Maik Schmolkes Votan "Morus Bassanus"
A Story of building a bass:
Marleaux Votan "Morus Bassanus", custom made for Maik Schmolke.
We would like to present the story of building Maik Schmolke’s "Morus Bassanus". Beginning from the idea and first drafts to the final building process, Maik is describing his expectations and experiences from his custom made Votan:
My name is Maik Schmolke and I play bass guitar since 1996. In a lot of online bass communities my nickname is "Morus Bassanus". For many years I have been searching for a bass, which can provide classic rock tones like a P-bass, as well as the growling low sound of a stingray and some outstanding incomparable versatile jazzy, fresh and funky sounds.
2011 my friend, the well known bass player from Bielefeld/Germany, Manuel Bürgel, introduced me to Gerald Marleaux. After checking a lot of different instruments and owning a lot of different bass guitars my choice was a Marleaux Votan (4 strings, maple fingerboard, 2 Xtender Delano pickups, active tone control, passive tone control).
Afterwards I was thinking about the design of my custom made bass. As I have played some orange amps for some years in my rock bands, I picked orange as the main colour of my bass. Furthermore I wanted to have a white pickguard (three layers, black in the middle) and a white headstock with my own customized label. For me as a master joiner and cabinet maker it was a great experience and special honor to make the choice of the right pieces of wood together with Gerald.
As a special eye catcher I thought it might be a crazy idea to have, besides some dots in the fretboards, a "fried egg" at the position of the 12th fret. The strings should be matching the design of the bass as well, so I picked some orange strings. After all technical details had been solved and clarified, Gerald started to build the bass and after 6 weeks my new baby was born.
I am fascinated by the sound and handling of this great hand made instrument. This bass will be my partner in crime for many, many years on stage, in rehearsal rooms and in some studios as well.
Long live the "Morus Bassanus" and all the BASSt to, Gerald Marleaux!
For more information referring my bands and some more pictures of the bass and me on stage, feel free to check the following websites: