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Niklas BromanOlli HakalaChrismHenri Kallio

 

 

OLLI HAKALA - BASS, CHAPMAN STICK & ELECTRIC UPRIGHT

 

My real interest in music came at the age of 14 when my brother started to play guitar. After watching him play for a while, I felt that I had to learn to play too, and that's when I started to practice with his guitar. After that came the idea of playing together as a band, and I thought that it would be cool to play bass so there won't have to be two guitarists in it. A lot of people ask what made me pick bass as my instrument and I guess that's the main reason and I sure am glad that I picked it. So there I was practicing some of Geezer Butlers bass-lines with my brother's guitar, learning the basic techniques and trying to play with finger style without a pick. The problem was that I couldn't play bass-lines with a guitar forever so I had to get a real bass, and fast. Then I got real lucky. My neighbour was selling his bass and amp + cab for a ridiculous price. I bought the 4-string VOX White Shadow bass and practically got a 400 watt Peavey Mark III amp with a huge cab for free! That was a real kick start for a young player to get practicing hard.

 

Almost immediately we formed a band with my brother (later known as Crash Course Highway) and started to play, at first covers, and later composing our own songs. After several years of hard practicing and playing with different musicians I was introduced to Christian. At those times I was getting into the progressive stuff, Dream Theater at first. When I saw John Myung play his 6-string bass, I knew I had to get myself one, and eventually I did. So when I met Christian, I had already played my 6-string for few years, and I was impressed of the compositions that Christian had written. Before I even noticed, I was in his band called Oblivion Ocean, later known as Simulacrum.

 

Here's a little something of my influences. At the early days I listened a lot to Black Sabbaths bassist, Geezer Butler, and Led Zeppelins bassist, John Paul Jones. So the roots of my playing style come from that direction. Then came Dream Theater's bassist, John Myung, which changed the direction quite a bit. When I got deeper into progressive music and all kinds of fusion bands like Planet X, I bumped into this bassist who totally changed my comprehension of bass playing, Tony Levin. His versatile style of playing had no limits. When I heard him play the Chapman Stick and some beautiful melodies with an Electric Upright or screeching some weird noises with a bow, I was simply blown away.

 

So here I am now playing with my own Grand Stick and 6-string EH bass, hopefully soon with my EH Electric Upright too. From what I've learned through these years, my advice to all the bassists is that it doesn't always have to be the lowest notes that we play.

 

Currently I'm also playing in another band, Crash Course Highway. And for those who are wondering: EH-series instruments are hand-made guitars by my father, Esa Hakala =)

 

 

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