You may play Bass, but can you really “Feel it in your soul?” If you can, then let me know, because the chances are, that if you do, and also feel that you have the talent, together with the passion, commitment and a story to tell about yourself and your music, you could have your very own review with me, right here at Bass Musician Magazine!
I am looking to find the vast array of talented Bass players out there, who so often go largely unnoticed, as myself and Bass Musician Magazine feel that you should have your chance to be heard about ‘world-wide’.
So if you are interested, then please send me your full bio, pictures and tracks, and any questions that you may have etc. to….. [email protected]
Hello and Welcome to” BISCUIT’S BASSMENT… “ A Bass Musician’s Review”
In this November 2010 issue of Bass Musician Magazine, I introduce to you a very busy Bass player with a fine talent and a great technique to match, and who is a real gentleman.
Dan Veall comes from a city called Norwich, which is in the county of Norfolk, England UK and he has been playing the bass for over twenty years now, during which time he has been involved in many exciting bands and projects, and is also well seasoned in session work too. Dan’s enthusiasm for playing bass is almost fanatical and he loves being able to take the opportunity to express himself fully whenever he can. He mainly plays six and seven string “Shuker” bass guitars these days, and has co-designed them with Shuker Guitars themselves, who are also based in the UK.
Dan feels that these basses allow him to make the most use from the various musical techniques available to him as a modern musician. His repertoire includes various styles, including the Chapman Stick ‘Tap Style’, slap, pick and finger styles too, to name just a few.
Dan has played on a varied list of material, and had the pleasure of supporting a great list of touring bands as well, including: Feeder / Paradise Lost / Joyrider / Dog Eat Dog / Xentrix / Biohazard / Captain Sensible / The Godfathers / UK Subs / Sham 69 / Gun / Adrian Smith – (Iron Maiden) Paul Di’anno’s (Battlefront) and (Killers) Jim Martin (Faith No More) and also the mighty Glen Hughes, which I am sure you will agree is a real quality list of artist’s to have worked alongside, and who have helped to keep Dan Veall’s fingers firmly on those Bass strings.
A Session Musician
As a session musician, Dan has really jumped at the chance of anything offered, from Country and Western to his passion, Progressive Metal!
As well as teaching privately in the past, Dan is a contributor at ‘LickLibrary.com’, an online web video and DVD tuition site. He is also a moderator and an active board member on the largest UK situated Bass Guitar forum “BassChat.co.uk” and he regularly provides technical and theoretical support for other bass players and musicians alike.
Dan is also a composer, and enjoys writing on a regular basis. He seems to be as happy in a band environment, as well as being suitably adaptable to solo work or just Jamming down the local bar.
He owns a mobile studio system, which he uses primarily for writing and recording material and uses products such as Cubase, Reaper, Logic, Guitar Pro, Pro Tools, Superior 2 and online tools, such as Google Apps, Microsoft SkyDrive, Skype and MSN amongst many others.
DAN AND THE BANDS…………………………………………
Within The Void
“Within The Void” is a band that brings together diverse and eclectic music tastes, and features the talents of session drummer Thomas Lang, Pin (Ex-Sikth) together with Jamie Hunt (Ex-Biomechanical) on guitars and JP Von Hitchburg (Stork, Schwartzenator) on Vocals.
Together with Dan, the guys are currently putting material together for a forthcoming album, on which he will be putting his six and seven string basses and effects to good use.
A previous project included good friend, Andy James (guitar), another LickLibrary contributor and “Guitarist of the Year” competition winner in the UK. Matt Goom (drums/percussion) an acclaimed musician, who has recently toured with Glen Hughes and his band. And Sam Linay completed the line up, on vocals.
Dan Veall spent many years in the progressive band, “Real” which he co founded, and so his role was not only that of playing the Bass, but as a co founder, he also composed and arranged the material as well. He was also a co-engineer and co-producer of Real’s debut album, which was released independently through their studio label, and then distributed through Virgin Megastore Retail outlets.”Real” also had reviews in ‘Classic Rock’ magazine, and even had airplay from as far away as Brazil.
Real’s mixture of ‘NU metal’ and ‘Modern Progressive’ musical styles focused on being a technically dexterous band and also musically refreshing, and this also included covering some Dream Theater tracks in their set.
In comparison to other projects, “Drift’s” soulful flavour was captured by the vocal techniques of their female singer at the time, and together, they spent a great deal of time recording and refining their material for feel, dynamics and groove in the songs. At the same time, Dan had been experimenting more with his outboard effects for new sounds, and had began using the ‘Chapman Stick’ tap style, on his Six string basses, for different tonal “flavours” and which also allowed him to express and experiment with different facets of his playing.
