Artist Spotlight :: Jonathan Lai

Bio

Jonathan Lai

Jon is a session bassist based in Hong Kong. He began playing professionally at the age of 18 playing functions and corporate events. He has performed with artists such as Alfred Hui, Hubert Wu, Jeremy Lau and JNYBeatz. Jon also recorded for Chinese boy band ONER, Hong Kong up-and-coming singer AnsonBean and local rock band Canband.

What/Who inspired you to pick up your instrument?

FLEA! I was tempted to get my first bass at 14 after watching the chili peppers' live DVD. I formed my first band with my classmate when I was in lower secondary school and started learning music. Who could resist RHCP's ebullient and forceful playing of catchy hot grooves?

What piece of musical advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to the beginning of your musical journey?

Seize every opportunity to play on stage! You may turn down a performing invitation because you may feel insecure or find your band is unready for it or even it just makes a spectacle of yourself, vacillating to go or not to go. Unfortunately preparing in bedroom or rehearsal room won't make you a great showman. Don't be too shy, young musician!

What keeps you excited about playing?

Almost everything! Live performing experiences is always interesting to talk about, no matter if it's about rocking and swaying on a rolling yacht under a sun shower or cough away because of the crazy fog machine.

Music education is another fun thing. I met talented student just blew my mind. My playing also improved while explaining the techniques to my students. Learning musical instrument is extremely rewarding, you gain what you paid, you know you get better after practice day by day and its nothing related to luck.

Studying music is like digging an unlimited treasure. New technologies of music making are exciting as there are new products or methods every day. Studying music genres from around the world, the culture, history, specific art forms, exotic grooves, keep me excited as well.

Desert Island 3 pedal pedalboard (not including tuner)

I'm stoked with 3 Leaf Audio Proton Envelope Filter. It's the funkiest pedal which is easy to use and great sounding. I could mess around jamming with it for a whole day.

EBS Microbass II Preamp pedal is my centerpiece pedal. The 2 channels pedal is solidly constructed with high quality footswitches, the tube sim button just bring me more happiness.

I like using the vintage BOSS MIJ OC-2 as it's a well-built tool still working without problem today. This true bass classic delivers a smooth versatile bass tone although its pitch is not precise as a modern octave pedal.

When you find yourself in a musical rut, what techniques do you do to break out of it?

I will go travel, probably a one week trip with family or friends so I could meet new people and see new things. Usually I will miss playing bass, doing gigs and lessons on the third or fourth day.

Who is your favorite artist/band today? And who was your favorite artist/band 10 years ago?

It's too hard to pick… Jamiroquai, Incognito and Maxell are my favorite artists 10 years ago and today.

When you find yourself in a music store - what is your go-to riff when test drive gear?

Marcus Miller's bassline on "Run for Cover" and Jaco Pastorius's line on "The Chicken" are my all-time favorite testing slapping and fingering respectively on new gear.

What is your most prized/cherished piece of gear? And why?

It's my De Gier Elevation bass. It's a single-cut bass with amazing-looking top wood. I just felt good and comfortable playing it, I love the sound, the shape, the wood and the craftsmanship of the bass. Incredible work by Dutch luthier Sander De Gier. It's sad that the model is discontinued.

What is the next big musical purchase you're hoping to save for?

At present I am quite satisfy with my arsenal. I guess a few more custom basses from De Gier? :-]

Gear Breakdown

Jonathan Lai Gear

I have a few "Standard Instrument Cable", "XLR Cable" and "Speaker Cable" in different lengths and colors. I use them in my own tiny studio, place some of them in other recording studios that I used to go to and bring them to every stage I play.

In most of the time I just keep things simple. In studio, sometimes I just plug in the Neve or Universal Audio preamp with the "Standard Instrument Cable". In other cases, I connect my bass and Trickfish .5K amp head with the "Standard Cable", a "Speaker Cable" between amp head and cab and a "XLR Cable" from the DI out of the amp head to the mixing console. Of course another "XLR Cable" is in use if miking the cab is needed.

I also have the Rattlesnake Junction boxes in my gig bags just in case of unexpected big stage :]

The Rattlesnake Cable handles the signal so well that offers the best dynamics response and clear tone I've ever heard. They are solidly built and reliable, saving you from anxiety of unwanted and unexpected noise.



Bands / Projects

Jonathan Lai



Social Links




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Reviews on Google

Rod Seney
Rod Seney
9/9/2020
I was looking for a rather long cable to run from my pedal board to my amp. I was, obviously, concerned about tone loss, but needed to relocate my amp. Hank was very responsive to my questions, and guiding me in what I am trying to accomplish. His cables are fantastic, and very durable. In the end,... Read
Paul Duray
Paul Duray
11/6/2021
Definitely the best quality cable I’ve ever owned. I’ve purchased cheap cables for over 40 years, just to have to replace them every couple years. You’ll be blown away by the build quality and how they improve your sound. Do yourself a favor and spend a little more now so you won’t have to... Read
Tony Ash
Tony Ash
9/12/2020
Best cables out there. Made with great care, available in a wide variety of colors, and fully backed by amazing customer support. A+.
Tony Ash
Rod Seney
9/9/2020
I was looking for a rather long cable to run from my pedal board to my amp. I was, obviously, concerned about tone loss, but needed to relocate my amp. Hank was very responsive to my questions, and guiding me in what I am trying to accomplish. His cables are fantastic, and very durable. In the end, he gave me a cable that works for exactly what I need. As a result, I've purchased other cables and a tester from Rattlesnake Cable Company. I highly recommend them!
Close
Tony Ash
Paul Duray
11/6/2021
Definitely the best quality cable I’ve ever owned. I’ve purchased cheap cables for over 40 years, just to have to replace them every couple years. You’ll be blown away by the build quality and how they improve your sound. Do yourself a favor and spend a little more now so you won’t have to in the future!!
Close
Tony Ash
Tony Ash
9/12/2020
Best cables out there. Made with great care, available in a wide variety of colors, and fully backed by amazing customer support. A+.
Close

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