Jaymi ‘Pinkbassman’ Millard, March 2019 Issue
Jaymi ‘Pinkbassman’ Millard, despite the name, is not ‘pink’.
He just loves everything pink, even down to his cables and his goatee!
I met Jaymi a few years back and he has always been a kind, understanding, and insightful individual when it comes to the world of bass and many things beyond. Such an honor to do this interview with ‘Pinkbassman.’
How did you first get interested in playing bass?
I played Saxophone starting in fourth grade. I found heavier rock music in middle school and realized that I could not sound like that with a woodwind!
Before I was born, my mother played in a group and she had purchased an old Kay upright. I started messing with it when I was 12 years old and taught myself to read the bass clef. I rented an old P bass copy when I was 14 and started to learn Black Sabbath riffs and songs. That was where the real adventure began!
Fast forward a few years and over 1,000 basses, and the Pinkbassman made an appearance on the scene. More on that in a minute…
What is the story of the Pinkbassman?
I was working on business strategies and the idea of being a fish in a small pond. I already had a good reputation for live dates and session work and wanted to go further. The questions were, how do I do that? and What do I do to stand out among my peers?
At that time, I was working through a couple of endorsement deals for basses and settled on one that agreed to paint basses for me in various shades of pink. Trust me, I had to deal with lots of commentaries because of the color choices – lol.
Along the way, those who had initially scoffed at what I was doing began to ask for lunch appointments to talk about marketing ideas, etc. Part of those marketing ideas deal with swag and merch and of course endorsements and gear.
I have a special line of Pinkbassman jewelry made by my good friend Brittany that can be ordered through ladybassmusic.net… All kinds of cool necklaces and bracelets with pink flair!
If you want Pinkbassman clothing, go to lathonbasswear.com and ask for the Pinkbassman special!!
Speaking of gear, I am always asked about certain basses as well and rather than field questions repetitively, I wrote a book called “Pinkbassman’s Quick Guide to Vintage Basses.” it is designed as a quick read to help players buy a vintage bass and not overpay; the book is on Amazon.
Tell us about some of the artists you have worked with.
I have played with a variety of artists along the way. Most recently, I have played country shows with Ryan Weaver who is a retired military hero who mixes country with hard rock and metal. We played some great arenas last year and the crowd response was awesome! I am also working with Mark Slaughter on his solo albums. We play a mixture of Slaughter hits and new songs. For the last 7 years or so, I have also played with a Native American band called Broken Walls. I am doing an “on call” basis with them and play as requested.
Broken Walls has taken me across Europe, which I really enjoyed. There is a solo side project that I have been working on that has evolved from a band I used to have called Innocent Monday. Be watching for new music from that project very soon!
There have been various pickup dates and that would be original music on the fly or with a day’s notice to learn the tunes….those are always fun! Over the years, I have done sessions with a variety of artists and musicians as well. Styles and genres have ranged from heavy metal to country to polka! I still enjoy the studio world and am having a great time helping people make their dreams come true!
What gear do you use when on the road and in the studio?
Currently, I am using Ampeg amps, including the SCR DI for part of my studio setup. The Tech 21 dUg pedal makes up half of my studio sound and 100% of my live sound going through the Ampeg. GHS has created a set of Pinkbassman Signature strings for me (they can be purchased at www.ghsstrings.com).
I am using a bunch of the Yamaha Attitude LTD basses, Billy Sheehan’s signature bass. After piles of Fenders and Rickenbackers et al, I have come to the conclusion that the Attitude Bass nails it for me tone wise. I am in process of having one or two repainted in shades of pink….those will be fun! Pinkbassman Attitude Basses coming soon!
When asked for upright bass, I go straight to the NS Design Omni WAV bass. For fingerstyle and bow, there is not a better, more versatile upright that I have found, and it fits nicely in small spaces for easy travel and storage. The one I have is currently black BUT, it will have a pink makeover at some point in the not-too-distant future!
What current projects are you working on and are there any new releases in the works?
There is new music in the works from Mark Slaughter, I am not only playing but co-writing for this album; a single will be coming soon. I am working on a new single for Innocent Monday (which will have a video as well), with a new line-up of players and a new singer, and of course doing remote sessions for some new projects that range from country to progressive symphonic rock.
Any advice for aspiring bassists?
YOU CAN DO IT!
If you are motivated to play bass, do it! Take the time to build relationships with people because, in reality, the gig itself is 10% of the overall time you spend with the band. The other 90% is hang time, be a good hang! Treat others the way you want them to treat you.
It also helps to be business savvy, don’t sign anything until you know what it says. And it also helps if you have an “other-than-music” income stream so you don’t have to rely on music alone (or someone else) to buy your Ramen noodles – LOL! Make every moment count, whether it’s practice or stage time, or doing your laundry…