Interview: Chris Constantinou, The Mutants

Chris Constantinou, London, 2007. Photo by Tina Korhonen ©

Photo: Tina Korhonen.


My bass playing is roots-based, loose and rolling. Courtney Taylor-Taylor from the Dandy Warhols told the writer David Quantick in an interview that ‘Chris might actually be the best living rock bass player in the world’, ha ha! This is obviously ridiculous, but is a huge compliment as I really respect Courtney. We all know who the king of bass players is, don’t we? It’s got to be Sir Norman Watt-Roy. I do not play five- or six-string bass, because I’m not into the vibe: it sounds more like a keyboard bass to me. I tried slapping in the 80s, but I was playing with Adam Ant then, and the slap bass thing was kind of a joke in the band. I was into the way that Stanley Clarke pulled off the slapping stuff. The secret of playing bass well is being relaxed, not thinking too much, having a great drummer you click with, and having some fun with it all. My first bass was the one I’m still playing – my Fender Precision. It’s my favourite bass ever. However, I also had a Gibson Triumph bass with three octaves and a short scale and that was pretty amazing. Too many knobs and switches for my liking though. I like the simplicity of just two knobs, bass and treble. My bass heroes? So many. Charles Mingus, James Jamerson, Thomas Clark Cogbill, Norman Watt-Roy, Jack Bruce, Andy Fraser, George Porter Jr, Bill Wyman, Tina Weymouth, Ronnie Lane and Glen Cornick. The Mutants are releasing our second album, Tokyo Nights, on July 13. We’re heading out to Tokyo to play the album live with all of the featured artists on June 12. We are also working on the third album which is nearly finished and should be out in October this year.
Basses Fender Precision
Effects None
Amps Ampeg SVT head, SVT 10×8” cab

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