BRYAN BELLER


Bryan Beller has maintained a multi-faceted career as a bassist, composer, solo artist and clinician for over 25 years, earning his reputation as a uniquely talented yet supremely tasteful team player for instrumentally-minded artists. In the power super-trio The Aristocrats (with uber-players Guthrie Govan on guitar and Marco Minnemann on drums) he’s a part of one of the hottest world touring acts in rock/fusion today; their 2019 release You Know What…? debuted at #2 on the Billboard Jazz Chart. He’s been Joe Satriani’s touring bassist since 2013, marking three trips around the world with a fourth to come once touring resumes​. He was Steve Vai’s choice for the 2009 live CD/DVD Where The Wild Things Are, and he also toured and recorded in the “band” Dethklok, a tongue-in-cheek extreme metal band borne of the hit Cartoon Network “Adult Swim” show Metalocalypse. He’s been a musical partner of freak/genius guitarist Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa) for over 20 years and 10 albums.

On his own, Beller’s solo album catalog includes 2003’s View, 2008’s Thanks In Advance, and 2011’s Wednesday Night Live, as well as an Alfred instructional DVD, all released to widespread acclaim. His 2019 solo release – the progressive concept double album Scenes From The Flood featuring Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Guthrie Govan, Mike Keneally, Gene Hoglan (Dethklok), Ray Hearne (Haken) and many more was hailed by multiple outlets as an instant classic: “A colossal artistic statement and a career triumph…one of the year’s most intriguing and staggering albums, it will for sure end in our 2019 best of lists.” (Scott Medina, Sonic Perspectives)

As a pure player, a composer, a masterclass clinician, a former Contributing Editor for Bass Player Magazine, and a former VP of SWR bass amps, Bryan Beller brings a holistic perspective to the world of bass, and music.

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LONGER BIO

Bryan Beller has maintained a frenetic, multi-faceted career as a bassist, composer, solo artist, writer and clinician for over twenty-five years.

Beller’s reputation as a uniquely talented yet supremely tasteful team player for adventurous instrumentally-minded artists is clearly evidenced in his work for some of the industry’s top names. He’s been Joe Satriani’s touring bassist since 2013, notching three world tours (including a G3 with John Petrucci and Phil Collen of Def Leppard), several cuts on Satch’s 2015 release Shockwave Supernova, and a feature appearance in Satriani’s tour documentary film Beyond The Supernova. Beller will be joining Satch on another global jaunt once touring resumes. He’s also the bassist of the rock/fusion super-trio The Aristocrats (with uber-players Guthrie Govan on guitar and Marco Minnemann on drums), one of the hottest acts in the genre today. The Aristocrats released six critically acclaimed albums in five short years, with their sixth (2019’s You Know What…?) debuting at #2 on the Billboard Jazz Chart. Their four successful world tours even included joining Satriani and Steve Vai for a G3 run in Europe. This high profile work has landed Beller on the pages of numerous music magazines, including cover features in Bass Player and Bass Musician magazines.

As a solo artist, Beller’s most current release (2019) is the epic-scale modern progressive double concept album Scenes From The Flood. The massive 2CD/2LP work gathered an all-star cast of 26 musicians (including Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Guthrie Govan, Mike Keneally, Gene Hoglan (Dethklok), Ray Hearne (Haken), Joe Travers, Nili Brosh, Mike Dawes, Janet Feder, and many more) to explore themes of ambition and loss, intentionality and reality, hope and disillusionment. It uses every second of its 18-song, 88-minute running order to tell an emotionally consuming and unforgettable musical story. Scenes From The Flood was hailed by multiple outlets as an instant classic: “A colossal artistic statement and a career triumph…one of the year’s most intriguing and staggering albums, it will for sure end in our 2019 best of lists.” (Scott Medina, Sonic Perspectives)

Before then, Beller released his debut 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) 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 additional sideman gig experience includes being 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 live 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 joined the band for three nationwide tours to date, alongside metal monsters Mastodon and Machine Head, among others. And he’s been a musical partner of freak/genius guitarist Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa) for over 17 years and 10 albums.

