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GriswoldsThe Griswolds are a four-piece indie rock band from Sydney which was formed in February 2012. The Griswolds were picked up by hundreds of blogs around the globe and supported popular bands such as Django Django, Last Dinosaurs, and San Cisco simply by posting their first track “Mississippi” online. The new album has been recorded in LA and will be released later in the year. Bass player Tim John is profiled here.

What was your first bass?
A Fender copy. I’m left handed, a friend had a cheap right handed bass he didn’t play anymore, I borrowed it and played upside down for two years until I could afford a lefty.

What’s your main bass now?
1979 Fender Musicmaster, I got it from the UK. It’s a short scale bass and has smaller frets, easier for my chubby fingers to move around.

 Through what amp and why?
I use an Ampeg cabinet and a Orange Tiny Terror bass head. The Orange head isn’t expensive and sounds good. We’re touring a lot now so mostly playing through hired gear so I don’t need anything too extravagant at home, but it definitely does the job if your starting out or even playing smaller gigs.

Do you use effects at all? If so what?
I use a MOSFET Fulltone bass overdrive and BOSS tuner. I’m not against other bass effects, but I have an addictive personality and I don’t want start buying them, or ruin our songs by over using them.

What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
We recorded our first album in LA January this year with a producer named Tony Hoffer, which will be released later this year. Tony’s recorded some of my favourite albums, but there was no ego at all, lovely guy and a great producer. Not sure when we’ll be back in the studio but I hope it’s early next year.

What gigs have you been playing lately?
We did an Australian tour with St. Lucia in March, but we’ve been touring the U.S a lot in the past year. Recently we were at SXSW in Austin, Texas. We played 9 shows in 4 days, I only remember 2 of them.

Most memorable gig?
London Calling festival, the venue was this beautiful old theatre called Paradiso in Amsterdam. We had been together for barely one year, walked out and we were genuinely shocked by the amount of people there. We had big stupid smiles on our faces the whole time, it was overwhelming.

Worst stage nightmare?
I’ve lived my nightmare. I like to jump around a lot on stage but I tripped and fell into the drum kit in Amsterdam. I still have a scar from it, physically and mentally.

Album that changed your life?
Queen – Greatest Hits. Because of Queen, I’m a better air guitarist than a real guitarist. I was listening to bad 90’s dance music when I was a kid, but my auntie gave me this when I was 9 and it woke me up. It should be mandatory for each Australian home to own this album.

What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
We’re heading back to the states to play at Bonnaroo and Firefly festivals, Then a club tour with Gemini Club and Miniature Tigers through June until August, followed by an Australian tour later this year.

A bass tip for the kids?
I recommend playing along to punk albums from the 70’s, like The Ramones albums. The bass is really easy to hear because of the way the songs are mixed, the bass lines are simple and cool to learn, they’ll definitely make you play better.


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