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Randy Coven
Born: New York, USA
In the shadows of the growing technical rock bassists of the early 80s, ruled by Billy Sheehan and Stu Hamm, was an evolving talent ~ rippling beneath these mammoth sounds; who through the 80's and 90's would erupt into one of the finest cutting edge bassists in the rock industry. Randy Coven is now sort after by the top named musicians and influencing fellow bassists worldwide. This bass virtuoso, has also shown us, with great passion, another side from his heavy rock and metal persona, through his albums we hear a rich soulful and sometimes jazzy musician, stunning us with his awe-inspiring bass solos.
Lead bass guitarist Randy Coven.

Randy has performed with:
Steve Via
David Lee Roth
Al Pitrelli
John O'Reilly
Todd Turkisher
Steve Morse
Zakk Wylde,
Randy Jackson
Mark Wood
Vito Bratta
Leslie West
Brain Setzer
Alan Holdsworth
Larry Coryell
Jeff Watson
Alex Masi
Joe Lynn Turner
David Rosenthal
Vivian Cambell
TM Stevens
Yngwie Malmsteen
Vitalij Kuprij

and many more

Randy Coven : Holy Mother
Randy Coven [far right] in the band Holy Mother

taken from an interview with Bass Inside Magazine

Bass Inside: At what point in your life would you say that you decided to approach this incredible instrument of ours as a melodic and lead instrument as well as the rhythmic heartbeat it is?
Randy: Bass started for me when I opened my ears up to really listening to music as a musician wannabee. I know this might sound stupid but I was listening to a Beatles song a million years ago and I heard the bass in the mix. I then realized Paul McCartney was the bass player of the Beatles, and he was playing the bass with a lot of movement using a style similar to the left hand of a piano player.
Bass Inside: Was it one particular player, a Stanley Clarke, a Chris Squire, or did it just seem to be the way you hear the voice of bass?
Randy: I started by listening to Hendrix, Cream, Led Zep, The Who, and Mountain. So my first real influences moving in the direction I was heading were bassists who could improvise. Jack Bruce, Felix Papalardi, John Paul Jones, Billy Cox and the man(!) John Entwistle. All these guys were playing with amazing guitar players and I couldn't help noticing how they would express themselves, especially Hendrix.
Anyway, one day one of my friends came over and said, "You´ve got to hear this". He put on Return To Forever and I heard Stanley Clarke for the first time. I knew then that what I wanted to do on bass was possible. I knew that I would be able to lay down some solid playing that included expressing my bass as a solo instrument.
The next big influence that came along was Jeff Berlin. Jeff was actually a neighbor of mine, his younger brother Ross used to beat me up.
One day I was sitting in my room desperately trying to learn Vulcan Worlds by Stanley Clarke. My room had a door that opened into the backyard. Jeff was walking by and must of heard me trying to play this thing. He probably felt sorry for me, so he came in and took the time to really show me how this riff was played as well as writing it out on music paper. I couldn't believe it!
He also said he knew and had played with Stanley Clarke. I was blown away. This incident changed my life forever. I decided to go to Berklee to really learn music, especially because I couldn't read music, and it took me the rest of the summer to learn the damn thing. I wonder if Jeff remembers this. Thanks, Jeff.



Randy had just finished a busy schedule with Lesley West when he received a phone call from Yngwie Malmsteen asking him if he could he could learn his show in TWO weeks to do a world tour. He also asked Randy other very important questions like: "Do you drink beer?" "Do you play with a pick?" "And do you play a Fender bass?" which Randy answered, "Yes..Yes.. and Yes". Randy has always maintained "If you have 5 fingers why play with one pick" He can't understand why a bass player would want to play with one pick. "If you play with your fingers you have 5 picks". Yngwie's material is complicated, Randy was ripping through the fast riffs, no problem with his fingers, but it was a totally different thing with the pick. However over the next two weeks he had learnt all 40 tracks from the set lists ~ with a pick. When Randy flew to Florida to join Yngwie, Yngwie sat him down with a beer saying "You´re a finger player, right?" Randy had been busted. Then he said, "Let´s hear you play this riff with your fingers." The riff was some awesome 32nd note passage. Yngwie said "I thought only Billy Sheehan could do that! Right you play with your fingers" So Randy did!

