Kevin Miles of Gene talks to BGM…

Gene b&w


I try to play simple, solid grooves and be melodic when it is needed. When I was growing up, I loved the way players like Paul McCartney and Bruce Foxton would be really tuneful on the bass. The secret of playing bass well is keeping time, writing killer bass-lines and playing with a groove. My first bass was a Rickenbacker copy. I started as a guitar player, and then a friend in Grimsby, where I grew up, asked me if I fancied playing bass for them. I never really went back. My favourite bass ever to date is the one I’ve used for the last 20 years: an Ernie Ball Music Man Stingray. When Gene were signed I got it from the Bass Centre in the East End of London and love it. The action is amazing and you get such clarity, with it being active. In the studio it just records so well. My bass heroes are Macca , Bruce Foxton, Ronnie Lane, Jimmy Lea, James Jamerson, Andy Fraser, Jean-Jacques Burnel, Paul Simonon and John Entwistle. Bruce Foxton has never got the recognition he deserves as a bass player. Some of the lines on The Jam’s records are brilliant. He’s up there with the best ever for me. The greatest bass player that ever lived is Paul McCartney. He wrote the book. He and Brian Wilson were probably the first melodic bass players. How he played things like ‘All My Loving’ and sang lead at the same time… Genius. If I could get the bass tone of any album ever released, I would choose Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. James Jamerson played on a lot of the Motown records and this album, which is probably my favourite album of all time. When we wrote and recorded our album Libertine, I tried to write Jamerson-style bass-lines.

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