My name is Astrum Lux Lucis, and I am a music industry veteran with over 30 years of experience as a musician, singer-songwriter, manager, and business owner. Initially, I was a drummer and played in a punk band that opened for the Circle Jerks for their first show. I then switched to guitar, and still play guitar to this day.
As a solo artist under my birth name “Cheryl Hill,” I self-released six albums. In 2009, after changing my name, I put together my passion project One World (R)evolution where I sing and play guitar and released two albums. My latest project is the bassist for the female-fronted Active Rock / Alternative Metal band Edge of Destiny. We just released a cover of “Invincible” by Pat Benatar that is bringing the band a lot of success and attention. I am looking forward to recording an EP and touring with Edge of Destiny in the very near future.
What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
Before playing bass, I was a metal guitar player, so I wanted a nice crunch to my tone, but a crunch that was pleasing to the ears, full-bodied, clean distortion. Then I moved into singer-songwriter territory and played acoustic a lot. I have a Taylor 314ce that just sings!
Moving on to the bass, I like a big fat bottom end and a crisp high end for slapping. Part of my tone includes my two Ibanez Soundgear basses and S.I.T. Strings. These basses are just amazing tone monsters. As a bass player, nothing beats the Ampeg SVT heads and cabinets. I play through an SVT-7 Pro and a 4×10 cab. I love the tone of the 8×10, but it’s a monster to lug around.
Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
I am in love with the Ibanez Soundgear series basses. The neck is easy on my small hands, and the tone is just monstrous. Also, totally in love with the Ampeg SVT series amps — they are just legendary and for a reason. I use S.I.T. Strings, and I don’t currently have any pedals that I’m using.
Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
In the studio, everything is run through amp modelers these days, so we just dial in a tone I like — one that fits the song — and we’re off.
How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
A compressor is a godsend to keep sound consistent in general. My head has a built-in compressor that works beautifully.
What does your practice consist of?
I’m not really that disciplined in this area, although I would like to be. I do what I can to at least practice along with the song recordings for the show at least five days a week. I really need to spend some time doing drill work though practicing slapping, scales, right-hand technique, etc.
What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Learn as much as you can about everything in the industry. Even if you are a musician/singer, know the business side really well because if you want to make a living at this, you need to know how you get paid and how to play the game. Always be open and also be cautious. There are a lot of scammers and creeps in this business who like to prey on young women. Network at industry events or with other musicians and always be putting yourself out there. This industry, like most of life, is all about the people you know and the connections you make. Never burn a bridge.