The secret of playing bass well is listening to the band. It’s so important to listen to who you are playing with and to fit into the groove and the song. If you’re not locking in tight with the drummer then the whole sound of the band won’t work. There’s nothing better than a tight rhythm section. Also enjoy it – your energy will come through in your playing.
My style is solid and no over-complicated. Due to Empire of Fools’ sound we need the bass to lock into the drums to make our riffs as fat as possible. We haven’t had much of a need for a five- or six-string bass yet, but I’m sure it’s something we will explore in the future. The added low notes could add another dimension to our overall sound, but we’ll see. Due to also being the lead vocalist I’ve kept it all solid and not too busy.
I borrowed a bass off a mate when I was younger and I honestly have no idea what it was, but it gave me a chance to get the feel for playing the bass alongside the guitar. The first bass that I bought is the one I use today, a Music Man Stingray, although I have always liked the sound and feel of a Precision. So one of those might be on the shopping list next. My bass heroes are Duff McKagan, Jack Bessant, Flea, Tim Commerford, Cass Lewis and Ben Kenney. The greatest bass player that ever lived? This is a hard question to answer. For me greatness doesn’t have to mean technical brilliance such as the likes of Jaco Pastorius. I think that Flea and Tim Commerford have excelled in becoming bass players that are admired and have created their own sound and identity. Don’t get me wrong though, they know what they are doing. They rock out on stage too.