Rocking Steady: An Interview with Jack Casady (Part 2)

Ever wonder how a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer writes bass lines? How can somebody stay in the industry for over 50 years and still stay fresh? What’s the key to musical growth?

In part 1 of our interview with Jack Casady, we talked with the legendary bassist about his influences, his achievements, and some of his views on the state of bass today.

Here in part 2 we dive deeper into how he does what he does.

This No Treble exclusive video interview was filmed backstage at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia, during the band’s now current “Steady as She Goes” tour.

Be sure to check out part 1 of our interview with Jack.

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  1. I can appreciate a lot of what he says here because when I was first introduced to Gospel and then to the concept of Gospel/R&B, I was not really familiar with what was expected of a player in those areas. I was just handed the changes and told to to run with it. So, I approached it with what was in my background. The line they might’ve expected might’ve been a standard blues line, but that’s not I came with so the whole flavor changed and thus RYG Gospel was born. A Gospel/R&B sound with jazz influence augmented with line styles I’d adopted from Stanley and Marcus plus my own stuff. Bear in mind I was running blind here as I really had no example nor foundation for a starting point. What we found was this is what set us apart. It is really got people paying more attention to the music ministry in our church. Here we were playing songs like,”Sign Me Up for the Christian Jubilee” with a fast jazz bass walk flowing throughout the song. Sure. It was laying down the bottom and not detracting from the words, but at the same time having people take notice because it wasn’t the way they were used to hearing the song done before. I was never a high volume player. Ya don’t need to be, really. Ya just got to establish and then stay in the cut. Anything else has to support the premise of the song or you just tossing notes around, in my opinion.

  2. Great interview with the amazing and wonderful Jack Casady!

  3. what a gentle, generous, sweet nice guy – besides being a freaking Godzilla on the bass.

  4. Jack has so many great things to share here about the role of the bass and how it’s all about the song and what draws people into it….and not showing off chops. As he says, it all comes with experience and growth.

  5. Thanks for the big bottom Jack.I’m a drummer of 48 years and still dig locking in the pocket.

  6. He’s one of the guys that I always listened to every note. Him, Jack Bruce, and Entwhistle. McArtney, of course, but those guys were the tuffest players, with Jim Fielder of B, S, and T. Such tuff lines, styles, thought, whatever. Good for a young player to learn from!