Allow me to introduce Jeff Stella, Alpine Camp Bassist.
When you did pick up your first instrument?
“I was six, I think, and it was a snare drum from Santa Claus…”
Tell me about when music became a part of your life.
As long as I can remember music has been a big part of my life and I always had an opinion- at four or five I hated “Light My Fire” by the Doors (still don’t like the Doors.) I was lip-syncing to Jackson Five records at seven.”
Who are your musical heroes?
“Any one brave enough to step out on stage and perform for one or a hundred thousand people and maintain their dignity.”
How many bands have you been in and what were they like?
“That is a long list!! My first band was started in my friends basement back in Detroit and the conversation went as follows:
Keith-“Hey lets star a rock band!”
Me-“Ok, that would be cool”
Keith-“I will play guitar, what do you want to play?”
Since that fateful day I have been in all kinds of bands, rock, country, punk, new wave, show bands, wedding bands, garage bands, I even played for an Elvis impersonator!”
How many bands are in you now?
“Two- The Alpine Camp and The Redneck Rolemodels, and I have played some fill-in type gigs with a country band called Alvarado too.”
Tell me about your musical endeavors both past and present.
“Currently I am focusing on both the Alpine Camp and Redneck Rolemodels, new music and starting to work with a producer/ writer on jingles and royalty free music.
In the past I have recorded several albums and countless demos with a varied list of acts, some of which I was a member and others as a sideman. I have performed all over the country and in Canada. I like to Paraphrase Bon Jovi with regards to my experience:
“I’ve seen a thousand faces and I’ve rocked, most of them!””
How did you link up with The Alpine Camp?
“Craig’s List of course!”
How do you like playing with The Alpine Camp?
“I absolutely love it! It is just an easy atmosphere to play in, laid back, no pressure and fun music to play.”
What instrument do you play in the band?
“The bass guitar.”
Is that your primary instrument?
Do you play other instruments?
“I tinker around on the guitar and piano but have never considered myself a guitarist or pianist. I use both of those instruments as a relaxation tool, to work out musical ideas and entertain myself!”
Give me a breakdown of your gear.
“I have four basses, two acoustic guitars, a digital piano, synthesizer (both keyboards are in storage in New York,) an amplifier and a small pedal board.” –
1978 MusicMan Sting Ray bass, a classic and is to be buried with me when I pass on!
1997 Charles Cote custom Jazz Bass
2012 Fender Precision Bass
2014 Hobo Guitars Stella Bass, a custom fretless Jazz-style bass like Jaco’s
Late 90’s SWR Super Redhead amplifier, 2 x 10” combo, 350 watts
Pedal Board with some switching, EQ devises and compression
Bluebird acoustic guitar
Eastwood acoustic guitar
Kawai digital piano
KORG Triton LE synthesizer What is the gear that you use on stage?
“That’s funny because I usually only use one bass on a gig and only bring an amp 20% of the time as most clubs now have a backline. Which is why I put together a small pedal board so I have more control over my sound when the backline is lacking.”
What is your favorite gear that you don’t use on stage?
“Probably my acoustic guitar, its here in Los Angeles, but I really would like my piano back….”
What are your favorite venues that you’ve played.
“Harpo’s, Bookies Club 870, St. Andrews Hall all in Detroit
First Avenue in Minneapolis
The Metro in Chicago
House of Blues Los Angeles (West Hollywood)
The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano
The Lounge at the airport Best Western in Des Moines, Iowa!” What are your favorite venues to experience live music in LA?
“Genghis Cohen, The Snug at Molly Malone’s, The Mint, The Troubadour”
Ok that’s it for now. More band interviews to come!