Since 2012, Anna Sentina has been a viral online sensation thanks to her deep playing and her serious chops. Being a classically trained pianist from age eight, Anna picked up the bass at 14 and immediately started touring with bands of all genres, including gigs with America’s Got Talent artists Emil and Dariel, along with Candlebox’s Kevin Martin. She is a proud endorser of Kiesel basses, DR Strings, Boss, Gruv Gear, and Roland instruments. She’s been featured in Esquire and Sports Illustrated, and she’s even teamed up with Converse for its Rubber Tracks Sample Library project. Anna took a break from her busy studio, touring, and filming schedule to answer our 10 Questions.
1. What was your first bass?
An Ibanez Soundgear 4-string. It was a gift from my mom. I don’t play it anymore, but the memories with that bass will always be precious to me.
2. What music have you been listening to lately?
I’m really digging the new 1975 release A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships. Rufus Du Sol’s new album Solace has been on repeat for me since it came out last year, and the same with Mumford And Sons’ Delta. Foo Fighters and Odesza are always at the top of my Spotify queue, two of my absolute favorites.
3. What’s one element of your playing that you most want to improve?
When I wasn’t in the studio as much and was playing out significantly more often, I started learning how to improvise and come up with cool licks and lines on the spot. I want to get back to that place musically.
4. What is the first concert you ever attended?
Jon Bon Jovi, at the Staples Center. I honestly remember it like it was yesterday, even though I was super young. The venue was packed and the audience knew pretty much every lyric to every song he sang. It was epic.
5. What’s the best concert you’ve ever attended?
This is such a hard question for me, but I’m going to have to go with Iron Maiden at the San Manuel Amphitheater in 2010. I was in high school. It was a trek to get there, but man, was it worth it.
6. If you could have lunch with any bass player today, alive or dead, who would it be?
Right now it would have to be Bootsy Collins. I’ve always been a fan and admire the motivational words he extends to not just artists, but everyone. Another player I would love to have lunch with is Flea. He’s always all over the place and really seems to have the “balance is key” aspect of life down.
7. If you could sub for a bass player in any band, who would it be?
Tim Commerford with Rage Against The Machine! Absolutely. They’ve always been one of my favorite bands, and I would be so excited to play with them. Tim’s bass lines are epic, to say the least, and the energy of the band is insane.
8. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given about playing bass?
Let loose, and have fun. So simple, yet something most people seem to forget most of the time.
9. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you during a gig?
I was playing in one of my first metal bands several years ago. We were really into the entertainment/performance aspect of playing live and wore wireless systems to every show. Long story short, I ended up ripping my wireless cable out, and performed the rest of the song without bass. There were a lot of people watching. It was awkward.
10. If you weren’t a bass player, what would you be doing?
I would be a veterinarian or some sort of conservation biologist. I’m actually getting my degree in molecular cell biology this year and definitely plan on doing something with it, hopefully helping some animals if I can!