PHOTO: Cell phone snapshot of adjustable finger guide in progress.
Summer thunderstorms pounded the Delaware Valley in the hours before Evan Brewer's Philly performance at the Trocadero with The Faceless. In the shop, I devised an adjustable floating fingertip contact plate, fitting it to Orchid, as we texted — wondering if there was enough time to meet before the show.
There was not. The design/build needed a few tweaks.
Evan plays using a technique he's developed to enable his incredible right hand speed. String contact is limited to his fingertips, which prevents soft tissue friction. Unlike conventional playing techniques, he is not trying to pluck the string from below, so dead air space beneath the strings slows his movement.
I wanted to solve this issue by giving him an adjustable smooth surface he could height and tilt modify as needed.
Orchid is proving to be one the most truly versatile basses I've used. Its tonal clarity lends itself to my solo material. I wish I'd had it on my first record. All my techniques sound the way I imagine them in my head.
— Evan Brewer
PHOTO: Evan launches into Orchid bass, Seaside, NJ. Note his relaxed posture, with nice even shoulders and straight-line left wrist. The instrument balances effortlessly, upper horn against his sternum.
PHOTOS: Evan Brewer and Rick Toone lost in conversation, threading their way through the boardwalk crowd.
We decided to meet the following afternoon instead. Bands from the 2012 Summer Slaughter Tour had a day off, so the busses were rolling to Seaside, NJ. Vampires reach the beach.
Apart from Orchid, our goal was to see how the radical 6-string multiscale bass I'm building him fits. I'd completed body sculpting and applied basic finish coats. This would be the time to make changes if needed.
The new instrument sits on my lap without me noticing it, which is something I've never experienced. I'm beyond excited to get that thing and get rolling on the new album.
I think the new six string and Orchid are going to be very complimentary. I'm looking forward to recording with both.
PHOTOS: Tour bus design meeting. Periphery's bus parked behind (Misha Mansoor was in D.C. for the day). All photos Masi.