Interview with Dave V. of
Give me a quick run down of your life story. Where
I'm from the suburban town of Castro Valley,
California. It's east of San Francisco and south of
Berkeley. It's actually the same town Cliff Burton was
from. I had the same bass teacher as Cliff. I lived
there my whole life until I went off to college. I
live in San Francisco now.
How long have you been playing bass?
I guess it's been a little over 10 years now.
What made you start?
When I lived in Los Angeles I was a really bad,
aspiring guitar player. I was jamming with some
friends and we had like 4 guitar players, 2 drummers,
and no bass player. One day my friend showed up with a
bass and said, "You're our new fuckin' bass player!".
What kinds of basses have you played and owned?
A lot of beat up and borrowed basses...I use to have
an SG copy bass and an Aria Pro 2 that I liked.
What do you play now and why?
I've got a Musicman Stingray 4-string which is my main
bass. I've always thought those basses were cool
lookin' and I like the tone a lot. They have a
built-in preamp and since I play with my fingers I can
get a really meaty tone out of them. I'm looking at
Jazz basses now too.
What kind of gear do you use? From your amp to your
strings and effects.
I play through Ampeg stuff...I have an SVT3 head with
4x10 and 1x15 cabs. I use either Bass Boomer or Ernie
Ball strings. Lately I've been using some strings out
of a 5 string set just to get a fatter tone. I've got
a couple pedals...a Morley Bass wah, a Boss Bass
Overdrive, a Boss chorus, and a Bass Balls pedal. I'm
trying to simplify though. I'd love to just get a
plain old SVT head with an 8x10 cab and just run my
bass straight, no fx. That always sounds killer.
When did you start playing in bands? What other
bands have you played in?
I started jamming seriously when I was in college. I
was in a band called 'Face' for a while which was
basically a metal band and a couple other short stints
sittin' in and backing people up here and there.
What song has your best bass line in it?
I don't think that song has been written yet. I do
like Black Bra and Hijack the World though. And we've
been working on a bunch of new stuff for the next
record that I really like a lot.
Do you or your band mates promote nudity at your
Not exactly. Where'd you hear that?
What's the worst thing that's happened to you
while playing live?
Our singer almost puked on me.
Do you come up with ideas while playing bass or
I usually always write on guitar, but I have come up
with stuff on bass. I tend to hear harmonies or riffs
more than I hear bass lines.
How do you get your bass to stand out in the mix
over the guitar?
I just have to crank the shit out of it! Tony has a
stack of Matamp's that crush so I need a lot of power.
Do you play finger style?
Yeah, I play almost exclusively with my fingers. The
only song I use a pick on is Hijack the World cause I
was going for a pick sound on the 16th notes. But I've
been playing that song more and more with my fingers
too. It just sounds fatter live.
What do you do for practice?
I try to practice to a drum machine or metronome when
What's the hardest thing about playing bass for
Not having a roadie.
If you listen to the radio, what song makes you
cringe when it comes on?
I don't really listen to the radio much. The bands I
listen to never get played there.
In your opinion what are the bests bands from the
70's 80's 90's and today?
Well, there's a lot of good bands in there...Black
Sabbath, of course and Led Zep, Hendrix, Doors. Then
there's Mountain, Grand Funk, and definitely
Motorhead. Early Metallica with Cliff. I was really
into punk when I was younger...I love the Stooges,
MC5, Black Flag, Dead Kennedy's, The Misfits, Ramones.
The Minutemen were great too. I'm also a HUGE Obsessed
fan. I could go on all day.
If you could be in any band for a day who would
The Obsessed. That band ruled. Wino is a genius.
Who's in you CD player right now?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? How do you
want people to remember you?
I'll be happy just to be alive in 5 years. I had to
have brain surgery last year so I don't take nothin'
for granted anymore. I'd just like to have a body of
work I'm proud of.
What is the story (motivation) behind the song
Well, it's based on a true story. It's about a
beautiful Latin lady who got into a full brawl with
another lady. Her sweater got ripped off in the middle
of it and she was wearing the infamous black bra. Then
she was with some big macho guy and he grabbed her
ass. She flipped out and busted him over the head with