Nick Oliveri on Bloodclot, bass guitars and playing dumb

Nick Oliveri has survived a career of implausible chaos with Kyuss, Queens Of The Stone age, the Dwarves and many other bands including his new project, Bloodclot. Take it away, Nick...

"Bloodclot was already formed by John [Joseph, Cro-Mags], Todd [Youth, Warzone] and Joey [Castillo, ex-Queens of the Stone Age] by the time I joined: I’m happy that I got to be a part of it, because when I heard the demos I was taken back to when I was a kid, listening to bands like Cro-Mags. 

I saw Cro-Mags play with Motörhead in 1986, and I’m in the video for their song We Gotta Know somehow

"I saw them play with Motörhead in 1986, and I’m in the video for their song We Gotta Know somehow, so I’m really excited to play with them. I did the bass after the songs were recorded, which is tougher than if you play it live: the stuff is quite demanding on your picking hand - you have to really command your part.

"I have a bunch of different gear that I’ve picked up over the years, as you can imagine. There’s a lot of old and new stuff, but for the last few years I’ve been using Orange 4x10 cabs. They look like 2x10s, but there’s two more 10s behind them: I can transport them around more easily than a big 8x10 fridge! 

"I also like the old Acoustic 360 heads, so I’ve been using one of the newer solid-state ones, although I like to use tubes in the studio. Solid-state amps travel better too, especially because it’s been a while since I had anybody setting up my gear and matching the tubes, which I definitely don’t know how to do.

"For bass guitars, I always use the same Fender Precisions and a Dan Armstrong. I had a bass made for me from the ground up by a buddy of mine, he made a P/J Special with both pickups. It’s got more of a Jazz neck in the low registers: it gets thinner at the bottom like a Jazz would. It doesn’t have a name on it: it’s just a black bass, and that’s the one I use in Bloodclot. 

I use a Boss Hyper Fuzz with a gain boost on it: I turn the level all the way up to where I want it to grind a little bit

"It plays super sweet. We tune to E flat and I use 105s: in the other bands I do which have lots of downtuning, I use 110s. I guess I should play a five-string in bands that tune down to B or C.

"I use a Boss Hyper Fuzz with a gain boost on it: I turn the level all the way up to where I want it to grind a little bit, and I keep that on all the time. They don’t make them any more. The other pedal I use is a Green Rhino overdrive for certain bass-featured parts, where I need a little more lift, so I can jump out more. 

"I don’t have any compression on my amp - I guess they have to do that at the board, because I tend to go full balls out when I play. I probably could use some compression to smooth things down and make it bigger... but I’ve yet to get that smart."

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