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 and a fourth to come in 2020 for the Shapeshifting World Tour. 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 his Shapeshifting Worfld Tour in 2020. Beller’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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23 hours ago

Bryan Beller

It seems that both of our two remaining Italy shows have been cancelled due to government ordinance. To all the fans who bought tickets - and especially those who traveled to see the show - I am so, so sorry this turned out this way. Details in the post below. I’ll write more about this tomorrow...MONTEBELLUNA SHOW CANCELLED

Unfortunately a similar Ordinance to the one in Torino has been issued by the Minister of Health re the Covid2019 epidemiological emergency for the Veneto Region. Consequently we are very sorry to inform you that we won’t be able to perform the show in Montebelluna tomorrow.

Both the Montebelluna and Torino shows won’t be rearranged.

Please contact www.ticketone.it for the Torino show refunds and the venue Mattorosso for the Montebelluna show.
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1 day ago

Bryan Beller

So very sorry to our fans in Torino, but tonight’s show is cancelled due to the Corona Virus situation in Northern Italy. Please read the shared post for further details.TORINO SHOW CANCELLED

Following the Ordinance n. 1 of February 23rd 2020 issued by the Minister of Health in agreement with the President of Piemonte Region regarding the management measures of the Covid2019 epidemiological emergency, we are sorry to inform you that tonight’s concert at Milk Club, in Torino, is cancelled.

We will notify you in the next 48 hours if, considering the circumstances, it would be possible to recover the date by next week.

A seguito dell’Ordinanza n.1 del 23 febbraio 2020 diramata dal Ministro della Salute di intesa con il Presidente della Regione Piemonte in merito alle misure di gestione dell’emergenza epidemiologica da Covid2019, siamo spiacenti di comunicare che il concerto di questa sera dei The Aristocrats è annullato.
Vi faremo sapere entro le prossime 48 ore se, date le circostanze, sarà possibile recuperare la data entro la prossima settimana.
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2 days ago

Bryan Beller

GK. All. Damned. Day.

Thanks to Gallien-Krueger Amplification for rocking hard with me for over 100 The Aristocrats “You Know What” world tour shows...and counting.

#gkallday

(photo credit Enric Minguillon)
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3 days ago

Bryan Beller

THE MIKE LULL DETHKLOK T-BASS COMES HOME: Behold, the awesome power of the Mike Lull T-Bass (don't call it a Thunderbird!), live on stage in 2009 as Dethklok laid waste to the Hollywood Palladium. This is a continuing series of tribute posts to Mike Lull's incredible craftsmanship, and how I ended up with each of the basses he made for me. And this story has a surprise, never-told-before ending (pretty strong hint in the title there), so read the whole thing!

I was already beyond thrilled doing the Dethklok gig. Finally, one of my teenage dreams would be fulfilled - I got to be in a metal band! (Well, sort of.) I did the first Dethklok tour with the red Lull Modern 5, and it was cool, but all true Dethklok fans know that William Murderface was "playing" a Thunderbird (even if Skwisgaar tracked all of his keeper parts in the studio). And they just look so fucking cool, the way the neck extends so far out to the right, and you have to hold your arm out like a post in order to play the lower frets. So, supercool axe. Unfortunately, most of the original T-Birds play terribly. The neck dives, it's impossible to set up for low action, the tone is woofy...it's just not good at all.

So imagine my delight when, out of the blue, Mike Lull called me in 2008 and told me, "Guess what I'm working on? A Thunderbird style bass!" I was like, "Really? You're not kidding?" He goes, "Nope. Why?" I say, "You ever heard of Dethklok?" He says, "Uh, no, why?" And I smiled and said, "Oh you are gonna LOVE this..."

He was making them in the traditional sunburst/brown. I asked for one Murderface-style, black with white pickguard. And man, when I got it, I was blown away. Finally, a T-Bird that felt and played right and sounded amazing! No neck diving! Perfect low action! I felt like a metal god every time I went onstage with it, which was primarily between 2009 (when we co-headlined with Mastodon) and 2012, which was the last full Dethklok tour aside from a one-off here and there. Once again, Mike Lull made the perfect bass for my hands and ears, and freed me to unleash metallic fury across the land.

Now, for the plot twist ending. A good deal of you know that most of my basses were stolen in late 2016, including this one. What you don't know is that...I got the Dethklok bass back!

