Branden Campbell of Neon Trees
Products used: Acetal Rounded Triangle 0.80mm.
“I feel bass players often overlook the importance of picks when they search for tone. I attribute my tone to the Clayton picks I use, for the material and the size. More mass equals more contact. I’m getting that pick precision and growl that define my sound, plus a deeper tone that fills the bottom more than other picks.”
Branden Campbell is a name that is becoming synonymous with bass, amongst his peers and fans of his multi-platinum selling group Neon Trees. Branden first studied guitar, starting at age 11. Then switched to bass by age 14. “I learned early on, that bassists were far more in demand”, and he found himself being snuck into night clubs in his native Las Vegas to perform alongside players, some 20 years his senior. “Those years in Vegas fostered my love for live music, and the interaction musicians have with a crowd. You’re both there to feel something, and you work together to achieve that.” When Campbell left Las Vegas to attend college in Provo, Utah, he never imagined the vibrant variety of musicians and songwriters he’d come to meet. “It was by moving to Utah that I started studying blues, jazz, and even bluegrass. I bought an upright bass, and found myself in a self-prescribed departure from modern music. It was great to discover players like Paul Chambers, Roy Husky, Gary Peacock, and Willie Dixon.” After a few years of studying the classics, Branden rediscovered his love for rock n roll through live music once again. He credits this mainly to a touring band from California. “The Mother Hips would tour through Salt Lake City, and they blew my mind. It was loud and honest.” After being involved with a large variety of Utah’s rock bands and songwriters, Branden met Neon Trees’ lead-singer Tyler Glenn. By late 2007, Branden joined Glenn, guitarist Chris Allen, and drummer Elaine Bradley to solidify Neon Trees lineup. The band would sweat it out in garages and vans until releasing their 2010 major label debut Habits (Mercury/IDJ). Their single “Animal” would go on to sell 3 million copies, and be named Best Alternative Song at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards. Neon Trees released their sophomore album Picture Show in April 2012, with it’s lead-off single “Everybody Talks” recently surpassing the 2 million sold mark.