Best of 2011: The Top 10 Most Popular Bassist Interviews

We interviewed many terrific and insightful bassists in 2011, and while this list doesn’t cover them all, it does cover the most read ones we featured throughout the year.

Be sure to check out our interview archives for even more great conversations with some of the greatest bassists on the scene.

Alex Webster

1. Alex Webster

The evolution of heavy metal has presented a plethora of extreme subgenres: thrash metal, death metal, tech metal… the list goes on and on. But while the term extreme metal covers lots of territory, you can’t talk about extreme metal bass playing without talking about Alex Webster…

Victor Wooten

2. Victor Wooten

Fifteen years ago, Victor Wooten released a solo electric bass album that inspired countless bassists to push themselves to new limits. Today, you’d be hard pressed to find a “best of” or “reader’s choice” list of top bassists without him. Victor is a busy bassist, teacher, and more recently, record label owner…

Les Claypool

3. Les Claypool

Les Claypool is a man that defies genres and labels. Since picking up bass at an early age, his influences of funk, prog rock and everything in between have melded to create his unique sound, which the bassist admits even he has trouble labeling. Of course, his creativity doesn’t stop at bass playing…

Rhonda Smith

4. Rhonda Smith

Bassist, singer and songwriter Rhonda Smith‘s musical resume is as impressive as they come. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia to a musical family, Rhonda started on baritone horn, keyboard and guitar. Picking up the bass, she said, was all thanks to her brother. “He brought a bass home one day and told me not to touch it.”

Anthony Wellington

5. Anthony Wellington

Though he learned bass without taking lessons, Anthony Wellington has become one of the most renowned and respected bass and music educators. Through teaching at virtually every bass camp and Bassology, his own Maryland-based bass studio, Wellington teaches about 100 students per week…

Jeroen Paul Thesseling

6. Jeroen Paul Thesseling

Jeroen Paul Thesseling is a bassist constantly pushing himself to new heights. The Amsterdam native picked up his first 4-string bass in his teens, eventually going on to study at the Conservatory at Enschede in the Netherlands. Though his studies were varied, his love for heavy music prevailed…

Ryan Madora

7. Ryan Madora

Before she was a No Treble columnist, Ryan was the focus of an interview where she discussed how to play without a drummer – as she does in her bass/guitar duo…

Tony Levin and Julie Slick

8. Tony Levin and Julie Slick

The “Two of a Perfect Trio” Tour, which brings The Stick Men and Adrian Belew’s Power Trio together for a night of King Crimson-centric music, presents many parallels between the musicians, the most interesting being the dichotomy between bassists Tony Levin and Julie Slick. This was a unique opportunity to interview the two bassists together…

Stu Hamm

9. Stu Hamm

Stu Hamm is a name synonymous with instrumental rock bass, but what you may not know is that the bassist himself has a very rich musical background, with interests spanning just about every genre and time period. We caught up with the bassist at the Winter NAMM show to talk about his new album at the time, and more…

Mike Lull

10. Mike Lull

As one of the world’s most respected bass luthiers, Mike Lull’s work has been heard around the world. His Seattle, Washington-based shop has allowed Lull to work on nearly all of the instruments used by bands from the area known as “the grunge capital”, including Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and others…

Get daily bass updates.

Get the latest news, videos, lessons, and more in your inbox every morning.

Leave a Reply to Jeanne Quintile Cancel reply

  1. Scott T Quinn

    Alex Webster: A Scholar and a Gentleman. And a badass on a 5 string.

  2. Jeanne Quintile

    where’s Jack Bruce?

  3. Butch Quinones

    Cliff Burton?

    • Colleen Corbett Dolan

      seriously wtf

    • Johnny Wildchild Srsich

      I think this list is based on bassists that are alive and that have released music in 2011.

    • Corey Brown

      Johnny, Colleen & Butch – this is the top 10 list of interviews with bassists we did in 2011. We’re not snubbing anyone here, promise.

    • Johnny Wildchild Srsich

      All good Corey. That’s exactly what I figured. Keep up the good work.

    • Butch Quinones

      Clarified…Best interviews of 2011’…not to be confused with dead musician interviews…which of course…if you told me you spoke to Cliff…..I’d say you were crazy!!!lol…Its all good Corey….No one in their right mind, could snub Cliff anyway…He may have single-handedly changed the face of Metal….this is undeniable…..Check the book…’To live is to die’ The life and times of Cliff Burton…It has nothing to do with the fact that Cliff has been my biggest influence ,other than Jaco …Just listen to the things he has done…in his short time with us. Like Jaco..he truly made his mark…just my opinion….Both of these phenomenal musicians were taken away from us, way too early…

  4. Ryan Schiebout

    Steve DiGiorgio

  5. where’s steve digiorgio he has played in more than 20 bands.

  6. Hails to Alex Webster and Jeroen Thesseling m/.

  7. It says “Best of 2011”, how is Cliff Burton(rip) going to be on the list?