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Music the 'Driving Force’ for Atlanta Bassist

Local Notes profiles Ian Edwards, bassist for Summer More Than Others. Edwards will play with SMTO at this week's Friday Night Live, a free concert series every week at Atlantic Station.

“I couldn’t imagine my life without it,” said Ian Edwards, bassist for local band Summer More Than Others, a band Local Notes introduced you to back in April.

That “it,” of course, is music, which Edwards says is the main driving force in his life and has set him on the path to a life of performance.

Edwards’ musical upbringing was typical of most American children in that he started playing an instrument in grade school. He began with trumpet in his middle school band and moved on to baritone and even tuba in college.

Near the start of high school, Edwards started looking beyond the brass, picking up his first string instrument: the guitar. A couple years went by and his discovery of progressive-metal band Protest the Hero changed things yet again.

“I got so hooked on their bass,” he said. “I dropped the guitar and picked up the bass, and it’s been that way ever since.”

Last year, after finishing a degree in bass performance from the Atlanta Institute of Music, Edwards was online looking at musician wanted ads when he came across a band looking for a bassist to round out their sound.

That band was Summer More Than Others, which will play a second performance at Friday Night Live at Atlantic Station this week.

Edwards said joining the band has been a great experience, and he was impressed by the dynamic between the two founding members, guitarist Adam Clifford and drummer Matt Hummel.

“They had such a good thing going on,” Edwards said.

Bassists like Justin Chancellor of Tool and Pete McCullough of Streetlight Manifesto influence Edwards’ playing style. He’s also influenced by the rhythmic quality of drums, he says, laughing about not being able to have a drum set in the house growing up because his mom wouldn’t allow it.

While playing a style of music he calls “tropical”—incorporating the sounds of Phish and The Police with a Latin flair—in Summer More Than Others, Edwards is also part of a ska-punk-reggae band called The Hermits of Suburbia that is doing well in the Atlanta ska scene.

He plans to continue playing for the rest of his life, hoping that one day his music can sustain him without the need for a day job. He also wants to get back into teaching kids music lessons.

“I would love for it to be my main gig,” he said. “I want to go out, have fun, have a good time and spread the love, man.”

See Ian Edwards and the rest of Summer More Than Others at this week's Friday Night Live, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Atlantic Station's Central Park.

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Stephanie Edwards September 28, 2012 at 04:19 PM
That's my baby!! Sorry about the drums. LOL
Allen B. Coleman September 28, 2012 at 04:37 PM
I love this guy. Grew up with him, was in bands with him, even helped him do yard work. His drive for music knows no bounds. He got into music and never stopped learning.
Mary Katherine Brown September 28, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Hell yeah, Ian! I'm so happy and proud :) wish I was back in GA so that I could see a show! Love you, eenon! Congratulations man!!!!

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