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Baker's Dozen

Creating A Songwriter: The 13 Albums That Made Thundercat
Rob Hakimian , April 14th, 2020 08:53

The virtuoso bassist takes Rob Hakimian through his musical life story with a baker's dozen that traces his trajectory from kid messing with his parents' records to the in-demand player that he is today. Photographs by The1Point8.


Rage Against The Machine - Evil Empire
At this point I'm already in Suicidal Tendencies and I'm walking around school listening to Korn and Suicidal. I always had my headphones on and I had long hair, I kind of looked like a girl. I remember my friend called Carla, she gave me her copy of Evil Empire. It was really dope, it was one of the coolest moments ever, because she gave me a copy of her CD and then she gave me a kiss literally, and she said, 'this is yours.'

I remember putting it in my CD player in my car and I've never sonically heard anything like that in my entire life. That shit blew my fucking mind. I didn't know what the hell to do with myself. I was like, 'who the fuck plays an instrument like this? What the hell is this?' Tom Morello's guitar lines were ridiculous. To this day, it's still ridiculous. If Jimi Hendrix were alive he would be like, 'what the hell is Tom Morello drinking!?'

Then on top of that, add the part where they're from Los Angeles; it's a bit of a prideful moment for me. I don't ever have these moments where I'm like, 'Yeah, they from LA', but Rage Against The Machine, I felt like it was me. This is again identity; who this is and what this is – this is the sound of where I come from, this is how we sound.

Then you mix Suicidal Tendencies in there, and I'm touring at this age already, so this was this made me want to play harder and more aggressive and made me want to exude more energy and play with power. That's where I learned that, and it moulded my years in Suicidal Tendencies.

So Evil Empire, if I put it on in an Uber everybody's going deaf. It's Rage Against The Machine: I don't care – it's still too good. It's still too fucking good. They're getting ready to go back on tour this year. I'm gonna be the guy in the front row with the mouth guard and boxing gloves. Rage Against the Machine changed my life and will change yours on arrival.