Die So Fluid's bass-wielder extraordinaire interviewed back in 2010. Pic: Tina K

Sometimes it’s not easy being a musician. You step up to a mic and – boom – suddenly you’re very close to not being alive any more. As Die So Fluid frontwoman Grog Rox explains: “I had to get a wireless system for my bass, because I got electrocuted on stage in Wales. It was really bad: there was a huge blue arc of electricity, and I was shot back off the mic. We had to stop the gig because no-one could play. I was really lucky: it just hurt my lip where it had touched the mic – so that really encouraged me to go wireless!”

Simple human error was behind the incident (“The DJ had unearthed the wires on stage and just put them into a pile, and no-one knew which wire it was – so the whole stage was live”) but every cloud has a silver (or should it be copper in this case?) lining. “As it happens,” says Grog, “the wireless system enables me to run around the stage, so it’s given me a whole new lease of life.”

If you’ve heard Die So Fluid’s music – a searing mixture of melodic rock and modern metal – you’ll appreciate that running around the stage is a necessary part of the formula. Grog’s powerful, downpicked bass style and upfront vocals anchor the songs with enormous energy, propelled by her trusted G&L basses. “I take two G&Ls on the road with me,” she explains. “I get a bit confused by people who take lots of different guitars on the road, because to me the point is that if one breaks down I have the same thing to pick up. It’s pretty hardcore, what we do, and my bass takes quite a bashing. I hit the strings pretty hard… you can tell by the scars on my fingers. I’ve been known to break a bottom string – we mostly play in drop-C. It’s just the adrenaline, though: I don’t think my playing suffers because of it.”

Grog’s sound with Die So Fluid is a tried-and-tested crunch, she says, although it’s undergoing some minor tweaks at the moment. “I’m endorsed by Hughes & Kettner,” she says, “and it’s quite hard to control the distortion on those. I use a Sansamp for distortion, so having that extra facility is a bit more than I need. I also use a programmable Bass Driver to give myself more options with my distortion. I was going from one extreme to another, when my clean sound didn’t have enough meat to it, but I’ve got to a mid-point where I’m happy.”

As well as the overdriven sound in DSF, Grog employs a slightly different tone in her side project, a band called the Black And Blue Orkestra in which she collaborates with film writer/director Tom DiCillo. “I did a session in New York where I met Tom,” she explains. “If things like that come up then I take them, because it’s always an opportunity to learn more things. He’s very encouraging with useful, detailed suggestions, and he loves DSF which is great. I just play bass in that project. I’m using an Epiphone Explorer, because I thought I’d have a relationship with a different bass for a change. I’ve also got a custom Maverick, and it’s nice to use different guitars when I’m not in Die So Fluid. It’s good to experiment.”

Asked how she comes up with her bass parts, Grog reveals a healthy disrespect for bedroom perfectionists, saying: “When I write songs I have the whole tune in my head before I actually play it, so if something difficult comes up to play then I’ll just learn how to do it. I just try and play what feels good. I like character players who are attached to the bass and come up with their own style. Sometimes a bass part comes from the lyrics, or sometimes a riff sparks off an idea. Having the whole song in my head as I’m playing the bass is probably something to do with the fact that I sing as well as play.”

You may recall from Grog’s last appearance in these pages that she has given her all to Die So Fluid, even turning down a session with Kylie Minogue to focus on the band. Whether the new DSF album, The World Is Too Big For One Lifetime, mainstream recognition may lie around the corner. She certainly thinks so, declaring: “I feel as if everything we’ve done up to this point has been this huge reconnaissance mission, if you like, where we now really need to get a foothold with this album. We’ve just hooked up with a new record label that should help us do that. I’m very excited to see where this takes us.”

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