- Bass, Chapman Stick
Dmitry “Les” Lesov was born and raised in Sverdlovsk in the former USSR. He began his musical journey on a guitar.
“I’ve been playing guitar since I was 12,” he says. “I taught myself, started playing flamenco and classical guitar.”
“What drew me to it was its accessibility. My dad used to play a few chords on the guitar,” he recalls. “I picked up the guitar that was already there. The ability to sing and play along was the inspiration.”
He met fellow countryman and guitarist Constantin Necrasov in 1999 and together they formed the Russian incarnation of Half Past Four. With the departure of their bassist in 2003, Les shifted gears.
“I was playing guitar and was the lead singer. But I’d been writing a lot of the bass lines so I took up the instrument while we were looking for a replacement.”
Les ended up being that replacement and the bass has become his primary instrument ever since.
“I actually like playing the bass more than the guitar,” he admits. “The low-end really appealed to me and the ability to have those juicy melodies going in the background and driving the music.”
After attending a King Crimson concert in 1994, Les became fascinated by the Chapman Stick.
“I saw Tony Levin playing the stick. And I was like, ‘What the hell is that?’”
Once he took over bass duties for Half Past Four, a shift to the stick wasn’t far behind.
“I got my first one in 2009,” he remembers. “By fluke, I saw one on Craig’s List. I scrounged all the money I had. It was cheaper than the one I would have bought at the shop. That’s when I started learning it.”
“I specialize in bringing all kinds of riffs to the band’s disposal and everybody participates in arranging them together.”
Les’ musical inspirations include bass legends Jaco Pastorius, John Wetton and Michael Manring and, on Chapman Stick, Tony Levin and local stickman, Chris Chiasson.
While a dedicated bassist and stickman, Les does still rely on the classical guitar for his favorite pastime: playing lullabies to his son.