Greetings from the other side of a wild ride. It’s been inspiring in recent weeks to see bands once again performing, tour busses hitting the road, festivals being announced, and music all around the world returning to the spotlight. As musicians, we’re typically a thankful bunch who are appreciative of what we do, but having the very thing we love taken away for so long really makes us value it even more. On that note, it sure feels good to be releasing this issue.
It's also been so good reconnecting with friends from the bass world in person, and I had the pleasure of spending some time with the amazing Juan Alderete recently (pictured above). As you might know, on January 13, 2020, Juan was involved in a bicycle accident that—despite wearing a helmet and protective gear—left him with a serious type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) known as Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI). He also suffered a fractured clavicle and spinal fracture. He's been working hard throughout his rehabilitation and recovery and is now back to playing bass every single day. His story is nothing short of inspiring and it was amazing to catch up with him and around 40 other bass players at a gathering after such a long span of Zoom sessions and text threads throughout the lockdown.
Speaking of long spans, our journey with MonoNeon and this issue’s cover story began back on September 28, 2019, when Senior Editor Chris Jisi spent an evening with Mono in New York City at The Cutting Room during his performance with JD Beck and DOMi. The two sat and discussed bass, life, internet fame, and musical roots, and we were all set to the run the story in the spring of 2020. Then, of course, the whole world seemingly shut down. But true to his fashion, MonoNeon didn’t shut down. From that night on, he went on to record and release eight albums and a slew of one-off singles. Every time we thought we had the story wrapped up, I would get an email from Mono saying, “Yo Mane, here’s a new album I’m about to drop.” And just like that, we’d be back on another editor meeting, trying to study and encapsulate the latest side that Mono decided to reveal of himself. Luckily, we’re all caught up (at least for the moment).
Additionally, we’re thrilled to feature Mike Kerr as he discusses his transformation in making the new Royal Blood album, and Victor Wooten, who opens up about his new book. The indefinable Sebastian Steinberg reveals all, and we’ve got other in-depth articles on Brandi Disterheft, Bryan Beller, and Jennie Vee. Stevie Glasgow transcribes Jimmy Johnson’s amazing work on Film & the BB’s “Invention,” we tour the Spector factory, Patrick Pfeiffer continues his Beginner Bass Base series, and we review the latest gear from Modern Vintage, New York Bass Works, and Dogal Strings.
So dig in and enjoy! As always, we want your feedback, so don’t hesitate to hit me up at with any questions or comments. And as always, cheers to the future of bass!
– Jon D’Auria, Editor-In-Chief