The latest episode of BBC‘s Music Life podcast featured four lauded bassists: Laura Lee, Karina Rykman, Blu DeTiger, and Adeline. Lee served as the host for this episode, asking questions and engaging in conversation with the other three bass gurus.
The 28-minute excursion began with a bit of an introduction from Lee, who handles bass duties for the psychedelic surf-dub trio Khruangbin. She then introduced Blu DeTiger, an NYC-born and bred bassist, singer-songwriter, and DJ. Rykman, who handles the four-string duties in Marco Benevento‘s three-piece, came next, before the arrival of Adeline, who is a French-Caribbean singer/producer/bassist who blends funk, R&B, and vintage soul.
One of the silliest and most puzzling anecdotes came early on when Lee talked about her favorite bass:
“My favorite is my first bass, which is what I play with when I’m touring, and it’s an SX bass that I got in 2009 that still has the same strings,” she explained to the surprise of the other three guests. She continued later on in the episode when discussing a new bass Fender is currently building for her, “I took them my SX jazz bass that I play, and I was like, ‘I want it to feel exactly like this.’ So they used it and I was like, ‘You cannot change these strings.'”
As Lee steered the conversation toward the songwriting process, each member of the panel provided insight on the trademarks or unique qualities that help them stand apart from others. For the Khruangbin bassist, it’s a bassline that she’s used on the first song of every album. Blu expressed a similar sentiment, while Adeline thought that her signature style was more evident in her vocals as opposed to the bass. In Rykman’s case, it’s the fuzz bass.
“I love playing with distortion and with octaves … I play with this guy Marco Benevento, as you know Laura, but it’s like a piano trio, but it’s loud and it’s raucous and it’s rocking … So filling the role of being the bass player, but also playing with a ton of fuzz, like lead lines and stuff like that … I love playing like very busy, bombastic fuzz stuff.”
The four bass experts showed their human side as the discussion moved to the topic of nerves. One of Lee’s most nerve-racking moments came when Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers appeared backstage before a show, as well as Khruangbin’s recent ACL Live taping, whereas Adeline explained that she feels the most nerves in the studio.
Listen to Laura Lee, Karina Rykman, Blu DeTiger, and Adeline discuss all these topics and more on the Music Life podcast here.