Darryl Anders’ AgapeSoul

Darryl Anders

Some people look great in hats. Some people wear many hats - metaphorically speaking that is. Bay Area bassist Darryl Anders clearly falls into both of these categories as his reach in the music industry extends far and wide - and he looks rather dapper in a fedora!

Known by many throughout the MI world as the Bass Products Manager at Jim Dunlop, Darryl also has an impressive roster of performing credits including stints with Tower of Power and Booker T. Jones as well as records with Zigaboo Modeliste, Vicki Randle and Charlie Peacock. His recording/ production credits also include creating music for RockBand and Guitar Hero video games.

Darryl can now add the title of "Band Leader" to his skill set as evidenced by his recently released album Believe in Love from AgapeSoul. With his bass sitting loudly (and proudly) in the mix, Anders clearly steers the ship but his years of experience as a sideman give him the restraint needed to bring a well-rounded – and soulful - listening experience rather than being a straight "chops record". Anders agrees, "For me, the most important thing was to make a record that was not a bass record. I wanted listeners to focus their attention on the songs as a whole and to make music that makes people feel good in a world that is constantly throwing you curve balls".

Ditching the electronic trappings that plague so much modern R&B, AgapeSoul relies on the band member’s killer musicianship and strong writing rather than loops or samples to bring their songs to life. From the straight-up funk of the title track to the sublime balladry of If I Ever Loose This Heaven, Believe in Love is one of the finest modern Soul/ R&B albums you will likely hear in 2013.

When asked how this band came together Anders reveals:

"I wrote the music with my good friend - and amazing keyboardist - Joe Gilman quite a while ago. There was a period of about 3-4 years where I was doing lots of music for video games. We did Karaoke Revolution, Guitar Hero, Dance Revolution and RockBand. I was constantly in the studio working with a great team of musicians and engineers replicating all these classic songs and I thought, "If it feels this good to do this, imagine what it would be like to do my own music"! For years I had a box of demos sitting around so I put the band together to play those songs live. As we started playing live I felt like I needed a better demo to get more gigs and that turned into us making the CD."

You have been a huge fan of Aguilar preamps for many years now...

I have Aguilar preamps in everything - the OBP-1 is the most musical sounding preamp I’ve ever used! I also have the Tone Hammer preamp/DI pedal. Aguilar is such a huge part of my sound! If you guys went away I don’t know what I’d do!

What gear did you use on the album?

I played my custom Mike Lull 4 and 5 string basses for most of the record. I also used my Elrick Evolution 5 on "Voice of Reason" a Spector Euro4LX on the solo section of "If I Ever Lose This Heaven" and an Alleva Coppolo LG5 on "Don't Say U Love Me". All the Mike Lull's (5) and the Spector’s (3) have the Aguilar OBP-1 preamp; the Elrick has an OBP-3.

How about your live rig?

Well, I have been a diehard Aguilar GS Series cab user since they were introduced and the same can be said for the DB 750/751 and the Tone Hammer 500. That gives me a huge arsenal of tone! For cabinets, I have four GS 112’s and a GS 412. The GS 112 and GS 412 are the best cabs ever!

AgapeSoul has just announced a handful of West Coast dates for this summer – and may have some UK and east coast dates coming this fall. In addition, to the promise of more live dates, Anders is looking forward to the next AgapeSoul album - "I've already started writing songs for the next record. I love the process of songwriting and this time I'm writing with some of the people in the band. It’s great to be recognized and appreciated as a bass player but infinitely more gratifying to me to have people say they "love the songs" and leave our shows saying "that was a great band"!

Thanks for giving us the lowdown Darryl! Be on the lookout for more from Darryl Anders’ AgapeSoul!

Check out the video for the title track to Believe in Love here.

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