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Bassist Rick Sepulveda, Upright and Center: December 2019 Issue



Bassist Rick Sepulveda, Upright and Center: December 2019 Issue

Upright and Center: An Interview with Bassist Rick Sepulveda

I recently had the pleasure of chatting up the talented bassist Rick Sepulveda of LA-based metalbilly group, Calling Kings. Sepulveda is an impressive upright bassist who brings his many years of experience playing in rockabilly bands to the high-energy trio, wowing audiences with his skilled playing and Jimbo Wallace-reminiscent theatricality. 

Bassist Rick Sepulveda, Upright and Center: December 2019 Issue
Photo, Leire Baztarrica

The boys have just released their latest single from their new EP, “Fake,” which deals with the ongoing social disconnection caused by technology and social media, and also they’re prepping for their first international tour.

Alexx: What inspired you to play upright bass vs. a traditional bass guitar?

Rick Sepulveda: What inspired me to play an upright bass was the first time I saw Jimbo Wallace from Reverand Horton Heat… Watching him play a flamed out upright bass at Hootenanny was one of the most inspiring moments in my life. Also watching Brent Loveday from 3 Bad Jacks lighting his bass on fire; I knew right then that I needed to try it.

Electric basses just haven’t ever been a favorite of mine because I have huge hands. It’s hard for me to stay in tune, plus it’s something that most bands do normally, so I wanted to be different than most. Also, the sound of an upright bass is just so warm feeling; it’s hard to explain, but that thump it gives, an electric can’t do it for me.

Do you play any other instruments?

I do not play any other instruments. I’ve navigated most of my bass career on strictly upright. I feel like there is always something new to learn on it. Plus being creative while playing is so much easier with the amount of space on the fretboard.

Calling Kings are often referred to as “metalbilly.” Did you yourself grow up on rockabilly and/or psychobilly bands?

The metalbilly sound just came out of nowhere. I never played metal in my life, but playing rockbilly for so many years, I wanted to try something completely new. Playing with the Calling Kings allowed me to adventure into a whole new music world.

The rockabilly scene for me just started becoming cookie-cutter bands. Every band sounded the same and there was no new sound to explore or be creative with. I had my fun in it, and was just over the lifestyle. But meeting up with CJ Hockenbury; it was a new adventure by far, and I was intrigued by his unique sound and all I did was walk into the studio and added my flavor to their overall sound.

How did you hook up with CJ and Mathias?

I met up with CJ from an ad he posted online looking for a bass player and truly after years of dealing with my last band, I was looking for a fresh start. So we met up in a bar in Pasadena and talked things through, and here we are now rocking out almost every weekend. Mythias came into the picture because the drummer we were using at the time had to move on with life, so we met him and the punk/metal hard-hitting drummer was what made this whole project come together.

How would you say you get your trademark Rick Sepulveda sound? Which strings and pedals are you using for example?

Well, my sound comes from the whole rockabilly scene, but with more bass instead of your typical high pitch clacky sounds. I like low-end with mid clack. It sounds so much more fuller that way. The strings I use are Innovations. The head is a GK 1001 RB with a GB Neo 4 12 all tied into a K n K rockabilly preamp with Vic pickups.

Aside from being a fantastic bassist, you’re quite the artist, and you even painted the very upright bass that you play with the Calling Kings. How long have you been painting?

I have been a painter for over 20 years now, restoring classic cars and painting whatever interests me. Ever since I started playing, I never had a plain bass. I’ve had over 12 uprights and I normally custom paint them to fit the look of the band I’m in. Black Betty, which is the current bass I use was painted to fit that old school retro Rat Fink era, which I love the most.

You’re also a painter at Disneyland too. Have you painted anything we’d recognize, or has the Mouse sworn you to secrecy? 

Yes, I am a painter at the good ol’ rat trap. It’s a job that pays bills and allows me to enjoy my life. After owning a shop for 17 years and having kids, I needed a steady life. Things that I was known for at Disney were painting most of the classic cars on display like the 1939 Packard when you walk into California Adventure. Also the main street corndog wagon, which both have hidden Mickeys. Good luck finding them!

Are you guys doing any touring here soon?

We are in the works to be doing a tour in Europe soon as well as other states. There are many things in the works for Calling Kings, so keep a lookout for us.

Stay caught up with Bassist Rick Sepulveda online at

Photos, Leire Baztarrica

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Leland Sklar, Over Half a Century of Bass, March 2024



Leland Sklar, Over Half a Century of Bass, March 2024

We all have enjoyed Leland Sklar’s Bass lines for over half a century.

You might remember that we had him on our cover back in 2017 and did an update when he launched his book “Everybody Loves Me” in 2020. It was exciting to hear that The Immediate Family had got back together in the studio to work on their own music in 2019 and are now up to two albums.

Just last December, Magnolia Pictures released a documentary titled “Immediate Family” where we got a behind-the-scenes look at the massive contributions Danny Kortchmar, Waddy Wachtel, Ross Kunckle, Leland Sklar and Steve Postell have made in countless songs that are the very essence of our daily personal musical soundtracks. Seeing the astronomical roster of performers they have supported over many years is very eye-opening. It is a must-see for any music lover!

