Christopher Maloney

Christopher Maloney
Christopher Maloney

Christopher Maloney in Japan with Cosmosquad, September 2008
Background information
Birth name Christopher Patrick Maloney
Born March 22, 1969 (1969-03-22) (age 42)
Origin Syracuse, New York, United States
Genres Rock
Instruments Bass guitar, Guitar
Years active 1993 - present
Labels Sunset Records
Associated acts Cosmosquad
Dweezil Zappa
Lao Tizer
Jon Stevens
Brett Garsed
Website Maloney Official website
Notable instruments
Fender Jazz Deluxe 5 string Bass
SWR Amplifiers

Christopher Maloney is an American bass guitarist, singer-songwriter, and music educator. He is widely known for his work with instrumental hard rock band Cosmosquad, his stints in Hardline and with Dweezil Zappa, as an independent solo artist, an instructor at the Musicians Institute, and the owner of Absolute Music Studios in Palm Beach County, Florida.



Early life and education

Christopher Maloney was born in Syracuse, New York on March 22, 1969.[1] Both his father and mother were from families of Irish descent, the former from Limerick and the latter from Kilkenny. After failed attempts at the recorder and drums, Christopher discovered the bass guitar at age 13 and began performing in local bars and clubs. While attending East Syracuse-Minoa High School,[2] he won a citation from the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE), the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, and performed for then-Vice President George H.W. Bush. He attended Oswego State University from 1987 until 1991 graduating with a double major in Music and Broadcasting. It was here that he was mentored by jazz composer Stan Gosek, who helped shape Maloney's skills in composition, odd meter, reading, performing and music business.[3]

Maloney relocated to Los Angeles in 1993 to attend the Musicians Institute. He studied with many notable musicians, including Jeff Berlin, Steve Bailey, Scott Henderson and Joe Diorio. He graduated with Vocational Honors in 1994 as the bass program's Outstanding Student of the Year.

Bass career

Maloney spent much of the mid to late 1990s working as a freelance bass player in Los Angeles. His first major label recording was with drum prodigy Jacob Armen on his Drum Fever CD, which was released on Prince's NPG Records/Warner Bros. label. In 1996, after a lengthy audition process, he was asked to join brothers Dweezil Zappa and Ahmet Zappa in their band "Z" to promote the album Music For Pets. Maloney spent much of 1997 recording dozens of songs for a Dweezil solo album. From those sessions, only "Automatic" (featuring Blues Saraceno) and "Dick Cinnamon's Office" (featuring Lisa Loeb) were included on the Favored Nations release, Automatic.[4] He concluded the 90's by doing recording and performing with Jon Stevens (INXS), Donnie Vie (Enuff Z'Nuff), and jazz keyboardist Lao Tizer.

Maloney's recording and performing career continued to rise in the 2000s. He performed or recorded with Hardline, Gilli Moon, Chieli Minucci, Phil Mogg (in the band $ign of 4), Lao Tizer, Jack Avalon, and Cosmosquad among others. Maloney's work with Lao Tizer netted two albums (to which he is credited as co-writer) and numerous US festival tours.[5] His work with Cosmosquad, and its guitarist Jeff Kollman, brought him to Europe and Japan and produced three albums. Cosmosquad released their first live DVD Light...Camera...Squad! in 2008, with Maloney also handling all the video editing duties. During this time, he continued to record and perform as a sideman to independent artists in Los Angeles. Over the years, Maloney has been endorsed by Linc Luthier, Carvin and Fender Basses, Trace Elliot and SWR amplifiers, and Dean Markley and D'Addario Strings.

Christopher Maloney performing an acoustic set in Hollywood, CA circa 2004

Solo career

In 2000, Maloney decided to begin to make a solo album that would not feature his bass playing, but his voice and song writing skills. Although joined by his friends, drummer Shane Gaalaas and guitarist Brett Garsed, Maloney played most of the instruments himself. The result was the CD Control, released in 2002 on Sunset Records.[6] Spending much of 2002 on the road with Lao Tizer, Cosmosquad and $ign of Four, Maloney had to wait until 2003 to promote the album. He did so mostly by performing solo acoustic shows in coffeehouses throughout Southern California. In 2004, Maloney continued to promote Control while writing songs for a new album, entitled The Terrors of Intimacy. The album was released in March 2005 on Sunset Records, and Maloney promoted it by doing a solo acoustic tour of the southwest US and full band shows in Southern California. In addition to writing songs for his solo albums, Maloney has made three production music CDs for De Wolfe Music in England: Rock Styles (2003), Rock Styles 2 (2005) and Indie Rock Chart (2008).[7] He is also a three-time ASCAP award-winner songwriter. Maloney's writing of his third CD, tentatively titled Lost And Found, has been interrupted by his work with De Wolfe Music, tours and recording with Cosmosquad, producing a television pilot and starting a music school in south Florida.

