JIBILIAN/SETAR – “L.A.’s Bionic Duo!”

Gary Jibilian plays the “NS/Stick,” an 8 string tapping instrument co-designed by Ned Steinberger and Emmett Chapman. Gary uses live loops and midi samples, and taps a bass line with his left hand while playing a melody with his right hand, simultaneously. Jay Setar is the amazing drummer for this duo, and provides mind-blowing beats that compliment Jibilian’s 8 finger tapping frenzy. This musical rollercoaster has no seatbelts, which makes the ride extra fun!!


 AGE FIVE:  Obsessed with drums; must hit/bang/demolish anything within a yard sticks’ reach. Parents think this is cute.

AGE SIX:  Older brother buys me a toy drum set. I put a hole through the paper head within an hour of “playing.”

AGE SIX THROUGH SEVENTEEN:  Play drums as much as possible. Take lessons at age twelve. Form various bands throughout high school, most notably “PARALYZER”. 

AGE SEVENTEEN:  While at my friend’s house, I pick up a cheap “Aspen” bass, plug it through a cool 12 watt Fender amp and start playing. My life has just changed and I don’t even know it. I discovered the bass! I can play it! It’s fun! I love it!!! I paid fifty bucks for the bass and amp, and went home to practice.

A MONTH LATER. . . I NEED A BETTER BASS!  This cheap one is holding me back. With a better bass I’ll be able to play Iron Maiden songs much faster! My friend offers to buy my bass. He runs a hard deal…I sell him my bass for a hundred dollars. I still have the bass amp.

FALL, ’87:   My freshman year of college at Michigan State. I learned how to party and form a band. Sinister Grin is formed. We had huge parties at the singers’ house on 210 River St…We were having a blast. We lived like campus rock stars! We felt like the streets of E. Lansing were the streets of Hollywood! …I’m flunking all of my classes…

1990:   I join Present Absence. We are a three piece technical prog metal band. These guys are serious and very talented. We practice three times a week, writing all original material. In ’91 we play the Michigan Death Fest. Jan. ’92 we open for Atheist, Gore Guts, Cannibal Corpse. Atheist are our heroes; we hang with the band after the gig; this is very cool.

1994:   I’m turned on to the local blues scene. Man, can these guys jam! I’m blown away by Johnny B. Gayden’s playing. I hit some blues jams. Mike Bailey (guitar) asks me and Scott (Present Absence drummer) if we want to join his band. We’re playing, learning, and having fun.

1996:   I join a band called The Blues Crusaders. We play out and record a CD.

1998:   I’m asked to join the Motor City Josh Band. This is one of the most respected bands in town. The players are incredible and the music is technically challenging. I love the role the bass plays in blues. It’s such a contrast compared to metal. I’m playing the way I want to play.

1999:   Josh leaves for Atlanta. I get asked to join The Bobby Murray band. Bobby has been playing guitar for ETTA JAMES for the past 13 years. This is a great gig. I get to do a bass solo in one of the tunes where I get to show my tapping abilities. Tapping in I blues band? I’m a lucky guy.

JANUARY, 2000:  Since Bobby is on the road most of the time, I put the word out that I’m available. I land a gig with Thornetta Davis. She is very well respected, not only here in Detroit, but in many parts of the country, as well as in Europe. The band is incredibly tight and professional. We just recorded a live cd a month ago. By playing out 3-6 nights a week, I’m getting the exposure that I crave. Yes, I’m a Leo.

AUGUST 31, 2000:   My life changed forever today. My NS/Stick™ finally arrived. I feel as if this instrument was custom made for me! I have never played a Stick® or similar instrument before, but I was confident that I would be able to play it, since I have been tapping on the bass for ten years. I was amazed at my progress in such a short time! I have been writing originals and trying out different musicians. The reception I’m getting from people is very positive and encouraging. I can’t wait until I finish my CD and start playing out. I’m going to take this as far as I can. I can play it! It’s fun! I love it!

Stay tuned for updated timeline action coming soon!


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