Living Colour: Muzz Skillings VS. Doug Wimbish

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Blazer, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. Blazer


    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    Muzz Skillings
    Plays on "Vivid" and "Times up"

    Doug Wimbish
    Plays on "Stained" and "Kaleidoscope"

    Both of these Gentlemen are incredible funky players and rockers as well. Let's discuss their inpact and highlights with Living Colour.

    First and formost, Living Colour has always been one of my favorite bands, because they were a Black band that played metal which was (and still is) a rarity. And they managed to get away from the shadows created by Mother's Finest and Jimi Hendrix.
  2. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    They're both excellent, but I liked Muzz better--the songs the band wrote when he was in were better IMO, plus he was the first bass player to prove to me that fretless basses weren't just for jazz.
  3. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    That`s a tough one.
    I have mixed feelings about them.
    IMHO, Doug Wimbish is a more skilled player.
    He`s technically brilliant and it`s really scary to
    see him playing some fast lines with just one finger.
    He`s also an incredible slapper and his command of
    "hand-slap" tecnhique never ceases to amaze me. I also
    find refreshing the way he uses and mixes several effects
    in a very original way.

    However, I prefer what Muzz Skillings played for Living Colour.
    Most of his lines are incredibly grooooovy (think Glamour Boys or Solace of you), inspiring (at least for me) and gave the band a distinctive character.
    Goatrope likes this.
  4. I'm not saying it has everything or anything to do with when Muzz left the band, but I haven't been a fan of any of the post-Muzz era Living Colour. All of the previous stuff I absolutely love!

    And of course, I'm not taking anything away from Doug Wimbish! Technically, he is just amazing!
  5. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I tend to agree, all though they were always playing arenas with Muuz, so he was that little dot on the stage. Now there playing rooms I've played and you can watch Doug real close! Muzz does seem to be a "better fit". WHERE IS MUZZ NOW??????
  6. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    Add 1 for Muzz. Perhaps less flash and pizzazz than his successor, but the band's sound early on (and I know this sounds corny) was more organic.

  7. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    >>> +1 LC was a great band. I wish they were still out
    there doing it. Very unique for their time.

  8. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    like you typed the words from my head :bassist:

    I much prefer Wimbish over all, but Muzz ownz Living Colour
  9. Living Colour was a HUGE inspiration for me.. While others were working with Mel Bay's method, I was listening to LC to learn the bass lines.

    Having said that, I like Muzz and he is one of the reasons why I started playing bass. But Doug takes the cake for me. First of all, his versitility is CRAZY. The amount of people he's played with , and the diverse selection, is unbelievable. Second, melodically, I think Muzz was better. But technically Doug is better. Third, Doug isnt afraid to alter the sound of his bass with effects to expand his pallette of sounds.

    I met him Doug once after a LC concert. He specifically met me by his tour bus to sign my Modulus.. I talked to him a bit and he is a super cool guy and very appreciate of the fans.

    Again, both had a HUGE impact on me, but Doug is a great innovater on the bass.
  10. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    If there's one thing that Vernon Reid's guitar tone isn't, it's organic. That signal is put through so many processors I'm surprised he doesn't have an endorsement from Ron Popeil. ;)

    This is a tough one: the point that Muzz "held the bottom" better than Doug is certainly a valid one, but IMO Doug's inventiveness with tone and effects, technique, and playing styles (fretless, EUB, doubled-string basses, etc.) puts him ahead for me. The fact that "Stain" is a rare album with no filler whatsoever is icing on the cake.
  11. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Liked the tunes better during the Muzz era.
    Hated Muzz' tone though. Too woofy and indistinct.

    Like Doug's tone much better and is a much more technically proficient player.
    Just don't dig the tunes nearly as much as before.
  12. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I like them both but I would be interested if anyone can answer the question posed above... what's Mr Skillings doing now? I've love to hear it!

  13. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Although it has not been confirmed Muzz is now a part of FDNY. I also like LC more with him on the low end, not that Wimbush wasn't an excellent replacement. LOVE DEM BROOKLYN BOYZ!
  14. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I don't know... I really like Doug... he's very... professional. He brought more of a tightness to the band (but the rest of the band was also maturing). He seems really in tune with what he's doing. And plus, I really like a bassist who makes good use of effects... and he's one of the few (in the extreme effects catagory). Plus, his tone on Stained is absolutely phenomenal.

    Much love for Muzz though. He's very technically good. His playing on "Times up" the song... ohhh mamma mia!
  15. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    The bass solo on (I think...) "broken hearts", is the tastiest bass solo I've ever heard. It's comparable to anyone on the scene. I've learned Charlie Parker solos, and Stanley solo's, but every time I hear that one, It overwhelms me with it's simplicity and beauty.
    I know about Victor Wooten and all of that stuff, but the "melodicism" of that brief statement moves me to the equal of all others.
    I like Doug, but Living Colour haven't been the same since Muzz left..PERIOD. :scowl:
  16. Muzz is playing guitar in his own band now called "Medicine Stick". I havent been able to find any music or websites on this band.
  17. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    That doesn't seem too far-fetched as I have the old Living Colour documentary video where Muzz says he had passed the (FDNY) exam and was unsure whether to stay with the band or be a fireman (pre-Vivid hitting).
  18. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    What are some cool LC albums/songs to check out? I only know the song "Cult of Personality" and I must say I hated Vernon Reid's guitar playing on it, I thought it sounded too wanky and off-key, and that's coming from a guy who loves Larry Lalonde's close to atonal solos on every single Primus record.
  19. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    LC's 1st two albums are worth having.
    From Vivid-
    "Funny Vibe" sounds like Rush(the intro) meets P-Funk(the body of the tune).
    "I Want To KNow", "Middle Man", "Open Letter To A Landlord" are all happenin'.
    The riff to "The Cult Of Personality"...very good exercise in dexterity.

    Time's Up...I've mentioned before here that I thought it was a decent example of '80s Avant-Rock. Worth having.
    I can see why Reid is hard to digest; he is coming outta the "Free" Jazz/Harmolodic/Downtown NYC scene. Sometimes, it can be overbearing; he does come to play & I can't fault him for that.

    FWIW, I prefer LC with Muzz although Wimbush is a beast of a player.
  20. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Are they through? I thought Collide-A-Scope was fairly new.
    ...also, a Live At CGCB's was recently released(it's older...for you Muzz fans!).

    There were other bands that were members of "The Black Rock Coalition". I guess LC, THANKS TO MTV!, crossed over into the mainstream.
    Hard to believe MTV was once 'cutting edge'* enough to help break a band like LC.
    *(MTV is now 'trailing edge').