Karina Rykman

Karina Rykman is the bassist of Marco Benevento’s solo band. Karina brings her beefy bass tones and funky grooves to Marco’s upbeat music. Her enthusiastic presence onstage is sure to infect any crowd with enough energy to dance for hours. Check out Karina’s playing at this Brooklyn Bowl show from February of last year, footage courtesy of LazyLightning55a.


1978 Fender Precision Bass (w/ a single coil in the bridge position)


MarkBass Big Bang into a Fender 1×15 cabinet


Signal Chain- Korg Pitch Black Tuner > 3Leaf Octabvre > MXR Phase 90 > Akai Deep Impact > ProCo RAT > Eventide H9 > JAM Pedals Delay Llama +

Interview Photo credit to Brian Ferguson

Behind the Gear: What drew you to using a P Bass as opposed to a J Bass or something with active pick ups? Do you plan on changing your axe anytime soon?

Karina: I love my P Bass – it’s a 1978, and I picked it out with Dave Dreiwitz so it feels like it has extra good vibes in it! It does have a J pickup in it, so if I want that brighter sound – which I must admit, I never really do – I always have that option. It’s the most reliable bass I’ve ever owned, and it’s incredibly versatile. I used to play a Rickenbacker which was GREAT for straight rock, but didn’t have enough low end for when I wanted to drop the proverbial bomb, or get it real funky. It also has a hipshot, so switching from drop D back to standard is super easy. I have a guy talking to me about building a custom bass…and honestly I’m going to completely model it after this one. I’d just try to make it slightly shorter scale, and lighter. The P Bass is heavy as all hell and basically breaks my back nightly. Wouldn’t have it any other way, though!

BTG: How do you feel having the many options of pedals like your Eventide H9 and Akai Deep Impact has allowed you to expand sonically live? What are some of your favorite sounds from those pedals?

KR: The kind folks at Eventide gave me that H9, and I’ve been having way too much fun with it. My favorite preset is called “Mosquitos”…shit gets real weird real quick. That pedal is like a goddamn computer – it does EVERYTHING, and then there’s an app for it, where you can fine tune every preset. It’s a little much, but it’s so ridiculously fun to scroll through. The Deep Impact is the finest synth pedal of all time. So many others just sound out of place when you try to integrate them into a band setting, but the Deep Impact somehow seemingly just blends right in there. I love setting #6. I once did a gig where I basically played on 6 for like 20 minutes – felt great. To me at least!

BTG: I’ve read in other interviews that your ProCo RAT is a pedal you couldn’t live without; could you speak about why you love the RAT so much?

KR: The RAT pedal is my choice distortion for when I take my fuzz solos in Marco’s band. It’s not traditionally used with a bass, but I just love the dirty growl of it. It definitely cuts a bit of the low end, which makes me turn it up louder than I probably should. But I love it! I love imperfect shit like that. It’s super brown. I carry around a spare RAT with me everywhere, just in case one malfunctions. In the Marco set, it’s truly the one pedal I couldn’t do without. The rest are all gravy.

BTG: What are some of your favorite pedal combinations to play with live?

KR: I love the RAT with the Delay Llama by ToneConcepts and the Phase 90 turned up all the way. That’s tried and true combo for me. If I need a little more low end juice, the Octabvre and the Deep Impact come out together, often with the RAT as well. That’s when things go from recreational to medical, if you know what I’m saying.

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