Midnight Oil

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Maurice R. Kelly mkelly@deadheart.org.uk
Mon, 1 Apr 2002 17:23:03 +0100 (BST)

On Apr 1, Bjorn Blomquist wrote:

> Well, it's a different thing to change "just" a bass player 
> than to change a lead singer/front man, which makes the band 
> sound very different. Even if the front man is not the main 
> songwriter in a band, it's always his (or her) voice that 
> makes you recognise the band. You don't really hear if somebody 
> else plays the bass.

I think you're being unfair to bass players here. Although I have never
sat down and tried to do so, I can hear a difference in style between
Bones, Giffo and Andrew James. I couldn't tell you precisely what makes
them different, but I know they are.

It's not just bass players - most musicians have they're own way of
playing and to replace them is to take away their contribution. As an
example I refer you to the Smashing Pumpkins album Adore. This is the only
Smashing Pumpkins album that doesn't feature the tremendous drumming of
Jimmy Chamberlain, and it also happens to be their only album which I
cannot stand. When I heard their Machina album after he rejoined the band,
I was exceptionally moved, because the sound that had been lacking was
back and the band sounded better than ever. Just goes to show that you can
replace a person so that there isn't a hole in the lineup, but there can
still be a hole in the music.


Maurice R. Kelly