About The Torch: A monthly series, The Torch aims to help musicians of all ages and talent levels learn more about their respective instruments. Each issue features band members from around the world discussing their craft. They provide our readers with advice and insight towards their person experiences, as well as talking about the tool of their livelihood. Whether you’re an aspiring musician, beginner, fan, or expert, there’s something here for everyone. I truly believe it takes one generation to inspire another. With each issue, I hope we can motivate more and more readers to become the forces they admire.
Written & Produced by Meryl "LJ" DeWitt | Edited by Rachel Rosell | Photos by Friswell Photography, Misty Pics Colorado
It seems the Denver demons of Seven Days Lost hadn't wreaked enough havoc last month! This time, they've sent in their fearless bassist, Bundy, to cause some terror on our pages. Accompanying him, Seth Jackson from Almost Honest; A Pennsylvania based band I can best describe as metal for vikings! Contrasting with a lighthearted alternative sound, we have Tom Jack Jackson of Liverpool natives, Diamond Days. It's been quite awhile since we've had a group of four-stringed ax slingers ignite The Torch. So, without further ado, enjoy the newest issue.
Meryl "LJ" DeWitt: How old were you when you first started playing? What was your first bass?
Tom Jack Jackson: I didn't actually pick up bass until I turned 16, I was offered a vintage '86 Washburn and just thought "fuck it, I'll give it a go." I immediately fell in love with it.
Jeremiah Bundy: I was roughly 10 or 11 when I picked up my first bass. My younger brother was learning guitar at the time and needless to say, I wasn't going to let my little brother be better than me. From that day forward, my mind was set not only to out play my brother, but master the instrument for myself. Honestly, I had a shitty $100 Fender Squier with a skull and crossbones on it. I can picture it even now haha.
Seth Jackson: I was about 14 when I got my first bass, a Fender Squier Jaguar.
LJ: Through trial & error in your career, are there any mistakes you would warn young bassists to be cautious of?
Tom: The first few bands I joined when I was young weren't right, find other musicians you click with. Also, avoid pay to play companies. They'll promise you the world but most can't deliver, they're just looking to make as much money as possible.
Bundy: Biggest advice to any bassist is think outside the box. Don't be afraid to be the grooving powerhouse of the song. Most people don't give too many bassists credit in bands, so be unique in your playing, and of course your live performance.
Seth: Don't take lessons, just practice and discipline yourself to become better. It gives everyone their own unique play style. Also bring an extra pack of strings to shows. Though it may seem impossible, bass strings break too if you hit them hard enough.
LJ: Biggest stage nightmare you've had so far?
Tom: Nothing too major so far, I've had a few hospital trips after jumping off things I probably shouldn't have.
Bundy: In all the years I have been playing, it was a few years ago in my hometown. I set my bass under the stage, and ironically they barricaded the stage. I literally ripped that stage apart in front of fans, owners, and bands. I got it out in time to play but needless to say I destroyed the stage.
Seth: It was an acoustic set at this place in the mall, and I had to play an acoustic 6 string guitar. I broke 3 strings by the end of the set and didn't bring any backups. It was a good thing there was basically nobody there.
LJ: What's your current stage set up?
Tom: I actually favour using the Ibanez SR series currently, pedal board varies dependent on the set but I'll always have the graphic eq, noise suppressor, compressor and sustain pedals in there somewhere. I like running everything through a wireless just to allow that freedom of movement, even if it does mean splashing out on batteries for every show.
Bundy: B.C. RICH Warbeast trace, Schecter 5 string Stilletto extreme. 8×10 black market custom cab (1600 watt peak), as well as a 4×10 ampeg cab (500 watt peak), Trace Elliot bass head 300 RMS and by the end of this month I’ll be adding an Ampeg SVT7 1000W head.
Seth: I use an Ampeg Ba-115v2 1x15 150 watt combo amp. It sounds great and I've never had an issues with her. I plug my Thunderbird into the amp and I'm good to go. I like things simple. I'm a simple man.
LJ: Best bass you've ever owned? / Worst bass you've ever owned?
Tom: Honestly I'm not sure I can answer this one, they've all had a purpose at the time so I wouldn't really say any of them have been better or worse than the others, it all just depends on the sound I'm after at the time.
Bundy: Best bass by far is my BC RICH Warbeast. As much shit people give BC RICH, this bass has been on every tour and every show I’ve played since inception in 2011. Worst bass??? LTD Phoenix. Pawnshop special hahahah.
Seth: Considering I only have two basses...My Epiphone is definitely better than my Fender.
LJ: Dream bass to own one day? (Collectors, customs, etc)
Tom: I'd love to just completely build a custom from scratch, it's always been something I'd planned to do but just haven't got around to.
Bundy: Dream bass for me, would be a Gibson goth Thunderbird with teal outlining..... Dream big!
Seth: Les Claypool Pachyderm bass. Or basically anything that doesn't make fart noises.
LJ: Some bassists think I'm crazy for asking this & others find it a perfectly normal question… Do you name your bassists? If so, what are their names?
Tom: Oddly enough I hadn't thought of this, I give names to so many random things but I don't think any of us name our equipment.
Bundy: I personally don't name my basses. It by far isn't crazy. I’ve met people who name instruments, I’m just not one of those people.
Seth: My Fender Squier is named Jennifer Aniston, and my Thunderbird is Butt. I also have an acoustic guitar named Kevin Bacon, a teal Electric guitar named Morgan Freeman, and a guitar I built named Hellspawn.
Meryl: Who's your personal bassist hero?
Tom: Probably Flea or Pete Wentz, they were the two that got me started when I first began.
Bundy: Nikki Sixx. That man is the reason I chose to be a bassist. He has inspired me not only musically, but inspired me through the worst times in my life to carry on.
Seth: Aaron Beam.
LJ: What, for you, makes it worth it to keep playing? What's your favorite part about being a bassist?
Tom: For me there's something satisfying about the weight and the punch of the low end, music is a big part of who I am now. There's never been a question of stopping, I'd be lost without it.
Bundy: To me, I love having the control to bring in that deep end element. That element that most people forget it's there until it disappears. To have that power with none of the recognition, to me is the greatest thing.
Seth: I like how even if I screw up nobody notices except other bassists… And we are so few and far between that that rarely happens.
"Death of us"
Seven Days Lost