I was off the scene for a while during the ska period and when I returned and joined the Treasure Isle studio, I came there with a different mood. The musicians picked up on that and we kept on going in that direction. The music became slower, which gave the bass player the time to play more notes. In 1965 I named it rocksteady. The first rocksteady song was 'Girl I've Got A Date'. That one was still a bit up-tempo, leaning towards ska. It turned the tide and made Treasure Isle the number one studio.
It's really easy to play harmonics, anyone can do it. It's another thing to be able to swing, to make to make a band swing, to create a groove. Harmonics ain't everything. Being able to play harmonics certainly does not make you a good bass player. Cleverness is no substitute for true awareness.
I feel my spot is somewhere between a bass player and a rhythm guitar player. I play with a pick. I play very aggressively. I always have a distortion pedal in line, and I play less melodies and do more stuff against the guitars that create melodies.
I don't really have a favorite bass player. I listen to a lot of bluegrass. But then again, I'm not a typical bluegrass bass player. I was really into the Grateful Dead, and I still am - I don't listen to them too much, but for me they are a big influence.
To be a great band it's like you have that telepathy. You know when the bass player's in back of you without even looking. You know when your guitar player's coming up to you to lean up to you and sing into your microphone. You just know these things. You feel it. You feel the energy of it.