I just wanted to start this thread about the "philosophical" issue about distortion, overdrive or fuzz on bass in metal music. I started playing bass 9 years ago, to immediatly form a trashmetal band with some friends. Being 17 at the time and being wild, rather naive and a Cliff Burton wannabee the most important element of my gear was my distortion pedal. Namely a BOSS MT2 Metal Zone as my first,... because it had the word "metal" on it. (a bit young, naive) Although not the best distortion for bass, it can be tweaked right, your whole setup, and you have a fair bold distorted metal sound. (I am not the only one here on TB who uses or has used this pedal.) Some time later in my "career" I stumbled upon the Ibanez ToneLok serie. My guitarist bought the Seventh Heaven, and that thing looked so cool. So I went to get the PD-7 Phat Hed. Finally, an overdrive/distortion designed for bass. I used it for a while in the distortion mode, get a bit tired of the harmonics, then used it in overdrive mode. Over the years the metal I listened to moved more toward other subgenres (sorry for the dirty word). I got more into progressive metal and some more "European" metal. (No pun intended against American, some of my favourite bands are American. It doesn't matter where you're from but what you play.) My personal opinion now is that I don't need distortion to be metal. Perhaps it's maturity kicking in. A "clean" bass has the advantage that it sounds heavy on it's own with the proper equalizing, while a clean guitar lacks aggresiveness. I let the guitars handle the distortion, guitars are perfect for that. Over time I sobered up and decided that I don't want my bass to sound like a distorted guitar. I want to exploit all the other tonal uses of a bass. I am happy with just my clean sound now. Mostly thanks to experience as a bassist in finding gear that suits me. (I only use delay and echo now, but only from time to time.) Does anyone else have opinions or strong feelings about this? Use of distortion varies from the different subgenres? I'm not trying to be an elitist now and judge fellow bassist who do use distortion. If it works for you and you are happy with it I'm happy for you. I just want to share views on the subject. ! (Oh, and please don't go overboard with discussions about definition of metal and it's subgenres. We had our share of those here on TB. It's all objective, it's all in the ear of the beholder.) Keep it brotherly.