Groove – Episode #98: Stu Brooks

Stu Brooks

Bass reverberates through the body. The reaction to those root notes and grooves actually manifests physically. Two-time Grammy Award-nominated bassist, producer, songwriter, and Dub Trio co-founder Stu Brooks beckons this response every time he picks up a bass.

Sharing the stage or the studio with everyone from Lady Gaga, Danny Elfman, Lauryn Hill, 50 Cent, and Mary J. Blige to Mike Patton, Slick Rick, and even a posthumous recording for Tupac Shakur, his playing reverberates on an emotional and spiritual level. The Toronto native eventually attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and then moved to New York in 2000. Three years later, he co-founded Dub Trio. Among early gigs, 50 Cent’s G-Unit recruited him for the 6-time platinum-selling Get Rich Or Die Trying. He notably handled bass on Tony Yayo’s platinum-selling Thoughts of a Predicate Felon (#2 debut on the Billboard Top 200) and Lloyd Banks’ gold-certified Rotten Apple (#3 debut on the Billboard Top 200). Featuring his bass lines, Yayo’s single “So Seductive” (with 50 Cent) went to the Top 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs Chart and took home “Best Club Banger” at the BET Vibe Awards. In 2014, he received a Grammy Award nomination in the category of “Best Dance/Electronic Album” for his contribution to Pretty Lights’ A Color Map of the Sun. Along the way, he lent his talents to the Saturday Night Live Band, notably appearing during a much-talked-about Kanye West and Kid Cudi set In 2018.

Beyond numerous studio sessions, he served as music director for Matisyahu for ten years, co-producing and co-writing albums such as Akeda and Undercurrent in addition to a handful of singles. He also became music director for the Bonnaroo Super Jam and GRIZ — for whom he orchestrated a few sold-out Red Rocks Amphitheater gigs and more. Laying down bass as well as engineering for Mark Guiliana’s Beat Music! Beat Music! Beat Music!, he garnered second and third Grammy Award nominations in the category of “Best Contemporary Instrumental Album” at the 2020 ceremony. Between Peeping Tom, Matisyahu, Dr. John, and Dub Trio, he performed in dozens of countries, including every U.S. state, Canadian province, and European country, and graced the stages of late-night shows, ranging from Conan to the iconic Jay Leno and David Letterman. With Dub Trio, he simultaneously attracted a devout fanbase and widespread critical acclaim 2019’s The Shape of Dub To Come, notably boasted cameos from Meshell Ndegeocello, King Buzzo of The Melvins, and Troy Sanders of Mastodon. Dub Trio notably closed CBGB’s opening for Bad Brains for a series of concerts in its final week. Not to mention, its fans span from Patton to Elfman.

Brooks also launched a signature P-Bass with Olinto, a.k.a. La Bella Strings — a renowned 400-year-old string manufacturer. Now, he is producing and co-writing for the likes of Perry Farrell and Fever333 and has played a pivotal role in Danny Elfman’s Big Mess release and live band. Bass performance for Danny grew into executive production on more than 20 remixes. In that process, he also produced several songs featuring guest vocalists, including Trent Reznor and Iggy Pop. Throughout 2022 and 2023, he will be releasing an album of new recordings he’s written and produced with his friends, including Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy, Angelo Moore of Fishbone, Jason Aalon Butler of Fever333, Paul Leary of the Butthole Surfers, Perry Farrell and more.

Enjoy the conversation…

Get Groove - The No Treble Podcast in your inbox.

Get the latest Groove episode in your inbox (about once a month).

Share your thoughts