Derek Frank is a professional musician. More specifically, he’s a professional bassist who plays in the bands for famed artists, Gwen Stefani and Shania Twain. These are not small musical responsibilities. He plays in L.A. and Nashville and has also worked with Shakira and Dancing With the Stars.
As such, we reached out to Frank to ask him which are his favorite songs to play with both frontwomen. Which songs give him the biggest thrills, which offer the most joy or response from the audience? Which recall the greatest memories? We asked, so you could know
Frank says of his Top 10 Gwen Songs:
“These 10 songs are listed SORT OF in order, although I think my preference would change day-to-day depending on what kind of mood I’m in!”
1. “Simple Kind of Life”
One of my favorite No Doubt songs; I love the way Tony Kanal’s bass line dances with the vocal in the chorus. Unfortunately, I’ve only had the pleasure of performing this song with Gwen once, as it got cut from our Vegas residency setlist after the very first show due to time constraints.
I love playing the chorus-soaked slap bass line, and I get a chance to use my Dirty Robot Synth pedal for the swells on the bridge.
3. “Don’t Speak”
A masterpiece of a song, with a masterpiece of a bass line. ‘Nuff said.
A great high-energy song with a super fun bass line to play… plus, I get to jump around at the front of the stage like a complete idiot on this one, which is always fun.
5. “Hella Good”
A classic example of how 2 different bass lines (synth bass and bass guitar) can coexist without getting in each other’s way.
6. “Rich Girl”
I’ve always thought that a great song is the sum of its parts, and that notion certainly holds true with this song. It’s practically a one-note bass line through the whole song, but it works perfectly and I absolutely love playing it. Plus, the BGVs on this song are some of my favorites to sing.
7. “It’s My Life”
A classic song written by Mark Hollis of the band Talk Talk, originally released in 1984. It’s deceptively tricky, with 5 different key centers and a constantly moving bass line. I completely understand why No Doubt wanted to cover it.
8. “What You Waiting For?”
A rocker of a song, with a constant short-long-short-long eighth-note bass line that always gets the crowd hyped up.
9. “Sunday Morning”
When I received the phone call inviting me to join Gwen’s band, I was on tour in China with another artist and had just experienced a family tragedy the day before. Of course, I accepted the invitation but was unable to get excited about anything at that moment. I went straight into rehearsals with Gwen and the band as soon as I got home a few weeks later, but my mind was in a depressive state, and the greatness of my new gig still hadn’t sunk in yet. About a week or so into rehearsals, when the choreographer started positioning us around the stage, we played Sunday Morning while rocking out at the front of the stage with Gwen. That’s when it finally hit me. I walked back to my riser after playing Sunday Morning and said to myself: “Holy shit, I’m playing with Gwen freaking Stefani”. I still think of that moment every time we play the song.
10. “Underneath It All”
A happy-feeling reggae tune and we go into a double-time ska section after the bridge during a trumpet solo. So fun.
Frank says this of his Top 10 favorite Shania songs:
1. “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!“
I love playing shuffle bass lines, and it’s always great to experience the energy of the crowd when we start this song (which is almost always the show closer).
2. “You Win My Love”
A killer Mutt Lange country-rock song, with Shania singing playful lyrics comparing her body to a car, and love as a race. Very clever.
3. “(If You’re Not In It For Love) I’m Outta Here!”
This song is just plain sexy. The bass line goes from fat quarter notes dropping on one and three in the verses to a pumping eighth note line in the choruses. And I always get off on the guitar playing of my bandmates Joshua Ray Gooch and Cory Churko on this one.
4. “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?”
Yup… I sure do love a good country shuffle, and the bass vocal part is a blast to sing.
A song with positive vibes and a rocking eighth note bass line. Plus, Cory Churko plays his double-neck Gibson SG on this one, which always makes me smile in the name of rock.
6. “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!”
A blast of a pop/rock tune, that goes between A minor in the verses and C in the choruses. One of my favorite songs of hers to listen to, in addition to playing it.
7. “Honey, I’m Home”
When I play the intro and verses of this song, I feel as if it’s the closest I’ll ever get to playing with Def Leppard!
8. “Love Gets Me Every Time”
A simple tune with a simple bass line, but those quarter notes on one and three are so fun to play. The guitar solo on this song is one of my favorites, and I always love hearing Cory Churko play it. I love that solo so much that I learned it on bass a while back, and posted a lil vid of me playing it on Instagram!
9. “That Don’t Impress Me Much”
The one song in Shania’s set on which I get to play synth bass.
10. “Any Man of Mine”
A country song with classic Mutt Lange Def Leppard-esque BGVs. I always enjoy singing my vocal parts on this, in addition to playing the bass line.