- Jon Shuker Headless 6 (signature) Bass Guitar – www.shukerguitars.co.uk
- Jon Shuker Singlecut 7 (signature) Bass Guitar
- Fender Power Jazz Bass Special
- Fender 70’s Precision Bass
- Backline consisting of: –
- Hartke LH1000 Heads and Hydrive cabinets, TC Electronics rack and pedal processing, TC electronics amplification, Line6 X3 processing, Digitech and Alesis effects.
BISCUIT… Hello Dan, and welcome to “Biscuit’s Bassment”, here at Bass Musician Magazine, my friend. I feel that the readers will have already established by going on the above information, that you are quite a Bass Guitar player and all round music enthusiast eh, ha-ha.
DAN…Oh definitely, and there are few things that I can think of that have I have stuck by with such passion for so many years, in fact it’s as if I don’t actually have a choice. Music, and even more so the bass is so ingrained in me now, that I can’t even imagine the day when I will stop and put the instrument down. It’s as much a part of my life as is having a cup of tea or getting up in the morning, ha-ha.
BISCUIT… How old were you, when you first discovered a real love for music, and had that first urge to learn to play an instrument, and how did you ultimately arrive at the “door step” of the bass guitar.
DAN…I initially started playing acoustic guitar at maybe around the age of nine or ten, when I ‘inherited’ my brother’s guitar that he had lost interest in. It was a little ¾ sized folk guitar, and the steel strings on it, used to tear my fingers to shreds, because the action was almost high enough to perform tightrope walking on! I joined the school guitar club and quite quickly found myself wanting to play more. The first songs I actually learned were, much like Thomas Lang…I think they were actually folk songs that were just what we were being taught at the time. Before that though, I remember being hit by that “Guitar bug” when I must have been about five years old. It was when I saw and heard an “electric guitar” for the first time. It was a “Fender Stratocaster, and I remember being quite awestruck even at that young age, by such an amazing instrument. So the day I saw one of my brother’s school friends walking down the road with an electric guitar, at the age of ten or eleven, I decided I had to talk to this guy and find out some more about that instrument that he was carrying. This I did, and I soon discovered, that he lived only just round the corner from me, and it wasn’t long before I also found out that his neighbour was a Bass Player and in fact he was the son of my next door neighbour! It was also during those early years, that I started taking a particular interest in the Bass Guitar. I was, and still am a big Queen fan and I loved the sound of Brian May’s guitar, but there was something about John Deacon’s bass and his playing that called me to the “low end”!
DAN… I did in fact, eventually end up getting together with those local guys hoping to put a band together, and we used to jam along to songs on tapes and CDs and also from music books as well, and I really did get an adrenalin rush playing those Queen songs, in fact he first bass line I ever learnt was ‘Another One Bites The Dust’. So I would like to thank John Deacon for that!
BISCUIT… So what was that first precious Bass that you ever owned?
DAN…My very first bass was bought for me by my Dad, and it was a Fender Jazz Bass Special ‘clone’ – a metallic red Marlin Sidewinder, which I still have today, albeit a bit on the worn side now. The Power Jazz Bass Special was the first bass I really yearned for though, and my dream of owning one was fulfilled quite some years later, when I spotted one on ebay for a mere £200.00. Interestingly after I had made the purchase, I found a magazine page that I’d torn out back in 1989, and to my complete surprise, when I checked the serial number of the bass I purchased, it coincidentally was dated 1989 too, and was the same colour and model ! The Jazz Bass Special, passive version is probably best known as the bass that Duff McKagan forged most of his career with. You’ve probably seen a white model and a black model on concerts such as ‘Live at the Ritz’.
BISCUIT… Wow that’s quite a story, and even more of a coincidence with regards to the serial number….It seems to me that the music “God’s” were trying to tell you something, my friend ha-ha. So you were now ready to take on the world with your new acquisition and move on to that first real band, and go on to bigger and better things eh Dan.
DAN… I was quite an introvert as a teen, and I would spend hours pouring over borrowed videos, cassette tapes and tuition books, as I found everything about the bass guitar totally absorbing, and just couldn’t get enough of playing. I used to rush home from school every day and spend all evening playing guitar. Since then, I have been lucky enough to have played in quite a few bands over the years, in which I have played rock, punk, funk and pretty much anything at all. In one local punk band that I was a member of, we shared the stage with Captain Sensible, The Godfathers, UK Subs and The Heavy Metal Kids amongst others and that all helped my confidence grow as a musician.
