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Great bassists who most people don't know


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Everyone knows Jamerson, JPJ, Sting, Wooton and Flea and could name a load of their songs but there's a whole load of incredible bassists who most people would never have heard of. I thought it would  be interesting to hear some suggestions. 

My favourite is Al Cisneros of Sleep, Om and Shrinebuilder. I don't think any other heavy bassist is as creative or has as much groove. He can go from crushingly heavy riffs to Eastern inspired psyche grooves. His playing styles can be interesting, he often picks halfway up the neck and usually plays a Rickenbacker through pretty much any high gain amp and a selection of effects. 

 

 

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Doug Keyser from Watchtower. That band forged an entirely unique sound in the early 80's and he was the heart of it. At ease with immensely technical material, he knew the bass was keeping it grounded and moving. I recall seeing a picture of him playing a G&L SB2 around the time of Control And Resistance. He was a massive influence on almost every Metal band who veered towards a more adventurous approach to songwriting in the late 80's, in particular the likes of Roger Patterson and Tony Choy.

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Doctor J said:

Doug Keyser from Watchtower. That band forged an entirely unique sound in the early 80's and he was the heart of it. At ease with immensely technical material, he knew the bass was keeping it grounded and moving. I recall seeing a picture of him playing a G&L SB2 around the time of Control And Resistance. He was a massive influence on almost every Metal band who veered towards a more adventurous approach to songwriting in the late 80's, in particular the likes of Roger Patterson and Tony Choy.

 

 

 

This is amazing! I'll be investigating further.

Edited by Cosmo Valdemar
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Three that immediately spring to mind are Gabe Nelson (Cake), Stuart Morrow (New Model Army) and Billy Gould (Faith No More). 

 

Stuart Morrow is absolutely fantastic. 

 

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Mark Mendoza, Twisted Sister.

Phenomenal player, awesome stage presence, thoroughly original and visual technique.

Twisted Sister retired in 2016 after spending the previous 10 years or so headlining the biggest rock/metal festivals around the world, yet most of bass chat probably haven't heard of him.

 

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30 minutes ago, Maude said:

Three that immediately spring to mind are Gabe Nelson (Cake), Stuart Morrow (New Model Army) and Billy Gould (Faith No More). 

 

Stuart Morrow is absolutely fantastic. 

 

Billy Gould is one of the best. Never over plays, knows where to leave space and can play like a beast.

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I’m going to suggest one who is not well known despite being in a very well known band.

Doug Yule was in the Velvet Underground after John Cale ‘left’ and played some pretty cool bass lines. But he has been airbrushed out of the band history.

Edited by Nail Soup
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8 hours ago, Downunderwonder said:

If you include most people in ''most people'' rather than most BC'ers then it's mostly everyone but for that Beatle guy.

I think that “most people” are probably unaware that Macca played bass. As far as they’re concerned it’s just another guitar.

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9 hours ago, MacDaddy said:

Mark Mendoza, Twisted Sister.

Phenomenal player, awesome stage presence, thoroughly original and visual technique.

Twisted Sister retired in 2016 after spending the previous 10 years or so headlining the biggest rock/metal festivals around the world, yet most of bass chat probably haven't heard of him.

 

 

To be honest, I don't know the names of many bass players (or guitarists, and drummers) even in the bands I do like. I tend to listen to bands as a whole, and don't dissect individual parts. I've been a big Sister fan for years. I've been listening to them since the late 80's when I got Come Out And Play on vinyl, complete with popup Dee Snider coming out of a man hole cover. I must admit the bass has never particularly stood out for me. Maybe because i was listening to them before I even picked up a bass, or, as I said, maybe because I just don't listen to music that way. 

 

I'll have to dig out my old albums and give them a listen with fresh ears. Seems like as good an excuse as any. 👍

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I'm a big fan of Ewen Vernal, the original bassist from Deacon Blue who's gone on to other musical ventures such as playing with Kate Rusby amongst other. 
 

I always find his bass playing so creative and integral to the song without being overstated. Tracks like Your Swaying Arms are (to me) absolute bass playing gems. 
 

 

Edited by Old Horse Murphy
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6 minutes ago, Bilbo said:

Kermit Driscoll with Bill Frissel 

 

I thought this was a wind up but I googled the name and it's true! Kermit is more than just a frog from children's telly!

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One of the best gigs I ever took photos at was a Dead Kennedys gig at what was then Leeds Poly in c 1983.  This was when mainstream punk was past its peak.  I didn't think US bands really 'did' punk.  Until I saw the DKs.  It started as almost a riot and descended into a full on riot.  Unfortunately I was on the other side of the stage to Klaus Flouride

 

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