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A Musical Life

A Musical Life: Phil Ross


Phil Ross is a founding member of the instrumental duo Cricket Wand. A 10-year veteran of the Wichita music scene, he has performed in a variety of bands including Arms For Hands, the experimental noise project Leavenworth, and Low Oriole. He is also owner of 5nakefork Records, co-owner of both Spektrum Music and Straight Screen Printing. Ross counts Primus bassist Les Claypool as his main inspiration for picking up the instrument. Cricket Wand’s current release is called Mega Series Fantastic.

My name is Phil Ross, I’m bass player in a band called Cricket Wand, another called Ophil.

I’ve been playing bass for 13-14 years now.

I was always attracted to, I don’t know, different stuff than most people. I was kind of turned off by guitar because I knew too many people who did it.

Cricket Wand is myself and Skyler Marshall, who plays the drums.

There are a lot of people who make noise or experimental music, so to speak, who are just loud and proud.

In an improvisational situation I would like to have some form of calculation or some type of road map or some grip on my equipment. I think a lot of people forget that just because… if you don’t have a guitar in front of you or a standard type of instrument, that you’re just winging it. I think you really have to know what you’re doing or know you’re gear even more if it isn’t some kind of standard instrument.

I haven’t really been able to approach music from any other way. Sometimes I can’t let the unknown go, I can’t just let myself go and just wing it. Sometimes that hampers playing situations. In other cases, I’ve been able to really use odd instrumentation or experimental setups to my advantage because it just doesn’t sound like anything else.