The Game of Thrones actor certainly looks the part of a heavy metal bassist. He has pursued the instrument with fervor, even recently jamming with Primus bass legend Les Claypool. But it was performing “Sober” with his kids that initially sparked his love for the low end, as he divulged in a new interview. While he had already been an avid guitar player, his passion for bass developed on the set of 2018’s Aquaman.
“I always have instruments on the set, so my son was playing drums and my daughter was playing guitar,” Momoa told Bass Player magazine. “It was my assistant’s birthday, and she really loves Tool, so I borrowed a bass from my buddy and we all played ‘Sober’ for her. Right then, my passion for bass really exploded. The moment I put it on, I could just feel the connection — and it was all over.”
He added, “I always knew I wanted to play bass. After that I wanted to play standup, so I bought one and now it’s a passion for me, with how it makes me feel and how it sounds. I studied and studied and studied bass, and I was like ‘My God, I wish I would have done this when I was young.’ I wish that I had that opportunity — but I’m making up for lost time.”
From Jeff Bridges to David Duchovny, actors have often made the crossover to music. As for Momoa, he’s fully embraced heavy metal. He could been seen impersonating Ozzy Osbourne in the music video for “Scary Little Green Men” last year, and he joined Phil Anselmo onstage with his son to sing Pantera’s “This Love” in 2019. He also recruited a local death metal singer to help him with his vocalizations for the Apple TV+ series See.
The Bass Player magazine article featured Momoa answering questions from bass legends, including Claypool, Metallica’s Robert Trujillo, Pantera’s Rex Brown, Megadeth’s David Ellefson, Anthrax’s Frank Bello, and Slayer’s Tom Araya. Responding to Araya’s question of whether he’d take a break from acting to pursue music with a band, Momoa said, “Oh man. A lot of my friends are musicians and I love them, and I feel like it’s fine for them to be actors, but I don’t know, when I see actors being musicians I’m like, ‘Oh my God’. It’s just like ‘Ugh…’ It never really works out.”
He continued, “It’s all good, and I would never want to say, ‘I’ll never do anything.’ I enjoy playing up there with my friends if they’re raising money for a charity, of course, because it’s always good to help – but I feel very out of place up there.”
As for the other bands who’ve inspired Momoa, he mentioned “Pantera, Rage Against the Machine, Primus, Black Sabbath, Red Hot Chili Peppers. I really, really love John Frusciante and Flea, they’re really huge in my life … A lot of the music I search for is a lot more off the beaten path nowadays. I respect everyone out there doing it, because it’s so hard and so challenging, and I just try not to judge.”
Watch Jason Momoa jamming onstage last year during a performance of “Higher Ground” below.