Anyone who has paid attention to ESP over the past ten years or so knows that Will Adler, innovative guitarist and songwriter of Lamb of God, is a longterm member of the ESP family. We’ve now expanded a little deeper into the Lamb of God world with a new addition to the ESP artist roster: bassist John Campbell.
“My first experiences with ESP were through WIllie,” he says. “That’s when I first really started checking them out. Willie was always really happy with ESP.”
John’s first hands-on sessions with ESP basses, though, came from the connection with one of his heroes. “I’d seen ESP basses being played by people like Henkka of Children of Bodom, but I hadn’t done much playing on them myself. Then, we were on the Unholy Alliance tour in 2006, and my basses were lost by the airline. I borrowed a bass from Tom Araya of Slayer. I was probably more blown away that I was playing Tom Araya’s personal bass, but I also was able to tell that it was an excellent instrument.”
John chose the ESP Stream bass. Why?
“I ended up recording our last record on my ESP Stream,” he says. “It’s a phenomenal bass. I pick it up and the comfort is immediately there. It’s like it wants to be played. I’m trying not be cliche here, but I fell in love with this bass from that moment.
“I like that the Stream is a unique shape. It’s not just another bass. It has some character. Most of the time, when basses get odd shaped, the weight balance is terrible. This bass is incredibly well balanced and ridiculously comfortable. It’s a joy to play this bass.”
Okay, so the Stream has a good playing feel. What about the sound? John says, “It’s got the EMGs that I use already, so I was familiar with that. The Stream gives me a full sound that competes with blazingly loud guitars in the world I live in. The tone has a great thickness without losing clarity. It’s exactly what Il’ve been looking for.”
How does John feel about joining the ESP bass roster, with players like Tom Araya, Frank Bello, Rocco Prestia, Bunny Brunel and so on? “Absolutely ecstatic. I gotta pinch myself through all the successes of my whole career. Being with ESP, it’s amazing to be considered in the same list as these guys.”
We’re very happy to have John as one of the many bass players who are turning to ESP. You’ll be able to see and hear John with his ESP basses on the massive Lamb of God tour that starts next month in Europe and continues in the USA in July, August, and September. Please visit their web site for the most up-to-date tour info.