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Bassists who use distortion

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by hieronymous, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. Flea does every now and then.....Around the World intro (damn...no drool emoticon)

    But seriously, can anyone answer my question on what made cliff so great? cos its got me scratchin my head
  2. ChildoftheKorn


    May 21, 2003
    btw im metallideth

    why cliff was so great? the guy had more theory than most jazz bassist, more chops then jaco and more speed than all three dream theatre members combine :D

    He is the best metal bassist there has ever been, and most likley ever will be. If you could rent cliff em all he has some cool solos on it, or hell just download a few boot legs, those solo's were all improvised and sounded great.

    one other great thing though is you could pick cliff up and put him in a jazz scene and he would have succeded. Jason? the root plucker, they guy not even in the mix?I gotta say i do like jason newstead solid bassist, but in no way shape or form could he outplay cliff.

    meh maybe these are just the futile ramblings of admiration?
  3. I feel metallica was never a really bass oriented band due to Egotistical Lars on drums,"Leader" James on Rhythm and Kirk pumping out the solos...

    I feel that Cliff and Jason were/are both exceptionally good bassists and fit Metallica well(even if you cant hear 'em:rolleyes: )

    Now back on topic.
  4. hieronymous


    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    As you seem sincere (as opposed to engaging in mindless Cliff-bashing), I will give it a go...

    I think there were/are a lot of factors. It seems easy to be objective, but actually it's harder because we (or most of us anyway) are unaware of the impact those albums had when they came out. Someone with the tablature for "Anasthesia" can probably play it relatively easy now, but Cliff thought of it and PLAYED IT over 20 years ago!!! Had there been another metal bass solo like that up until that point? Most metal bassists just did not solo period, let alone have entire pieces that featured the bass, especially in the early 80s. Billy Sheehan is the only person I can think of off the top of my head. Lemmy played a solo here and there ("Stay Clean"). Andy Fraser ("Mr. Big" from the album "Fire and Water" by Free), John Entwistle, Jack Bruce, Chris Squire, Geezer Butler, Roger Glover ("Pictures of Home" from Machine Head). They all did bass solos, but "The Fish" by Chris Squire is the only one I can think of that extensively/exclusively featured the bass (I'm thinking especially of the live version from "Yessongs"). Geezer's the only one that could really be called metal, but that's kind of the point, even these monumental bassists didn't generally record songs with only bass and drums.

    So I think part of Cliff's legacy is that he was a groundbreaking metal bassist. Add in the stage presence and ENDURANCE. Metallica were more than a band, they were a phenomenon. Looking at the pieces of the puzzle separately doesn't give the whole picture, and I think that Cliff was a huge part of that band. We can point to the egos of Lars and James, but they did move the band up to San Francisco so that Cliff would stay. I have a feeling that he was an essential ingredient, even though we can't always here him clearly on the albums. I have a feeling he was LOUD in concert, and without him I bet Metallica would never have gone anywhere.

    Oh yeah, Anasthesia also affirms the classical side of metal, as does his multi-tracked solo on Orion. And I'm pretty sure that's bass on the intro. :ninja:
  5. Ok, ill agree with him being groundbreaking and all, but not the "best" metal bassist, and the reaon jason played what he did, is because james wouldn't let him play what he wanted and he was told what to play, i think that there was only two metallica songs that jason had an input on, but if you have/listen to the echobrain album you'll see what jason is capable of...i do have cliff em all ($4 on ebay :D ) and i have downloaded a few bootleg solo's (back in my metalhead days) and they all seem to be based fairly closely on anesthesia

    If you can count Funk metal (living colour) i would say doug wimbish would be the best metal bassist, and IMO and many other people, living colour are alot heavier than metallica ever were (just listen to postman)

    I respect cliffs place and all but there are alot better than what he was...in his time in metallica i would say he was the best (considering that i was only born when puppets was released) but there has been few of people who have gone alot further....and alot of people who have done alot worse coughfieldycough :bag:

    BTW........Has anyone heard living colours new album? its not going to be here in aus for another 3-5months ive been told :bawl:
  6. hieronymous


    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    Yes! Finally thought of a representative distortion-bass song for Jack Bruce:

    "Apostrophe (')" - from Apostrophe (') by Frank Zappa 1974

    He also plays great on the track "Are You the One? Are You the One?" on John McLauglin's "Electric Guitarist" album - no distortion on that one if I remember right, but his classic Gibson EB-3 sound comes right through.

