Bass virtuoso Bryan Beller from the Aristocrats+ visits
Photo Mike Mesker
- I would just say, as a general rule of thumb for music and work: Be authentic, and make sure to be comfortable with who you are as a person and a musician, because no matter how much money you make or don't make, or how much success you have or don't have, or anything else having to do with being a musician - "you" will always be there. So find a place in your being that works for you whether you're touring, or home, or teaching, or playing sometimes, or even just practicing. Practice being ok with who you are. In a lot of ways, that's the hardest thing to practice. Music, playing - that's the easy part, the fun part. Or, it *should* be.
- My favorite moments are…when I'm doing a show and the monitor mix and the onstage sound is perfect (which is rare, but does happen occasionally), and the creativity and communication among the musicians is immediate and flowing naturally. When I've just completed a demo of a new song that somehow magically conveys exactly what I was trying to say. And when I'm in an educational environment and I'm able to get someone to get something they hadn't previously considered, and it leads to some kind of breakthrough in their playing, or even their lives. Those are really special moments, and I try and treasure them.
The Aristocrats: Guthrie Govan, Marco Minnemann & Bryan Beller.
- Being totally open for communication 24/7/365 in this social media day
and age has its pluses and minuses. I personally think it's a net
positive to be able to have direct access to fans and vice versa - it
can strengthen the bond between you and those who follow you, and it
enables an artist to be much clearer about who they really are in
"public". I've been online and available for public e-mail since 1995,
and for many years I made a point to respond to *every* *single*
*communication* that came my way. Nowadays that's just not possible
anymore, because of the sheer volume of responses from Facebook,
Twitter, and e-mail, for which I'm grateful - but I still try. That
said, it can be a hindrance to the essential practice of isolation
required for creativity. It's pretty hard to grow as a composer and a
player when you're just writing e-mails all the time. So I think I'm
finding a balance, and everyone needs to find their own.
The Aristocrats live in 2012.
- Being in The Aristocrats is a wild ride, both musically and professionally! Musically: Playing with two masters like Guthrie Govan and Marco Minnemann pushes me to the absolute limit of what I can do on the instrument, which is a good thing. And it also allows me to not have to be the most technically insane bassist in the world, because Marco and Guthrie have that stuff covered. I'm there to provide the biggest possible sound and as much harmonic support as possible to fill out a trio that's fusion-oriented but rock in spirit, and step out only when needed - otherwise it will all sound like noise. So it's really a dream scenario for me. Professionally, it's been amazing to see instrumental music fans around the world embrace The Aristocrats so suddenly and warmly that we're somehow able to make records and tour the world without having our furniture repossessed. I wasn't sure it was possible unless I was going to be a sideman for someone else. But now we're making it work with a band that's all our own, and it's a great feeling. It's hard to describe how grateful I am for all of that.
Photo T.J. Lambert
- Music, to me is a sound. To be sure, there is melody, and harmony, and
rhythm, and tone, but in the end a collection of musicians will have a
collective sound, or what some have called "one note." When I am a fan
of a band or an artist, I am completely enthralled by their One Note.
It's there no matter what song they're playing, and I either enjoy it or
I don't. When I do, there's nothing like it.
Bryan Beller bass solo.
Bryan Beller is a bass guitarist, who for two decades now has been working with a long list of amazing musicians. Beller has also made solo albums since 2003. His current projects are The Aristocrats and Dethklok. Bryan Beller is a Berklee Collage of Music graduate who frequently teaches and has blogged about music since 1995. Find out more about The Aristocrats HERE and about Bryan Beller HERE.