Dan Kenny brings more than just bottom end and sonic boom to Suicide Silence’s crushing sound; with his fast playing and on-the-money technical accuracy comes a well thought out, structured bass approach that truly resonates. The band is currently in preproduction for the followup to its hard-hitting Century Media album No Time To Bleed.
How would you characterize your band’s work ethic?
Suicide Silence is a tight-knit group, and we spend a lot of time working together to perfect our music. Once No Time To Bleed was released, we got right back into the studio to work on new songs. To get away from the hectic nature of life, this time around we decided to spend this winter isolated from the world in a rented cabin in Big Bear, California, far away from everyone and everything. This helped us to bond, tighten up our sound and focus on creating new material.
What do you do differently than most bassists to achieve your sound?
I play with a pick, but hold it in a way that creates a popping, scraping sound that is unique.
What are your main influences?
I’m really into old-school metal bands. I grew up listening to a lot of death metal, so most of my influences tend to revolve in that genre: Meshuggah, Pyrexia, Deeds of Flesh, Severed Savior, and Cannibal Corpse, where aggressiveness is mixed with extreme technicality. Although I play primarily with a pick, most of my favorite bassists are fingerstyle players, like Derek Boyer of Suffocation and Ryan Martinie of Mudvayne, who are unique and very stylistic.
What tips or tricks can you offer to aspiring bassists?
Become a hundred percent dedicated and absorb yourself in your instrument. Focus on tone. That’s often overlooked, but it’s extremely important, especially in the studio. I spend a lot of time tweaking my SansAmp to get the exact tone I am looking for. Other tips would be to define your sound by playing with consistency, stay on top of practicing, and keep expanding your horizons musically. —ROB SHIMONSKI
HEAR HIM ON
Suicide Silence, No Time To Bleed [Century Media, 2009]
Basses ESP LTD F-415, ESP LTD F-5E
Rig Ampeg SVT-3PRO and Mesa/Boogie Big Block Titan V12 heads, Krank 4x10 and 2x12 cabinets
Effects Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI, Boss TU-2 Tuner
Picks 1.14mm Dunlop Gator Grip (Blue)
Strings Ernie Ball Slinky 5 string (.045–.130)
Recording Apple Garageband