Christopher Maloney performing a educational concert/clinic in Tokyo

Education career

In addition to his work as a bassist and singer/songwriter, Maloney has been very passionate about music education. Upon his graduation from Musicians Institute, he was immediately invited to join the faculty at the school. Maloney's long affiliation with MI has included him teaching bass, songwriting, music theory and vocal classes as well as being the head of the school's Encore Program. He has also traveled internationally to promote the school through concerts and clinics.[8] Maloney's outgoing personality and music education experience helped him to develop a strong interviewing style, which he took advantage of at MI. His Q&A session with Duran Duran bassist John Taylor during an MI event was so engaging that Taylor included it as part of his solo album MetaFour in 2002.[9] Maloney also interviewed his friend Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) as part of an interview-style television pilot called Backstage Pass in 2007.[10]

Maloney has toured as a clinician for many of his endorsing companies, including Fender and Linc Luthier basses. He created the Interactive Band Workshop in 2004, which was an interactive educational experience he conducted at music stores throughout south Florida.[11] Maloney has recently written an instructional book for Hal Leonard Publishing entitled Progressive Rock Bass, which was released in January 2010.[12]

In September 2008, Maloney wanted to expand his knowledge of music and education, and he once again enrolled full-time at the Musicians Institute. He spent nine months studying his fellow instructors' teaching methods in voice, keyboards, drums and guitar. In doing so, Maloney has the unique distinction in being the only person in MI history to be a full-time student and full-time instructor simultaneously.

In August 2009, Maloney and his fiancee, Kristina Balobeck, opened Absolute Music Studios, a state-of-the-art music lesson facility in Jupiter, Florida.[13] The studio focuses on modern teaching techniques with an emphasis on contemporary music. The studio has several instructors and teaches guitar, piano, voice, bass guitar, drums, songwriting, band workshops, saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, tuba, dobro and ukulele.

Musical equipment


Maloney had a long affiliation with Linc Luthier Basses,[14] being one of the more high profile bassists to play the unique, high-end instruments. In 2000, Maloney started working with SWR amplifiers after playing through the company's 6x10 Goliath Senior cabinet at the LA jazz club The Baked Potato. In 2007, he started endorsing a variety of Carvin products, including the B5 Bass, mixing board, PA systems and power conditioners. In 2008, Maloney started his affiliation with Fender Musical Instruments by conducting clinics around the US with Cosmosquad, playing at Fender University[15] and performing two years in a row at the annual Bass Bash. In 2009, Maloney switched to D'Addario Strings. For his solo acoustic shows, Maloney has exclusively used his Martin JC16-GTE acoustic guitar.

  • Fender - Deluxe V
  • Carvin - B5
  • Linc Luthier - 4 and 5 string fretted and fretless bass
  • Yamaha Electric Guitar
  • Martin Acoustic Guitar - JC16-GTE


  • Digitech - Whammy Pedal
  • Digitech - Digital Delay
  • Boss - RC-20 Loop Station
  • Tech 21 - Sansamp Bass Driver


  • SWR Goliath SR 6x10
  • SWR 350 watt head
  • SWR 2x10 extension cabinet
  • Fender - Deluxe Reverb


Solo work

  • Control - 2002
  • The Terrors of Intimacy - 2005
  • Indie Rock Chart (with Evan Beigel) - 2008

with Jeff Kollman/Cosmosquad

  • Bleeding The Soul - 2004
  • Guitar Screams Live - 2006
  • Acid Test - 2007
  • Lights...Camera...SQUAD!! (Live DVD) - 2008

Selected discography with other artists

  • Jacob Armen - Drum Fever - 1994
  • Jacob Armen - Breakthrough - 1998
  • Jack Avalon - Headnoise - 1999
  • Gilli Moon - Temperamental Angel - 2000
  • Dweezil Zappa - Automatic - 2000
  • Lao Tizer - Golden Soul - 2000
  • Jack Avalon - Strange Kind of Light - 2001
  • Hardline - II - 2002
  • John Taylor - MetaFour - 2002
  • Lao Tizer - Diversify - 2006
  • Debbie Hennessey - Good As Gone - 2006
  • Jack Avalon - Six Of The Best - 2008
  • Arlene Kole - One Day - 2008
  • Jami Lula - There's a Healin Goin On - 2009


  1. ^ Public records shows a birth date of March 1969 for Christopher Patrick Maloney in New York.
  2. ^ "ES-M Alumni Records". 
  3. ^ Reed, Michele (2005-summer). "40 Under 40 Arts & Entertainers". Oswego Alumni Association. 
  4. ^ Marshall, Steve (2001). "The Night Owl Reviews". 
  5. ^ Hughey, Cheryl (October 5, 2003). "Lao Tizer: Rising Among The Ranks". All About Jazz. 
  6. ^ Moore, Kate (Jun, 2003). "Some Fellas You Just Can't Shut Up, And One Of Those Is Christopher Maloney". Strangers In The Night. 
  7. ^ "De Wolfe Music UK". 
  8. ^ "MI Tokyo Maloney Clinic". 
  9. ^ "Tiger Beat". 
  10. ^ "Glenn Hughes at Musicians Institute". 
  11. ^ "Free Concert and Clinic in Jupiter". 
  12. ^ Maloney, Christopher (2010). Progressive Rock Bass. Hal Leonard Publishing. pp. 80. UPC884088403836. 
  13. ^ Balobeck, Kristina (October 18, 2009). "Music Teacher Gets Taste Of 'Fame'". The Jupiter Courier. 
  14. ^ "Linc Luthier Homepage". 
  15. ^ Goodman, Ben (November, 2008). "Fast Times At Fender University". Bass Player. 

External links

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