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Modus Operandi: Mark Menghi - Metal Allegiance

By: Ramon

Where would the metal all-star project Metal Allegiance be without its core values? One of those core values is Mark Menghi, who collaborates on the bass duties with David Ellefson and who on top of that has been involved with the band as an executive producer and producer. He is even one of the backbones of the team of writers and he is one of the founders of the project. A big man therefore, with a still relatively small name. So it is about time we’d put the spotlight on this star, that currently has a more modest position in the firmament of all the other radiant stars. Let us check out his gear.

Modus Operandi

Bass Guitars:
Fender Custom P-Bass Special AKA Trusty Ol’ Red and my backup bass is a Custom ESP Vintage 4 (same tuners, HipShot, Strings and pickups as Red).

DiMarzio Ultra Jazz passive pickups

Amps & Cabinets:
Ampeg SVT4 PRO, Ampeg SVT 810 Cabinets and Ampeg SVT 115 Cabinets

Morley Bass Wah and Ampeg SCR-DI

D’Addario XL170 45-Gauge Nickey Wound Bass Strings

band image


What was your first bass?
An Ibanez.

When did you start playing bass?
I started playing bass when I was about fifteen years old (give or take). It all started because a few of my friends started a band and they kept complaining that no one played bass and they really needed a bass player to finalize their band. I found an old Ibanez white bass in a thrift store on Long Island and purchased it for $30 and that started me on my path of playing….

That tis the story of a lot of bass players, great still. On which piece of gear do you keep your most beautiful memories and why?
That is my red bass known as Trusty Ol’ Red AKA my Fender Custom P-Bass Special. I got this bass when I was sixteen years old as a gift from my parents. I have modified this bass every which way to get it to where it is today. I had it re-fretted twice, changed the pickups at least 20 times with different variations, added a HipShot D-Tuner to the low E tuning peg, changed all the tuning pegs from the stock pegs to Schallers, changed the original pick guard (it came with a gold pick guard) to the now black pick guard, etc… this bass has been with me every step of the way, from recording two Metal Allegiance albums (David Ellefson even used this on some of his tunes), an EP and countless amounts of shows all over the world. She is my true love.

Stick with her, I’d say. Do you have an endorsement deal or a signature model? If so, could you tell us a little bit more about it?
I’m endorsed globally by Ampeg Amps. They’re absolutely amazing to deal with. I do not have a Bass Guitar endorsement because I just cannot stop playing my Red Fender. It’s my baby… maybe one day, but I’m really not looking to retire her yet. We still have much of the world to see together.

What was your worst purchase ever and why?
That is easy… a BC Rich Warlock bass. I have no idea what I was thinking with that one. I bought this around the year 2000-ish? It was a complete impulse buy. I was walking in my local music shop just gazing around and saw it sitting there used for $200. So I bought it… I took it to my then practice facility, put a strap on it and played one note before I took it off to never be touched again. The bass was so top-heavy that it would fall down constantly, plus it sounded terrible.

Who are your influences (musicians)?
Cliff Burton, Steve Harris, Geezer Butler, Randy Meisner and Jamers Jamerson,

What is on your wish list?
I really do not have one. I am very simple with the gear I have. I have worked a long time to narrow down what I use. I once had over 40 basses, god knows how many pedals, etcetera… What I use now works perfectly for me and I really wouldn’t change it. If anything, maybe a vintage 1960’s era Fender bass…

Ultimate goal as a musician?
Just to be the best musician I can be.

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Mark Menghi Twitter
Metal Allegiance homepage
YouTube Metal Allegiance
Mark Menghi on Metal Archives

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