BISCUIT… So by this time, you must have felt that the Bass was going to be your instrument of choice for the duration of your music career, or were there other instruments that you took a shine to along the way as well.
DAN…I did have a sudden change in direction, which led me to playing lead guitar in a metal band once. I found out about another great local band that I really wanted to get into, and at that same time as I was looking to join them, their lead guitarist had just left. I really wanted to get into the band as the Bassist, but circumstances led me on to picking up the lead guitar role instead at that point. I quite literally borrowed the other guitarist’s spare electric guitar and learned their cassette demo so that I could hopefully impress them at the audition. The hard work paid off and I spent six very enjoyable years with the band. We had such good times and supported the likes of Feeder, Paradise Lost, Dog Eat Dog, Xentrix, Biohazard, Glenn Hughes, The Wildhearts, Jim Martin from Faith No More, and many others too.
BISCUIT… So what happened to the band after those six eventful and fun filled years, and how did it come to an end.
DAN…Over the years some of the more important venues that we used to enjoy playing at began closing down, and gigs started to dry up, and I also found myself at that time yearning for the Bass Guitar once again, and whilst things were quiet I decided to leave the band and return to playing Bass again as my main instrument.
BISCUIT…You did indeed, but after so long with the four strings in the previous years, what made you want to move on to those six and seven string basses that have become your main “tools” these days
DAN… After leaving a band in which I was playing the lead guitar, I realised that although I now wanted to return back to playing the bass, I also wanted to “Have my cake and eat it” too. I really liked all the guitar techniques that I had picked up along the way, and really wanted to continue to use them on bass too, and having those extra strings would really help me maintain that continuity.
DAN…Ah well…. I went to The Bass Centre (UK) accompanied by my girlfriend at the time, and how she managed to put up with us being there all day I will never know. But the guys at the shop were brilliant and we were kept in coffee – lots of coffee, and I think I must have played pretty much every bass in the shop, but could not find anything that really moved me.That was until my girlfriend pointed to a beautiful Tobias 6 string bass, and with the accompanying words “I bet you can’t play that”… which still ring in my ears to this day, I went over and tried it out and absolutely adored it. In those days of “interest free credit” it meant that the price was not a real problem for me at the time and I worked out that I could easily afford it if I worked long hours in the job I had then. So I did indeed buy that Tobias, and boy was it worth it…and I loved it so much. A good five years later, I managed to track down one exactly the same, but in a translucent red as opposed to a natural finish and that one joined the “family” too, ha-ha. They along with a Status six string fretless became my main instruments for years to come, and accompanying rig consisted of Hartke 4.5XL speaker cabinets and Ampeg SVT 2 Pro heads – which were monstrously loud, but also monstrously heavy.
BISCUIT… So you had all the “Toys” now, but no one to play with eh!
DAN…Ha-ha…Around this time I managed to join a band called “REAL” who advertised as wanting to write and record an album for release. The advert mentioned all my favourite bands as influences, so with little resistance I got in touch for an audition. It went very well and we soon found ourselves embroiled in long hours writing and recording. The band ‘Real’ released the self titled album in October 2000, and if you visit my YouTube channel, I have revisited two of those songs as a bit of a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the release of the album.
BISCUIT… You seem to have enjoyed yourself very much, whilst being a part of “Real” so what happened with you and those guys in the end.
DAN… I found that “Real” as a band, for me were just awesome, because in my experience, it is rare to find not only five like minded people, but great musicians as well, all in the same place at the same time. We had some great times, and spent a great deal of it at the studio complex, where I also became involved as session musician for other acts too – a great way to hone those playing skills! Sadly though the band eventually split up…..Nothing bad, just the way these things go sometimes.
BISCUIT… That is a shame, but it so often turns out that way for many musicians along the way. But to feel that your time was well spent with the band is the most important thing in the end though Dan.
DAN…My journey as a Bass guitarist has definitely been directed and moulded by the bands and musicians that have had the pleasure of working with on the way, and the next two major projects had a profound effect on the need to persist.
BISCUIT… It seems that you never stop, ha-ha…So what did you move onto next.
DAN… I spent two years or so playing in a busy band which included Andy James (Guitar) who is very well known for tackling some of the most incredible guitar playing for the benefit of tuition DVDs and online lessons through the company LickLibrary. Andy is enjoying great success at the moment playing for the band Sacred Mother Tongue who have released their first album and played huge festivals such as Sonisphere. Matt Goom (Drums) who toured for a long period of time with Glenn Hughes and his band and also ran a very successful ‘drum academy’ attracting the likes of Chad Smith, Virgil Donati, Thomas Lang, Steve White and Gary Husband to the area to run clinics. I found that playing alongside such talented guys really raised the bar, and helped me to realise the self belief that I had plenty more to give as a musician.
