Marty Thiessen has been playing music for over 40 years. A music lover from a very young age, he took piano lessons through his formative years until his early teens when he switched to his true instrument of passion, the electric bass guitar.
Through his teenage years he would play in many rock and metal bands, but would always be searching for his own voice that stepped forward from the usual supportive role of the instrument. Greatly influenced by the playing of Steve Harris, Billy Sheehan, Stu Hamm and Flea, he heard a type of bass playing that was both supportive and yet also leading the band at the same time. Later in his teen years the playing of Jaco Pastorius, Victor Wooten and Michael Manring had a profound influence on what he thought was even possible on the instrument.
It was at this point that he co-founded an experimental jazz trio, Gardening With Alice and it was during these years in the mid 90’s that he found his own voice on the instrument. Gathering a plethora of effects and extended techniques for the bass guitar, he acted as an orchestra of sound between the drums and saxophone instrumentation of the Gardening With Alice trio. Whether it be a more traditional role as a bass player, or creating synth, keyboard and guitar lines, he found this arrangement to be the most musically satisfying, exploring the sonic textures of the instrument in full. The band released several recordings, and had a successful run touring Canadian jazz festivals including a main stage performance at the Montreal International Jazz Fest.
After Gardening With Alice disbanded Marty had a desire to do a completely solo endeavor which he titled DrumVsBass. It would comprise of programmed drums and synths along with the bass guitar as the “lead” instrument. He released the album ‘Inferno’ in the late of 2008. A take on Dante’s Inferno, with each track being a sonic representation of the seven deadly sins.
In 2006 he was asked to join the progressive instrumental metal outfit Electro Quarterstaff. A band consisting of 3 guitarists and a drummer who had just released their album ‘Gretzky’. Marty was set with the task of creating bass lines to play on the Gretzky material live while over the next 4 years writing and rehearsing the material for their next album ‘Aykroyd’.
During this time Marty also was active in the local cover scene, as an in demand studio session player, and also realizing a live duo version of DrumVsBass with drummer extraordinaire Aaron Edgar, which continues to the present.
In 2015 Marty began to also do completely solo bass performances, comprised of arrangements of popular songs, as well as his own solo bass compositions. He utilizes live looping and many different effects to create interesting sonic tapestries to explore.