posted on September 7, 2008 at 8:50 pm

jamming with my friends
i want to simplify my bass
to the most subtle pulse
a seamless fluid flow of notes
my eyes relay the bass to my bulging brain
these notes should not be played at all
these notes maybe played sometimes
these notes can be played a lot
these notes are root notes
these notes should be passing notes
this note should be slid up to
this note should be slid down to
this note should be hammered on
this note can be part of a bass chord
this note could be bent
this note could be crisply plucked or slightly muffled
this note should be a harmonic
this note is outside this scale unless….
my ears hearing
my slightly distorted ears hearing as well they might
my ears hear and report back to my bulging brain
my ears decide
when its good
i get this feeling
when its bad i get this other feeling
when its mediocre i get no feeling at all
my fingers work quicker than my mind
and it struggles to keep up
its a chicken or the egg situation
whos leading who….who cares….
dont let your intellect interfere too much
but then of course…..
well a bit of nous comes in handy
you learn the rules
you spend the rest of your life trying to bend them
so write me a beautiful rhyme before you go all free verse
learn your scales before you go nuts on your axe, maaan
both bold technique and innovative originality
listen to that genius in all our hearts
he/she knows what to do
as a bass player i seek out the drums
i know nothing of the drums
i cant play em
i cant mike em
i cant record very well
nothing i know
but this is the thing that i must cleave to
this drumkit and i
we work in tandem
oh ho many tandems glasshopper
which one do you have in mind…
i like to relax
after all
im playing not working
im playing not worrying
the drums bring out all these feelings
the drums and the bass have a close dialogue
before deciding what to do
from there on out
they plot a course between themselves
their paths sometimes diverging
but always with the same common destination ahead
the kick drum and the bass guitar enter a procreative marriage
with the kick drum being the male element
with its solid brutal insistent thrust
the bass guitar takes on the feminine
it is free to wander the tonal ranges
it is warm sweet and giving
it responds to the kick drums thrust
with deep receptiveness
the creature these 2 aim to create
is lovely rhythm
a complex child much more than the sum of his parents
the bass is forever thus joined with the drum
and the 2 must learn to share co-operate
and sing together in wedded bliss:
the orgasmic fucking charge of rock….
my bass is the replica of a stradivarius bass
my bass is a sublime and beautiful instrument
capable of expressing the most subtle of emotions
my bass was handbuilt the olde way
thats right….
its a personal kind of instrument…
its easy to play
its rich and comforting
its even
deep and crisp and even steven
even better than the real thing
whatever that was
listen to the bass on “something” by the beatles
a counter melodic masterpiece
booming out
all over the place
emphasizing over and over
the hopeless adoration of the song
the bass seizes moments in the song
and curls through and around them
up seeking light and air
back down to the warm earthy darkness
of the lower reaches
then on come together
the impossibly loud bass
once again in a counter melodic feint
in a slurring sliding riff
that sneers and implies very rude things
it plays all over the song
paradoxically locking it down for good
it puts the song to bed
and then ravishes it whole
the bass can be almost everything at once
or it can be a blunt instrument expressing merely thrust or velocity
it can be a mantra
it can be a declaration of freedom
guaranteed by the gilt edged rocknroll bond of liberty
all these things blow thru the jazz man in my mind
like a summer breeze
or a rush of information
that my bulging bombastic brain processes
in some synaptic fury
fueled by huge gushes of pleasure chemicals
exploded in my cortex and pumping into
my head making me
come up with things
my heart
my head
my fingers
my ears
my eyes
my soul
my spirit
my membership in the huge club of humanity
and all that it is capable of
every musician or singer
who ever wanted to create a sublime piece of sonic graffiti
before he disappeared into blissful oblivion
every lutist or harpsichord player
every drummer or screamer
or rocker or roller
or anything else
you care to think of
i am heir to that
all of it is mine to use as i choose
and boy i do choose
and i do
and i paid me dues too
sometimes ya win
othertimes i lose
music is where we touch again on magic
no one really understands how this stuff works
they tell you how
not why
why is this bullshit noise so important…?
beats me…
actually it isnt even important
its like saying
oh breathings important
oh sleeps important
music is a bottom line
dont take my rocknroll away from me mister
here take my money
take my friends n kin
but dont take my rocknroll
the consolation of the common man
the panacea
the painkilling shot of hot bass throbbing in your pit
feel that music rushing thru your vains
feel that narcotic repetition signalling imminent take off
listen to that bass now
and take your hat off boy when youre talking to me
i am a veteran of the bass wars
i have the scarred ear drums to reprove it
i have the callused and callous fingers
i have poured my soul into my fenderbass
some times it never returns
locked in the wood and metal and grime and sweat
forever baby…
and thats a long long time…..

32 Responses to “jam”

  1. avatar
    princey | 7 September 2008 at 11:00 pm #

    Phew…you're here again and on fire sk! None of us need convincing that you and your "plank of wood" as you call it sometimes, are joined at the hip. There's nothing I love more than getting that top-to-toe vibration when your bass is pumping(& sweating!) live on stage, it's so loud, deep and powerful, everything vibrates with the throb of your babyFender…and GOD it feels gooooood!
    love Amanda's killing me every second of the day that I'm going to miss the Painkiller gig on Wednesday, please, pleeeease come and do it here sk, we neeeeeed the fix!!!!

