I’m a pretty straightforward player, I think the bass player’s job is to sync in with the drummer and create a tight, pounding rhythm section. We tune to CGCF in W13, so I don’t need the lower notes that a five-string bass provides. I have two five-strings, though, and hopefully in the future we can utilise them and have some fun with different tunings. I use some slapping technique as accents on some of the songs as a percussive element, but no full-on Flea or Victor Wooten go-for-it runs. The secret of playing bass well is practise, practise, practise – and knowing your instrument and what it is capable of. I still practise at least an hour or so daily, and I find and learn new things every day.
Your instrument should be an extension of yourself. My first bass was a Peavey P-Bass replica. I have always been drawn to the P-Bass body style, and still prefer to use that style to this day. My favourite bass ever to date is my 1992 Fender blue sunburst P-Bass Plus. It was the first pro bass I ever bought brand new, and it has travelled the world with me, but it spends most of its time these days looking pretty in my studio room waiting to record new tracks. I have so many influences from different players, but here are a few that I’m really into: Jaco Pastorius, Cliff Burton, Robert Trujillo, Victor Wooten, Paul S. Denman, Sid Vicious, Gene Simmons, Les Claypool, Alpo from Deadhorse, Steve Harris and Dusty Hill. The greatest bass player that ever lived? I can’t pick just one. There have been way too many innovators and great players to boil it down to just one. Play your bass, don’t let it play you. Not that profound, but it is a truth. What I mean by that is, don’t be afraid of your instrument, control it and it will do your bidding.