Birth name Stuart James Phillips
Born October 12, 1977 (age 38)
Genres Blues, Rock, Hard Rock, Metal, Nu-Metal, Progressive Rock-Metal, Classical, Instrumental Rock/Metal and Funk.
Years active 1991 - present
Instruments Bass Guitar, Guitar and Vocals.
Associated acts The Coasters, The Sleeping Dogs, Yes Men, Jade/Cleaner.
Ibanez 7 Gio Ibanez 6 Gio Ibanez Gio Jem
Stuart James “Stu” Phillips (Born October 12, 1977) is an English rock guitarist, songwriter, vocalist as well as a funk fusion bass guitarist. Phillips started his professional career in early 1991 at the age of only 14, when he played rhythm and also lead guitar for ‘The Shout’ and the ‘Nightingale Band’, lying about his age to be able to get into the clubs where the bands were playing. In the mid 90’s Phillips played second guitar for ‘Metanoyer.’ Since the 90’s Phillips has played, recorded and toured with a number of musical artists. He is currently working on two projects, his first album with his new band, and a solo album, both to be announced soon.
1. Career 2. Playing style 3. Equipment 4. Personal life 5. External links
1991 to present
Phillips’ father was also a guitarist who played on a compilation album with a band called ‘N16’ and from the earliest age the young Phillips listened to his father rehearsing. By the time he could manage to hold a guitar, around the age of two, he began trying to copy his father. His father gave him lessons whenever he had time. Phillips then took his first formal lesson at the age of six from Mark Sutherland of ‘Café Music Recording Studios.’ By this time Phillips’ parents had split up and he went to live with his mother. Mrs Phillips however, was not too keen on her son’s growing passion for the guitar. Feeling that it would lead to an unstable lifestyle for her son, she would not allow a guitar in the house and encouraged his academic life. Phillips, on the other hand, had other ideas and drove his mother crazy playing air-guitar or ‘brooms’ around the house until she finally gave in and gave him his first guitar. This happened to be an old left handed 1946 Gibson electro-acoustic that had been stored in the loft and which he still has and plays to this day. The fact that it was left handed did not deter the young Phillips. He struggled along as a right-hander, playing a left-handed guitar, not thinking to re-string it the other way. Finally he mastered his chords and solos. His mother, amazed at his determination and passion, finally bought him an electric guitar – a ‘Burns Scorpion.’ There was only one problem, it was Right-handed! Poor Phillips now struggled along playing ‘right handed’ again, not thinking to re-string it the other way. Finally he mastered that too. These early trials enable him to play either left or right-handed guitars, but he still prefers to play right-handed.
At the age of 14 he joined ‘The Shout’ as second guitar along side bassist ‘Stuart Cavilla’, now of ‘Breed 77’. Around this time Phillips also joined ‘The Nightingale Band’, playing Sunday afternoons jazz/blues. He was later picked up by ‘Pandemonium Blue’ to play bass in their jazz/fusion ensemble. This was his first outing on bass after picking up points from a meeting with ‘Pino Pallidino’ at a festival at the London Arena. Phillips then left ‘Pandemonium Blue’ to join ‘Metanoya’ as lead guitarist and worked with them for about a year and a half. By this time Phillips was about 18 and felt it was time to form his own band, which he called ‘Degeneration X’. This was short lived however due to the name, as this was also the name of a wrestling group and it seemed no one would take it seriously. Phillips had chosen the name as homage to ‘Billy Idols’ ‘Generation X’. Phillips played with various bands during this time but, feeling unfulfilled musically, decided to take a break from performing to work on practicing, writing and developing his musical style.
About two years later, a chance meeting with ‘Laurence Steele’ threw Phillips back into playing bass for Steele’s band ‘The Link.’ During this time Phillips also had a chance meeting with ‘Paul Duncan’ of ‘Cleener’ who was looking for a new bass guitarist. Phillips auditioned and was asked to join the band. He worked with ‘Cleener’ for about a year, the band then morphed into ‘Jade.’ The music for Jade was written predominantly by Phillips, Pierre Gelat and Duncan whereas the material for ‘Cleener’ was written by Duncan alone. It was during this time that ‘Jade’ played at the ‘Cargo Club’ and Phillips met with bass player ‘Michael Barnes’ of ‘Project XXX.’ Phillips and Barnes discussed working on a new project together, but due to other commitments nothing came of this until much later. Phillips continued to work with ‘Jade’ for another year and a half. In the fall of 2000/2001 ‘Jade’ disbanded and about a year later Phillips joined guitarist ‘Nikira Garcia’s’ band ‘Angel Cry.’ It was ‘Garcia’ who gave Phillips the nickname ‘The bass player from hell’ in recognition of his ability to play in any style. Throughout this time Phillips was also still working with ‘The Link’, and through this Phillips and Steele met with ‘Lee Adshead’ and ‘John Foward’ of ‘The Sleeping Dogs’ and both Phillips and Steele recorded an album, ‘Lie’ with them in 2006, playing bass and lead guitar respectively. Phillips was also given the nickname of ‘Jukebox Jury’ of TV fame, by ‘Lee Adshead’ of ‘The Sleeping Dogs’ because it seemed there wasn’t a song Phillips couldn’t play and which, even if he didn’t know the song, he has an amazing ability to hear the song once and play it exactly, note for note. This news quickly found its way onto the session circuit and resulted in Phillips being hired as a session musician, playing both bass and guitar for some big name players in the music industry. This was not new to Phillips however, as he had already been hired as a session player early on in his career by various acts. Whilst working with ‘The Sleeping Dogs’, Steele formed ‘Yes Men’ with ‘The Sleeping Dogs’ drummer, ‘Daryl Holly’ and Phillips on bass. Phillips worked with the ‘Yes Men’ for about a year. Then left around 2007, feeling that he needed time to work on his own musical projects.
Phillips is currently working on two of his own projects along side ‘Michael Barnes’ of ‘Project XXX’ and ‘Adrian Lawrence’ of ‘Craig David’ and ‘Fink.’ One of these two projects is, ‘The Stu Phillips Band,’ in which Phillips plays lead guitar in his own highly technical, progressive rock compositions, along side a couple of covers from a similar genre. Phillips’ other project is the first in a series of albums of his heavy metal based compositions in which he also plays lead guitar. The name of the band is to be revealed soon.
Phillips has been influenced musically by various guitarist, notably, ‘Peter Green,’ ‘Danny Kirwan,’ ‘Freddie King’ and ‘Roy Buccanan,’ as well as the great ‘Jimi Hendrix.’ Contemporary influences include ‘Zakk Wylde,’ ‘Tom Morrello,’ ‘Gary Moore,’ and ‘Bill Steer’ of ‘Napalm Death,’ and ‘Firebird.’ Bass influences are ‘Pino Pallidino’ and the late, great, ‘Jaco Pastorious.’ Song writing influences include ‘Bob Dylan,’ ‘Peter Green’ and ‘The Beatles.’
Phillips is a rock guitarist of highly developed technical ability, bordering on virtuoso. However, he never loses his feel for free expression in the process. He constantly sets himself new challenges, always seeking to stretch his abilities to the outer limits. He can play both highly emotive and lyrical pieces as well as the heaviest of heavy metal, both with the corresponding depth of expression. His own compositions can sometimes be heavy, but they never lack emotion, feel and groove. They are never heavy for the sake of being heavy, but reflect the subject matter of the lyrics. Phillips is strongly influenced by bands such as ‘Black Label Society,’ and ‘Faith No More.’ As an artist, Phillips strives to use the sum of all his influences and carry ‘Rock/ Metal music with a difference, forward to a new level, and into the 21st century and beyond.
Through ‘The Link’ Phillips began working as an assistant engineer with ‘Ed Williams’, The Link’s drummer who owns the recording studio ‘Easy Street Studios’, recording mainly reggae artist. Phillips now has his own studio where he mainly records his own material.
Phillips, although a self-confessed Hendrix and Beatles fan tends to go for the futuristic approach by using Ibanez guitars almost exclusively. However, he has been known to use other guitars such as a 1969 Fender Stratocaster with all original parts except machine heads, which is a prototype of the 1970 version, a 1989 Gibson Les Paul custom BFG, a 1958 re-issue Gibson Flying V, a 1998 Squire Stratocaster Custom with three Seymour Duncan stacked humbuckers, a Shine Bullet Custom with DiMarzio SSH configuration, and a 1988 Yamaha RBX bass with two Bartolini active pickups and active circuitry. More recently Phillips has been using a white, custom-made ‘Tree of Life’ inlay Floral Jem, fondly known as ‘Gio’ (a cross between Steve Vai’s Jem and a Gio 6), with DiMarzio HSH configuration and original Floyd Rose double locking tremolo system. Phillips’ main guitars are his Gio 6 series Ibanez guitars, which feature Lo-Pro Edge double locking tremolo system and Evolution HSH configuration pickups and his Gio 7 series, which is a seven string Ibanez that features a fixed bridge unit and DiMarzio screamer HH configuration pickups. He also still uses his very first guitar which is his 1946 left handed Gibson electro acoustic, which features a shadow custom pickup and ebony fret board. This is the guitar that was passed down to him by his Mother. Phillips uses a wide range of effects; his favoured, a Morley Pro Wah, which is modified for a higher range is the first of many. Other effects include the amp modelling J-Station and J-8 Midi Pedal, which gives Phillips the tone he requires at the time. Phillips doesn’t stick to any fixed regime or use effects just for the sake of using effects. Phillips uses a Trace Elliott bass amp, known as ‘The Mental Rig’, which features one bullet horn made by Custom Speakers, two ten inch Celestion GP10s and one fifteen inch Celestion GP15 speaker, he also has a Fender Bassman head in a Yamaha Cabinet. Guitar amps include; a Vox AC30. He currently uses a Marshall JCM 800 Lead, with high gain modification and Marshall 1960 cabinet with the original vintage Celestion speakers.
Phillips’ interests outside of music include a love of film; his favourite director is Stanley Kubrick, closely followed by David Lynch. His favourite films are Clockwork Orange and Mulholland Drive. Phillips is also an avid fan of the TV series Supernatural, Twin Peaks and V, (original and new). Phillips has also studied various forms of martial arts, including, Ju-Jitsu, Shoot Fighting and Muey Thai and was taken to Thailand as a young boy by his then tutor, to watch and learn. However, these days most of Phillips’ time is taken up by music. Phillips is also a non-smoker and vegetarian as well as an animal lover. He has two beloved pet dogs, Candy and Galaxy and a pet pigeon called Hendrix.
• Stu Phillips’ Official Homepage.
• Stu Phillips’ Official Myspace.
• Stu Phillips Band Official Myspace.
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