Keithen “Bassman” Foster… Being born into a military family that moved a lot seems like the perfect set up for life as a touring bassist. After a year of touring with Jordan Knight and his band Elevation Theory, I finally got to talk to Keithen about life on the road and how ‘growing up’ and ‘growing up musically’ differ. Though he “started playing late” (16) you would never know it; his mentor Chris Loftlin, who plays for Brian McKnight, mentored him in the hardships of the industry and what the bass really means to a band. He stayed under Chris until as he says, “He was too old for the pacifier,” at which point he moved to Boston to go to Berklee College of Music where he grew up musically.
Keithen currently resides in Boston, MA as a college graduate with his band mates, whom he considers to be his brothers. Following in the steps of Derek Hodge, Adam Blackstone and James Jamerson, Keithen likes to hold down the low end with a fat groove. “It can be the only instrument playing and still make you rock,” Keithen says while expressing his love for the bass. But not only is the bass important to him, he takes pride in learning about synth bass playing due to it’s importance in todays contemporary music scene.
“My big brother Sean Alexander (keyboardist in Elevation Theory) is a wiz at it. I learn something new every time we play a gig!” When it comes to shredding, Keithen likes to take things to the next level, most of his time is spent transcribing horn, piano and drum parts just to see the interaction between instruments and the separate approach to the music, and as a result there is definitely a lot of melodicism in his playing. Funny to think that this hotshot was originally a football player that picked up bass due to an injury!
To stay up to date with what Keithen is up to be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out “Elevation Theory” on YouTube! @bassmanfoster