Tom Bielek, the US
1. For the first question we want to know when did you start to play the bass guitar? Was it easy for you to learn bass?
When I was about 11 years old I picked it up because it looked like fun and easy. It wasn’t easy because I wasn’t very coordinated, but I stuck to practicing it every day for hours until I became comfortable with it.
2. Playing on the bass for you is… Hobby? Job? Lifestyle?
It’s a hobby that I want to eventually become a job and lifestyle.
3. Who is your musical inspiration among bassists?
My influence initially came from professionals like Flea and Jack Bruce, but my sole inspiration came from my uncle Steve Bielek. He is a natural bass player and executes the best bass lines so effortlessly. I’m truly honored to have learned under him.
4. Do you play any other musical instruments? If you start to learn another one which would you like?
I attempt to play whatever instrument I pick up, but I have the most confidence with the bass. Classical guitar would be my next choice.
5. Musical instrument with which you can be associated with is…
6. Tell us about the projects in which you participate?
I’ve been with Rivet (Los Angeles, CA) for about 2 ½ years. Also I still play some reunion shows with a band, I founded with some friends back in 1992, called EOE (Pittsburgh, PA)
7. What do you feel on live performances? How friendly and open are you with your fans?
The rush I get from performing live is the reason I continue to play. My bass becomes a way for me to execute every note as if it were my last. I am very friendly and open with my fans. I enjoy meeting people and learning what I can from them. It allows me to create memories and connect with them on a deeper level.
8. What do you like except music? Can you imagine yourself in other areas of life?
I like traveling and learning about other cultures. Also I really enjoy learning how things are made. I feel like I can do almost anything because I am a very driven person with ambitions and goals. My current career in import / export manufacturing fills the needs I have outside of music.
9. Maybe other bass players or those who start to learn bass are reading this article now. Let’s talk about technical stuff. Which brand do you prefer? Does quality of music depend on the guitar’s brand or of the skill of the bass player?
I currently use a Korean Spector 5 String bass because it gives me the sound I need, its tough, and comfortable for my active playing. The quality of music depends both on the equipment and the skill of the player. The bass pickup setup, feel of the neck, and weight of the bass all play an important role in the playability and sound. I use a Gallien Krueger amp and cabinets to get the necessary depth and versatility needed. My style is not technical, but can learn anything. If I hear a challenging bass line I like, I often learn it just for fun. Most of my training was by ear and watching techniques of players I respected.
10. And the last question is about your musical dreams and plans. What are you planning for the future? What are you dreaming about? What should we wish for you?
The current plan is to be progressive in all aspects of the band. We released a record recently and continue to grow our local following. We are receiving better performance opportunities and expanding to other regions. My dream and overall goal is to drive my music career to the point where it pays me more than my current job and becomes my main source of income, and also to be known in history as one of the great performers of our time. I would like others to wish me success in achieving my goals, good health, and a long life.