Sam Davies is the bassist of the up-and-coming band Cortes, a London-based trio fusing elements of rock, hip hop and groove-laden indie. Hailing from Devon, Sam joined the band in 2012 after bonding with his fellow members over a shared love of Hendrix and the Stones. Fast forward to 2016: their track ‘Facing my Fear’ was an underground hit, eventually being picked up by the legendary Zane Lowe. Then, there’s Sam’s side gig: in his spare time, Sam also plays with singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti on his UK/European tour supporting John Legend. No big deal. Luckily for us, he took some time out of his busy schedule to take some pictures in the 1460 GeoStripe for our Worn Different campaign — and to talk to us about his top 5 favorite bass lines of all time.
You picked up the bass at 14. What drew you to the instrument?
My older brother started playing the guitar and I would pluck the strings with my fingers. He told me that’s what a bass player does, to which I replied “what’s a bass??” I don’t think it was too long after that my Dad took me to our local music shop to get my first bass and I was learning every Red Hot Chili Peppers song I could get hold of.
Name your top 5 songs with a sick bass line. What about them do you love, and why?
Darling Dear, Jackson 5, and What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye
James Jameson is probably my favourite bass player of all time and he played on all those classic Motown records. His feel and approach to bass playing really blew me away.
Ramble On, Led Zeppelin
I love John Paul Jones’ melodic bass playing and Led Zeppelin was one of the first bands I really got into. I would sit and try to work out every one of their songs, I think Ramble On is my favourite.
Portrait of Tracy, Jaco Pastorius
I have to mention Jaco and this is his masterpiece. Undeniable!
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, Paul Simon
There’s a 25th anniversary edition of Paul Simons Graceland record that has a version of this tune which only has the bass and vocals. You can really hear how awesome the fretless bass playing is and it has to be one of my favourites!
If you weren’t in the music industry, what would you be doing?
My absolute dream would have been to play professional football. But realistically I don’t think I can imagine anything but music.
Tell us about your first pair of Docs.
I bought my first pair of 1460s at Spitalfield Market and wore them to every gig/festival. No matter what I put my Doc’s through, they always gave back and just kept getting better.
What’s the craziest/best/most different thing you’ve done in a pair of Docs?
I’ve been wearing the 2976 on tour this year with Jack Savoretti, and we’ve played some really beautiful venues across the UK and Europe. Isle of Wight festival on the main stage was a big highlight for me, and we recently toured Italy in some of the most amazing amphitheatres.
What do you stand for?
For me, family is very important. I feel incredibly fortunate to have a supportive family and I really wouldn’t be anywhere without them.
I think it’s important to pursue your passion in life, and I’ll always try my best to support my friends and family as they support me.