Joy Division was a band of 4 very creative, naturally talented individuals with virtually no skill at their own instruments. What made the band the way they were was because of how the 4 listened to each other and collaborated to create the most influential music in the 70s. The entire new wave, punk scene of the 80s (and unfortunately goth rock) could be traced back to Joy Division. Peter Hook’s basslines are not the most impressive or complicated pieces, but they contribute entirely to the overall mood and atmosphere of the song. Some of his stuff was extremely catchy and the growl of his bass is awesome. It didn’t hurt that he used bass chords too.
Best basslines: She’s Lost Control, Twenty Four Hours, Transmission
Carlos D (Interpol) looks like a douche. It was hard to find a nice, cool pic of him without looking like a douche. I think thats what the D stands for. But the guy is hella good and one of my favorites. Carlos plays like a funky, punk bassist with enough style and groove to carry along even the most lifeless Interpol song. He uses no effects in order to not interfere with the overall sonics of the band - what you hear is just an ampeg stack and a Jazz fender. While Peter was melodic, Carlos is rhythmic. He’s part of the reason why I purchased a jazz fender in the first place.
Best Basslines: Obstacle 1, PDA, Evil, Stella was a Diver, Slow Hands
JFK’s bass (from Death From Above 1979) sounds like the most sexually frustrated and horny elephant in existence, destroying the confines of his own angsty imprisonment with his oversized and energetic body. There are many sexy basslines out there, but JFK’s borders on baritone guitar riffs that sound so heavy, crunchy, smooth, sexual, sensual and deep that women orgasm when they hear him play. He is the main reason why bass players should explore distortion/overdrive pedals.
Best Basslines: Little Girl, Dead Womb, Romantic Rights, Sexy Results
Eugene Goreshter (Autolux) isn’t as melodic as Peter Hook, as funky or smooth as Carlos D or as loud and obnoxious as JFK, but he blows them all out of the water with his fine attention to his bass sound. His pedal board is beyond extraordinary - Eugene explores wah pedals, distortion pedals, delays, and countless other effects that I cannot name. Eugene was once a guitar player but switched to bass when his bandmate switched from bass to guitar. Eugene once said he wanted to play bass like if Jimi Hendrix played bass. Whether he’s catching feedback, creating beautiful, lush atmospheric chirps, booming with distortion, or carrying the melody of a song, Eugene also moves on stage like a motherfucker.
Best basslines: Plantlife (the strange beeping, whirling noises are his bass.), Turnstile Blues (bass wah anyone?), Census, Subzero Fun (bass feedback used effectively)