AIDEN MOORE HAS KNOWN HIS Carney band mates Reeve Carney, Zane Carney, and Jon Epcar since high school, and their collective chemistry has a Queen kind of magic. U2’s Bono and the Edge seem to agree; the two songwriters-turnedplaywrights cast Carney front man Reeve as Peter Parker in their new Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, and hired the rest of the band as pit players. Interscope released Carney’s album Mr. Green, Vol. 1 this summer, and plans to release a follow-up when Reeve finishes his run on Broadway.
What impact has Carney had on your bass playing?
I feel I can’t compete with Zane’s guitar technique or Reeve’s all-around talent, so I’ve had to challenge myself. In order to find my place, I’ve worked on understanding the key elements of songs. I try to emulate the arc of the song on bass. Reeve writes lush chord progressions that often beg for descending or ascending chromatic lines to hold together. I tend to favor the middle section of the fingerboard, but I’ll play in the higher registers to set up the peak of a song, then work back down low to make a moment more dynamically powerful. “Tomorrow’s Another Day” is a good example of that.
How else have you grown as a player?
I used to practice patterned exercises on bass, but I began to notice my fingers playing those patterns because of muscle memory—especially when soloing. I was playing what was most familiar, rather than what was most appropriate, and I was so focused on the bass that I was missing the broader musical ideas.
What’s your approach to tone?
It can make or break what you’re doing. An amazing bass line will sound okay with a bad tone, but a good tone can make an average line sound great. I grew to love the growl of a Fender P-Bass in Carney, but lately I’ve also been playing a Hofner Club Bass to get that woody, natural tone. It’s a distinct color that’s not good for everything, but it sounds awesome in specific instances. I used it on the title track of our new CD, Mr. Green Vol. 1.
What’s advice would you have for other players looking to develop their craft?
When you’re working on a new tune, lay out and listen. I try to take in how everything sounds together, and then think of a line in my head—or sing it out loud. By the time I grab a bass, I already have strong idea of what the line is supposed to be. That’s how I keep my fingers from getting in the way.
HEAR HIM ON
Carney, Mr. Green, Vol. 1 [Interscope, 2010]
Bass Fender ’57 Reissue Precision Bass, Hofner Club Bass CT
Rig Ampeg SVT-2PRO head, SVT- 410HE 4x10 cabinet
Strings LaBella flatwounds on PBass; Hofner flatwounds on Club Bass