*In this segment we put guitarists and bassists from every metal genre you could imagine in the spotlight!*
So, this is my first King of Strings spotlight and it will come as no shock to anyone who knows me, has ever met me, or has had a 30 second conversation with me, that I’ll be spotlighting bassist Ryan Martinie – formerly of Mudvayne and currently of Soften the Glare.
Now, if you’re someone who’s NOT had a love-affair with his playing like I’ve had for the last 17 years, I’m sorry, but you need to find yourself a good, qualified therapist.
Ok, let’s settle into the way-back-machine and talk about how bass players used to be. You know, that one guy who generally stood to the left of the stage, nearly never looking up from his bass, and was virtually unnoticeable (Trust me, I almost married one of those guys). Enter Ryan – someone who broke the mold in unprecedented ways! Not only is he not a “stay in one place” kind of boring bass player – he has the kind of amazing talent to literally run across stage while playing! (And, for those of you who don’t know, he can also sing and play bass at the same time – which is actually wicked hard to do!)
Ryan ushered unto us a bass player who has made a career of “not being that guy”. Not being that guy who just stands there and plays two or three cords during each song. He brought to us a massive technical playing technique that literally shook the metal world and has secured him in a spot that goes way beyond eventually being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Everything from his honed slap technique that has inspired numerous guitarists to pick up the bass instead, to his fretless playing, to even the fact that he doesn’t rely on (much) gear to create his sound. He’s been noted numerous times as not being a gearhead.
With the disbandment of Mudvayne more years ago than I care to think about, he toured with Korn before meeting up with legendary guitarist Bon Lozaga. One can only imagine what a difficult time that was, but artists persevere. The two discussed playing together and the end result is we all now have Soften the Glare!
He brings the same intensity, the same technical playing, the same love and devotion to music that we’ve all come to expect. They have an amazing new album, ‘Making Faces’ (Can ya’ guess where that title came from??) and I swear, I wake up with these songs in my head! My personal two favorites (oddly enough because they’re pretty mellow) are “Dairy Air” and “Two Dozen” – songs that are not metal, but are still abject bliss in my opinion. (Pour some coffee and recline on the couch and just let it all wash over you kind of stuff) But, one that I heard live over a year ago underwent changes that just blew my mind – “March of the Cephalopods”. The heavy, heavy bass added creates a wow-factor y’all will love!
But, I believe the most notable thing about what he’s doing now is how “out in front” he is. Whether it’s during live shows or on recorded songs, you’ll hear him in the forefront as never before. It only adds to the uniqueness of this new band who are literally not confined to any music genre.
Ryan currently has a facebook page run by a friend and he’ll occasionally pop in for more personal updates on the band and things, and I highly recommend “liking” it. You’ll be able to keep up to date with band and *maybe* see our social media hold-out sometimes. Maybe. (Looking at you, Ryan!)