BLS Bassist John "JD" DeServio Picks His 5 Favorite Bass Gods


With Black Label Society currently on tour in support of their most recent album, Catacombs of the Black Vatican, we caught up with bassist John "JD" DeServio and asked him to name his five all-time bass gods!

1. Gene Simmons
He’s the reason I play bass today. I was eight years old and saw the iconic picture of Kiss on top of the Empire State Building…and I loved horror movies and music at the time, so it was a perfect marriage. I asked my buddy what does he (Gene) do, and he said “He plays bass.” The rest is history!

2. Steve Harris
I was 13 when the first Iron Maiden record came out and Steve blew my mind. My ear started to develop where I could actually hear the bass. This was when I quit sports and dedicated my life to the bass.

3. Geezer Butler
Masters of Reality was the first Sabbath record I had. I spent months learning that whole record. Geezer’s tone was massive to me—just life changing.

3. Jaco Pastorius
What's left to say about the greatest bass player that ever lived? When I got to Berklee College of Music, my life changed because of Jaco.

5. James Jamerson
He's the OG of melodic bass. Every bass line he wrote was a masterpiece. He truly has influenced the world of music whether you know it or not.

There are so many more besides those five: Paul McCartney, Bootsy Collins, Larry Graham, Ron Carter, Aston Barrett and Stanley Clarke, to name a few. Also Kai Eckhardt had a huge impact on me at Berklee. Later on in life Nate Watts has been a big influence. 


John Campbell of Lamb Of God

 Honestly, I never saw the bass and was like, “I’m going to play bass.” I had friends [and] the opportunity to play music came up…they had a house with stuff set up, and I was playing my friend’s drums with his roommates and the bass playin’ roommate took off for the summer. My friends whose drums they were was like, “Hey, why don’t you just let me play my drums and you can play Mike’s bass rig.” And that was when I was 18, and that’s how I ended up playing bass.