My bass style is supportive, in that I try to accent what's going
on in the song. I like to underpin the beat and fit in bass runs
when the guitars lay off a bit, which doesn't happen much
in Reign Of Fury. They're pretty relentless, but as long as it
suits the song I'm happy. I don't slap as I'd get slapped, I love
the sound but it just doesn't suit thrash metal. Listening is
very important, to your own band and others. When I was
writing bass-lines for our new album,
Death Be Thy Shepherd,
I was constantly jamming to CDs, seeing how other players
approached different riff and beat styles. I find it good to go
and play someone else's music for a while: when I come back
I'm usually fresher and ideas come easier. My favourite bass
ever to date is my BC Rich Gunslinger with maple neck and
reverse head, it's taken me ages to find one and I love it. The
greatest bass player that ever lived is probably John Paul Jones
or Jack Bruce for me: those guys have an incredible feel for
where to take their music. We've also got a big UK tour lined up
for the autumn to promote the album, and we're opening the
Bloodstock Festival this year, which is a really privileged spot.
BASSES E pipho
I've worked out how to play my bass riffs with a kind of
strumming action that creates more energy and feels better when
we play. Sometime bass players have one hand planted to the body
of their guitar and can look really bored. This way, when done
right, it feels and sounds great. I don't play five- or six-string bass
because I don't feel the need for the extra strings for the type of
music our band produces, and to be honest I just don't like the look
of them. Nobody has ever shown me how to do anything on a bass
guitar. I taught myself how to play standard six string guitar and
eventually progressed to bass, so slapping has never been on the
agenda: I suppose that's where my technique comes from. The secret
of playing bass well? Without a shadow of doubt the secret is to be
tight with the drums. You can be the most technical player in the
world, but if you and the drums are out it's gonna sound shit. My
first bass was an Epiphone Rivoli. The greatest bass player that ever
lived was John Entwistle, obviously. Listen to
you'll understand what I mean. Entwistle at his best.
Fender A m e ric a n V in ta g e Jazz
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I would describe my bass style as raunchy, quick and to the point
I like four-string basses most, because they've got that classic vibe and
sound of how the electric bass was originally invented. In my opinion,
having limitations - like only four strings - actually stimulates creativity.
Besides, it's bass. Four strings is all you really need. Two of my early
bass heroes were Marcus Miller and Larry Graham. I studied my ass
off learning about their slapping techniques and melodic approaches.
I hardly ever use the slapping technique for rock music, though. The
secret of playing bass well is having telepathic conversations with your
drummer while playing. I started playing bass when I was 11. In the first
few years I learned most things on a 1976 Ibanez copy of a Rickenbacker
4001. The playability was rather poor but I didn't care about that back
then. Our self-titled debut album is out now on Mascot.
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