When I hear a new piece of music, a bass line immediately starts to form in my head...
Marco Bass Guitars endorsed bass player specializing in rock, funk, metal, blues, and anything between. Easy to work with in the studio, incredibly fast learner, and love nothing more than laying down the low end to help complete your vision! Also glad to play a producer role, as a second opinion can be super valuable in the pre-production stage (and don't charge for pre-production/ structure help if I'm playing bass on the album).
I have quite a bit of studio work and ton of live shows under my belt. I'm generally full-timing it in at least a few Seattle bands, but I will always make time to lay down the low end on your album or fill in for some gigs. It may sound cheesy but I'm truly not happy until you are happy with the tunes. Hit me up!
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
3 ReviewsEndorse Ian Sides
Ian was great. He listens carefully and delivers exactly what's needed.
Ian was great!
He sent me several samples
We made a few tweaks, and we had a finished product in just a couple of days. I will definitely will use him again!
Ian is great at understanding what it is you exactly want and delivering it. Will def work with him again
Interview with Ian Sides
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Devils Hunt Me Down's "In Medias Res." It was such a team effort, where we all wore composer, producer, and performer hats at various times. We were lucky enough to get to work with Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Ten Miles Wide) on this EP trilogy that we released over the course of 2017. It was an incredible experience.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'm not happy with the song until you are.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Playing bass is my favorite thing to do, and helping others realize their artistic visions by playing the bass is an absolute dream come true.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: People like to think that playing bass is easy. As with any instrument, there is no such thing as mastering the bass. The more you learn, the more you know you don't know.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is your vision for the song? What does it mean?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Reach out and start a conversation! Ask us for some samples that are similar to what you're going for, give them a listen, and pick the bass player that makes you groove.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Carlos Santana. I've wanted to jam with that dude since I was a kid. Griz is a close second, because that dude rips the groove.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Eating burritos is probably my strongest skill. A close second is composing bass lines, and right behind that is acting like an escaped chimpanzee on stage.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Ableton via an M-audio USB interface and MacBook Pro. My Marco Basses sound incredible direct in or sometimes with some compression, but occasionally I'll mic one of my many cab and head combos to get a specific sound. Basses include Marco Jazz, Marco "Jazz-Ray", Marco TFL 24 (dual coils for an ultra modern sound), MusicMan StingRay 5, a couple Fender American Jazz basses, and a Fretless Fender jazz, and an acoustic electric bass. Tons of effects if a song calls for it, including several overdrive/ distortion, wah, tube overdrive, reverb, bass talkbox (no joke!), and a Latvian copy of a Russian synth from the 80's that sounds insane. Plus today's plugins sound great so I can mix anything you can dream up in the box.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: All of my friends in the Seattle music scene inspire me to be better and further dedicate myself to my craft.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Right now I'm in the writing phase with Devils Hunt Me Down and Patrick Galactic, while Holy Funk just released our debut single. I'm also fortunate to be working on a few tracks with the incredibly talented M3 Beats! And I'm always working on my solo stuff.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: 17 years ago, I wanted nothing more than to play the bass guitar. I was signed up for piano lessons instead, and it was only after working full time for an entire summer (at the age of 12) that I could afford my first bass. I have yet to put it down, and my only regret in life is not playing more.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Depends on what you're going for. I love the satisfaction of nailing an entire take onto 2" tape, but some prefer punching into pro-tools 25 times to absolutely nail their exact vision. Amazing music has been created using both, and I am comfortable with with either.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My Marco Bass TFL and 4 extra sets of strings!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Pre-production is incredibly useful. Use whatever means you have to record a demo of your songs long before you hit the studio. It sounds obvious, but you will gain a very different perspective listening to your songs than playing them, however horrible the recording quality is.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock, funk, singer-songwriter, electro-funk, hip hop, and anything that grooves!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring the funk! Or the soul, or the lightening fast 16th notes, or I can groove in the pocket... It all depends on what you're looking for in your composition. But left to my own devices, I generally lean towards a groove that will get you moving.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I typically like to first listen to a song or idea in it entirety. Immediately I start to hear bass lines in my head, learn how to play them, and tweak and compose the bass line until I'm happy with it. Then, I like hearing the vision for the bass, the meaning of the song, and any other relevant details. Sometimes this means completely rewriting the part, but more often than not the bass lines that flow through me on the first listen end up being the right fit! I don't know where they come from, but I'm glad they do.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Studio bass (in person and remote), filling in live, and co-writing.