A late starter, Kevin did not pick up the bass guitar until he turned 18 years old. He fell in love with the low end instantly and has never looked back, developing a huge passion for all aspects of the bass. Deliberately opting not to seek tuition to assist in his learning, he has developed his own unique, fast, aggressive and percussive finger-style technique, taking influences from a broad range of players across many genres, from funk to heavy metal. Perhaps unusually for a bassist in the progressive metal genre, he opts not to play 5+ string basses and instead prefers 4 string instruments in a variety of tunings, using a select number of effects and preamps to achieve his distinctive tones.
Kevin currently holds down the low end for Progressive Metal/Metalcore band Awaken Eternity, which he joined as a founding member in 2019. Inevitable delays caused by the dread C word meant that his first release with the band didn’t materialise until 2021, when their debut single “Serenity” was released, to critical acclaim. Two more successful singles followed, before their debut album was released in 2022. Their music can be found on their YouTube Artist channel and all good music streaming platforms.
In addition to his band duties, Kevin is available for dep work across the UK and is always open to collaborating with like-minded musicians for tracking/session work on a remote basis globally.
Kevin is proud to be an Alpher Instruments artist and owns two 4 string "Mako Elite" custom basses, "Blackburl" and "Blueburl".
What have been a few highlights of your career: I'm still waiting for that Hellfest headliner call! I think for me it's the simple things. As a bassist, sometimes we find ourselves fighting for attention amongst the guitarists and vocalists of the musical world (drummers, we're in it together!), so just being noticed is a wonderful thing. I've had people compare me to absolute idles such as Geddy Lee, John Stockman and Ryan Martinie and, whilst I can't hold a candle to those guys, it's still awesome to hear. I've also had people comment on my somewhat esoteric stage presence and tell me I was the focal point during a performance, which is odd but kinda cool!
That aside, I work with some SUPER talented guys in Awaken Eternity, and appearing on records and video releases with them are all highlights in themselves. It's early days for us, but earning a smattering of career highlight opportunities are high on the agenda!
Describe your rig or instrument of choice: Being a gearhead is something of a running joke when it comes to me and basses! However, after trying almost everything out there, for me Alpher Instruments tick just about every box there is. Stunning craftsmanship, and a mighty fine taste in pickup options too! ;)
Having extensively experimented with 5 and 6 string basses over the years, I've come to realise a 4 string does everything I need it to do. I spent far too long thinking I needed an extra string because I needed that low B, without realising how much fun a drop tuned 4 string can be. I realised that I almost always preferred to play further up the neck rather than use the G string on a standard 4, so the decision to drop tune was a real watershed moment for me.
I'm one of those modern metal musicians who gigs without an amp, so no backline for me since 2019! I use a Neural DSP Quad Cortex to send my bass straight to my IEMs and FoH with a variety of amp and cabinet simulations, and I've had nothing but positive feedback! Certainly saves your back, helpful when you're rapidly approaching the wrong side of your thirties...
How did you discover Nordstrand?
The first Nordstrand equipped bass I used must have been around 2014 on a bass I owned that was built by British luthier Sei Bass, based in London. They certainly left an impression on me and, whilst things didn't work out for me and that particular instrument, it wasn't too long afterwards that I spec'd Nordstrand pickups and a 3B preamp in a custom build.
Currently I use twin Nordstrand Bigman 4 pickups
in my Alpher Instrument Mako Elite "Blackburl" bass, together with a 3B preamp
. I enjoy a huge range of tonal options by having coil tap switches for both Bigman pickups, meaning I have crisp single coil and huge series/parallel tones at my fingertips.
Nothing hits quite as hard as Nordstrand pickups. For me, the bark, punch and growl is perfect for slicing through the heaviest of downtuned progressive grooves, whilst still sounding sweet and defined for the more percussive melodies. Thanks guys!
Artists whom with you are currently working: Awaken Eternity (Progressive Metal)
Other artists of note whom with you have worked: