Sin City Presents Magazine May 2016 Volume 3 Issue 5 - Page 21

This month it’s all ABOUT THAT BASS with Claudia Elez! Look out guys! This girl absolutely rocks the bottom end! I always get excited when we get to share a female bass player with our readers because there just aren’t very many truly phenomenal chicks that have mastered the instrument. The bass guitar is one of those deceptive instruments, it looks like an easy enough instruments to pick up, but mastering the art of groove is something that comes from within. For some I suppose, the bass guitar is not the most exciting instrument in the band however for me it’s where all of the emotion in the music lies.

Claudia Elez is an exotic beauty of Hawaiian and Latina heritage. She was born in Hawaii and raised in Mexico, before moving to Las Vegas in 2003, where she started her musical journey. Those who know her, say she has honest emotion in her signature style.

Currently, this busy mother of four portrays the AMAZING Cliff Williams in the all girl AC/DC Tribute band “Thigh Voltage” along with Gibson Guitar Goddess Leona X, Mehgan Krauss, and Eva Karczewska. Her bass lines are refreshingly straightforward and to the point, always bolstering the song. Just like Cliff, she is a big reason this boogie train rolls on.

Claudia Elez is perhaps best known for her commanding stage presence and charismatic style in her all girl rock band, Jaggedy Ann. She’s been performing and recording for fifteen years in Las Vegas and around the world. Some of her career highlights include Jaggedy Ann's album, "Boiling Point", which was produced by Phil Rudd of the legendary AC/DC in 2006 along with Jaggedy Ann’s two world tours in 2006 & 2007. The 2004 World Battle of The Bands Tour in Auckland, New Zealand where she and her Jaggedy Ann band mates brought home the United States Championship and finished 2nd in the final competition, Pulp Summer Slam in the Philippines performing LIVE for 30,000+ fans and a special appearance in the 2010 Latin Grammy Awards.

Her influences include Hole, Husker Dü, Bullets and Octane, and Bjork, which are evident in Claudia's very unique songwriting style.

Female bassists are a rare breed how old were you when you started playing bass and how did you become interested in it?

“I was 17 and living in Mexico. I'm from a smaller city, so everyone kind of knew of each other in the scene. A guy came up to me as I was hanging out downtown and said he'd heard I played guitar and wanted me to play bass for his metal band. I told him I didn't play the bass and he said," If you play guitar, you can play the bass." My older sister had a fretless electric bass, so I took it to the band practice and decided to give it a shot. I didn't know anything about metal or the bass, but playing in that band not only introduced me to a new craft, it challenged me as a musician.”

How does a busy mother of four find time to be a RockStar too?

“You never forget your first love and music was mine. I need to perform, it's like I get withdrawals if I don't. I'm a proud single mom of four amazing little boys and they are what take the center stage in my life. They will always be my priority, but I am also driven by a passion that I can't deny and I am truly blessed to have people in my life who understand that and support me. My mom is my rock. She is always there and I don't even have to ask. I really want to be like her if I ever decide to grow up. Even my ex-husband helps me out, because although we may not be together we were united by music in the first place and he believes in the cause. My sister always babysits my crazy ass kids when I have a gig. Even the guitarist for Thigh Voltage, Leona, helps me out with writing a bio or planning an outfit for me to wear onstage, because she knows how limited my time is. My kids are even supportive, even though they are all under 5 and don't quite get it, they get excited to see videos of me onstage. “

Can you tell us a little bit about the gear you use?

“I am currently playing an Epiphone bass and I have a Peavey amp. I'm not huge on brands and gear to be quite honest, because I played with the same fretless bass I began with for so many years. I just feel it out and hear it. I know when it sounds and feels right to me.”

Do you play any other instruments?

“I play guitar. I picked it up when I was 12 after seeing Slash in a Guns N Roses video. That's the day something changed for me. I wanted to be just like him, I was such a tomboy back then. My dad got me a cheap acoustic guitar and I played the shit out of it. These days I mostly play for my kids. Lately they like when I play "Riptide" by Vance Joy.”

Do you have any formal training or are you self taught?

“I am self taught, I think if I was formally trained it may have taken the romance out of it for me. I liked figuring it out my own way especially in the beginning stages where it was new and uncharted territory. I could discover it myself and make all the mistakes I wanted to. I grew that way.”

Do you play the bass with your fingers or do you use a pick?

“I used to switch it up, but now I love having my nails done so I play with a pick. That's one of the things I'm definitely girly about. Gotta have my nails! “

Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for other female artists?

“Stay true to yourself, don't let people change you into their vision, hold yours. Just being real, it's a man's world. It's just the way the industry is. There is a very tangible expectation to be sexy when you are a female musician and I think its bullshit. I just want to rock. If I feel like being sexy I will be, and if I don't, leave me alone. It's about the music. I have walked out to a male dominated audience to a "show us your tits" chant when I was in another all girl band. Don't let it get to you, and don't change for anyone else. Haters make you greater.”

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

“I think there is a real need for music in our lives, musicians and listeners alike. We've all had a song we fell in love to, a song we have grieved to, a song we partied to, a song that saved our life. I want to thank all of the artists who put their soul into the world to allow us that opportunity. I also want to thank "sin city presents" for recognizing local artists and giving us some much needed culture and community.”

Thank you for spending some time with us and letting us get to know you better. There you have it Sin City, as a singer, bassist, and song writer; Claudia is truly "The Complete Package".