Today, Fender has announced the launch of the Troy Sanders Precision Bass, marking its second collaboration with Mastodon’s visionary singer, songwriter and bassist. For decades, the Precision Bass has set the standard for electric bass, its robust tone nearly synonymous with the sound of electric bass. A similar sentiment can be expressed in regards to Mastodon’s 23 year reign as one of hard rocks most forward-thinking and influential acts. The synthesis of these two monolithic forces is cause for celebration amongst not only metal fans, but musicians everywhere.
Sanders’ bass playing can be heard across the discographies of many bands including supergroup Killer Be Killed as well as on stage as a touring member of the legendary classic rock outfit, Thin Lizzy. There is no better showcase of Sander’s ability as a musician than the band that emerged after he made friends with a few like-minded metal head friends after a show, Mastodon. Now, two decades and one Grammy award win later, Mastodon is one of the foremost innovators and trendsetters in the world of rock music. Much of their success can be attributed to the band’s gargantuan sound, with Sanders’ bass playing serving as the bedrock.
Leading up to the unveiling of the new signature model, we caught up with Sanders to pick his brain about the creation of his new bass, the process of designing it, and how excited he is about it’s mastodon-sized tone.
So what led to the creation of this new Precision?
Having a healthy history with Fender has been key. I approached them in 2017 with an idea of a signature Silverburst P-bass and thankfully they loved it. We chipped away for the following six years and here we are today celebrating its release!
You’re known for rocking your Signature Jaguar model. What made you want to switch to a P-bass design?
The more I noticed and played ‘70s P-basses in nearly every recording studio I ever visited, I have desired that warmth for my own. Fender was very receptive to the idea of creating a signature model with me and I am proud that we made it happen.
What was the process like of working with Fender on this? How hands-on were you?
My relationship with Fender began about 15 years ago and remains strong to this day. I am grateful they trusted in the signature Jaguar we created 10 years ago and I’m equally humbled to have created my new P-bass with them now. Together, we kept our communication wide open and worked cohesively to make each other happy.
What can we expect from the tone of this bass?
Total sonic bliss.
Sound-wise, how does this bass vary from your Jaguar model?
The main goal was to create my bass with an ability to perform best in a studio environment. Offering the active / passive option will allow a wider range of tone giving the player more control and hopefully proving wonders when tracking with it. The warmth and roundness of this one varies quite a bit from the Jaguar and I truly love it!
How has this bass inspired your playing so far?
Time will tell as I have only had the pleasure of playing the approved prototype for a short amount of time.
Is the bass going to feature the Silverburst finish of your Jaguar?
Yes! I have become incredibly comfortable and fond of the silver burst color scheme over the years. When designing this new bass, I continued with these colors because it just looks so good and feels so right. Fun fact, the Silverburst color scheme became my favorite as both Mastodon guitarists have been rocking them since day one. During our formative years, their idea was for me to get one also so we could be in Silverburst unison on stage!
What details make this bass uniquely your own design?
There are several features and details that make this bass truly my own. The active circuitry was custom voiced for me. The active / passive toggle switch allows for expansive tone. A stacked treble / bass knob saves a bit of real estate, and aesthetically, the Remission icon on the back neck plate symbolizes dedication and sacrifice. The Emperor of Sand icon on the 12th fret reflects modesty and my signature decal on the headstock pays homage to all primitive roots.
Are you going to be playing the new bass on your upcoming Mastodon tour?
Absolutely! I look forward to playing this beauty for a long time to come! –BM
With the Troy Sanders Precision Bass®, Fender has captured everything a player needs to approach sonic landscapes with the same level of intensity and fearlessness as Sanders’. While Mastodon has used their 22 years of touring and recording experience to develop a sound that is as innovative as it is timeless, this bass allows even first time players to dial into their dream tones. Thanks to a substantial yet comfortable “C” shape neck with a 9.5” fingerboard, the Troy Sanders P Bass® makes easy work out of even the most bewildering basslines. While it might be a dream to play, this instrument is equipped for a massive low end that oozes nightmarish brutality. The headstock is finished in a matching Silverburst with a ‘70s style Fender® logo on the front and Sanders’ own signature decal on the back, while the neck plate displays a Mastodon “Remission” logo and the inlays feature a custom “Emperor of Sand” icon at the 12th fret. The signature Troy Sanders pickups in conjunction with the custom-voiced 18V preamp ensure that a rich library of heavy tones are always at your fingertips.
“For over 20 years, Troy has captivated audiences with his ripping bass lines and vocal prowess,” said Justin Norvell, Executive Vice President, Product at FMIC. “With his second artist signature model, we’re proud to introduce the Troy Sanders Signature Precision Bass®. Locked and loaded, this bass manipulates aggressive metal tones while sustaining the physicality of a stage performance, whether you are headed to the studio or out on the road. The new electronics and preamp were a few years of joint development and sound unlike any other bass in the lineup. I can’t wait to hear the music that comes out of this legendary bass.”
In true tradition, the Fender Artist Signature Series honors iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists.
For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visitwww.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.
Troy Sanders Signature Precision Bass ($1,499.99 USD)
The Troy Sanders Signature Precision Bass® is loaded with colossal power and tuned to perfection with Tim Shaw-designed split-coil Precision Bass® and single-coil jazz bass pickups, custom-voiced 18V preamp and Fender HiMass™ vintage bridge. Other key features include an alder body in a mesmerizing Silverburst finish, distinctive chromed control plate, maple neck with custom ‘70s P-Bass® “C” shape and 9.5”-radius slab rosewood fingerboard with pearloid block inlays and 20 medium jumbo frets. The headstock is finished in a matching Silverburst with a ‘70s style Fender® logo on the front and Sanders’ own signature decal on the back, while the neck plate displays a Mastodon “Remission” logo and inlays feature a custom “Emperor of Sand” icon at the 12th fret. With razor-sharp clarity and titanic muscle, The Fender® Troy Sanders Signature Precision Bass® brings the crushing power and signature sonic mayhem of Mastodon right to your fingertips.