U.K. bassist loves the brand’s comfort and versatility
By David Sands
June 16, 2017
The New Zealand-based bass manufacturer Stonefield Music has added a new artist to their family, and it turns out he’s pretty darn good at arithmetic. Their newest endorsing artist is none other than Joe Branton, who plays bass for the instrumental Prog/Math Rock band Poly-Math.
Based in Brighton England, the U.K. outfit draws influence from groups like King Crimson, ASIWYFA, Santana, Battles and the The Mars Volta. Known for their densely layered, off-kilter sound and shifting time signatures, Poly-Math’s mission is to “seek out new levels of complexity in their music whilst never straying too far from a neatly arranged composition.” In addition to Branton, the rock trio is rounded out by guitarist Tim Walters and drummer Chris Woolison.
As a relative newcomer to the industry, Stonefield doesn’t endorse a whole bunch of artists. While they’ve currently got Cincinnati funkmeister Freekbass and LA session artist Dan Antunovich on board as endorsers, the manufacturer has deliberately been very careful about who it chooses as musical ambassadors for its brand.
Stonefield founder Tomm Stanley first met Branton earlier this year while he was in England attending the London Bass Guitar show. Chris Mariani and Zoe Ashfield of Zed Music Distribution had been taking him around to some of the local shops, and he got the opportunity to meet the bassist, who also happens to be the marketing manager for the GAK music store.
Branton was immediately impressed by Stanley’s product.
“When I first played a Stonefield I was amazed that it was so comfortable and that in spite of it’s reasonably normal weight it is a massive, chunky, wooden behemoth of a bass,” he remembers. “There’s no way something so different should feel so familiar.”
About a month later, Stanley received a message from Branton that he was leaving a arrangement with Fender and interested in cultivating a relationship with Stonefield.
“I didn’t hesitate,” says Stanley. “I had seen that he loved our basses and we had gotten on really well together. He’s a great player and I love Poly-Math’s musical style…you just can’t ignore those kind of things all coming together…I’m really excited to now have Joe on-board as a Stonefield artist.”
For his part, Branton is also delighted to now be an ambassador for Stonefield.
“For me, having the tonal capabilities without the sacrifice of having to use active circuitry is priceless,” he says. “Playing in Poly-Math requires such a broad pallet of tones; one minute I’ll need a woody, traditional old school thump, and the next I’ll need something with enough high mid focus to complement a thick distortion, I’ve never played a bass that can do all of that this so well and so effortlessly. I couldn’t be happier with the instrument I now have.”
You can check Branton rocking out on a Stonefield below in a Poly-Math promotional video for the Boss MS-3 Multi Effects Switcher:
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