Joel Hodge of The Tricks talks bass


I do not play five- or six-string bass, because I sing lead vocals as well as play the bass. There is so much more to master on the four-string and creatively combine with my vocals. There may be a time and place in the Tricks that slap bass will fit, but at the moment the music we’re creating doesn’t require it. I’ll save the slap for my solo project! The secret of playing bass well is enhancing the sound of the band; I believe the overall sound is the most important thing. My first bass was a Fender Jazz that I acquired from a friend. I stuck a mirrored scratch plate on there, inspired by Phil Lynott. My favourite bass ever to date is my Rickenbacker 4003 which was given to me as a gift when we were in Los Angeles. Now I want a Fender Deluxe Jaguar. Paul Simonon is my bass hero because there’s a similarity in the way we came to playing bass. When we started the Tricks I was just a singer… but we needed a bass player so I taught myself to play so that the band could continue to develop. I’ve basically learned on the job much like Simonon did in The Clash. I was introduced to him at a party not so long ago and he’s still as cool as fuck. I didn’t get round to asking him about bass playing, though – I was a bit drunk at the time. Also Bruce Witkin, our producer, was a massive influence on my bass playing. When we were recording our album, being a great player himself, he challenged me to create some interesting riffs. The greatest bass player that ever lived is John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin. Have you heard his bass tracks isolated? There’s some seriously impressive shit going down there.
Basses Fender Jazz, Rickenbacker 4003
Effects Boss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive
Amps Ashdown MAG 300 combo

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