Paul Wilson (musician)

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Paul Wilson
Paul Wilson of Snow Patrol (Oslo, 2006).jpg
Paul Wilson at Vega (Copenhagen, Denmark) in 2006
Background information
Also known as Pablo
Born (1978-10-20) 20 October 1978 (age 37)
Kinlochleven, Scotland
Genres Alternative rock, indie rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Bass, vocals, guitar
Years active 1995–present
Labels Fiction/Interscope, Zuma, B-Unique
Associated acts Snow Patrol, Terra Diablo
Notable instruments
Rickenbacker 4000

Paul "Pablo" Wilson[1] (b. 20 October 1978) is a Scottish musician, who is best known as the bass guitarist for Northern Irish alternative rock band Snow Patrol. He previously played guitar in Glasgow band Terra Diablo from 2000–2005. In March 2005, he replaced bassist Mark McClelland in Snow Patrol and switched instruments to bass. Wilson has been friends with the band years before he joined them and even Terra Diablo, and had contributed guitar and keyboards as an unofficial live member. He plays left-handed and generally uses a black Rickenbacker on-stage. He is a multi-instrumentalist and is trained in piano.


Wilson, was born and grew up in Kinlochleven and attended the Kinlochleven High School.[2] He always wanted to be a musician and has said that it is the only thing "he's ever done".[3][4] He has said that if he couldn't be a musician, he would have worked as a music producer or teach children how to be in a band.[3] Wilson is a multi-instrumentalist,[5] and can play instruments such as piano, guitar, bass, drums and banjo. He went to music school to learn the piano, and in his own words, can "play most things unless they have to be blown into".[6] He has been friends with members of Snow Patrol since 1995, during their "wilderness years".[7][8]

In 2000, he joined Glasgow band Terra Diablo as guitarist.[9][10] Whenever Terra Diablo supported Snow Patrol on tours, Wilson joined Snow Patrol on-stage as an unofficial member, contributing guitar and keyboards.[4][7][10] He once joked that he agreed to tour with Snow Patrol only the condition that Terra Diablo could tour with them.[7] Wilson left Terra Diablo in mid-February 2005, the reasons for which were not made public.[11] On 16 March 2005, Snow Patrol bassist Mark McClelland was fired from the band. Vocalist Gary Lightbody asked Wilson to replace him.[6][8] He accepted, and switched to the bass guitar when he joined the band.[12] He played his first show as permanent member in Dingle on 1 April 2005.[13] In October 2006, during the Eyes Open Tour, he injured his left arm and shoulder. Though wanting to continue, the band thought better and six concerts were subsequently cancelled.[1]

Apart from his work with Snow Patrol, Wilson also guested on Film School's 2007 album Hideout.[14]


Paul Wilson with his Black Rickenbacker

His favourite instrument is the guitar, which he played for nineteen years, before switching to bass.[4][12] He found the transition difficult, as he felt that one could "get away with more" playing the guitar.[12] He finds the bass a difficult and challenging instrument to play and "express" oneself. But he enjoys playing it and likes the potential of the instrument: "By changing one note, you can make the whole thing sound a lot better".[12] Apart from writing bass-lines for the band, Wilson occasionally contributes guitar and piano parts. He writes bass-lines based on the song's rhythm and at times teams up with drummer Jonny Quinn to come up with a basic riff or simple chord changes. He plays the bass left-handed, and prefers using a pick. On-stage, he generally uses a black Rickenbacker 4000 bass.[12][15]

Personal life[edit]

As a child, Wilson was a huge fan of Star Wars, and owned toys of all characters.[3] He has the name of his previous band "Terra Diablo" tattooed on the inside of his left arm.

Musical equipment[edit]

Bass guitars
Other equipment



  1. ^ a b Eskimos, The (25 October 2006). "Remaining French and German appearances cancelled!!". Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "Highland Council". The Scotsman. Edinburgh: Johnston Press. 23 April 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Interview – Snow Patrol" (in German). YOU FM. 8 February 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c "Exclusive Interview with Paul Wilson". Channel V. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  5. ^ Brown, Tom (31 March 2005). "New Patrol member". Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Donohue, Amy (29 November 2009). "Fifteen years of Snow Patrol – Up to Now". Coup de Main Magazine. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c Chen, Viola (8 September 2009). "The secret to Snow Patrol's success". You Think. Retrieved 7 January 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Curran, Shaun (1 February 2009). "Back on arena Patrol". CityLife. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  9. ^ "Terra Diablo – Biography". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Diver, Mike (19 December 2008). "Snow Patrol – Q&A". Clash. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  11. ^ "For the record: Quick news on Hilary Duff, Ashanti, ODB, Kelly Clarkson, Maroon 5, Fantasia, Chingy & More". MTV. 1 April 2005. Retrieved 7 January 2010. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f Jones, Petra (November–December 2005). "Interview – Paul Wilson". Bass Guitar (New York: Future US, Inc.) (10). ISSN 1543-3528. OCLC 472932016. 
  13. ^ Brown, Tom (2 April 2005). "Secret Dingle show". Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  14. ^ "Snow Patrol bassist plays with Film School". Hot Press. 28 June 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2010.  Appears as: "Paul Wilson took time out from his usual bass duties with Snow Patrol to guest on Film School's new album, Hideout."
  15. ^ a b "Snow Patrol bass player Paul Wilson". Bass-Soup. Retrieved 7 January 2010. 

External links[edit]