Interviews

Bassist Spotlight: Sergio Vega (Deftones, Quicksand, Absolution, Collapse)

Quicksand (Photo: Danielle Dombrowski)

The first time I saw Quicksand was around 1998. Andy Tinsley and Duncan Barlow (Endpoint, By the Grace of God) offered me a ride to St. Louis to see them open for the Deftones. They were already one of my favorite bands but seeing them live was a dream come true. I was absorbing everything the band was doing, and I was mesmerized by their bass player, Sergio Vega. I was just starting to play bass for bands myself and was trying to identify/feel out what my own style was gonna be.

Sergio is always in the low register of the bass, playing his own hooks in the songs, bouncing around the stage, and singing along with his lead vocalists. I learned a lot from him then, and to this day. A million thank yous to him for participating in this new Bassist Spotlight entry.

Introduce yourself to everyone.

Hi, I’m Sergio Vega. I’m in the bands Quicksand and Deftones.

How did you get into playing the bass guitar? Also, do you play any other instruments?
 
My older cousin is a piano player and I thought he was really cool. His best friend at the time played bass which sounded rad to me.

I play guitar some keyboards and programs.

Did/does your family support your music career?

Always have. They’re visual artists.

Typically, how do you write your parts with your bands?

All sorts of ways from demoing songs at home to jamming on the fly with my bandmates.

If you come up with a riff away from your bass, can you remember it for later or do you record it on your phone?

I’ve done both. They usually stick with me.

Have you always played with a pick?

Always!

Photo: Danielle Dombrowski

When you’re picking, are you doing downstrokes or upstrokes more?

Alternate picking, but it depends on how the part came about and what sounds best.

When writing, do you focus more on the drums or guitar parts?

In jamming situations, it comes together every which way you can think of, whether I or anyone comes up with I riff, everyone I play with is quick to join in. When I demo at home, it can be bass, guitar, or drums I program.

Do you ever play along with the vocal melodies?

They often come later.

Deftones (Photo: Frank Maddocks)

Are there any bass players who’ve influenced your style?

The bassist from a band called Amebix, Rob Miller

Are there any drummers who have changed the way you play bass?

Everyone should influence and alter ones playing, but if you’re fortunate to develop your own voice, it’ll always sound like you.

What is your current amp, pedal, bass guitar combinations?

Fenders, Orange, Fractal, and various effects.

Quicksand (Photo: Danielle Dombrowski)

Do you have any gear horror stories or has it always been on point for you?

Rare malfunctions here or there, nothing that’s stopped a show.

Have you ever came up with an amazing bass riff then forgot it?

Of course! But then it isn’t that amazing if it’s not memorable.

Is there any band past or present that you would love to fill in for?

Radiohead would be fun!

You've toured a lot. Are there any other cities you would like to live in?

Osaka!

Finally, do you have any words of wisdom for someone picking up the bass guitar for the first time?

Yup... have fun with it, don’t be afraid to approach it in non-traditional ways, and it’s a good lead instrument, you don’t have to wait around to come up with your bass line on someone else’s song. Thanks, Jeremy!

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Tagged: absolution, bassist spotlight, deftones, quicksand

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