Mia Wallace: “With Niryth, it is absolutely essential to play five-string bass”

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(Image: © Martin Rahn)

Mia Wallace of Niryth, Triumph Of Death and Blacklight Inferno raises the devil horns.

“I started playing bass in 1994. My boyfriend at the time, who would become my bandmate and best friend for 25 years, encouraged me to try his white Fender Squier Vintage bass. It was extremely heavy, but I immediately became passionate about this amazing instrument. My first bass was a marvellous four-string Hoyer SG-type from 1970.

I was likely the first female bass player in Italy to wear corpsepaint, to play black metal on stage, and to perform fire-breathing during the concerts

“I created The True Endless, a black metal group, in Italy in winter 1997 with my best friend, M. I was likely the first female bass player in Italy to wear corpsepaint, to play black metal on stage, and to perform fire-breathing during the concerts. The band recorded and released albums, demos, rehearsals, and split tapes from the very beginning. Some were self-released, others produced by eminent labels from the underground. We shared the stage with bands such as Marduk, Deicide, Vader, Helheim, Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult, Besatt, Morrigan, Vesna, Mortuary Drape, Opera IX and many more, and we played various countries throughout Europe. 

“In 2017, the group released what was probably our most accomplished album, Blacklight Inferno. It was our final release, as M passed away on November 16, 2017, after months of battles against a deadly illness. Due to this tragedy, I decided to terminate the band after 20 years of intense activity.

Three bassists, five strings

“With Skoll, I played keyboards during the early years of the group. Eighteen years later, I played bass for live sessions, from 2015 to 2016. In the autumn of 2017, I formed the group Niryth with Tom Gabriel Warrior of Hellhammer, Celtic Frost and Triptykon. It is a truly unique project, featuring three bassists and a drummer. We are currently working on our first album. In spring 2018, Tom also asked me to participate in Triumph Of Death, a respectful tribute to Hellhammer that will play their body of music onstage for the very first time ever.

“I’ve been playing four-string basses for 20 years, but with Niryth, it is absolutely essential to play five-string bass, as the music requires far more versatility. I always felt good vibes with BC Rich basses. Among my favourite basses is a BC Rich Beast, in fact. My bass hero is the unique Peter Steele, nobody else. His style remains unmatched. A true legend. I personally think there are a lot of great bass players worldwide, but I’ve always been fascinated by the onstage charisma of Martin Eric Ain.

“As I have often been wont to do, I’ll quote Friedrich Nietzsche: ‘Without music, life would be a mistake.’ That has always been my modus vivendi.”

Gear

  • Basses: Epiphone Nikki Sixx Blackbird, BC Rich Beast, Clover BassTard
  • Effects: Boss ODB-3, Boss DD-3, Marshall Reflector RF-1 
  • Amps: Warwick Profet 5.2
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