In this Bergantino artist spotlight we are excited to introduce our new artist, the amazing Aaron Rieseberg. As the bass player for Eugene, Oregon doom metal band YOB, Aaron is a talented addition to the Bergantino family. We wanted to get to know Aaron a little better, so we asked him some questions and he enthusiastically answered them for us.
Tell us how you started on your bass journey.
It all began when my dad took me and my older brother to see AC/DC. I think I was 12. The show was so powerful, loud, and entertaining, and we were utterly floored. On the way home we talked to dad about how badly we wanted instruments,but my brother wanted me to play bass because he was gonna play guitar. That Christmas dad got me a cheap Ibanez starter pack and I was off.
You’re currently on tour with your doom metal band YOB. Can you share more about the band?
YOB is a trio where the music is crushingly heavy and pays equal attention to both song craft and enormous riffs. A lot of attention is paid to the minutiae in the way the songs unfold with a lot of small twists and turns. We don’t consider ourselves a progressive band, but on occasion it gets heady and a tad bit ADD [laughs]. It’s not uncommon for lengths of songs to reach past the 10-minute mark, sometimes well beyond. Dynamics also play a big role, and we play with space a lot. There is a deep well of influence ranging from the many forms of metal, rock, singer/songwriter, punk, alternative, folk, and country. Funnel all this through A-standard tuning and heavy distortion and you have an idea what YOB sounds like.
What does YOB stand for?
Mike came upon the name YOB while watching a Chuck Jones cartoon called Rocket-Bye Baby. There was an alien called Yob. He liked that it didn’t sound like anything or paint the band in any sort of corner.
People hate this question, butIf you were constructing your personal Bass Mt. Rushmore, who are the four players that would make the cut and why?
John Entwistle – I picked up The Who’s live at Leeds early on in my teens and really was knocked out by his playing as well as his sound – a big gnarly P-Bass cranked through all those Hi-Watts. It’s so fun listening to a bass player who can play so busy and it still serves a song so well. John had dynamics for days, I love the calm delicate passages before the storm of fury and distortion rolls back in.
James Jamerson – who is probably on most people’s Rushmore. Absolutely mind-boggling player. He just completely changed the game as far as what the bass could do melodically and rhythmically in a pop song. James had impeccable taste for when to lean in and when to lay back.
Dave Edwardson (Neurosis) – total hero of mine. In the world of heavy music there is a different set of physicsand obstacles. Dave is wildly creative and a master within this realm. When Neurosis plays live he embellishes/improvises in ways that inspire me. And great use of effects too. He gets truly monolithic tones that sound awesome beneath a dense wall of guitars.
Geezer Butler – I can’t think of a more crucial contributor to my own personal development as a player. He is the complete package: songwriter, lyricist, and true pioneer of the bass. When I was cutting my teeth, I learned as many Black Sabbath lines as I could get my hands on.
Tell us about some of your favorite basses.
With YOB lately I’ve been playing my old 1988 Gibson Thunderbird. I swapped the stock bridge to a Hipshot super tone and I put in a set of Thunderbucker Ranch ’63 pickups. It sounds stout in the bottom and has a certain wood-like midrange crunch that fills out a 3-piece very well. For recording I have used a Rickenbacker many times, though they don’t work quite as well live for me for some reason. I have a couple old Fender-style basses that get a LOT of mileage at home. A ’74 P-bass, a ’68 jazz and a Moollon P-Classic. I played the P on the YOB record, Atma. The sound, the feel, everything about that bass is great.
Describe your playing style(s), tone, strengths and/or areas that can be improved on the bass.
I play primarily with my fingers unless the song is demanding a pick. My instinct is to try and make the rhythm sound as big as possible. I have a tendency is to play way behind the beat which heavily plays into that.I believe that my ability to play slowly with a tight pocket is one of my biggest strengths. There is a lot of power in patience. I’m very fortunate to play with such monster players in Mike and Dave.I like playing with variations on where space is left open, where to let the daylight in and where to block it out. I learned by ear for the most part. I’d like to make improvements with my music theory. It would be mega helpful and fun to be able to analyze and communicate better at that level.
You have a monstrous bass tone. What lead you to incorporate large amounts of drive in your sound?
I think it came from listening to music and being drawn to that type of sound. The bands I’ve played in have always been in a heavy genre and to a certain extent it comes with the territory. A lot of times distortion and monstrous sounds is what helps make the music speak. I’m a little obsessive about how the bottom end comes through and about the way it helps to balance out the sound of the whole band.
Tell us about your experience with Bergantino and the forte D amp as well as the NV610. What settings do you use on the amp?
The Forte D is a new addition for me and I’m blown away by this thing. I’ve always been way into tube amps, and I was looking for something that could cop that sound very convincingly without having to shell out the money on maintenance. The amp is simple so it’s easy to dial in. I like running the drive about 1/2 way up so it sounds like tubes getting pushed, then I use pedals for when I need extra grind.
The NV610 is the best combination of tone, volume, and portability. It’s got punch for days, warm present mids, and a pleasing treble range (zero ice pick). I love deep and full bottom without flub. This cab has been on countless tours at this point and hasn’t let me down once.
What else do you like to do besides playing bass?
I love playing basketball. I get outside a lot and soak up the nature. It’s the best part about the Portland area other than all the good food. I love to eat.
@living_gate (living gate)
About Bergantino Audio Systems:
Bergantino Audio Systems has been dedicated to developing and building the highest quality audio products and bass guitar amplification systems since 2001. We have received numerous accolades within the musical instrument industry and continue to look forward with our designs and our unique approach to developing products.