INSTRUMENTAL: The Coffee Table

What was envisioned to be a regular thing has since turned into a fairly random thing due to my inability to accomplish anything in a timely manner. One of these days I’ll get my comeuppance.

In this installment of INSTRUMENTAL I interview Samuel Hudson a one-time member of Everclear and most recently the bassist for Scott Stapp’s touring band.

What Make/Model is the bass?

Unity Series by Peavey. It was never mass produced. The bass I have was patent pending. I got it in 1991.

What is your history with the bass?

When I bought it I went in because I always wanted a Fender Precision. Those are what I use as my primary touring bass now, but back then when it was one-bass-at-a-time, I just wanted a Precision. But, I played a P-Bass and I played this particular bass and it felt so much better. I wasn’t even actually wanting a Peavey, it’s not like it was a great name in the industry at the time, but I couldn’t deny that it plays really well and the wood it’s made of cannot be harvested anymore – it’s one solid piece of Koa. [Ed. Acacia koa is the second most common tree in Hawaii, but has been harvested so completely that the only new cutting comes from dying trees or those on private property] Once I got it, I immediately installed some Bartolini pickups because the ones that came with it were pretty cheap.

What’s the story with the gaff tape?

The front of house sound engineer with Everclear, Derek, a really funny guy he decided to take a bright green piece of gaff tape to cover the truss rod. The piece that covers it is always missing. So he took it upon himself to take a bright green piece of gaff tape and cover that spot and then write “Peavey Beginners Series” on it and I’ve just left it. I’ve played this bass on Good Morning America, The Tonight Show, and other shows and it’s always funny to see that little tiny bright green piece of tape – it just stands out like you wouldn’t believe.

Any good war stories?

I remember one time playing a gig and at one part there was some unison singing going on and trying to get people to clap their hands I slung the bass around to my back and the stap-lock broke. It hit the ground and I had no chance to save it. But, it being such a solid piece of wood nothing happened to it.

Aesthetically, it’s my least favorite bass. It had the nickname “The Coffee Table” for awhile. [It does again!]

How does it play?

I have used this bass on a lot of albums. Seventy to eighty percent of the tracking that I have done has been with this bass. In the studio, you A-B all the different basses and different sounds and this one is so versatile and has such a warm round tone to it. It just sounds great. Plays great and sounds great.