UTILIZING A 6-STRING BASS AND AN ARRAY OF TECHNIQUES
that include tapping and arpeggio sweeps, Andreas Blomqvist is churning
it out for a new generation of head-banging bass players. Unlike many
other bands in the progressive metal genre, where the guitar is the primary
source of material, Blomqvist is forging a path not only as a virtuoso bassist,
but also as one of the primary songwriters in his band, Seventh Wonder.
What’s your approach to recording bass?
On The Great Escape, we used a blend of the line out from my amp and
a mic on the speaker cabinet. I always throw in a direct signal, as well, just
to give whoever does the mix something clean to work with if he wants to
When in the process do you cut your bass tracks?
On the first album I did it straight after the drums. Since then, we do
drums, keyboards, and then bass, then hit the rhythm guitars. The benefit
of having the keyboards there, especially when you do as I do, playing a lot
of stuff up high on the neck, intonation can be tricky. With the keyboard
pads or chords in place, you can make sure
you’re spot on, intonation-wise.
When you talk about intonation,
are you playing fretless?
No, I’m not. In my experience, especially
with a 6-string, you can be more in
tune with open strings, but out when you’re
up noodling up high. And if you’re trying
to pick chords and you want them to ring
through, it’s not always perfect. Sometimes
I end up re-tuning in the range I’m
playing. But that’s been less of an issue
with my MTD.
You have a unique approach to
I never liked what I heard anybody
doing on bass in terms of arpeggios. I
think it sounded too much like strumming
chords or dead notes; I wanted to
sound fluid and clear, so I spent a lot of
time developing my own technique. I’m
playing something that looks a little more
like classical guitar technique in my right
hand. If I’m playing an ascending A minor
line with two notes on the first string, I’m
using a downstroke with the thumb to
pick the root note, then a hammer-on to
the 3rd, then continue across the strings
ascending with my fingers and then rake it
back down. So I always start the sequence
with the thumb.
Who is your biggest influence?
Thomas Miller, who plays on the first
Symphony X album. His bass is very audible,
and you can clearly hear it and distinguish
what’s going on. The things that
he did, in my mind, had never been done
before. I’m still surprised to this day I don’t
hear more people mention him. He was
definitely a big foundation for the way I
Seventh Wonder, The
Great Escape [Lion
Basses MTD custom
6-string, fretless MTD
Rig EBS Fafner head,
EBS ProLine 4x10 and
Strings EBS Stainless