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November 24, 2017 3 min read

Karl Grimm, from Salt Lake City, has been playing music since 2009. He began by teaching himself to play guitar at 17 by jamming with friends and writing songs. He soon fell in love with playing in front of an audience and formed "Spicy Byron and the Cha Cha Cha's" with friends. He continued to write music during college and began singing vocals to later form "Luscious Lou" with good friend and drummer Matt Morrison. During this time he fell in love with collecting and modifying gear to fit his needs. And soon became the gear guru in his musical circles. After going through a few members he continued to write music and began to fill in at many jam nights and sat in with a few bands including Artificial Flower Company, Punjab, and Swagger.

In 2015 he rejoined his friend Matt in a progressive, hard-rock power trio, Westward, as bassist. Switching to bass felt like a perfect progression and he fell in love with the instrument quickly. He began to learn from teacher and mentor Russ Hodges. With Westward Karl is well known for his heavy playing and his high energy on stage. He continues to tour, write, and play with Westward who have toured across the west coast, including multiple shows at the House of Blues Las Vegas and were even feature at the prestigious Indie Lounge at the Sundance film festival. They have also played along national acts such as Mothership, Purple, Crobot, and Royal Bliss. Westward has recorded their sophomore album in 2017 which was produced by The Young Dubliners guitarist Bob Boulding. And was recorded by award winning sound engineer Trevor Price, who Karl continues to work with in the studio. Along with Westward Karl writes his own music and is currently in the process of building up his own recording studio.

Describe your rig or instrument of choice: 
I definitely enjoy a blend of vintage and modern when it comes to my tonal choices in bass. When I play in my trio, Westward, the guitarist plays a lot of riffs/lead. So I usually need to cover the ground of both the bass and rhythm guitar quite often. To achieve this I need to have big bottom end and some nice biting high mids. I generally use parallel paths and some effects(Muff style fuzz, and Synths) to accomplish this. But always keep a clean signal for clarity and to keep the core bass tone present. I currently use a modelling processor on tour through an Eden 4x10. But Whenever possible I try to play through my 1968 Dual Showman Reverb into a 6x12 Acoustic Cab.

How did you discover Nordstrand? During the restoration of my 1964 Jazz Bass I needed my bridge pickup rewound. I did extensive research on who could make the most accurate replication of the original. I typically do heavy research into any gear I buy and am very deliberate with my needs. Nordstrand came up consistently and after a suggestion by Russ Hodges it sealed the deal. I was so impressed with the customer service and tonal quality I ordered another set for my lyte bass soon after.

What Nordstrand products do you use? What do you like about them.
I am currently using a Nordstrand 60's Rewind in my 64' Jazz Bass bridge pickup. And in my Lyte bass I am using a NP4A in the neck and a custom dual coil NJ4 humbucker in the bridge with a 3B-5B preamp. I love how well the rewind matches up with the original Neck pick up. It is equally vibey, and clear sounding as the original.
The NP4A sounds amazingly thick and thumpy all while still retaining clarity in each note. With the customized dual coil NJ4 humbucker I am able to get any sound I am looking for, from modern grind, to slapa-licious funk, to thick vintage vibe. It always amazes me how much tonal variety I can get out of that pickup.

I love how adjustable the 3b-5B preamps are with the 3 band EQ. They somehow enhance the bass's sound without coloring or changing the core sound of the bass. With how flexible these preamps are I am able to get any tone out of my bass that I need.

Find out more about Karl on

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