It took Bass Player nearly 100 calls to various publicists, a very large bag of money, and several body-cavity searches (performed by Dethklok’s private security force, the Klokateers) in order to secure an interview with bassist William Murderface. We’re just glad we survived the encounter.
What’s the Murderface method for playing metal bass?
See, you’re already starting out with a dumb question. You can’t put into words what I do. It’s like asking Robert DeNiro how to act, or why George Burns was a comedy genius. I mean, we’ve just got the goods. There’s no secret formula. And I’m sure all the sad struggling bassists out there will read this hoping for the secret to being an amazing bass player like me, and there isn’t one and then they’ll kill themselves.
How do you prepare for tracking bass in the studio with Dethklok?
I don’t like to overprepare. And I don’t like to actually prepare, either. I find that it keeps it from being real. Skwisgaar [Skwigelf, Dethklok’s lead guitarist] likes to try to “show” me the songs. But I can’t even understand his accent, and he gets frustrated and crap. I usually don’t like to know the material until after it’s recorded. I mean, sometimes those notes are so low that they’re indistinguishable. A lot of things will work and I’ll leave it for [Dethklok producer] Dick Knubbler to sort out. I mean, it’s just a bass. Who gives a shit, right?
How do you get the Murderface bass tone?
It’s in my fingers. It’s not something you can buy. It’s the shit you learn from the streets. From life, from the womb of a beautiful slut. The only way I can explain it is that Zeus must have slept with my mom and I happened. Like a Bass God was born.
What makes you and Pickles The Drummer such a great rhythm section?
I’d have to say me. A strong foundation from him to work from. See? I mean, sometimes I see him looking all puzzled and shit in the middle of a song and I know he’s about to blow it, and I have to really show him where one is. And I do and usually end up saving the show, saving the tour . . . .
What’s your advice to bassists who want to learn to play like you?
Good luck, brothers and sisters. But here’s some advice: throw your bass books out the window, and all that theory shit, too. All that theory stuff is a dumb conspiracy. It doesn’t exist. They’re just trying to sell those Hal Leonard books. If you want to play like me you must be like me—a fucking rock & roll lion with a heart of steel. I’m done here.
from The New Golden Age of Metal
- Byron Stroud, Fear Factory
- Chris Beattie, Hatebreed
- Dan Briggs, Between The Buried And Me
- Jeroen Paul Thesseling, Obscura
- John Campbell, Lamb Of God
- Liam Wilson, The Dillinger Escape Plan
- Nate Newton, Converge
- Ryan Martinie, Mudvayne
- Sharlee D'Angelo, Arch Enemy
- Steve DiGiorgio, Extreme Metal Session Ace
- Metal Subgenres 101
- Dig Deeper with More Metal Mastery!