For this edition of Gear Factor, we reached out to NOFX low-end hero Fat Mike, who took us through his history on bass along with his favorite riffs.

When it came to learning how to play, Fat Mike leaned on the punk greats of his youth. "The first riff I heard that made me want to be a good bass player was Steve Soto’s riff in the Adolescents," Mike shares. He also singles out Bad Religion's "Latch Key Kids" and the Dickies' version of "Paranoid" as some of the first riffs he ever learned to play.

Another big band for Fat Mike during his formative years was RKL. "I couldn’t figure out any of their songs, but Bomber, the first guy who wrote cool bass lines, he showed me some," revealed the bassist before breaking out bits of "Blocked Out" and "Hangover."

"I think the most important thing about playing bass is playing with a thin pick and playing lightly, 'cause your job as a bass player is to just have a nice, round tone so that vocals and guitars sound better," Mike says. "We make other people sound better. I play fast but I play very softly."

Fat Mike also took us through some of his own band's catalog. He recalls, “I think my first really cool bass riff was for ‘The Death of John Smith.’ This was in 1990.”

He also shows off a circular triplet style of playing he's used on "The Decline" and "The Idiots Are Taking Over," while he cites "Doors and Fours" as his favorite riff from the new record, Single Album. "It’s not hard to play but I just like it 'cause it’s an old school, grimy, slow punk song."

Speaking of Single Album, it's currently available at this location (As Amazon affiliates, we earn on qualifying purchases). Check out the full Gear Factor episode with Fat Mike below.

NOFX's Fat Mike Plays His Favorite Bass Riffs

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