Randy Coven and Yngwie Malmsteen
Randy Coven and Yngwie Malmsteen


Randy was born in Great Neck, NY, he was into music at a very young age. At 5yrs old, in 1965, his parents took him for his first concert experience ~ The Beatles at Shea Stadium. After seeing that, he used to make believe he was on TV playing music . When the movie Woodstock came out he was at the preview in New York again with his parents and that was it! He and his brother Les... played together, Randy on the drums, his brother on the guitar. Luckily they had a very understanding Mum, who let them "wail" in the basement of their home! Randy however felt restricted sat behind the drums, needing to be up front, to be free to leap & jump to express his feelings while dreaming and re-enacting Hendrix, Cream, Led Zeppelin etc. So here enters "The Bass", which he played in several high school bands. Two major things then happened; as we read above Jeff Berlin's influence and advise, then Randy's enthusiasm made him realize in time and hard work he may be able to solo with his bass. These 2 things changed Randy's direct of life forever, when in 1978 he decided to go to the renowned Berklee School of Music in Boston to really learn music.
Arriving at Berklee he was surrounded by an impressive list of soon-to-be renowned musicians Steve Vai, Steve Smith, Victor Bailey, Jeff Berlin, etc. He formed a life friendship with fellow student Steve Vai. 1979 saw Randy and Steve founding the band "Morning Thunder". This band consisted of David Rosenthal - keyboards, Eddie Rogers on drums, Steve Vai - guitar and Randy Coven - bass. Also while at Berklee he he met up with some Canadian musicians joining their band "Orpheus". Their show featured a pair of songs penned by Coven. Randy had 4+ very useful learning years on the road with this band, touring Canada full time.
Eventually 1984 sees a much more seasoned Randy returning to his native New York, full of ideas with the need to form his own band. He first teamed up with guitarist Jim Hickey and drummer Todd Turkisher, which was the start of 'The Randy Coven Band'. The trio recorded their debut, Funk Me Tender, in 1985. The title track featured a guest spot by Coven's old pal Steve Vai. Coven's debut album sent Randy's name echoing across music scene, causing mass ripples. A deal with Guitar Recordings soon followed (run by the magazine "Guitar" for the Practicing Musician), which resulted in many recordings through the late 80's, such as "Sammy Says Ouch!" bring Randy together with Blues Saraceno - guitar, Mark Wood - violin, Al Pitrelli - guitar and John O'Reilly on drums who featured as his band on this album. Which lead to "C.P.R." Coven - Pitrelli - John O'Reilly and included many guest stars such Zakk Wylde, Vito Bratta, and Steve Morse.
Randy in action!!
The late 80's and 90's was a busy time for Randy, who had taken over from Billy Sheehan writing The Bass Secrets monthly column for the "Guitar Recordings ", which lasted for 5 years, the longest time for any one writer. He was also appearing on a host of compilations put out by Guitar Recordings. "CPR" had bought Randy, Al Pitrelli, and John O'Reilly international fame. The 90's also sees Randy on world tours and recording with musicians such a Leslie West as part of "Mountain" and bassist in Yngwie Malmsteen's touring/recording band. Amongst all this Randy forms yet another mega band ('94), the metal band "Holy Mother" with New York metal vocalist Mike Tirelli, Tommy Hellbent and Jim Harris. Their 2nd album, Toxic Rain. was awesome groundbreaking power metal and with hard touring, appearances at major European heavy metal festivals all over Europe, certainly gave the media & metalheads worldwide something to grind their teeth on. "Holy Mother continued for 9 years working round Randy's busy schedule. By 2003, Holy Mother had progressed and their 5th & last brilliant album "Agoraphobia" being much heavier, melodic and aggressive, the band pushed themselves to the cutting edge with a refined explosion of sound and rhythm which will have lasting impression on the metal scene for years to come. Year 2000/1 saw Randy touring and recording again with Yngwie J. Malmsteen's "Rising Force War To End All Wars World Tour" and he released his solo album "Witch Way" in 2002.
!! Randy's latest Thumb Bass !!

