lolz you're sweet. I know I missed this one by like 4 months but...this thread is huge and I just now stumbled upon it.
Originally Posted by JocktheMotie
I love Incubus so much. Although I do want Dirk back.
I used to agree, especially just after Crow came out, but being a pretty accomplished bass player myself I have to say that, upon further analysis, Ben Kenney is far more tasteful and appropriate to their current style.
When I was younger, I learned all of the silly Dirk slap lines --"A Certain Shade of Green", "Redefine" solo, "Speak Free" etc. when I was in my big super-technical Primus/Wooten/RHCP phase.
And those basslines were very cool in the context of S.C.I.E.N.C.E., but now that the band has moved on to more groove-oriented prog and pop rock, largely to the exclusion of the funk metal on which they built their name, Dirk's frequently overbearing style would be rather out of place.
Einziger has matured so much as a guitarist that they'd probably clash--listening to Morning View, the band's last release with Dirk, you can already hear his style being squelched as their music gets mellower and more atmospheric.
Kenney is a perfect fit for what they're doing now, and his fantastic vocal harmonies have also significantly filled out their live sound. I went through the purist "grr pick bassists all suck!" phase too, but I grew out of it.
Check out some live footage--he's incredible. Those Lakland basses sound fucking terrific...so much smoother jazz and bebop in his style that wasn't there with Dirk.
Dirk's influences are clearly players like Les Claypool (durrr), Stanley Clarke, Bootsy Collins, and Flea. I like how from Ben, you hear more stuff along the lines of Oteil Burbidge, Leland Sklar, maybe Christian McBride? He's more of a behind-the-beat, accent-the-drummer-and-guitarist-perfectly kind of bass player, and after studying jazz bass in college I've grown to appreciate that a lot more.
Sorry for the infinite rant...a little intoxicated
If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?