With the inaugural AP Music Awards taking place July 21, 2014 (get your tickets now), at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame And Museum at North Coast Harbor, we thought we would use the weeks leading up to the historic event to give you a category-by-category breakdown of the nominees so you can be an informed voter. Read on to learn about the Best Bassist nominees, and cast your vote at altpress.com/apmas!

Jeremy Davis, Paramore

Never mind the fact that Jeremy Davis is the only bassist on this list with a top 10 hit right now, the dude has killed it on three full-lengths for Paramore—Riot!, brand new eyes and Paramore—all of which varied significantly in their respective musical directions. On the band’s latest album, Davis’ funky bass slaps shine best on the poppy numbers (“Ain’t It Fun,” “Still Into You”), where the guitars are turned down and his thump-thump aids the catchy dance-floor churn.


Zack Merrick, All Time Low

Zack Merrick has a tough job: keeping up with the speedy hook-laden riffs of Jack Barakat and the zippy vocals of Alex Gaskarth. More importantly, Merrick adds sonic depth to ATL’s sound, giving that heavy bass anchor to the otherwise spitfire-quick bursts of pop-punk usually shooting out of the band. One of the APMAs’ Song Of The Year nominees, “A Love Like War,” simply wouldn’t have been possible without him.


Ryan Neff, Miss May I

Ryan Neff of Miss May I has been crushing it for the band (as both a bassist and clean vocalist) since their 2009 debut, Apologies Are For The Weak. Since then, the band have moved from a deathcore sound to one that is more melodic metalcore with Neff taking point. Joining MMI as a bass player who didn’t listen to metal music, Neff had a lot to learn and has since become the archetype professional instrumentalist and seems to understand his clinical role in the chaos: “It’s my job be the bottom-man,” he told AP in 2012. “I’m there to keep things uniform and give the gut of the song.”


Jaime Preciado, Pierce The Veil

Whether it’s the rhythmic trembling of “King For A Day” or the power slams of “Caraphernelia,” Jaime Preciado always brings a punishing bite to Pierce The Veil’s arsenal. Speaking of “King For A Day,” did you happen to notice the sizzling bass run that knocks the lead guitar out of the spotlight around the two-minute mark? That would be Preciado, sounding like he’d fit in just fine with some old-school hardcore band. As a band who get pretty instrumentally technical without being too showy about it, PTV are the perfect platform for a bass player like Preciado.


Devin "Ghost" Sola, Motionless In White

One of our more theatrically dressed nominees, Devin “Ghost” Sola made his mark on Motionless In White’s latest album, 2012’s Infamous. On the album’s first single, “Devil’s Night,” Sola choppily thrashes out bass waves thunderous enough to complement the god-like echo of vocalist Chris Motionless. He also plays in a more slow and sinister grind at times, like in the album’s dark, Marilyn Manson-esque title track.


Pete Wentz, Fall Out Boy

Pete Wentz is an icon. He’s living proof that a bassist can have no problem being a band’s heart and soul, primary lyricist and orchestrating leader. There’s a reason Fall Out Boy were simply referred to as “Pete’s new band” when they formed in the Chicago suburbs in 2001. There’s little more that can be said about Pete Wentz; his record truly speaks for itself.


Feel educated yet? Good—now go cast your vote at altpress.com/apmas! Tickets for the award show are on sale now.