My style is aggressively basic, groove driven, in-the-pocket playing, with a touch of class to spice things up when need be. I do not play five- or six-string bass. The last time I checked I wasn’t in Dream Theater, and I really don’t think our style of music calls for anything other than a four-string. Yeah, I’m sure you can play our songs on a five- or six-string bass, but it won’t impress anyone. I only mess around with slapping the bass when I’m at home playing my Fender Precision. It’s a change of pace from what I normally do and it’s great to change things up from time to time. I have never used any slap bass in any Hatebreed songs. It wouldn’t fit our style. The secret of playing bass well is to lock in tight with your drummer. Feeding off each other’s playing and being in the pocket is really important to making songs groove. Another important thing is to not over-think your playing. Just give it all you’ve got every time.
My first bass was a used blue GTX. I even threw a skull sticker on there for shits and giggles. It was a pretty cheap bass, but I played the hell out of it and I really wish I still had it. My favourite bass ever to date is my Signature Series Jackson that I was able to design myself. There’s nothing like being able to have every detail meet your specifications of playability and sound. My bass heroes are Cliff Burton, Lemmy, John Paul Jones, Geezer Butler and Phil Lynott. Each of these guys have or had their own unique sounds and styles, and complement the band and the music very well. It would have been very interesting to see what Cliff would have been doing today. The greatest bass player that ever lived? I usually stay away from these types of questions, because there is always someone you forget and wish you thought of at the time. For the sake of this interview, I’m going to say that I really admire Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Not really in the same genre as Hatebreed, but his grooves are undeniable and he has a great energy that he brings with him onstage. Our new album The Divinity Of Purpose is out now.