There’s a whole lot of fans out there that (I think) go over the top with their views of musicians. Personally, I’ve never been attracted to the idea of being a famous musician, I’ve never been a fan of role models in general, but these musicians have definitely impacted me in huge ways. I respect these people because of their unique skills and their innovative approaches to music, and for those reasons I can say they’ve helped me approach music in a more intentional way.
1 - Korey Cooper (Guitarist of Skillet)
Probably every Christian who also loves rock (or metal) has at one time loved Skillet. I loved them in middle school, but, Korey was always my favorite. The reason I admire Korey is because she’s one of those musicians that can make what she does look easy. But trust me, it’s not. I may not be a huge fan of Skillet anymore, but Korey was the person who inspired me to learn other instruments besides piano because of her passion and risk-taking character.
2 - Peter Hook (Bassist of Joy Division & New Order)
One of my favorite stories of Joy Division was when Barney (the guitarist) was frustrated with Peter Hook for “not following the guitar”. Obviously, Peter didn’t care, so he told him to follow the bass instead. Peter does what most bass players fail to do, and that’s lead. Sometimes it’s not the role for the bassist to be in the spotlight, but considering Post-punk was a growing genre where bass wasn’t the “star”, I consider it guts that Peter made such an effort to create his own bass lines. He set the tone for Joy Division more than even Ian did (I’d argue), and he’s my absolute favorite bass player.
3 - Kim Gordon (Bassist of Sonic Youth)
Kim Gordon was the first female bassist I’d heard of that I was greatly inspired by. I remember reading her book a few years ago called “Girl in a Band” and I learned a lot from her about what it means to be a musician. I’m also very drawn to her personality, I feel that I can relate to the way she thinks with some aspects, but overall she’s one of the musicians who has given me hope for my own future too.
4 - Victor Wooten (Bassist)
Allow me to introduce you to one of the most lovable people on the planet, Victor Wooten. He was one of the first bassists that I had seen who wrote a song with only his bass. (Obviously, Jaco Pastorius’s “Portrait of Tracy” is iconic in this aspect, but Victor Wooten was the first I’d seen.) He’s probably the smartest bass player out there - with both theory and creativity. Victor Wooten is such an inspiration to me, and his techniques have gotten me through a lot of rough patches with my musical education.
5 - Daron Malakian (Guitarist of System of a Down)
Well, anyone who knows me well knows that my favorite band is System of a Down. But, Daron is the brains behind the band and he also happens to be my favorite band member. What I love about Daron is that he’s both a genius, and a goofball. I mean he puts so much of himself into his music that it feels personal. So, if he’s in a funny mood he’ll probably write something really funny. That goes for any emotion, and there’s such a wide range in his music and in System of a Down’s.