Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) announced the MonoNeon Jazz Bass V to honor the inventive bassist’s singular vision and empower players everywhere to approach the instrument with the same curious spirit that has fueled his vivid career. Known for his knack for funk and micro-tonal detail, creating a signature instrument that encapsulates MonoNeon’s spirit and ability is a tall order.
As the brand that brought forth the electric bass, Fender seeks to honor the biggest pioneers of the instrument across genres and MonoNeon is one of them. Mono’s fashion sense is on par with his playing, often adorned in fluorescent layers and accessories that would give any glow stick a run for its money. Thanks to this signature model’s eye-popping yellow and orange finish and pickguard, the optics on this bass keep up with the fashion sense of the man who inspired its creation. That being said, MonoNeon Jazz Bass V is far more than meets the eye.
“Getting my own artist signature bass with Fender is definitely a full circle experience happening right now,” said MonoNeon. “Seeing medal holding my bass is really crazy. He’s like my first musical hero. He’s a very funky player. I’d just practice to all of his records, try to find anything he played and just learn it. I wanted to be just like him and I still do.”
Accompanying the launch of the MonoNeon Jazz Bass V is “In Conversation with MonoNeon,” a video hosted by George Clinton, as he guides viewers through the “Monoverse.” The piece features a series of jam sessions, including the “Duo of Bullshit” with MonoNeon and Blaque Dynamite, as well as commentary from his mother, grandmother, and father, Dwayne Thomas Sr.
The MonoNeon Jazz Bass V makes a statement – equal parts swagger and serious business. It features an alder body finished in an eye-popping neon yellow urethane finish, complemented by a neon orange painted headstock and pick guard. “These are my two favorite colors, high-visibility orange and yellow, because I love how the construction workers look on the highway. You can see them from far away. It’s inspired by them.”
The 22-fret, one-piece roasted maple neck is C-shaped for comfort and has 10”-14” compound radius fingerboard and pearl block inlays. Custom Fireball 5-String Humbucking Bass pickups deliver luscious and robust low end with growl, while the 18-volt preamp provides extra headroom. Meanwhile, the 3-band active EQ gives players endless tonal capabilities and the Fender HiMass string-through-top-load bridge increases resonance, weight, and sustain. Each bass comes with a MonoNeon sticker pack and custom headstock Stance sock.
“MonoNeon is one of the most-inventive bass players of this generation, and to honor him with a Fender bass that encapsulates his unique style and vast talents is a privilege,” said Justin Norvell, EVP of Products at Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. “We worked closely with him to create a bass that not only visually represents the online persona we’ve come to know, but also embodies his funk-inspired, abstract and microtonal playing. From the eye-popping neon yellow and orange finish, to his Custom Fireball 5-String Humbucking Bass pickups and HiMass bridge, this bass gives players endless tonal capabilities and robust low end with a growl.”
In true tradition, the Fender Artist Signature Series honors iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists.