While 5 Seconds Of Summer prepare for UK dates and a new album, bassist Calum Hood keeps the bass on the low-down.
“There were a lot of ups and downs during the year that we were making our new album, Youngblood, with a great deal of love and loss - but it got done, and we’re really proud of it. The bass gear on the record varied with the different producers we used. Mike Elizondo, who used to be Dre’s bassist, used a ton of different stuff; we played a lot of Rickenbackers with Jake Sinclair, and Andrew Watt [ex-California Breed] uses Hofners for his stuff.
“A lot of my parts were recorded on a Fender P-Bass 1983 Special that I picked up in Nashville. Sometimes we went straight into the desk, other times we miked up a cab. I usually play an Ampeg SVT, but I recently switched over to a Fender Bassman. I stick a Roland distortion and chorus in the chain too, but other than that, it’s pretty clean.
“I try to keep everything as simple as possible, although I may switch to a Jazz for our next tour, just to change up the tones a bit, because I’m starting to move around the fretboard a bit more.
“I play Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings, and this time I used flatwounds: they add a really different dynamic to the bass. The Super Slinkys are incredibly reliable on tour. I also play a lot of 808 and Moog stuff on the new record, and flats seem to complement the synth sound pretty well. I’m more comfortable on bass than synth, but I’m gradually working my way up.
“I started playing guitar and when we formed the band; we all said, ‘Who’s the worst at guitar?’ It was obviously me, so I put my hand up and was told that I’d be playing bass. I was happy with that as I consider myself more as a songwriter than a bassist, but I fell in love with bass pretty quickly. It holds a lot of the melody in our songs, and I really enjoy playing it for that reason.
“Sting was a big role model for me, as a bassist and as a songwriter who also sings. I learned a lot from him, and also from Pino Palladino and Tears For Fears.
“There’s a lot going on in our band, so I make sure I’m not stepping on anyone’s toes; that whole dynamic was a real struggle for us when we were younger. We still have a long way to go, but we’re getting there…”
Youngblood is out now on Capitol Records. 5SOS play UK dates in October and November 2018.