"I grew up under a piano! My mother was a classically trained pianist and taught piano from the studio in our house... I was around music from day one of my life. Sooooo, I've got Mom to thank, and blame, for my musical passion."
When Byron was 6 he started piano lessons. His mother told him that if he took five years piano from her, then she would pay for whatever type of musical instrument and lessons to learn that instrument. Byron decided on the guitar, but being fascinated with those four lowest strings, he made the switch to bass. It was a glorious day that lead to playing in numerous groups and bands through school.
While living in Waco and studying music performance, Owens played in a number of varying bands and ensembles: jazz, metal, tejano, funk/dance, and country too. After going to school for music performance, Byron moved to Florida to attend Full Sail University where, in 2005, he earned his degree in recording engineering and spent some time on the other side of the glass as an engineer and producer.
"I put down my bass for a little while and worked in A/V sales and installation, private security and even law enforcement, where I was a sergeant with my sheriff's office. During this time my wife and I started our hand dyed yarn company, Twisted Owl Fiber Studio. Twisted Owl is a marriage between our love of music, pop culture, and color! Being surrounded by music and colors every day in our dye studio I was inspired to pick up my bass again and start playing. And play I did!!!"
2 years ago Byron became bassist and bandleader for Sarah Hobbs, an award winning and rising star in the Texas Country/Red Dirt Country scene. "2018 has been a blast... touring all over Texas... a new EP... playing with some of the biggest names in country music! We're very excited to see what the future has in store!"
Describe your rig or instrument of choice: "My main bass, Athena, is a 2003 Lakland 55-01 with a pair of BigSplits and a 3B-5b preamp. This bass sees 98% of my gigging time! I play through Epifani amps and cabs, UL502 and a DIST310, and I utilize Cactus Cables!"
How did you discover Nordstrand? I discovered Nordstrand products about 4 years ago. My first introduction to Nordstrand products was a picture of a bass and the pickups had these odd, angled poles pieces... they just plain looked cool to me. Haha. Then I started doing some reading and listening and decided I had to try these products myself! I've been using Nordstrand Audio gear since March 2017.
What Nordstrand products do you use and what do you like about them?
"I've got BigSplits which provide aggression and a tonal palette while the 3-band gave me unrivaled control to achieve the desired tones. A passive tone control is a must for me on my active basses too."
"Lil Jackie" is my Jackson Minion bass that I've hot rodded with NP4a and NJ4SE pickups. This is a shortscale P/J with a big tone and these pickups are hot and thick sounding. The the NP4a is full and warm with a bit of growl and the NJ4SE is an amazing pickup in this bass, at the bridge position, and I love the way it cuts through the mix."
"Finally, "The Purple Express", my 1996 Ibanez TR505 Expressionist has custom Dual Coil (parallel wound) pickups wired passive VVT with push/pull pots on the volumes for independant parallel/series switching."
Byron Owens is currently working with artist Sarah Hobbs. He lives in Longview, TX. behind the Piney Wood curtain. Find more about Byron and his music at these social media outlets: