is what its the most important. This isn’t news either its just what I failed at for SO many years before I was show the way by more experienced live players. Tone is important for every instrument, unless you’re playing black metal, then screw it, it should sound dead and horrible hahaha

6.Do you prefer 5 strings over 4 string?

I started on 5-string, thanks to Korn and not much later on Cannibal Corpse and Death, etc.  I honestly didn’t even own a 4-string up until about 3 years ago when I grabbed that Epiphone Explorer I have pictured above. I’d been playing for like 15 years!  When I started playing, the 5-string just appealed to me more. However these days I feel every bassist should own a 4-string, to me it makes sense to have the most basic version of the instrument available at all times. It definitely helped me understand things more clearly, even after almost 20 years of playing.

7.Who is your favorite bassist?

Victor Wooten. I feel I’ve learned more about music in general listening to that man play.

8. Who is your least favorite bassist?

I’m not sure I could point out a least favorite. Whoever they are, they’re not worth remembering.

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

I don’t. That’s why I learned how to cook.

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

Wooten by far.  Maybe he could get that double-thumb technique through my thick caveman skull.

11. Bonus question

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

Les Claypool. He does so many things, in so many different ways, however he wants. I think his imagination is impossible to argue with.

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