    Oh yeah, of course:

    "Never Tell Your Mother She's Out Of Tune" - from "Songs for a Tailor" by Jack Bruce

    Two tracks of bass! One heavily distorted! Both amazing!!!
  7. Zirc


    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Stole my only reply :p
  8. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Metallica seem to have all the bass superlatives covered, eh?

    Most innovative metal bassist? Cliff

    Most solid bassist that you can never hear? Jason

    Most out of place bassist? Trujillo.

    I love distorted bass if it's not too much distortion. Don't care who's playin it. (Cliff, oft times, did have way too much distortion going on, but the way he played seemed to focus the dirt and tame it better than most could)


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Everyone here mentioned are excellent choices, BUT, I can't believe no one mentioned Andrew Weiss! His stint with Rollins was legendary & his distortion/playing was phenomenal...

  10. 95JettaCity


    Feb 13, 2004
    Las Vegas
    I agree with a couple guys here in saying that a certain man by the name of Michael Balzary, a.k.a. FLEA, uses a lot more distortion than people think. Sure you can hear it in Around the World(touching myself...), but try and listen for it in other songs, new and old. You may be surprised.
  11. I agree 100%.

    I am a huge fan of Infectious Grooves, and I have all four of their albums and listen to them regularly. I also am a fan, although not as much, of Suicidal Tendencies. Both bands allowed RT to really show his stuff, which can run anywhere from Marcus style slaps, Jaco style runs, Flea grooves, Stanley chords, as well as stuff I have never heard duplicated anywhere which is totally Trujillo. He is also a master of distorted metal bass. I remember the first time I saw him back in the early '90s was Infectious Grooves' "Violent and Funky" video on Headbanger's Ball. There was this guy with a bass that had more strings on it than I had ever seen doing this lightning fast stacato bass line. I was totally floored and have been a fan ever since. Despite his supreme chops and thunderous tone, I feel he is going to be pushed out of the spotlight, should he actually record an album with Metallica. My only hope is, that Metallica fans hear him and then go check out his older stuff, especially Infectious Grooves.
  12. well metallica has been trying out different things lately maybe they let trujillo compose a few songs or help put together a song that will have some cool stuff in it.
  13. Yeah, he did make a big difference in Suicidal Tendencies after he joined them, so its possible. I never listened to any of the Ozzy or Black Label Society stuff he did, so I have no opinion there.

    One thing I know is that RT does is use both bass and guitar amps to get his distortion sounds. Back in the early 90s, he was using Peavey 5150s with his Ampegs. The last big Bass Player Mag. article on him indicated he was using Boogie Rectifier Heads along side his Ampegs. The bassist for Nickleback is doing the same thing using Peavey bass and guitar amps. Must be nice to have roadies :)
  14. well, on my list....
    first and foremost...Tim Commerford

    justin Chancellor (tool),
    Jack Bruce (Cream),
    Noel Redding, especially on hendix's version of killing floor (kind of rare, i guess, but its really good for "real" distorted bass)
  15. Corwin81


    Mar 18, 2003
    Ames, IA
    I'm surprised there's no mention of Geddy Lee. His tone isn't saturated distortion, but he can make whatever amp(or preamp/washing machine) he's playing through growl like a rabid Rottweiler.
  16. Electricmayhem


    Dec 18, 2003
    Duh... I wasn't even thinking about Geddy! Good call.

    I love the stuff that Chancellor does on Lateralus. Nice distorted tone, Whammy, etc...

    Cliff still rocks! :bassist:
  17. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    how could we ever forget the bone-rattling bass of MEL SCHACHER?????? :hyper:
  18. frodebass


    Apr 11, 2004
    One man, the man!


    Some of the Sly and the family stone stuff is awesome on distoretd bass!!!
    Check out: Dance to the music, I want to take you higher, M'lady (awesome farty fuzz bass).

    Graham central station also features load of distorted bass very loud and clear in a funk setting! Ultra cool!!!!!

    Run out now and buy "Graham central station anthology"!!!!

    I'm listening to it now! Unbelievable!!!!

  19. frodebass


    Apr 11, 2004

    you gotta listen to "Hair" from Graham central station!!!
    Short fuzz bit but oh so funky!!!
  20. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I use distortion sometimes.

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