The Real World: March 2014 - Jay Lamm

Home base Denham Springs, Louisiana
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Home base Denham Springs, Louisiana

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Occupation Musician, planetarium staff at Louisiana Art & Science Museum

Gigs Cirque Dreams Rocks, Cea Serin, various other ventures

Basses Conklin GTBD-7, MTD Kingston Z fretless, NS Design Electric Upright, Ernie Ball Music Man Bongo 6-string, and Ibanez SR705 5-string

Rig My main rig, live and in the studio, is a rackmount Line 6 POD X3 Pro, but I also use a Hartke 3500 head with Hartke 2x15 and 4x10 Transport cabinets

Effects Line 6 POD X3 Pro with foot controller

Strings MTD nickelwounds

Heroes & inspiration Michael Manring, Randy Coven, Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, Ayn Rand, Clive Barker, Joe Satriani, Yanni

Contact WhoIsJayLamm.com

How did you come to play bass?

I started out playing piano after being inspired by watching Evil Dead 2. All my school friends played guitar and they wanted me to play bass, but I never knew what the bass did. Then I heard Megadeth’s “In My Darkest Hour,” where I could finally hear the bass and its role in the context of a band’s performance. I interpreted the bass as the underdog in a band, the misfit that no one understood. I identified with this, and I wanted to play the bass and elevate it to a higher status.

What’s a lesson you’ve learned along the way?

Live, I’ve learned that it’s better to sound good than to look good. Being flashy is great when it’s in context, but it’s important to know that you should serve the integrity of the song first. In the studio, don’t compromise when it’s your song—but if you’re a hired gun, do whatever you can to realize the dream of the songwriter that hired you. On tour, don’t forget what it took for you to get to where you are. Be gracious to your hosts, play every show like it’s the first, and always tip the housekeeping staff. And always stretch your hands, wrists, and forearms before a show.

What are your musical goals?

Constant improvement is my goal. I want to continue touring as a musician-for-hire; I want to take my band, Cea Serin, to higher levels; and I want to continue learning and improving on the bass.

Want to introduce yourself? Find submission guidelines at bassplayer.com/realworld. Get selected for The Real World and receive a set of D’Addario EXL170 bass strings and a T-shirt. All those who submit wil receive D’Addario’s FretBuzz newsletter.

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