I played classical piano & trombone first, and I was a drummer as a teenager, though not a good one. I was naturally drawn to the bass, and I often listened to the bass on records. There was a bass at school that I started messing around on, and it seemed to be the ideal instrument for me, so from age 17 until becoming professional at 23, I was playing a lot of the time, mostly along with albums. My personality suits the bass – I don’t want to be a guitarist, showing off at the front of the stage!
I like many kinds of music, and when I was learning the bass, I practiced lots of styles apart from rock – blues, jazz, funk, R&B, pop etc. I was influenced a lot by Jack Bruce of Cream, Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge, Cactus) and all the bands of the British blues boom of that time, such as John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Chicken Shack, Fleetwood Mac etc. Later I got into funk bass-players quite a bit, then Jaco Pastorius from Weather Report, so I tend to play differently to how most rock bassists play, and I’m not very interested in just playing the root note of the chord; I’d rather try and do something more interesting, if there’s the opportunity. I used to copy guitarists as well as bassists, and try to play exactly what they drummer was playing too, so I wasn’t only influenced by bass-players.