Q: When did Testimony get started? Was it you and your brother? Have any of you dudes had any formal music training? It’s hard to believe you all got that good on your own!
A: Testimony started in the winter of 2009 with just my brother Taylor on drums and the original guitar player Martin Bowman. Soon Mike Gawel was recruited as another guitar player, but they had trouble finding a bassist. After practicing for a while they eventually asked me to join. When it comes to formal music training I’m the only one who’s had some. I currently attend Columbia College Chicago as a music major with a concentration in Jazz Studies.
Q: How did you go about writing the songs for Transcending Reality? Do you all sit down and come up with riffs or use guitar pro and send them to each other?
A: All of the songs on Transcending Reality were composed by an individual and then presented to the rest of the band. Sometimes we used guitar pro, for example Society’s End. That song was written by Mike and it was never rehearsed before going into the studio. Basically we learned the tune from guitar pro then went into the studio and tracked it, which was pretty difficult to do. I wouldn’t recommend it haha.
Q: Do you guys have any plans to tour or any thoughts on it?
A: I personally would love to go on tour, but we’ll have to see what’s in the cards for the band. We definitely plan on playing in some new areas this summer, but I don’t think we’ll be able to full on tour.
Q: When did you start playing bass?! How long have you being playing seriously?
A: Well I picked up my dad’s old bass out of a basement closet when I was about 12. A buddy of mine was starting to play guitar and we formed a little band, mostly playing Black Sabbath covers. Then when I was 16 I moved out to Northwest Indiana were I began taking private lessons. From there on I started practicing a lot, and I was introduced to some bass players that are now huge influences on me.
Q: Just out of curiosity; who are some of your favorite bass players? Is there anyone who specifically inspired you on some of your bass solos in Test of Sanity, or any of the leads in the acoustic parts?
A: There’s quite a list, but I owe everything to Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath. He was my inspiration to pick up the bass; I even played his solo ‘Bassically’ every night before bed for four years straight! But after Geezer there’s Cliff Burton, Jaco Pastorius, Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, Steve DiGiorgio, Steve Bailey, etc.. The list goes on. When it comes to Test of Sanity I owe a lot to Victor Wooten and Marcus Miller, their approach to thumb technique on the bass definitely played a huge role in my approach to those fills. For my fingerstyle approach I took a lot of stuff from players like Steve Digiorgio and Steve Bailey.
Q: Do you have any plans to record a solo album of the sorts or do a YouTube channel?"
A: I would love to record a solo album in the future, but for now just a YouTube channel is in the works. I plan to put up a couple videos of me playing some of the tunes from the EP
soon, so stay tuned to our Facebook page for more info!
This is a pretty raw video but it really captures a lot! I wanted this to be my first interview because of both my love for thrash and the instrument I play. I had another idea for formatting this originally but when Derek sent the questions back to me I ended up liking this a lot better.
Please check out the bassage at 1:55 here and Testimony of Facebook!
Testimony on Facebook!