G&L Guitars News: An Interview With Jonathan Waggoner: Bass Player For Brantley Gilbert

An Interview With Jonathan Waggoner: Brantley Gilbert Band

G&L artist Jonathan Waggoner plays bass for Valory Music recording artist and '2013 ACM Top New Male Artist' Brantley Gilbert. With a rigorous touring schedule and a new album in the can and set for release in early 2014, the band is tearing up the country music charts. G&L spoke to Jonathan last week about his G&L basses.

G&L: Tell us how you first started playing G&L basses.

Jonathan: I bought my first SB-1 in December 2012. I had started using an M-2500, and a JB but really needed that aggressive old "P" sound that Leo Fender had created. I happened to be playing a show in Detroit, where a stage hand saw my basses and said he had a 1985 G&L SB-1. I told him I was interested in it, so he went home and got the bass. I played it for a couple minutes and went immediately to the ATM in the lobby of the venue.

G&L: Was it modded at all?

Jonathan: No, it's all original with a few little dings here and there.

G&L: You have another SB-1 as well, right?

Jonathan: I use that first SB-1 for "Drop D" tuning, and I wanted to be able to get the same sound for other songs, so I started looking for another SB-1 or an SB-2. After searching for months, I finally found another 1985 SB-1 sitting in a local guitar shop. That one is not all original since it has a replacement black pickguard.

G&L: What a great pair of SBs.

Jonathan: One is a Two-Tone Burst and the other is a Three-Tone Burst. The necks feel exactly the same and the tones are so close that its hard to tell a difference. If you want to talk about consistency, this is it. Both SB-1 basses weigh in at exactly 9.8lbs and have sustain like you wouldn't believe. Serial Numbers are B016452 and B016803. 803 was the first.

G&L: Well, we are sure glad you found these basses, and are excited to have you in the G&L fold.

Jonathan: Me too. I'm fairly new to the G&L family. Sadly, I was not introduced to any G&L basses until August of 2012 when I got the M-2500. I always played those "classics" that Leo Fender had created throughout his career. I was playing a Stingray and a PJ, and added the M-2500 because I needed a 5 string. I immediately realized that these G&L basses cover the sound I had always looked for, except they enhanced it and somehow sound even better. I now only use my G&L basses on stage and in the studio.

G&L: So, you used your G&L basses on the new Brantley Gilbert CD?

Jonathan: Yes. We recorded the album in 2013 and it is set to release in 2014. I used my beautiful Candy Apple Red JB and the SB-1 for every bass note on the album. The album is produced by guitar/producer genius, Dann Huff.

G&L: You've had a great year!

Jonathan: 2013 was amazing. We did shows in 49 different states and 5 foreign countries. We did our first USO Tour for the troops in Kuwait and Italy. That was one of the biggest life changing experiences of my life. Two of my G&L basses got lost on the flight over there. Talk about a melt down! Luckily, they made it to the hotel the next day.

We helped Brantley get his first ACM Award for Best New Male Vocalist and were able to be part of some great TV performances. We started the year with our own headline arena tour, then toured with Tim McGraw all summer. He was one of nicest guys to be around and not to mention, he and his band have several G&Ls on stage and have been using G&L guitars for many years.

G&L: That is awesome. So, what does 2014 look like so far?

Jonathan: 2014 is looking great already. The new album will release soon, which we are very excited about, and we will kick off headlining 2014 Let It Ride Tour. Keep your eyes on www.brantleygilbert.com for dates near you.

G&L: We can't wait to see the show.

Jonathan: I'm looking forward to a great 2014. I absolutely love my G&L basses. No one can beat the tone, feel, or quality of these guitars. G&L seems to take an extreme amount of pride in what they do and it shows. By the way, all my three year old daughter asked Santa for this year was a red bass Guitar like Daddy's!