Cris Cohen: How does the bass, which is an under-the-radar instrument that does not usually stand out like the guitar does, influence a song or a performance?
John Pierce (Toto): Basically it is one of those instruments where no one is really aware of it. But if you remove it, people will go, "What happened? Something just changed. Somebody left the room or something. The bottom fell out of (the song)."
That's actually literally what would happen. I don't think people are zoned in on a bass part when they listen to the radio, but they feel it. It's much more subtle and in the background generally.
They say the common bass player is more of a team player. And that's why I think a number of bass players become producers. They are always listening to everybody. It's not like a solo instrument, at least in the type of work I do.