Tim Rykoski

At first, it was simple; I saw an upright bass and said “I want to play that one.”  It was basic, natural, and instinctual.  As I took lessons and began electric bass and now it is 16 years and many gigs later. My musical taste ranged from the likes of Led Zeppelin and the Doors to Rush, Primus, and Dream Theater.   I was drawn to odd time signatures and to the idea of bass not having to always take a back seat.  In my mind it could both follow and lead, being an equal companion to guitar and keyboards.

I feel that every event in life should have a playlist.  There are times for music to underscore a conversation, accompany you in sleep, change your mood from unruly to content, deepen your mood from sad to miserable, and times to study its ins and outs.  My study of music would lead me to Western Connecticut State University where I would graduate with a jazz performance degree.  My time in study was balanced with rock via MMZ, jazz, classical, and musical theater gigs.  The level of my musicianship increased greatly, and I was able to bring an even more cognitive approach to MMZ while preserving the emotional connection.

And still, the years of playing a multitude of stages and styles, there’s nothing like the feeling I get playing with Mile Marker Zero.  Here I can go from laying down a rock solid bass line perfectly lined up with the kick drum, to a fluttering melodic line that floats above the keys and guitar in a duet with the vocals.   Listening to bass players like Geddy Lee, Les Claypool, Ryan Martini, Tim Commerford, Justin Chancellor, and Robert Sledge, I’ve borrowed and augmented styles and approaches to shape the way I approach bass.  A large part of my playing is also forged in my rhythmic listening, which can come from bands like Fear Factory or Meshuggah, and drummers like Neil Peart, Danny Carey or Chris Adler.  Classically it has been Chopin, Rachmaninov, and Vivaldi.  For jazz I turn to Dave Holland, Charlie Parker, Joe Henderson and for fusion it’s Chic Corea and Weather Report.  Also, Herbie Hancock’s entire catalog, especially the Blue Note 60’s and the funk 70’s material has been so important to me over the years.   Recently I have dabbled in the indie rock and electronic scene with Spoon, The Shins, Hot Chip, Pinback, Death Cab For Cutie, The Kills, and many others.

It endures that there is no feeling like that of playing particularly evocative music with true friends.  The music I try to play is the same type of music that makes me think and feel when I hear others play.  I am, as my music is, the sum of my experiences and observations.