Pop Evil Bassist Matt DiRito Picks His 5 Favorite Bass Gods


With Pop Evil currently on tour in support of their most recent album, Onyx, we caught up with bassist Matt DiRito and asked him to name his five all-time bass gods!

1. Jaco Pastorius

"Even though he died at an early age, he set the bar for progressive jazz and fusion. His sound really stood out to me, especially his use of harmonics on his fretless electric bass. He really began to experiment and bring that creativeness to a new level with songs like 'Continuum.' "

2. Victor Wooten

"The first time I saw him in concert I was literally speechless afterward. I had the chance to meet him but no words came out. It's a hell of an experience to see pure talent and groove flow so effortlessly from someone; it's like he speaks a second language through his four strings."

3. Nikki Sixx

"Although he isnt typically labeled as the best 'player' in the industry, his stage presence is second to none. He taught me what rock and roll looks like—mean, aggressive, dirty, foul, unforgiving and fun. He is someone who performs the music in a way that speaks more than just notes."

4. Twiggy Ramirez (Jeordie White)

"Twiggy always had a special place with me as being a quiet guy that you couldn't take your eyes off of. Not only is he a fantastic performer, but his musical arrangements and very appropriate bass work always caught my ear. Never overplayed, but always a substantial part in the writing."

5. Billy Sheehan

"The best of both worlds. Great style and playing. One of the first bass players in the glam/hair metal scene to really step up and shred right along with his guitarist. I remember watching him solo and hitting pinch harmonics and thinking, How in the hell?"


Men in the Mirror: The Bassists of Michael Jackson How Alex Al And His Predecessors Pumped Up The King Of Pop

THERE’S A REVEALING EXCHANGE ABOUT FIVE MINUTES into This Is It, the documentary about the late Michael Jackson’s planned world tour, in which the Gloved One is encouraging his keyboardist to play the answer riff to the penetrating bass line of “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” funkier. “It’s not there yet,” he says gently, before singing the entire two-measure groove flawlessly in the pocket, while playing air bass. Real bass seems to have always been at the forefront of Jackson’s music, whether it came from studio savants in Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and New York, or his landmark use of synth bass that remains in vogue to this day. Alex Al, Jackson’s bassist since 2001 and a member of the seven-piece band featured in the film, concurs. “Bass was the most important instrument to him. He’d make references to Paul McCartney’s melodic playing with the Beatles, James Jamerson being upfront and center with Motown, or Stevie Wonder’s left hand.”