OUTRUN THE SUNLIGHT: Bassist Phil Kalas Brings The Thunder In This Exclusive Playthrough For “The Danger Of Alignment”

With the recent release of their latest record Red Bird, Chicago-based instrumental prog metal outfit Outrun the Sunlight have been gearing up to release some truly killer playthroughs from the album. And wouldn’t you know it, bassist and overall sick musician Phil Kalas has just graced us with this new playthrough for the track “The Danger of Alignment”! The tune is a great blend of progressive, sludgy, and indie elements, that all come together in an instrumental package to create this larger-than-life-sounding piece of music. And Phil’s thunderous playing on the low-end here only proves that vibe throughout the track.

About the song, Phil had this to say:

“The Danger of Alignment is the longest track on our album, Red Bird, and we split it into two parts. It is the most challenging song to play on the record because of the complex two-hand tapping sections in the second half.

The first part is a syncopated ostinato-groove that is repeated in five measures of 4/4, but since we don’t reveal the pulse right away, it’s tricky to catch the repeat. Getting to the end of section one, there is a two-note sequence that we count as ten measures of 4/4, repeated once. The section can get a little blurry on stage, and everyone looks to our drummer, Pedro, for indication on when to make that repeat happen since we don’t perform to a click. This is a tune you really have to feel instead of count.

The second half of the tune is a stream of consciousness bass tapping part, originally written by Connor Grant. Connor wrote this part on a bass with 24 frets. I don’t have that many frets so I had to rearrange it a slight amount. We flow with arpeggiated tapping patterns in 4/4 and 9/4. To transition, there are unusual fills that alternate between 9 or 10 beats. There’s a lot going on, but getting to interpret the notation of the original bass line was a rewarding challenge.

In this video I’m playing a Carvin SB5000 into a Darkglass Microtubes 500. There’s some patch changes happening on the pedalboard, which we show in the video. The Microtubes 500 is a surprisingly lightweight beast with powerful tools built into it. The amp has a really strong EQ section in well-curated and very musical frequencies. It also has incredible saturation options with the VMT OD and B7K. In the drive section the blend is an extremely valuable tool to have included so you don’t lose the consistency and clarity of the bottom end. You can really tell that this amp was designed just for bass players. Thanks for watching!”

And as for the gear, here’s what Phil is rocking:

  • Bass: Carvin SB5000
  • Amp: Darkglass Microtubes 500
  • Cab: Emperor Cabs

Be sure to check out Outrun the Sunlight on Facebook, Instagram, and their website, as well as to get Red Bird on Spotify and iTunes.

Written by

Senior Editor at Gear Gods living in LA. Just trying to figure this whole music thing out, really.