For those about to rock...

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Sundogue, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I'm a huge AC/DC fan and play in a classic hard rock cover band that does quite a few AC/DC songs (our drummer has that whole Bon Scott/Brian Johnson voice perfected).

    My drummer and I both just finished this book a few months back...

    AC/DC - Maximum Rock & Roll

    Quite interesting for me as a bass player playing hard rock. Both Mark Evans and Cliff Williams are covered in the book, but I found it interesting that Cliff Williams was auditioning for Manfred Mann at the time he got a call to try out for AC/DC and that he was quite an accomplished bass player on the scene in England prior to being AC/DC's bass player.

    Mostly...just the whole attitude of AC/DC has really rubbed off on our whole band and we are playing with more attitude ourselves and it is no coincidence that crowds are getting bigger and wilder for our band. We just appreciate AC/DC's candor about what Rock music should be. Being older (in our late 40's), over the last couple of years we just became a little jaded and complacent in our approach to our gigs. But now we've stopped taking ourselves so damned serious as "musicians" and have started to just play our asses off much more over the last few months or so since we've read this book. No more F'in "polite" music or low volume just to placate some people. Now it's more just us sayin to the crowds, "be prepared to rock your ass off tonight." Bar owners can't wait to hire us back because we are packing clubs again. Funny...same set list basically with maybe a few more harder rockers on it.

    Even our regular crowd has told us we aren't the same band we've just taken our gigs to a whole new level.

    The more AC/DC we play, the more I appreciate the simplicity of Cliff's playing. After 30 years of playing more complex rock music (Yes, Rush, etc.) I am almost embarrassed to say I've only recently had that "light bulb" moment of realizing just how much more powerful rock music is when you give it some "space".

    After all these years of feeling like I would only be thought of as a good bass player if I played complex sh*t, I've come to find that is exactly what I think it*t :) I am having this metamorphosis in my playing. I feel liberated being able to just play good, solid bass in a rock band, without feeling the need to play anything fancy at all. Letting the music breathe and getting so much more satisfaction out of playing simpler (yet more powerful) bass lines is just so damned much fun!

    Anyway, for those who may not have read the book, it is a great way to re-live those days of life on the road (if you've done that) and to see that even rock legends like AC/DC didn't have it all given to them. They are, without a doubt, the hardest working rock band of all time. Very inspiring book for rock lovers.

    The perfect book for rockers that are sick and tired of being politically correct performers. We're too loud? We smoke? We don't play enough slow dance tunes? We drink too much? ":spit:, We'll just go somewhere else and take your crowd with us then!" Interesting that is exactly what is happening. Bars that don't want to hire us for those reasons are losing their crowd to the places that will hire us...and now those old clubs want us back! LOL.

    Rock and Roll. It's ALL attitude. Great book about a GREAT band that knew how to do rock and roll the right way. Simple music? Yup...just like a punch in the face, simple.
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I think Cliff is brilliant. Mark Evans, not so much. But Cliff is amazing. I have no desire to do what he does in a band, but I totally love AC/DC and what he brings to them.

    I like your sentiments about playing in a cover band. You play the hits, you work the crowd, you just get up there and be entertaining and fun, and you'll work a lot more and make way more money than displaying how good you are all the time.
  3. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Yeah, AC/DC isn't all we do, but in covering them and similar bands, it's brought a whole new way of thinking about what I do, to my playing.

    I've simplified everything, even more complex songs, to really bring more 'dynamite' to the rhythm section. Granted some songs just require a more complicated part and I'm there to serve the song, so of course I play it...but even then I'm finding the "space" within and it's making the pocket tighter and the songs are driving more now.

    And yeah, since we do classic rock and it is mostly harder, driving music we just feel that rock was never meant to be polite, you know? Kick it up a notch and get people off their butts even when they initially didn't feel like it. Music is meant to move people and were taking the "moving" part literally. Shake things up, rock out and give these people what they came out for...get drunk, dance, act stupid and be wild and crazy. We give them a night to remember.

    I just got back from rehearsal and since switching over to flatwounds again, I am definitely feeling that groove again. I'm not sure why, but it just seems like bright roundwounds make me play like a gui**** and flatwounds brought me back down to the low end...and it's feeling great! :D

    The lead guitarist had an AC/DC shirt on tonight and it seems that group more than any other is a constant reminder of why we do what we do in our band. The book really drives the point home.
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