  2. avatar
    veleska1970 | 7 September 2008 at 11:45 pm #

    of the four times i’ve seen you play live onstage, that bass just carries me away. i’m “in the groove”.

    “locked in the wood and metal and grime and sweat
    forever baby…”

    lotza love….

  3. avatar
    matt davison | 7 September 2008 at 11:51 pm #

    That’s the spirit sound refreshed and ready to roll.. Should I make my way over the ditch??

    Now!! Ricky rene Maymi is with painkiller….BJM is one of those super musical enigma’s and Ricky is a geettar lord of the supernatural kind..but the lead singer Anton NEEDS help, he ranted and raved and took all the great feeling from such excellent musicians…I walked out with many of my peers…Anton you are a sad fricken mess, and you Ricki are one hel of a great man even just to put up with an idiot of a man like that. The music hit Churchie levels and the wave of sonic bliss radiated my head untill that ego maniac slit the atom and abused such high level musical genius..

    Fool..away with him….BJM should never perform again until that deeply offensive average singer..changes his ways…

    Like SK say’s music is the closest we have to magic…

    You go crazy in sydeers


    nice to meet you mr Ricki

    the Etimebandit will smack out any of the blues..

    and the killer will expand the universe…

    That’s for sure

    SK you are a wonderful father…you did the best thing

    I am onto the Shank to fill youre tank…

    Matt Davison



  4. avatar
    ScaughtFive | 7 September 2008 at 11:59 pm #

    You nailed it. Bassing over a good set of chord figures and rightrhythm is like surfing a perpetual wave in the sun outside of time and thought. That shite’s out there waiting for you to turn on the amp and catch it, drude.

  5. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 September 2008 at 12:48 am #

    Hey Kilbey

    You know how your band has been raping the reputations of Australian women? Was that to keep your handful of devoted USA fans happy? Way to go, get rid of your Australian market to keep the anal ones, and promote sexism in Australia at the same time.

    I used to be fan. How embarrassing.

  6. avatar
    the dean | 8 September 2008 at 12:53 am #

    Where did that come from?

  7. avatar
    kat | 8 September 2008 at 1:07 am #


    it may already be time to shut off the anons again, ya know nip it in the bud kind of thing… anyway, i think its cool you are a fender dude. so are my bro and i. though i can’t play as well. anyway, can’t wait for painkilla’ to arrive in its entirety..

    there once was a note – listen!

    peacexo fiends

  8. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 September 2008 at 1:25 am #

    It never fails to amaze me how many truly miserable people there are in the world today.
    Anyway…Something has some of the most hauntingly beautiful bass runs that I have ever heard.
    Abbey Road was always my favorite for Macca’s bass playing.
    Melodic and brilliant.
    Glad you are back Steve.
    I’ve missed your words.

    Tampa, Fl

  9. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 8 September 2008 at 1:27 am #

    anon@10:48….whaa…??? get real, buddy…
    god how i wish i played a musical instrument…i envy you so much…a mix of the divine and the carnal in your description…was transported by it…unreal, sir….
    awaiting painkiller with baited breath….
    love always….

  10. avatar
    ...being here, doing this... | 8 September 2008 at 2:46 am #

    your bass playing is sublime

  11. avatar
    Matt Davyddson | 8 September 2008 at 3:18 am #

    Well I thought Anton ROCKED! I was there, and he was great! Didn’t see my namesake to tell him to pull his head in, whic is standard procedure me thinks..

  12. avatar
    matt davison | 8 September 2008 at 4:43 am #

    Davyddson.. If you were there I would have smelt you!! It's very sad how a bands leader (employer) uses a whip to lead and a legacy of hurt feelings and ego-mania.
    That Anton is a complete looser.

    His antics remind me of some of your comments.. Lame, imature & senseless.. The best thing about you Davyddson is the fact that the killer left you still breathing.

    But I gotta say…you should make yourself known to me at these things…I might get you to buy me a beer sometime.


  13. avatar
    Richard | 8 September 2008 at 5:36 am #

    Nice to have you back SK, and in such fine form.

