Southern California metalcore heavyweight, Atreyu, has had a big second half of 2018. The group has been touring since the October release of their eight studio album, In Our Wake, and will close out the year with a variety of shows in California. Bassist Marc “Porter” McKnight, who’s been ripping Music Man StingRay basses for over a decade, recently received our newest editions of the StingRay. We caught up with him to find out how he likes the 2018 StingRay Bass, and how it compares to past models.
Q&A: Porter McKnight of Atreyu
EB: About how long have you been playing Music Man basses? What initially drew you to play Music Man?
MM: In 2001, I was attending college in California, working as a designer/photographer for the campus publications office. I started a band with my roommate, saved as much cash as humanly possible and headed to Guitar Center to purchase a StingRay, with a gorgeous Burnt Apple finish. It’s since been on every album I’ve ever recorded and traveled the world with me many times over! As far as what drew me to MM, I believe I saw Mike from MXPX play his famous blue one so I tried one out and was instantly sold from the moment I picked it up.
EB: How does this new 2018 StingRay bass compare to the older models?
PM: Honestly, this 2018 edition feels like, how in the back of my mind, I’ve always wanted a bass to feel, but never dreamed it was possible. Pure joy was written all over my face the night my new basses made their debut, during a recent show in Baltimore. The contours are perfection, the roasted maple neck fits like a glove, the new 18volt EQ is HEAVY, and the lighter weight allows me to run around like a madman even more!
EB: What are some of the aspects you noticed you liked when you tried it?
PM: The weight was the first shocker. I’ve shown it with utter wonder to every guitar player that I’ve come across since, and still can’t wrap my head around how wonderful it feels whilst playing shows. It’s honestly made me love music/performing even more! I can’t stop playing it.
EB: Can you describe your sound/music style and how the StingRay helps you get there.
PM: The most important thing for me with Ernie Ball is how durable they are. Over the years, I’ve played only two shows with basses from other companies (they’ll remain nameless, haha) and not even kidding, I somehow smashed them both within one song. I was born a Music Man and will always be. Producers have tried to get me to play other basses for songs on albums, and I won’t. Once they hear me play the MM, they all agree, it sounds incredible.
EB: When it comes to your band’s evolving style, how does the StingRay meet your needs?
PM: This new 18v EQ system is going to allow me to be WAY more versatile the next time we hit the studio. I feel like I can construct so many different sounds/feels with the depth this new setup allows me. We only just released our new record, but I already can’t wait to head back into the studio.
Porter McKnight uses a custom set of 60-75-95-125 Ernie Ball strings to jam out on a nightly basis.