Interview: Jaco Norman, Beasts

jaco norman

I haven’t been playing bass for too long and while I know I am no virtuoso, I like to think that my playing packs a punch. For me, the performance is all about the showmanship and the energy while still managing to hold down a solid groove. I played guitar before switching to bass a couple of years ago when joining the band, and even then I rarely used the top two strings unless playing chords. This made the transition feel very natural to me, so I think I’ll be sticking to four strings for the time being! I do not tend to slap the bass within Beasts as it does not particularly suit our musical style. However, I do enjoy giving her a cheeky slap or two when it’s just the two of us. My favourite bass ever to date is my Ibanez Roadstar II. It originally belonged to my dad’s bandmate, who then passed it onto him. Thirty years later, it’s in my hands! From 80s pop to grunge, that bass channels quite the musical history, which is what I love about it. Who knows, perhaps one day I’ll be passing it down to one of my own kids. Even before I was a bassist myself I always admired Tim Commerford. Rage Against The Machine was one of the only bands I would ever play air bass to, as supposed to air guitar. I’ve been listening back to a lot of early Jamiroquai material lately. I’d forgotten how funky yet melodic Stuart Zender’s work is, he’s a very underrated bassist. Although I was named after the incredible Jaco Pastorius, my all-time bass hero has to be Paul Simonon. A virtuoso in his own right, he came up with some of the most iconic bass-lines (who can ever forget the intro to London Calling?) and oozed cool from every direction. I am fascinated by what Mike Kerr has done on his debut album with Royal Blood. He has successfully managed to take on the roles of both guitarist and bassist without compromising any tone, and to deliver a signature, mammoth sound. We just released our latest single ‘My Girl Is A Serpent’ and shot a music video for it. Next up we have quite a lot of gigs in the pipeline, including a couple of festivals abroad.
Basses Ibanez Roadstar Series II
Effects Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Big Muff, Boss OC-3 Super Octave
Amps Orange TB500H Terror Bass head, Hughes & Kettner 4×10 cab

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