Converge are currently on tour in Europe for the next month. They have just announced a few April dates in the US with Nine, Turmoil and Doomriders. Go to their official website href='http://convergecult.com' target='_blank'>convergecult.com to read more. Check out this great new article on Nate Newton from Bass Player Magazine online.
"I don't have crazy chops, I don't read music, and I don't shred," Nate Newton says. "But those skills aren't necessary for Converge. We're a hardcore band, and I play strictly for the song, as any adept hardcore player would." The Boston-based group, which was formed in the early '90s, blends hardcore, punk, and metal influences into its driving sonic assault. Filled with abrupt stops and starts, screaming vocals, busy drum patterns, and dissident chord voicing, Converge's music is simultaneously chaotic and precise.
Newton's overdriven bass tones propel the band's latest release, You Fail Me. "The best way to get serious growl on your bass is to get an old tube amp and turn it up loud," Nate offers. "On the new album I played through an Ampeg V4 that was cranked so loud that the floor shook and my head hurt. That's when you know it sounds good." Newton likes bassists who can get a "gnarly" tone and who don't overplay. "I grew up listening to players like Chuck Dukowski of Black Flag, Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler, and Joe Preston of the Melvins." He plays mostly with a pick, though he uses his fingers on parts of the band's slower tunes. "I eventually return to the pick---unless, of course, I drop it, which happens a lot!"
A self-taught player, Newton switched over from guitar to bass when he received the call to tour with Converge. "At first I thought playing bass would be just like playing a guitar with fewer strings, but I learned otherwise quickly. The bass is a really powerful ensemble instrument. In a live setting, when someone messes up on guitar, the song is still salvageable. When a bassist screws up you hear the mistake, but you feel it as well. Everything feels amiss after a bass player flubs." How would he know? "I mess up a lot when Converge plays," he confesses, laughing. "But our live show is all about the energy we can create with the audience, no matter what---mistakes included. That's hardcore."
Nate Newton Info
Can be heard on
Converge, You Fail Me [Epitaph]
Big Business, Head for the Shallow [Hydra Head]
"The band is a bass and drums duo that's just amazing."
Basses MusicMan StingRay and '78 Fender Precision Bass with D'Addario Pro Steel strings and Planet Waves locking straps
Rig Orange AD200B head, Ampeg SVT-810AV and SVT-810E 8x10 cabinets, Boss TU-12 tuner, Mogami cables
Effects Boss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive, Electro-
Harmonix Big Muff
"I have been trying to wean myself off the pedals. Distortion pedals are for people who don't know how to buy the right amp, or for people who actually do know what they are doing with gear. Too many people use them nowadays, and everyone has that same distortion tone. I want to have a sound that is my own."