I started playing bass around the age of 15. A bassist was unable to attend a concert for the school pep rally, so I filled in that day and realized just how much I enjoyed playing bass – mostly due to the low impact and feeling the bass vibration of the speakers. I was hooked on the low end!

My professional career began around 1998 when I moved to Tampa, Florida and joined a band called Execration. In 1999 I joined the legendary Monstrosity, whose bass player was unable to continue with the band. They continue to be my main activity, but I’ve been very fortunate to work with many other groups and other session musicians. I played with Trivium around 2004, and supported them for their first tour; I played bass for a super-technical group named Capharnaum which featured Matt Heafy from Trivium on vocals and the guitar player from Gorguts and Voivod.

Around 2006 I joined Lecherous Nocturne, which featured members of Nile at that time. Over the past five years I’ve done plenty of recordings and session work, including the group Skinned, which toured Europe, Nepal, India and south Asia. This coming year I will have a variety of releases coming out; each one will feature some of the best musicians in today’s underground metal scene. I’ve been very fortunate to travel throughout the world for over 20 years in support of different types of extreme metal. Sometimes I sit back and think about when I was just a teenager jamming with my friends, and always aspiring to do something good in today’s metal scene.

I work exclusively with Spector and Darkglass. I’ve always been a fan of Ibanez, but at the moment I’m very happy with my Spector Euro 6XL. I started on a five-string but in general play six, although I do have a few prior endorsements with seven-string basses. The extended range of the low F# can make a dramatic difference at times in regards to the low end and impact of the bass. But in general, I prefer a six, and yes, I do play all the strings all the time... they’re not just for looks!

Slap bass is something I’m working on. I won’t lie... I have the technical capability to execute a variety of slapping techniques, however I don’t utilize it in my playing style at the moment. I’m trying to find a way to incorporate these different styles and rhythmic percussions into extreme metal. The secret of playing bass well is practice. If you’re sitting on the couch watching TV, you might as well have your bass in your hands, focusing on technique.

My bass heroes are Alex Webster, Jeff Hughell and Erlend Casperen in death metal, but John Patitucci, Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey and Billy Sheehan are gods to me as well. Imagine a world without bass! I can’t even fathom the idea...

Info: www.facebook.com/mjpbass.

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