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 independently-minded musicians he still calls fellow travelers to this day.

As a pure player, a composer, 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 holistic perspective to the world of bass, and music.

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4 weeks ago

Bryan Beller

THE SHREDDINGEST STORY EVER TOLD: The amazing extreme-progressive-muzo album "Story" by guitarist/composer Terry Syrek has entered the wild as of today. Featuring impossible feats of daring by Terry, Marco Minnemann on drums, Mohini dey and myself on bass (she's on six band tracks; I'm on three), Lalle Larson on keys, and more. Check out the first single in the YouTube video on this post, and get the whole record at Terry's Bandcamp page at syrek.bandcamp.com/album/story. All I can say is: Modern guitar instrumental rock fans - prepare to be amazed. ... See MoreSee Less

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4 weeks ago

Bryan Beller

FINAL DAMAGE: Here’s the last minute of the Metallica “Damage, Inc.” play-through video I posted last week. (full 4K vid on YouTube: youtu.be/287k5-V38A8) It’s been a blast going so deep on Metallica this month. And honestly I had no idea they were doing the whole 40th Anniversary Concert thing when I started working on this, so the timing of the drop was either a coincidence, or true metal alchemy, whichever you prefer. \m/

Thanks for all the comments and love, and once again, happy holidays!

(P.S. About the 40th Anniversary concerts - they played “The Shortest Straw” which is my second favorite track on AJFA behind “The Frayed Ends Of Sanity”, so that was pretty great…but not as great as them finally playing “Fixxxer”! I never thought I’d have any reason to mention publicly that that’s one of my favorite songs on “Reload” - along with “Better Than You” and “Bad Seed” - but the universe truly provides. 😉 )
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1 month ago

Bryan Beller

DAMAGE INCORPORATED… GO!: In case you missed it, here's a short clip of my play-through cover of Metallica’s “Damage, Inc”, a tune that shaped my early playing (especially the flicking technique). To check out the full 4K version on YouTube, just go here: youtu.be/287k5-V38A8. I had a blast working on this, and nerding out with fans on it has been pretty cool too. 🤘 Happy holidays! (Insert your "the holidays are so brutal" joke here.) ... See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Bryan Beller

METALLICA’S “DAMAGE, INC.” BASS PLAY-THROUGH VIDEO: I know - I did *what*? Yes, I really did, just for kicks. Click here to see and believe it for yourself: linktr.ee/bryanbeller. Wanna know why I did it? Read more below…

(Note: To see the full 4K hi-res glory on a desktop, be sure to watch it on my YouTube channel directly.)

I’ve always loved this song, ever since it came out in 1986 and I was 15 years old. For that time, it was lightning fast. In order to play it fingerstyle and have half a chance at keeping up with it, the tune forced me to come up with a “flicking” technique - something I still use to this day for other purposes.

Now, many many years later, I thought it would be fun to capture my interpretation of this classic tune…and then have it professionally mixed into the track and “re-imagined” by audio engineer wizard Forrester Savell. Classic Metallica…now with loud bass! 😉

I really did this simply as a passion project, and as a tribute to Metallica. Hope you like it. Hell, I hope *they* like it. 🙂

Below is the press release (thank you Adrenaline PR!) in case you want to read about me in the third person for any reason.

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***Bassist BRYAN BELLER (Dethklok, The Aristocrats, Joe Satriani) Releases Play-Through Tribute Video of the Metallica Classic, “Damage, Inc.”***

***A new prominently-mixed bass track from huge Metallica fan Bryan Beller and a mastering reimagination from engineer Forrester Savell (Karnivool, Twelve Foot Ninja) brings a whole new depth and brutality to the original cut. ***

BRYAN BELLER (bassist for Dethklok, The Aristocrats, and Joe Satriani) has released a bass play-through video for “Damage, Inc.”, the classic final track from Metallica’s landmark album Master Of Puppets. A Metallica fan since his teens, BELLER decided to pay tribute to a song so fast and brutal that it forced him to develop new techniques at the age of 16 just to be able to play it – techniques he still employs today in other genres.

