Mark Abshire

Give me a quick run down of  your life story. Where from etc.
- I grew up in South Orange County, California.  Main things to do there
were surf, skate, and listen to / play music.  I was really into punk bands
from the late '70s & early '80s. Bands like Devo, The Ramones, Sex Pistols,
Black Flag, Angry Samoans - that kind of stuff.  Then I got into bands like
Dinosaur Jr., Mudhoney, Nirvana, Blue Cheer, Stooges, etc...
I now live in Whittier, CA and spend most of my time playing bass in Nebula.

How long have you been playing bass?
- Since about 1985.

What made you start?
- Basically my friend Scott played guitar and wanted to start a band, so I
learned to play bass so we could start a band. It was a total garage/punk
band. We used to do covers by bands like Government Issue, Black Flag, Minor
Threat.  It just went from there.

What kinds of basses have you played and owned?
- I've always been into Fender basses.

What do you play now and why?
- 1971 Fender Precision. Because they kick ass, and are virtually

Can you tell me what gear you use? From your amp to your strings and effects.
- I play an Ampeg SVT with an Ampeg 8x10 cab.  I use Ernie Ball strings. I
use a SansAmp-Bass Driver as my link to the PA, it's a great DI and I can
tune it in to the PA and the room. I don't run it through the amp, I just
run the amp straight.

 When did you start playing in bands? What other bands have you played in?
- The band I talked about earlier, we called it Virulence.  That band was
Me, Scott Hill, Ruben Romano, & Ken Pucci. Virulence made 1 record, but I
had left the band before that...after the record came out, Ken - the guy
that was singing left the band. They got a new singer, decided to change the
name to Fu Manchu, and put out a 7"soon after. Then the singer and bass
player both quit.  So Ruben gave me a call, and asked if I would be into
jamming with them again. So I re-joined Scott & Ruben in  Fu Manchu. About a
year later  Eddie Glass joined the band and then we made the record "No One
Rides For Free" - I left the band right as this record was coming out. Then
a couple years later, when Ruben & Eddie left Fu Manchu they started a new
band. They played a few shows around town with a couple different people on
bass, including Scott Reeder.  Scott wasn't able to commit to the band at
that time, so Ruben gave me a call and asked if I would be into it
again...that was basically the beginning of Nebula, 1997 - and I've been
playing with them since.

 What song has your best bass line in it?
- Maybe on record it would be "Anything From You" - from the Meteor City EP.
But live, I really like "All The Way" from Charged.

 What would you do if you broke a string 5 minutes into a 10 minute song?
- Dive through the drum would take Ruben longer to put his drums
back together than it would for me to change a string.

 What's the worst thing that's happened to you while playing live?
- I've never had anything really horrible happen during a show...most of the
really bad things happen after the show. Like the time I got the middle
finger on my right hand smashed by an Ampeg 8x10 cab and ended up with a
broken finger & 5 stitches on the tip - 1 week into a 6 week tour. Somehow,
we managed to not miss any shows, but I had to figure out how to play all
the songs with only my index finger - the middle one was fucked, and I
couldn't even hold a pick, let alone play with the finger.

 How do you get your bass to stand out in the mix over the guitar?
- Well, we're a 3 piece band, so live it should be quite easy to hear what
each person is doing. On the recordings, we just mix it so the song sounds
good.  I've been working on changing the settings on my amp the last couple
of tours...I've been taking out a lot of the real low stuff, so it pops out
through the guitars better. We've been playing with another guitar player
lately, so taking lots of the lows out really helps to be able to hear the
bass through the 2 guitars.

 Do you play finger style?
- I mostly play with my fingers, but I play with a pick on some songs.

 What do you do for practice?
- Drink tons of coffee and amp out for a couple of hours with the bass.
Either playing to CDs, or just solo.

 What's the hardest thing about playing bass for you?
- Moving my amp.

 If you listen to the radio, what song makes you cringe when it comes

- I don't really listen to the radio much, but I can't stand metal, or dance

 In your opinion what are the bests bands from the 70's 80's 90's and

- Bands from the 70's like Led Zep, Black Sabbath, The Stooges, Sex Pistols,
Alice Cooper
- The 80's would have to be stuff like Black Flag, Devo, Dinosaur Jr., The
- The 90's bands like Nirvana, Mudhoney, Monster Magnet
- Currently, I think bands like Wellwater Conspiracy, The Heads, Orange
Goblin, The Cherry Valence, Clutch, & Zen Guerrilla are really cool.

 If you could be in any band for a day who would it be?
- THE WHO, 1966.
I think it would be cool to be John Entwistle for a day.  He is an insane
bass player, and what would be more fun than being in a band with Keith Moon
for  a day?

 Who's in you CD player right now?
- The Butthole Surfers

Will you be touring through Ohio soon? What bands do you like to tour

- We are planning a tour of the Mid-West / East Coast in November. I think
the Ohio show will be in Columbus.
We have been pretty lucky with the bands that we tour with. We try to hook
up with bands that we would like to watch play every night for a month. Some
of my favorites have been The Cherry Valence, Zen Guerrilla & Mudhoney.

 Any final thoughts?
- Thanks.