Now, I am thrilled to bring you a special chat with Leland Sklar where we go more in-depth into the bass side of his musical journey.

Photos: Header, Rob Shanahan – Cover Photo, Jay Gilbert/Chris Schmitt

Skin In the Game – 
from new album Skin In The Game

The Toughest Girl In Town – 
from new album Skin In The Game

Fair Warning – –
from the self-titled album The Immediate Family

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Bass Videos

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More – February 2024



Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More, January 2024

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More…

This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

I have always been a huge Styx fan. Their music kept me awake during countless nights studying and gave my imagination a place to escape when I had a moment to take a break. 

I had the immense opportunity to chat with STYX bassist Ricky Phillips for our August Cover in 2017 and follow his projects as time passed. Now, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to catch up with Ricky as he has been super-busy over the past six years. 

Join me as we take a deep dive into the band’s most recent album “Crash the Crown” and EP “The Same Stardust”. Ricky shares some insights into the herculean team effort behind the scenes and the musical process that keeps them ever so busy and how he has updated his sound. 

Without further ado… Here is Ricky Phillips!

Photo: Jason Powell

“Crash of the Crown” lyric video

“Reveries” lyric video

“Save Us From Ourselves” lyric video

“Sound the Alarm” lyric video

“Too Much Time On My Hands” Zoom video 2020

Visit online:
FB & IG @styxtheband

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Bass Videos

Jeff Pilson, Foreigner Low End – January 2024



Jeff Pilson - Bass Musician Magazine - January 2024

Jeff Pilson, Foreigner Low End – January 2024…

Those of us who were around back in the 70’s remember how certain songs on the radio resonated with us. It turns out that many of these iconic melodies came from Foreigner and they were part of our personal soundtracks! 

After all these years, the band is going as strong as ever with Jeff Pilson firing away on bass midstream into a 2-year farewell tour. 

I am excited to be able to bring you all the details about Jeff’s musical Journey, the farewell tour in progress, how he gets his sound and his plans for the future.

Cover Photo: Krishta Abruzziini / Video Photos: Krishta Abruzzini, Karsten Staiger, Gina Hyams

For more news on FOREIGNER and upcoming Farewell Tour dates, fans can visit:
Also on FB @officialjeffpilson

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Bass Videos

Rodney O’Quinn, Rockin’ Hard Through the Years – December 2023



Rodney O'Quinn, Rockin’ Hard Through the Years – December 2023

Interview With Foghat Bassist Rodney O’Quinn…

Rodney O'Quinn - Bass Musician Magazine - December 2023-v2

Many rock fans have enjoyed music by Foghat, who originally formed in London back in 1971.

Over the many decades of playing, the band members have changed, leaving behind only Roger Earl as the only original member. Bassist Rodney O’Quinn left the Pat Travers Band and joined the group in 2015 and has been laying down the low end for this iconic quartet keeping the Foghat legacy alive. With a new album titled “Sonic Mojo” which dropped on November 10th, the band is as busy as ever and there is lots of very tasty music to come.

Join me as we learn of Rodney O’Quinn’s musical journey, how he gets his sound, and his plans for the future.

Jake Coughlin
Video Thumbnail, Tom Apathy
Photos used in the video: Kerry Quinn, Chuck Lanza, Kim Granger, Kenneth Strohm, Jake Coughlin, Jay Jylika

1st Single from Sonic Mojo – Official “Drivin’ On” 

2nd Single from Sonic Mojo – “She’s a Little Bit of Everything Official Video

 “Road Fever”- California Mid State Fair – Paso Robles, CA – 7-27-22

“Stone Blue” – Rodney O’Quinn Bass/Lead Vocals – Don Odell’s Legends – Woonsocket, R.I – 10/15/22 – The Stadium Theater

The Earl’s Court – Season 2, Episode 7: Funny Guys 

“I Just Want to Make Love to You” – CasinoRama – 6-9-23 

FOGHAT “Somebody’s Been Sleepin’ in My Bed” – Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT – 1/28/22

“I Just Want to Make Love to You” – California Mid State Fair – Paso Robles, CA – 7-27-22

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Bass Videos

Suzi Quatro, Eternal Powerhouse – November 2023



Suzi Quatro, Eternal Powerhouse – November 2023

Interview With Bassist Suzi Quatro…


It is always exciting to have the opportunity to talk to an artist who has been prolific for decades.

Suzi Quatro has been rocking our world since the sixties and has been super-creative as a bassist, musician, actress, singer, songwriter, author, radio show host and so much more. Most recently, Suzi released a new album titled “Face to Face” where she joined forces with KT Tunstall and together they are a force of nature. (See our video with Suzi about the album release)

Join me as we hear about Suzi’s musical journey, her many projects, how she gets her sound and her plans for the future.

Here is Suzi Quatro…

Suzi Quatro & KT Tunstall – “Truth As My Weapon” (Official Music Video)

“Shine A Light” music video (from the upcoming album)

“Bad Moon Rising” music video (from 2022):

Bass-Solo / Live in Prah? 1979

Glyserine Queen / Bass solo – Tampere Finland

Follow Online:
IG @suziquatroreal
FB @Suziquatrorocks
TW @Suzi_Quatro

Video – Andrew Whitton
Cover and Header Photo – Courtesy of Suzi Quatro

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