Jason Momoa details his jams with Les Claypool: “It was like a childhood dream”

Bass Player Jason Momoa cover
(Image credit: Future)

In recent years, Hollywood star Jason Momoa has traded Game of Thrones for a game of tones as his passion for bass guitar blossoms.

Last year saw the Aquaman star jam with Primus bassist Les Claypool and land himself a Fender Custom Shop P-Bass – and now he can tick another major achievement off the list, as he takes pride of place on the new issue of Bass Player (opens in new tab).

In the magazine’s all-encompassing conversation – which marks the actor’s first instrument interview – Momoa expands on his musical background and influences, while citing admiration for Claypool, who he spent time with back in September.

Of the pair’s jams, Momoa says, “That was like a childhood dream. We just hit it off. He was playing the drums and I was playing bass and going ‘Jesus Christ, man’, I was so nervous.

“Les is like fuckin’ God, so it was really hard to relax because he was just playing drums and I was supposed to start filling space and I was like, ‘Oh my God, what’s going on?’ I look forward to the day when I can communicate on the bass on that level.”

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As for whether Claypool taught Momoa anything about bass playing, the answer is very much in the affirmative.

“Yeah, I gotta learn a lot of stuff, I taped a bunch that I’ll be learning right now,” Momoa continued.

“I can’t wait to gather more knowledge to be around him and just jam. We had a really great time together, which was a really big relief because you don’t want to meet your heroes and then they’re fuckin’ assholes. We were having fun, just being fathers and family men. It was super-inspiring.

“I asked him a lot of questions. I asked him what his hardest song is to play and if he can still play it. The song DMV is his hardest; he has a very hard time playing it. I got the story behind why he did these really challenging things, and how he’s pissed because now he can’t do it on stage!”

In the magazine, Momoa is faced with questions not only from BP editor Joel McIver but also Claypool himself, Rob Trujillo of Metallica, Megadeth's David Ellefson, former Pantera bassist Rex Brown and Frank Bello of Anthrax.

You can snap up a copy of the latest issue of Bass Player at Magazines Direct (opens in new tab).

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Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar (opens in new tab), Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as the best part of 20 years performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe (opens in new tab).