Bassist Jon Pold of Jon Pold Synergy turns the bass ‘On’… and up
“ALWAYS BE PREPARED AND MINDFUL WHEN REHEARSING, BUT ALWAYS PLAY WITH CONVICTION”
My band is based on assertive bass-lines, complex arrangements and the telling of stories. Earlier this year we released our first full length album, ON, which combines progressive rock, melodic song lines and jazz-funk grooves. To me it’s a continuous effort to write meaningful songs, with intricate arrangements and making the bass both support and lead the band. We’ve just finished the first leg of a tour supporting the release – and believe it or not, our debut concerts consisted of two sold-out nights supporting the legendary Britfunk band Level 42.
My dad is an accomplished bass player and composer, so instruments were always abundant in our house. I started playing piano as a five-year-old, and singing in a youth choir. As a teenager I loved Mark King’s bass playing, and decided that I wanted to learn all about the instrument. My first bass was my dad’s 1978 Music Man Sabre – he eventually gifted it to me for my 18th birthday.
I’m now endorsed by Vanderkley amplification and AV basses, and I play whatever fits the music. In JPS I mostly play a Dingwall five-string because of the tonal balance and range it offers me, but I still have a soft spot for that first Music Man of mine, and I also adore the tone and dynamics of my AV basses. My Jazz bass is an absolute beast for palm-muted stuff, and I also recently started playing a Chapman Stick live.
Like my heroes Tony Levin, Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Chris Squire and John Paul Jones, always be prepared and mindful when rehearsing, but always play with conviction. It’s important to practise and listen to a lot of different genres. Try to be able to groove bass-lines in half and
double tempo. Learn your fretboard and harmonies. For the first year of playing bass I stuck to a schedule where I played songs I knew – blindfolded!.