Chela Rhea Harper of Coal Chamber
While Chela Harper isnʼt the first female bass player to be part of the ESP family, she is the first person who is a second-generation ESP endorsee. Her father Carl Harvey is an amazing guitar player and singer-songwriter who is best known for his work as a member of legendary reggae band Toots & the Maytals. But while talent obviously runs in her genes, Chela forged her own musical path, and has now joined Coal Chamber for their highly-anticipated return to the spotlight.
Chelaʼs entire life has revolved around music. With many members of her family involved in professional recording and touring, she was in studios since she was a toddler, and contributed her first vocals to a studio recording when she was just seven years old. As a young fan, her tastes leaned toward aggressive rock music from bands like Tool, System of a Down and Rage Against the Machine. Later on, she also discovered a love of Eastern-influenced musical sounds.
Learning and Growing
By the time she was 19, Chela had already formed a few musical collaborations, putting together partnerships that allowed her to hone her skills as a player and songwriter, and also starting to learn more about music production and audio engineering.
Fast forward to 2011. Coal Chamber, a band that had seen tremendous success in the ʻ90s but had disbanded in 2003. Last year, members Dez Fafara, Meegs Rascón, and Mike Cox decided to get the band back together, and called on Chela to take over in the bass role. Putting the revised lineup to the test, the band made their debut in a big way, hitting the stage at Australiaʼs huge Soundwave festival in February 2012. It seems that the fans of the band, both new and old, are giving Chela a warm welcome.
Chela and ESP
Chelaʼs bass of choice is the LTD B-335 in sinister Stain Black. Itʼs a perfect bass for her to use in carrying the deep low end of a band like Coal Chamber. The B-335 is a five-string bass with bolt-on construction at 34” scale, a comfortable ash body, a 5-piece maple/rosewood neck, a rosewood fingerboard, an extra thin U-shaped neck contour, and 24 XJ frets. The B-335 includes an LTD BB-605 bridge with string-thru-body design, ESP ASB-5 active pickups, an ESP ABQ-3 3-band active EQ, and offers controls including bass boost/cut, master volume, mid boost/cut, treble boost/cut, and balance.
Weʼre sure that youʼll be hearing more about Chela and Coal Chamber in coming months. Weʼre happy that, following in her family footsteps, sheʼs part of the ESP family!
Chela Video Interview