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Artist Spotlight with Biscuit: Interview with Bassist Uriah Duffy

BISCUIT: Moving on to the touring side of things now my friend. This “Rock Circus” must have taken you around most of the world over the years, and must be as equally exhausting as it is thrilling and rewarding at the same time. How did David Coverdale find you?

URIAH: I will say that I feel most meetings are based upon recommendation and whether people along the way enjoy working with you. There is nothing better than word of mouth. But having said that, Whitesnake has been the exception, and did appear to find me out of the blue, via my website. Guitarist Doug Aldrich contacted me.

BISCUIT: Yes indeed, but you can’t just throw a website up and get a gig like that Uriah, you have really put the work in over the years and have fully earned the right to be touring and recording with a band with a reputation as large as Whitesnake.

During your time with them, I believe you won Rock Album of the Year, and Live Event of the Year also, with Classic Rock Magazine here in the U.K. which was an amazing achievement if I may say. So here you are now, a big part of the band as it stands today, and people love what you bring to them musically.

URIAH: Thanks man, I appreciate that. It’s a great band, and great times too.

BISCUIT: So what gear do you run all that power through, and what is the secret of the Uriah Duffy “bass explosion”. Is it the same set up for Whitesnake as say Lyrics Born, and what is the difference in the volume output between the two bands.

URIAH: I would say my WS rig is similar to my other set-ups, just way bigger! It’s about three times bigger with the Whitesnake gigs. We do however use in ear monitors, and keep the stage volume to a minimum these days. What I have historically used are three EDEN 6X10 cabs, stacked on their sides.

URIAH: I have enjoyed using Eden gear for over 10 years, however, their chief founder and engineer has moved on and is currently creating his own advanced line of bass amps under the name DNA. I can’t wait to see what comes of this! In the meantime, I am at a point in my career where endorsements are not solely about getting free gear. It’s also about cross-promotional opportunities. So if it’s a product that I really believe in, and really want to use, I would like to be represented as much as I promote them. Currently I have signed with TC Electronics, who have been able to provide a great relationship, promotional opportunities, and excellent sounding gear. They are electronics innovators who’ve recently created the newest bass rig on the scene, and managed to just “hit it out of the park”. It’s been a blast getting to know the TC team and more importantly, play the gear!

BISCUIT: What basses are you currently using, and do you use basically the same gear for all different styles of music?

URIAH: I try and keep all my gear very compatible for any gig and use real work horses, like the Fender Jazz, and Lakland basses. I do have around thirteen basses in my room here right now, but I do have my two favourites that fit any occasion. One is a Fender Jazz and the other is a Lakland 55-94, the 5 string deluxe which I call “Blake”.

I love to customize my basses, getting all the parts and experimenting with combining them all together. I have come up with a bass that I call the “Anchor”, which is the customized Fender Jazz that I am very proud of. The first thing I do is put Bartolini pick up’s in, as they have never let me down, and they really work for me, no fancy stuff or frill, just a really even balance. I also install a Bad AssII bridge. As for strings, I’m using various gauges of Dunlop. I also love the new MXR bass pedals- (you can find my demos of these on YouTube).

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