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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5 days ago

Bryan Beller

LOUD AND LIVE IN THE DRIVEWAY: I know what you’re thinking - was that 8-cab 3000-watt rig from the new video actually on and live during the shoot? You bet your ass it was. Here’s one of the 100+ raw clips we shot to make the final product, just for some behind-the-scenes fun. And yes, this was live. ... See MoreSee Less

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1 week ago

Bryan Beller

FORGED IN FIRE: Last but certainly not least among the “behind the scenes heroes” of the video is Steve Brogden. He captured (both audio and video) the amazing Gene Hoglan playing through “Steiner In Ellipses” at his San Diego-based Forge Audio facility. Gene’s track is a new, separate performance of the song from the one that appears on the original album. We brought his new drums in and made a new mix for the video. That, plus Steve’s video capture, brought The Atomic Clock to life, and let a thousand animated emoji horns bloom. Thank you Steve - and thank you Gene Hoglan ''Official Page''! ... See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Bryan Beller

THE REAL HERO HERE: No matter which character I was playing in the video, the unbreakable Liz Teisan shot every. single. scene. We collaborated on every aspect - the backdrop, the lighting, the shot framing, and *especially* the characters’ wardrobes and vibes. Without her invaluable input (and we’re talking down to the last detail), B. Harrison Firestone wasn’t as nerdy, Chad Douchery wasn’t as douchey, Jamie Hotlyxx wasn’t as hesher-y, and Mimi Paambidou wasn’t nearly as fabulous.

For the better part of the summer, we spent the weekends setting up each environment, testing the lighting, testing the shot, and then finally going for each clip, one take at a time. Some days were smooth, others were not. The outdoor shots were particularly intense. We were working inside a 20 minute magic-hour-lighting window for the shots of the huge bass rig in the driveway. And getting Jamie’s hike to mountaintop glory was a super high-stakes hour of shooting in intense heat just before the location closed to the public for the day. (I did eight takes of the entire outro up there!) All the while, Liz was patient, calm, encouraging, and just plain amazing.

Liz is also the lead singer and co-songwriter of Late September Dogs, the band whose new album “Learning To Fall” (high energy rock + string orchestra) I told you about a couple of posts ago. That’s because Snarkmaster General Dan Teisan (who wrote many of the comments in the video) is her brother. They’re good. Otherwise Jamie Hotlyxx wouldn’t be wearing their shirt in the video. 😉
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2 weeks ago

Bryan Beller

KYLE HUGHES PLAYS THROUGH “A QUICKENING”: You’ve got to check out this video of Newcastle UK drummer Kyle Hughes Drums laying down the blistering breakbeat for the “A Quickening” video I dropped the other day. This is him playing the whole song. In case you missed it, the original album track didn’t have live drums at all. It was just fancy beats from the Korg Kronos. Kyle took on the challenge of playing on top of that track, and brought a whole new life to the song in the process.

The talented Mr. Hughes has been doing gigs and recordings with Ron "Bumblefoot” Thal and Marco Mendoza, and once live music returns I’m sure you’ll see him out there killing it somewhere. He’s one to watch!

Also, in addition to his amazing performance, I do have to thank him for agreeing to be a “straight man” to all of the ridiculous characters in the actual video. 😉
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2 weeks ago

Bryan Beller

EDITING AT THE SPEED OF ZZ SATRIANI: There is no way the video for “A Quickening/Steiner In Ellipses” (link in comments) would feel the way it does - fast, frenetic, in your face, and with funny bits flying at you a mile a minute - if it wasn’t for the amazing job ZZ Satriani did in editing the whole thing. I first became a fan of his work when I saw how he handled the tour documentary “Beyond The Supernova” for his father Joe (instrumental rock guitarist, maybe you’ve heard of him?). It was all so surreal and beautiful in the slower shots, but in other faster moments it just felt supercharged, like you were being propelled forward into the screen.

Then I saw his 2018 web series “Act Natural: The Untold Story Of The Natural Actor”. I just couldn’t believe how funny and awesome it was - but more than that, it was moving at a completely different speed than I grew up on: hyper, dizzying, outrageous, and again, surreal. I’m going to link to it in the first comment. It is *so* worth your time.

When I came up with the concept for the new song video, I always imagined it moving pretty quickly. But I couldn’t have imagined it positively crackling with the kind of energy it does, and that’s because of ZZ Satriani’s absolutely masterful job in editing - which also included creating the vibe for the on-screen comments and flying emoji’s as well.

We shot about 120 usable clips in total, loaded them into Adobe Premiere Pro, and handed it off to ZZ. Two weeks later, he handed this back, in nearly final form. Incredible work.

Find ZZ Satriani here: zzsatriani.blog
and on Instagram: zzsatriani
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For my NJ followers: Route 22 between Springfield and Newark has like 7 different levels of horror and hell, and ugly is only one of them. Yeah, Truck 1 & 9 / Tonnelle Ave. is ugly, but predictable. Route 22 is the Fight Or Flight Freeway.

Terrence T. McDonald@terrencemcd

getting a lot of blowback for declaring Route 440 is NJ’s ugliest highway but I stand by it. 495 is a close 2nd. 46 between the McDonald’s & Willowbrook is 3rd.

LOUD & LIVE IN THE DRIVEWAY: Was that 8-cab 3000-watt rig from the new video actually on and live during the shoot? You bet your ass it was. Here’s one of the 100+ raw clips we shot to make the final product, just for some behind-the-scenes fun. And yes, this was live.

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