I (and a few other astute netizens) actually saw it go up for sale online exactly while the "three days of Bonnie and Clyde" story was unfolding in real-time in the very end of 2016. Then, to my extreme dismay, it was purchased by an unknown buyer before I could get a hold of it (there was a lot going on!). About a week later, that buyer (who shall remain nameless) contacted the Mike Lull office in Seattle. He noticed that one of the screws on the bridge was stripped, and was asking if he could get a replacement part. Meanwhile, I knew that my T-Bass had that very issue, because I was putting *tremendous* pressure on the bridge support by stringing the bass with a B-E-A-D (130-105-85-65) configuration and *then* tuning it up a half-step for the thickest-sounding C Standard tuning ever. And Mike Lull GM Paul Schuster and I had spoken about it previously.

So Paul calls me in early January 2017 and tells me, "Man, you're not gonna believe this, but some guy just called me asking for a replacement bridge screw for a T-Bass. I asked him if it was black and white, and he said yes. Well, we only ever made one of those in black and white..."

To his eternal credit, the buyer did the right thing and got in touch with me. We arranged a meeting, and sure enough, it was mine. The seller probably thought it was the smart play to try and move that bass first because it didn't have a serial number - just a blank indentation where the serial number would usually go. How could they have known that it was the only black and white T-Bass ever made?
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I know what you're thinking: Who sold it to him? That's a potential hot lead to the rest of the basses, including the original red Modern 5 #266! Of course I thought the very same thing. In an eerie echo of the actual "Bonnie And Clyde" story, the buyer *did* tell me who sold it to him, and there was info to go with it. Hot off of my success as an amateur detective in helping the police arrest Bonnie and Clyde, I acted.

What happened after that is a very long, winding, sordid story that I can't tell publicly in detail. I really don't mean to be a tease about it. It just needs to be this way, for a multitude of reasons. Here's what I can say:

* I don't really know who has them, but I know someone who did know, and perhaps still does know. Let's just say I didn't luck out with where they ended up.
* I learned that the people who had/have them have did, in fact, read the original story online of what happened to Bonnie and Clyde, and know quite a bit about me - this is part of the reason why the story is no longer online.
* Though I made offers to buy the other basses back through channels that had the potential to reach the people who have them, I never got a response, and so the basses are still out there...somewhere.

The real story is a 20-minute tale that unfolded over a period of three months. It's even wilder than the original. But the ending wasn't nearly as satisfying, as you can see.

So, to wrap this all up, the Mike Lull Dethklok T-Bass made its way home. The others are still longing for a reunion with their owner. And if you're that Special Someone who may be reading this, with six of my basses in a closet in your apartment somewhere in Southern California, and you're still looking to move them, my offer still stands, no harm no foul, and you know how to find me.

Mike Lull Custom Guitars & Guitarworks

(photo by Mike Mesker)
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4 days ago

Bryan Beller

GRAZIE MILLE, NAPOLI: Reporting from Italy after a great Aristocratic show in Naples (as we Americans call it). For those who don’t know, Napoli is a MOOD. It’s no wonder that a city surrounded by active volcanoes has such intense energy - and passionate fans. Also, driving in Napoli is…well, let’s just say the word “cazzo” is used a lot. Listen, I’m from New Jersey and have driven in and out of New York City many times, and still, Napoli shocks me. So I just want to say many thanks to all of the fans who survived the trip to and from their homes to get to the gig!

Also, the pizza. Let’s have this talk. One of the great benefits of growing up in the NJ/NYC area was the plethora of premium pizza. And not just New York City, either. Almost every small town had a world-class pizzeria, including mine (Ferraro’s/Westfield, NJ). Imagine my shock and horror as I traveled the USA and experienced what others called “pizza” (don’t @ me, Chicago - what you do is good but it’s not pizza, it’s something else). So I thought on my first trip to Italy, “Oh good, now I can finally taste the real thing from the source!”

My first stop was Milan. I had a pizza. It was delicious, bursting with flavor and fresh ingredients…but it wasn’t the pizza I knew. Thinner crust, different sauce. Huh, I thought. Maybe the Americans changed it somehow? And then a few years later I made it to Napoli for the first time, and from the first bite, I knew: This is where New York City pizza came from! The texture on the underside of the crust, the seasoning in the tomato sauce, all of it. You’d think that at some point I would have processed the word “Neapolitan” when pizzerias back home said they made “Neapolitan style pizza”. But you know us Americans, we’re slow learners sometimes.

Anyway, I have a rule about not eating pizza after the show, because if I do it every night eventually they’ll need to roll me onto the stage. But last night I broke that rule, with gleeful and reckless abandon. 😉

Terni, Roma, Pisa, Torino, Treviso - see you soon! —BB
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