YOU MAY HAVE NEVER SEEN THEM on MTV or heard them on your local rock radio station, but the Jesus Lizard has been one of the hardest working independent rock bands since the early ’90s. Throughout the quartet’s nine studio albums and countless live shows, bassist David Wm. Sims has handled the low end of this nofrills rock outfit with sinister hooks and arpeggiated lines that tied together the band’s signature style, which mixes equal parts cacophony and minimalism. Keep up with David Wm. Sims, the Jesus Lizard, and David’s latest project Dangerpuss at www.davidwmsims.wordpress.com.
How would you describe your role in the Jesus Lizard?
Mac McNeilly [on drums] and Duane Denison [on guitar] are very talented guys, so I always try to be aware of what they’re doing. With players that good, there are often opportunities to dial it back and let them be great. Also, there’s a particular type of bass player you could identify as a frustrated guitar player—maybe I’m one of those guys. The stuff I play tends to be scalar, with triads and arpeggios.
How did your rig come together?
Honestly, I can’t remember how it all started. My bass has been rebuilt many times; now it’s a collection of mostly Memphis and Fender parts. The cabinets are 1x15s built by a little PA company in Austin called Ditz Audio. They were a big deal in Austin when I started playing in the ’80s, and a lot of local guys used them. My rig choice has a lot to do with being portable and modular. The GK RB800 is a great head to take on tour because it gets as loud as you’d need it to, but unlike an SVT, it’s something that one person can carry easily.
HEAR HIM ON
The Jesus Lizard, Head/Pure, Goat, Liar, and Down, all recently remastered and rereleased on Touch and Go Records.
Bass ’80s Memphis Jazz clone
Rig Gallien-Krueger RB800, 2 or 3 Ditz Audio 1x15 cabinets
Effects ProCo RAT distortion