Fredrik of  The Satellite Circle

So give me some background history (married, where from, what beer do you prefer? etc.)

I'm from Umea, Sweden. 26 years old and not married yet. I drink most
beers on the market (NOTE: real European beer, not water) except for
Loewenbrau. It sucks.

How long have you been playing bass? What made you start?
I've been playing for approximately ten years by now. Some friends of
mine were getting a band together and they needed someone to play bass.
I said OK and got myself a cheap crappy P-bass copy. The band then split before it even started! I
was pissed off and locked myself in, practicing for hours everyday through a ProCo Rat distortion
box . Then I was in a couple of bands before we started The Satellite Circle in 97.

What kind of bass and amps do you use, and why?
I use a sunburst 76 Fender P-bass and a 91 Rickenbacker 4001CS as my
main basses. Those classics gives me the sound I'm after: bottom end
heaviness and cutting low mids. Thick necks rule.  Plus I think that they're the best looking bass
designs ever created. The P-bass is very light bodied for being a
seventies Fender and it has a Lundgren Hot P pickup in it. I found the original way too weak, I like
high output and tons of lows. The Rickenbacker is a real special thing:
a Chris Squire Ltd. Ed., modeled after the 67 4001s used by the bassist from 70s prog band Yes.
It's equipped with vintage horseshoe ("wraps" around the strings) and
toaster pickups and is finished in cream cellulose paint. I have owned a few Ricks and this is
the best sounding of them. Many 4001 basses seems to have low output and
a thin sound due to a third cap on the volume pot for the bridge pickup.
My amp is an all tube Ampeg SVT II. I like the slight distortion that
tube amps produces on high volumes. The cabinet is the infamous 8x10.
Breaks  backs and eardrums! 

Have you come to a point where you can request any gear you want (amps, guitars, etc.) any sponsorships? You know does Rickenbacker offer any equipment yet?

I haven't been approached with any offers at this point.

How do you write your music on bass or guitar or what?

Mostly on bass. I play some guitar too, it's easier to write Hendrixy
chordal/lead stuff on that instrument. Castles Made of Sand type playing.

What is the average time it takes you to write a song, from beginning to wnd?

The best ideas seem to develop real fast and without much planning. Parts that sound "written" feels too stiff. We all bring little bits and pieces and write during jams. Someone comes up with a riff, someone else has a melodic piece to put next to that in order to create dynamics, lyrics are improvised and so on. The tunes takes shape gradually.

What bands have you been in? What band would you say you sound most like?

I have been in three or four bands, none of them important enough to be mentioned! I guess early Black Sabbath is the band that The Satellite Circle sounds most like at the moment.

Do you try to make your bass lines really tough for every song or do you go with simple sometimes?

I like a combination. A good riff is a simple one. But, a bunch of simple unison riffs doesn't make a good tune, or a good album. I like to have parts with contrapuntal bass lines, chords and fills in between the riffs to make the music more dynamic. If an album is heavy all the way through, like most doom or metal albums are, the heavy mood gets lost. It goes unnoticed after a while. Also, in a power trio like The Satellite Circle, I can't just ride the E when the guitar goes into a solo. Those situations requires more playing on both bass and drums.


 Do you use a pick? If yes why? If no why?

Never. I use one for guitar but not on bass. I would sound like a Phil Lynnot with dead strings. But, I like Roger Glovers playing. Besides, when I started out, Steve Harris and Cliff Burton were considered as the coolest role models a metal bassist could have.


 How do you get ready for a show? Any warm-up routines?

I drink a few beers. That's it.


What's the best thing about being a bass player? What's the worst?

Knowing that I'm the coolest looking character on stage is the best thing. The worst thing is that the sound men is always mixing the bass low at shows. It makes me paranoid. I hate their line boxes. 
 
When your dialing in your amp how do you know when you've got the sound right?

Playing a lot for many years makes me know what works in different situations. It took me a long time to find my own sound , but now I know what I'm after  so that isn't much of a problem anymore. I don't think my band mates gives a shit about bass sounds. As long as I'm not to far of the mark anyway.

Who's your favorite bass player and band?

Hard to tell, there's so many of them. Right now it's John  Entwisle from The Who.

What cd's are in your cd player right now?

Iron Maiden - Live After Death

Last question, what does a bass player want for Christmas?

A 64 Gibson Thunderbird II.

 

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