    If you, or anyone else here, want to get lost in a truly magnificent website have a look at:

  14. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 September 2008 at 7:03 am #

    I wanted to meet myself today under the rain when the lights went out and I thought this grey city was about to become a seven string serenade. Through the blue velvet cafe windows some giraffes carrying Prada bags stuffed with five star palominos. And the coffee was getting colder to the dim neon flamingos. As I circled and circled the building looking for the Piaget watch which would inform the right hour for me to leave my seat. But that sheet of a shadow took my clock to a night when there was no light at home (?). We were getting used to those frequent energy supply cuts but I was finishing a very obtuse romance at that dusk falling over the stained desk with its pale orangeness. Twenty pages to finish and find out that the cry of useful candles could never top the moaning wind of our innuendos. So I went to the gallery following the voice of a boy who was talking to my brother about guitars and Big Bang. That kind of self-adulatory understanding of Nature attracted my ears. God being discussed in the rocking livid darkness while the dogs kept on barking like spirits of wolves locked in invaded houses. The path to the gallery was filled with the fine levitation of unsureness when it almost touches direction as I walked in transparent fabric. The vision of my flesh wouldn’t reach any eyes until the book was finished. The chapter I was reading was “Tena City”, the name of the place where the main character was imprisoned after a long, long dream. To get free he needed to find the House of Reality Generators which had become a hologram after people started to write in Tena. To accomplish this he would have to simply forget every word he had learned while he believed that each word was his only company. We silenced before God, the boy and I, after he greeted me impatiently. “What were you doing in the darkness?” he asked me some minutes later. “Reading a book”, I replied. “Oh no, nobody can read a book in such darkness!”, he said. “Ah, ha, I can”. But couldn’t he notice that I wasn’t reading anymore since I was there?
    (Found a 7″ inside that book today with two songs, “Outbound” and “Spirit in Flame”. One of those hidden messages in vinyl said: “deliriously youthful in a space western”).

  15. avatar
    12str | 8 September 2008 at 8:22 am #

    which bassline of yours do you concider as the best you ever played/wrote?

  16. avatar
    captain mission | 8 September 2008 at 8:36 am #

    wow, sometimes i read these words and i feel like i’ve just learnt the most important thing in the universe, ironically my brain can’t grasp it but my heart can, like the tao, it just feels right, it just flows.

  17. avatar
    eek | 8 September 2008 at 8:46 am #

    Well, now I'm even more envious of the people who are going to the Painkiller gig. >:(

    That was mesmerizing.

  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 September 2008 at 9:50 am #

    I know I’m thick…but is the painkiller gig back on? In Sydders? I’m in Brisbane this week (hello Isolde) but will be back on the weekend….pray tell the re-vised date?

    I’m gathering from an insufficient scan of the comments that there was a medical issue with one of your Swedish gals. I don’t call on the gods much for anything, but I will pray for a child. I don’t know how much sway I have with the big fella (being a terrible sinner myself) but there’s a few sincerely conceived thoughts going out to the universe for your child tonight.

    I hope all is, or will be well.


  19. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 September 2008 at 10:34 am #

    no tapping or slapping mentioned!!

    all is well

  20. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 September 2008 at 11:05 am #

    WOW .Painkiller myspace=farr king stunning.seriously,SK…how much do you just f&@%ing rock!:D lllllllovitte!

  21. avatar
    isolde | 8 September 2008 at 11:28 am #

    48 hours be fore you play

    BB the sun looked good today

    but the rain is on its way

  22. avatar
    restaurant mark | 8 September 2008 at 11:43 am #

    great one today…you had me at bass…

    thanks for your words

    take care

  23. avatar
    princey | 8 September 2008 at 11:48 am #

    You guys would have to be rehearsing HARD right now sk?….and thanks for the countdown Isolde….NOT!!!

  24. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 September 2008 at 11:52 am #

    that was emotional. feckin great.

  25. avatar
    lily was here | 8 September 2008 at 12:14 pm #

    Put your hand up when you want to speak Sonny 🙂
    ps kids you should seek out some of the magic SK did on Margot Smith’s TASTE album. Today Steve I was listening to ‘Profit’ and wow, you two, such polar opposites in many ways, just somehow managed to create utter magic together…musical chemistry

  26. avatar
    ad | 8 September 2008 at 1:03 pm #

    a week on auto-pilot. hope your plane lands soon sk.

  27. avatar
    Jen Jewel Brown | 8 September 2008 at 3:38 pm #

    bassically blistering

  28. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 September 2008 at 3:48 pm #

    Kilbey, you are indeed a very good bass player…Reptile is all the evidence we need.

  29. avatar
    fantasticandy | 8 September 2008 at 7:05 pm #

    only someone totally wired could have written that wonderfuly ‘filthy’ epistle today!
    i hope the audience ‘get off’ too!

  30. avatar
    davem | 8 September 2008 at 8:05 pm #

    I’ve played bass for nigh on 30 years now, so I loved todays blog. I’ve always adored your lyrics and voice most, but have enjoyed your playing more than ever these last few years. The bass on FY/BY/BWTB/AENT is fabbo and of course when you’re playing on MWP/PK tracks you can hear how effinggood you are.
    Love to all.

  31. avatar
    Fireseed | 8 September 2008 at 10:53 pm #

    do not fret
    this blog is basically sound
    but it must not be debased!


  32. avatar
    don joe | 9 September 2008 at 9:25 am #

    drums were my 1st love, then came the bass….pure love, melody AND rhythm in one, I adore the bass’ subtleties and feel it more flexible than a six string guitar, oh…that reminds me, got a confession to get off here: I saw you recite some of you poetry at a venue in Melb. I spoke to you after and said I had a fender 6 (this was about ’92) I didn’t have and never have had one. Trying to impress?? Probably….heh.

    don joe

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