About Bryan Beller
Bryan Beller has maintained a frenetic, multi-faceted career as a bassist, composer, solo artist, writer and clinician for over twenty years.
Beller’s reputation as a uniquely talented yet supremely tasteful team player for adventurous instrumentally-minded artists is clearly evidenced in his two main current gigs. First, he has been Joe Satriani’s tour bassist for both the Unstoppable Momentum (2013-14) and Shockwave (2015-16) world tours in addition to featuring on the Shockwave Supernova record. Second, he’s the bassist/manager of the rock/fusion super-trio The Aristocrats (with uber-players Guthrie Govan on guitar and Marco Minnemann on drums), the hottest new act in the genre in countless years. The Aristocrats have released three critically acclaimed studio albums, along with two live releases documenting the band’s world tours in support of their debut album The Aristocrats and sophomore album Culture Clash. Their most recent, and lavishly hailed, studio album Tres Caballeros is the focus of their current world tour, which began in the summer of 2015 and will extend through to late 2016. This high profile work has landed Beller on the pages of numerous music magazines, including cover features in Bass Player and Bass Musician magazines.
Beller’s additional work experience tells a similar story. He was Steve Vai’s choice for the 2009 live CD/DVD Where The Wild Things Are, a tour-de-force document of the six-piece Vai band Beller anchored on bass in 2007. He’s also toured with the "band" Dethklok, a tongue-in-cheek extreme metal band borne of the hit Cartoon Network "Adult Swim" show Metalocalypse;Beller’s tracked on the last two Dethklok releases (Dethalbum III; The Doomstar Requiem) and has anchored the band for three nationwide tours to date, alongside metal monsters Mastodon and Machine Head, among others. He’s been a musical partner of freak/genius guitarist Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa) for over 17 years and 10 albums. And his versatility was on display touring intimate venues across the U.S. with R&B/soul singer/songwriter/keyboardist Kira Small for several years.
On his own, Beller released his debut rock/jazz fusion solo album View in late 2003 to widespread acclaim, earning the monthly feature in Bass Player Magazine ("…it's a thrill to witness an artist like Beller find his voice with such a self-assured debut..."). His second album Thanks In Advance (2008), a definitive compositional statement about breaking through anger and finding gratitude, garnered even more critical praise (“…a bonafide entry for bass album of the year” – Chris Jisi, Bass Player Magazine). Beller’s first live album Wednesday Night Live – a raw, powerful, intimate document of his 2010 touring lineup playing the world-famous Baked Potato in Los Angeles – was released in 2011 on both CD and DVD. His first instructional DVD, Mastering Tone And Versatility, was released by Alfred Publishing in early 2012, and he’s a featured artist on the instructional website Jamplay.com.
Beller's 16-year span as a freelance writer includes cover stories on bass luminaries such as Justin Chancellor (Tool), Christian McBride, Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse) and Chris Wolstenholme (Muse), as well as a landmark cover feature on the state of heavy metal bass involving ten different interviews. In 2010, Beller interviewed former Governor of Arkansas and 2008 Republican Presidential candidate (and part-time bassist) Mike Huckabee for Bass Player Magazine. He’s also interviewed a veritable who’s who of the modern bass world: Jonas Hellborg, Victor Wooten, John Patitucci, Lee Sklar, Neil Stubenhaus, Jay DeMarcus (Rascal Flatts), Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, Nine Inch Nails), Bill Laswell, Jimmy Haslip, Stefan Lessard (Dave Matthews Band), Matt Garrison, Adam Nitti, Oteil Burbridge, Dave LaRue, Miroslav Vitous, Billy Sheehan, Emmy-award winning television scorer W.G. "Snuffy" Walden (The West Wing), and myriad others.
Beller’s earliest days on bass were as a Westfield, New Jersey pre-teen on upright in the school orchestra. It was short-lived, as he switched to electric at 13 to better play Rush, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Metallica tunes. Concurrently, a couple of years of classical piano lessons morphed into his own self-taught ear training regimen, as he learned to play those same classic rock and metal songs on the piano completely by ear. Once he landed at Berklee College Of Music, Beller focused solely on bass, and eventually joined a blues-rock band called 100 Proof, which played originals mixed with blues and Allman Brothers covers in Boston’s dirtiest bars. Beller’s rootsy, earthy, groove-oriented approach (as opposed to some of the more shred-oriented players of the time) had found a welcome home – and the original lineup of the band went on to do interesting things: One (Dylan Altman) wrote a #1 hit song for Tim McGraw; another (Jon Skibic) served as the touring guitarist for The Eels and the Gigolo Aunts; and the other (Ben Sesar) ended up as Brad Paisley’s touring drummer for ten years and counting.
But it was when Beller met drummer (and Frank Zappa fanatic) Joe Travers at Berklee that his career first ventured onto its current path. Joe knew Mike Keneally, who was in Dweezil and Ahmet Zappa’s band Z. Eventually Joe moved to Los Angeles, joined that band, and got Beller an audition in 1993, which Beller won, thereby entering the world of Zappa-influenced and instrumentally-minded musicians he still calls fellow travelers to this day.
As a pure player, a masterclass clinician (sponsored by Mike Lull Custom Basses, Gallien-Krueger Amplification and D’addario Strings), a former Contributing Editor for Bass Player Magazine, and a former Vice-President of SWR Sound Corporation, Beller brings a global perspective to the world of bass, and sits at the intersection of many of its current pathways.