BISCUIT… That was two years very well spent then Dan, and working together with some amazing musicians as well, can only spur you on further of course, so what do you have lined up for us in the next chapter of your musical career.
DAN…Although the project is taking a little time to get up and running I have material written and ready to work with at the moment, and for me there is never a dull moment musically. I relish the opportunity to push my playing, and always try to think “outside the box” with reference to my instrument. These days, I am finding some time to enjoy writing again with some local projects, and will hopefully see me reuniting with band mates from my various previous projects too. I’ve just spent a great weekend away writing some material of my own with a view to starting another venture. Things are looking up already and I’m pretty excited about the material that the guitarist and I have put together, so keep an eye on my Facebook pages.
BISCUIT… Well I for one will be really looking forward to hearing the new material and seeing what you get up to in the future, as I am sure all the readers will too. When you are not playing in a band or writing etc, I see that you also keep yourself very busy in other area’s in the music world as well, so could you tell me a little more about that, my friend.
DAN…When I am not playing in a band I am offering one to one tuition, and you can contact me via my email or websites advertised below. I am very keen to be involved with community and music projects, session work, clinician work and remote recording. I will soon be involved in some band workshops, supporting the young to get in to bands and to offer some experience to those just starting out. I’ve also been invited to attend Rock School work shops with a company called Community Music East in association with Access to Music, to be involved with Youth Music Week up here in Norwich in the UK.
BISCUIT…Brilliant stuff Dan, it’s great that people like yourself take the time to encourage more youngsters these days to get that “Hands On” approach within the music industry, and you are doing a fabulous job in that area for sure, so keep up the good work. On a different course, I would just like to ask if could tell us some more about the Basses and rig that you are using at the moment, and how you feel that those “tools” assist you in your work, as a bass player and musician.
DAN… I am really interested in, and have an ingrained open minded view to how I approach my instrument. I play a lot of different techniques on my basses and need the appropriate equipment that will support me and help me progress, and not fight against me. I play “Shuker “bass guitars (http://www.shukerguitars.co.uk) . And I have a pair of basses that Jon Shuker and I co-designed, and they are featured on his website. There is a seven string single cut tuned low F# to C, and a six string headless in standard tuning. Both Jon and I spent a great deal of time working on individual parameters to ensure the instrument was exactly to my needs. Jon is brilliant and completely understands his customers and is a real perfectionist and in my opinion, he is definitely up there with the best luthiers out there. I am proud to have an endorsement with Shuker Guitars and I also have an endorsement with Rotosound strings too. I managed to meet up with Jason How and the rest of the Rotosound team whilst I was demonstrating on the Shuker Guitars stand at Bass Day in Manchester UK this year, which was great.
BISCUIT… So endorsement’s from “SHUKER” and “ROTOSOUND” who are both wonderful companies, and who make the very best quality products, and without a doubt and I am sure they are as proud to have you aboard, as you are to be part of their teams too Dan.
DAN…I’ve been using Hartke amplification systems for some years now as well, and just only a few months prior to Bass Day, (Manchester UK) I was very lucky to be offered to join the Hartke family as an artist by Larry Hartke himself, and I’m very happy to be part of the all three companies and really feel a sense of support from all of them, and I would very much like to take this opportunity to thank them all publically!
BISCUIT…A third endorsement to add to the above my friend…Well done on the “HARTKE” artist’s deal my friend. So as a proud Hartke endorsee myself of course, I guess we are now kind of related, eh brother, ha-ha… I would like to ask you just one more question if I may Dan… Why the nickname “Dood”?
DAN…As a young lad, my nickname was Dood, or Doodle. Yeah, I know! – It’s funny because as a teen the last thing I wanted to be called was Doodle, ha-ha. You usually try and shake these ‘baby names’ off for fear of embarrassment, although for me “Dood” just seemed to be a really good name to use (now that I am a bit older and a bit wiser!) So on the Bass Guitar forums such as TalkBass.com and the forum that I spend most time on, Basschat.co.uk. You will find me on there as “Dood”
BISCUIT… Mr Dan Veall.. “Dood” on Bass.
From myself and on behalf of Bass Musician Magazine, and all it’s readers out there around the world, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time out to tell us all about your life and times involved with the Bass Guitar.