Interview: Adam Phillips (bass players united)

How did Bass Players United start?
Bass Players United was something we started two years ago officially. We had something in motion before that but my good friend Nate Ecker and I decided we would put together a website that would better help Unite bass players.

What influences did you have as a bass player yourself?

My father was my biggest influence. He was a musician who gave up huge music opportunities to adopt me. He is not only my father, but a mentor. He has always had a great ear for tasteful music and as a child I had the luxury of hearing great music around the house. He would also take the time to give me an explanation of the song, artist, what to listen for and so on. I’m so grateful for him and his taking the time to teach me. Justin Chancellor and Jaco Pastorius would also be considered influences.

Can you tell us about your latest contest, Play Your Bass In A Weird Place?

This is a great contest. We wanted to be able to open up the contest to everyone, and let everyone have a fair chance to win a new bass guitar! It’s basically how it’s described in the title: record yourself jamming on your bass in your favorite odd or weird space, and don’t forget to have fun doing it!

We brought on 5 bass players– Damian Erskine, Arran McSporran, Sarit Black, Simon Sammut and Rocco Monteferrante to pick 3 favorites. From there we will set up a vote where our readers can vote on a winner. We also are giving away a new Duo Strap from Gruv Gear, a new custom effects pedal, a 50 dollar gift certificate from Circle K Strings, and more! I’m very much enjoying seeing these videos, and would like to say thanks to Mixer.hr and Bassylum for helping spread the word of this contest.

I noticed you have your own custom effects pedals. Can you tell us about those?

We teamed together with Arcane Analog to start making our own custom effects pedals. We have only had a few made, but we did send one to BassUp Festival in Atlanta which was a huge hit. We are also giving one away for our ongoing Play Your Bass In A Weird Place contest.

What can bass players get out of Bass Players United?

You can be part of a great community! That’s the biggest and best way of looking at it, by supporting one another. We do lessons, interviews, gear/album reviews, and more. It’s also been very encouraging seeing some great upcoming bass players!

You’ve done quite a few lessons, and interviews. Has there been a particular bass player who has stood out to you?

That’s a tough question. I really appreciate the team we have at BPU. They all contribute so much and show a great passion for helping other bass players. Stewart Mckinsey and Damian Erskine were the first bass players to put in so much time to help out with lessons. Their passion for bass guitar and helping others has been such a huge help to the bass community. I have much respect for those two great individuals.

How does a bass player request a lesson?

You can request on our Facebook page/group or send a direct email to me(AdamPhillips@bassplayersunited.com) if you have a request for a lesson. We have had quite a few requests and do our best to help you get the lessons that interest you.
I understand a team member of yours recently helped a man in exile from his home country and living in a refugee camp in Algeria get a bass guitar? Can you tell us about that?
Yes this is true and a great story! Cameron Hood recently helped a young man get a bass guitar. The guitar was made by Luthier Nils Valentin in Denmark, and Cameron helped donate to this cause. Cameron is a great guy with a passion for his community. I’m proud to know him, and think what they have done here is great!

Bass Players United has reviewed many artists, would there be any albums that stood out in 2012?
Richard Scarr and Stanton Lawrence are the two writers who do most of the album reviews for Bass Players United. I can’t say how much I have appreciated their hard work going through requests for albums ,and giving great album reviews.
There has been a few albums that have stood out in 2012. Amanda Ruzza’s ‘This is what Happened’. A terrific album with great tunes, super arrangements and splendid bass playing. A real joy to listen to. The Stranglers ‘Giants’. JJ Burnel is one of the most influential English bassists of the 1970s and on this disc he sounds as exciting and authoritative as he ever did.
Aram Bedrosian Self Titled- To say the bass playing on Aram Bedrosian’s self-titled debut is phenomenal is an understatement. What this guy can do on a 4 string bass, without the use of loopers or layering of multiple tracks, is nothing short of amazing.

What is in store for Bass Players United in the future?

We plan to keep working hard on bringing the best material we can for Bass Players around the world. We are putting together another contest to follow hot on the heels of Play Your Bass In A Weird Place, and will have a writer at the London Bass Guitar show in March.