12-String Bass Interviews

Builders

matt eichen of musicvox guitars

For more than two decades Matt Eichen has been creating weird and compelling guitars and basses. In 1998 the first Musicvox 12-string bass appeared; it was a custom Spaceranger with a mirror finish designed specifically for Tom Petersson. Petersson had seen a similar mirror-finish Musicvox 4-string bass in a guitar magazine and called Matt to ask about it. Matt decided to surprise Tom with a custom mirror 12-string bass as a gift on the 20th anniversary of the Budokan album tour. The gift was so well received that Matt has been building 12-string basses ever since.

Matt’s track record for creating excellent instruments is impressive. Musicvox guitars and basses have been featured in magazines such as Rolling Stone, Guitar Player Magazine, Bass Player Magazine, Guitar World Magazine, Vintage Guitar Magazine, Guitar Aficionado, Premier Guitar, 20th Century Guitar Magazine and Bass Quarterly (Germany).

Bob Singer of Waterstone Guitars

Sometimes one's passion can take on a life of its own. Bob Singer has taken his passion for vintage guitars and turned it into a thriving business.

Waterstone set the 12-string bass world on fire in late 2004 when they announced they had signed up Tom Petersson for a signature model.

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Andy Rothstein of Rothstein Guitars

Sometimes musicians make the best builders. Starting with his love for playing the guitar, Andy Rothstein expanded his knowledge to include the technical aspects and artistry of guitar mechanics and design. He is now building instruments that can hold their own against the toughest competition. Andy's hands-on approach has resulted in the Buzz Feiten tuning system being incorporated into the 12-string bass for the first time, as well as a new electronics configuration.

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Mick Donner of Dean Guitars

Designing new instruments can be a real challenge, especially when you work for a well established and respected company like Dean Musical Instruments. Mick Donner has been creating new guitars for many years and is up to the task!

Bassists

Doug Pinnick of King’s X

Doug Pinnick is one of the most influential players ever to tackle the instrument. Ever since King's X's second release "Gretchen Goes to Nebraska", Doug has commanded the 12-string like a raging rock orchestra on songs like "Out of the Silent Planet", "Faith Hope Love", and "The Big Picture". His growling, thundering music has broken ground and helped to bring the 12-string bass to a new generation of players and fans alike.

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Rob Lauritsen

Not many people get the chance to go on the road as tech support for one of the most influential bassists of our time. We are excited and honored to present this interview with Rob Lauritsen, bass tech for Doug Pinnick of King's X. Rob offers a unique perspective on working with and touring in support of a major 12-string player... a perspective that most of us never experience or even hear about.

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Richard Savoie

Not many 12-string bassists do double duty as the band's lead vocalist. Richard Savoie from Quebec City in Quebec, Canada did exactly that for many years with the band Éonz. He used his 12 on a number of recordings with the band.

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Pete Comita

After Tom Petersson left Cheap Trick in 1980 he was replaced on 12-string bass by Pete Comita. Comita toured with Cheap Trick for just over a year, rocking out on a custom zebra-striped Hamer Standard 12-string bass, as well as some of the same basses played by his predecessor.

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James Hunting

James Hunting's musical resume is impressive, including Vince Neil’s Motley Crue, David Lee Roth and Eddie Money’s bands. Then one night while playing in Hollywood Jamie was spotted by former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick, who recruited him for the band Union.

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Shalini Chatterjee

When we first met bassist Shalini Chatterjee she had just begun to experiment with her newly acquired Chandler Royale 12-string bass in both of her bands. Since then Shalini has grown quite attached to the 12-string bass and is using it more and more.

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Dave Henning

Big Wreck 12-string bassist David Henning is well known for his big bass sound. He shares his views of playing and recording the 12 in this conversation.

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Tim King

SOiL’s bassist had an endorsement deal with Hamer and rocked out Ozzfest on his Hamer CH-12 12-string bass.

Recording

Tom Werman and Gary Ladinsky

As producer and engineer respectively of Cheap Trick's 1978 album "Heaven Tonight", Werman and Ladinsky get the credit for being first to ever record Cheap Trick’s thunderous 12-string bass sound. Our curiosity about the massive tones led to our discovery of the 12-string bass, and none of us have ever been the same since.

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Sam Taylor

Sam Taylor influenced and molded the sonic qualities that would forever be recognized as the early King's X sound and, with the band, they forged the first four King's X records and laid some of the groundwork for what would eventually become the grunge movement.

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Steve Ames

As the engineer on the early King’s X albums, Steve Ames helped to shape the sound that gave the band their unique sound.

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Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson from Rockford, Illinois is one of the early pioneers of the 12-string bass - he has been rocking out and recording with 12-string basses since 1986. Ron shares his tips and tricks for getting a great recorded bass sound and for leaping high into the stratosphere.