Bass! How low can you go? – Epic Rock Poses Part 2
When you go to a gig in Japan, you are bombarded with fliers and other promotional material as you arrive and leave. One of my past times on the train home is looking at pictures of bands I don’t know and trying to guess who does what. (For the purposes of this story, we have a four-piece band). More often than not the singer and the guitarist are glaringly obvious. The singer by dint of importance or looks usually becomes the focal point of the picture around which the other members are draped. The guitarist is usually to the right of the photo projecting coolness with their deep, stony-eyed glare into the camera or (just in case it’s not obvious already) holding a guitar.
As previously mentioned, drummers are always at the back so they’re easy to spot, but the bass player is usually my point of trouble. They’re something of a chameleon – achingly cool, leg up on monitor surveying the crowd in a gig, or a little uncomfortable, gazing off at something out of the picture. In fact, now I’m thinking about this too much, the Lovecraftian adjective “squamous” comes to mind. Why?
I think I indulge in this practice of guessing band members for two reasons. Firstly, because I find the world of J-rock (so much like I find my life in general in Japan sometimes) equally enthralling and baffling. Having grown up on a musical diet created predominantly by hairy, sweaty, growly men, I guess I’m used to one way of looking at bands, so perhaps I’m trying to figure out Japan through the visual sub-culture…(?) Secondly, I’ve got my eye on doing band portraits in the future and so I see this as a way of training my eye and noticing the standard set-up of a band photo shoot, so I can try to emulate or even out-do it.
As this series of posts is an affectionate poke at rock ‘n roll posing, I should say that the one thing I’ve often noticed about the J-rock bassists I’ve shot is their propensity for trying to get as low to the ground as possible. There seems to be nothing a bassist can do better than adopting a wide-legged stance and rocking out.
In related news, I’ve had a brainwave for this blog recently and have been talking to a few people to try and get things rolling in a slightly different direction. No more to tell on that front yet, but I’m hoping in a month or so to be able to bring a new angle to proceedings.
Enjoy, and please leave a comment!