Recent Projects:
The Band A.R.K. which includes Jorn Lande - vocals, Randy Coven - bass, John Macaluso - drums, Tore Østby - guitar and Mats Olausson - keyboard, have toured the world promoting their album "Burn In The Sun"
which stands for Alex Masi on guitars, Randy Coven on bass and John Macaluso on drums. All from different musical backgrounds, was created in a rather wild Mexico City suburb for the purpose of working out some numbers to play at the gig the following night. These 3 very different musicians exchanged ideas and the result is called "Ritual Factory" an album containing 11 tracks, spanning everything from progressive rock to experimental jazz.
2005: Randy has spent time in the studio with Russian virtuoso pianist Vitalij Kuprij's new CD. The Album features Vitalij Vitalij, John Macaluso, Joe Lynn Turner, Doogie White, and guitarist Micheal Harris. "Which may prove to be one of the heaviest classically orientated metal albums ever," Coven Quote. Also this year among many guest appearances has completed several live performances including European festivals with the classic hard rock/metal act 'Riot'.


Randy Coven's video: Hotlicks.
This video by Randy Coven features: Modes, special exercises & licks, harmonic techniques, thumb slapping & picking, strumming, finger picking, and Randy divulges information to improve your harmonic understanding of the instrument.

Morning Thunder
Berklee College of Music
Orpheus II Orpheus II
Steve Vai Flex-Able Leftovers
Jack Starr A Minor Disturbance
Blues Saraceno Never Look Back
Randy Coven Funk Me Tender
Randy Coven Ultimate Lead Bass
Various Artists Guitar's Practicing Musicians Vol.1
The Randy Coven Band Sammy Says Ouch!
CPR Coven, Pitrelli, Reiley
Various Artists Guitar's Practicing Musicians Vol.2
Leslie West Dodgin' The Dirt
Jeff Watson Lone Ranger
Holy Mother Holy Mother
N.O.W. Tabloid Crush
Holy Mother Toxic Rain
Holy Mother Criminal Afterlife
Leslie West As Phat As It Gets
Various Artists Slave to the Power: The Iron Maiden Tribute
Holy Mother My World War
Randy Coven The Best Of Randy Coven
Blues Saraceno The Best Of Blues Saraceno
Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force War To End All Wars US Tour
A.R.K. Burn The Sun
Randy Coven Witch Way
Various Artists Warmth In The Wilderness Vol.II - A Tribute To Jason Becker
Holy Mother Agoraphobia
ARK Burn In The Sun
MCM "ritual factory"

Box Set/Compilation
2000 The Best of Randy Coven
Also Appears On
1989 Guitar's Practicing Musicians
1991 Guitar's Practicing Musicians, Vol. 2
2004 The Spirit Lives On: Music Of Jimi Hendrix Revisited, Vol. 1

Randy Coven performing at the 2006 Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California.

NEW FOR 2008
Randy has signed a deal with BPH, Bohemian Productions,
for a new solo album in 2008

Check out Randy's site for special clinics

February 14th - 23rd, 2006

Recording In Milan

Randy and drummer The Mac Attack were out in Milan, Italy recording an Italian rock opera. They were recording with a 27 peice orchestra. "Dream Theater's" singer/guitarist, Marco Stogliis also involved in this exciting project

January 19th - 22nd, 2006
Winter NAMM in Anahiem, California
Randy performed at the 2006 Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California. Maybe you were lucky enough to see him Jan. 21st at the Ashdown booth # 4778. Randy's current Ashdown Rig consists of two ABM 414 cabinets and an ABM 900 head.


Bass virtuoso Randy Coven.

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