Chris Squire was an early hero to me. ‘Roundabout’ is on this album, along with a bunch of other songs that influenced me. The guy who produced this album, Eddie Offord, contacted Primus in the early days and wanted to produce us, but we were too many chefs in the kitchen and we didn’t want anyone producing us. But the one thing he said was, ‘I can get you that Chris Squire tone’. I was like ‘Hmm!’ and trying to pick his brains about it, but he wouldn’t give up any information, ha ha! Having played for a long time now, I’ve learned that your tone is very much in your fingers and how you attack your instrument, though.
ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE
All The World’s A Stage was an incredible discovery. It was really the album that launched me into the world of playing bass. Geddy is a very melodic player, and the way he phrases things is incredible.
GRAHAM CENTRAL STATION
Star Walk (1979)
This album was a great influence on me, not necessarily because it had Larry Graham’s best songs, but because there’s a song on there called ‘Scream’ which is very impressive. Pretty much anything that Larry played on is amazing, though – he’s done everything there is to know about bass.
Tony Levin is revered in the world of bass thanks to all that stuff he did with Gabriel and King Crimson. It was pretty spectacular. As far as being an all-round player, he’s probably my favorite. He’s got a good groove, he’s got a great tone, he’s got that creepy mysterious experimental element to him, and he’s incredibly tasteful. There are guys who are tasteful that you couldn’t tell from a hundred other bass players, but Tony is very recognizable. He sits in the mix but you can recognize him, which is a very tricky thing to do.
Mark Sandman was in his mid-forties when he died at a festival in Italy of heart failure. I once played some music with the Morphine guys for a tribute record to Mark. We did ‘Honey White’, which was a song that I’d played in my band in the past, and they hadn’t played the song since he died. It was a little strange. He played a two-string bass with a slide, so I did my best. He had an amazing feel and was very creative. It’s not like he was a technical wizard: he was all about emotion.