“It’s just such a fast riff,” says BELLER, “and the song floored me. It also intrigued me because I wasn’t a pick player, and I couldn’t imagine how any fingerstyle bassist could keep up with it. So I started doing this flicking thing with my fingers, and a three-finger triplet thing, and after some work I could hang with it. Then no one asked me to play metal professionally for 20 years, until Brendon Small asked me to join Dethklok. Suddenly I was like, ‘Wait, I have this little bag of tricks I totally forgot about!’ Then earlier this year I started thinking about getting back to this tune and really doing something with it that I could share, just as a passion project.”

As a 15-year old growing up in Westfield, NJ, BELLER saw the Metallica Master Of Puppets tour show in New York City on December 1, 1986, at a 5000-seat capacity venue which was then called The Felt Forum. Metallica closed their main set with “Damage, Inc.”, and BELLER knew he was witnessing something special, even then.

“I could tell these guys were going to take over the world – the energy in the room was just electric. But as a young bassist, I was also watching Jason Newsted hammering everything out with a pick, and I knew I couldn’t do that,” BELLER says. “And I never got to see Cliff Burton live, which means I never saw what he was doing with his fingers…and it wasn’t like the bass was mixed super loud on Master Of Puppets either, even though everyone talks about the lack of bass on And Justice For All to this day. So I figured, why not play what I would have played on it if I’d had the chance, as a tribute to the song that pushed my playing along all those years ago? Or put another way: If someone sent me this song for a remote recording today, what would I do with it?”

BELLER meticulously worked through each one of the song’s blazing riffs, brought them back up to speed, and laid down the track over the summer. Then he sent it to audio wizard Forrester Savell, who integrated the new bass part with a reimagined mastering of the original album track. The result is a Metallica Master Of Puppets track as you’ve never heard it before – with the bass featured prominently, on equal footing with the guitars and drums, and then some.

“Serious Metallica fans have heard the ‘And Justice For Jason’ stuff, but there’s no version of that for ‘Damage, Inc.’ And this isn’t really ‘And Justice For Cliff’ anyway, because Master of Puppets has a vibe on the bass mix, low as it is. This is just something we tried to make new and exciting. Forrester did an amazing job bringing out the guitars a little more, getting the new bass part in the right space, and just making the whole track heavier.”

Finally, BELLER went to Portland, OR in October for a video shoot led by Forest Gallien, who creates marketing content for the company that bears his name – bass amplifier manufacturer Gallien-Krueger, whose gear BELLER plays and endorses. “We had a huge rig set up for some other stuff we were capturing, and it just made sense to shoot it in front of something that big. It couldn’t be just another shot-at-home video. Not for this. Not for such an epic song.”

BELLER sums up his thoughts with some sentimentality for the band that inspired him as a young player and metalhead. “Really, this whole thing is a love letter to Metallica. They don’t know I did this or that I was working on it. I just did it because the impact this song and this album had on me as a kid was just massive. Also, I hope it gives more people some appreciation for this song in particular, especially from a bass perspective. This tune is not easy to play, even 35 years later! But it’s loads of fun when you get your hands around it. And the song itself really stands the test of time – the true mark of a classic track.”

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OMG, Miss Minutes from #Loki just followed me on twitter dot com? This can't possibly be the "sacred timeline", can it? (I can hear her response: "Good luck with that.")

I'm a big fan of the show. Did I ever mention that publicly, or did she just...know? **theramin noises**

THE SHREDDINGEST STORY EVER TOLD: Terry Syrek's monster extreme-prog-muzo album "Story" drops today. Ft. @mrkempinski @mohinidey661 #LalleLarson & me on 3 tracks. Watch the YT vid, then run to Terry's Bandcamp at https://t.co/YCXGwsGlBE. Astounding work!

https://t.co/svzDKCpnDW

FINAL DAMAGE: Here’s the last min of the @Metallica “Damage, Inc” play-thru vid I posted last week. (Full 4K: https://t.co/Xtar0ILdAv) So much brutal fun.🤟 Thx for all the love around it. Happy holidays! (Also, they finally played "FIXXXER" in the big show this weekend?!)

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