Dylan and I met via Facebook. He reached out to me, and told me about his cause.
Pass the Bass is the name, and that’s just what Dylan Flynn does. He travels around the country, from show-to-show, and encourages musicians to take a turn playing his bass guitar. Sounds pretty interesting, yes?
Here’s what makes the story special. Dylan, and Pass the Bass, are raising money for the Brain Injury Association of America. Dylan has even created designs for T-Shirts, stickers, and other merchandise, with the proceeds supporting the BIAA.
In the below interview, Dylan talks with me about what inspired him to create Pass the Bass, what the cause has done so far, and where we’ll see them head in the future.
Jess: I hear you are trying to get the word out about your cause. Let’s start there. Tell me about Pass the Bass’s mission.
Dylan: I got my first bass guitar when I was 15. [I suffered] a traumatic brain injury shortly after. I’m not really able to play. [I am] 35 now; I started Pass the Bass 5 years ago. This campaign is to raise money for brain injury support. Not really being able to play my bass, I am getting bassists to play mine. Bands let me sell merchandise at shows. The money is donated to the Brain Injury Association of America and the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado.
Jess: What was your inspiration for starting Pass the Bass?
Dylan: I’ve had numerous people tell me what a smart idea this campaign was, complimented me on the idea. I cannot take credit, though. The only friend that I am still in touch with from high school suggested it. Prior to starting Pass the Bass, I had gotten two bassists to play my bass. It didn’t cross my mind to raise money while doing so, though.
Jess: Tell me more about your lived experience with having TBI.
Dylan: It’s been 20 years since it happened (June 6th). I was in a coma for 12 days. I don’t remember much of my life because of it. My memory is very insignificant. My mother was told that I wasn’t going to live and that I’d spend my life in a nursing home. About 10 weeks after the car wreck, I walked out of rehab and went home.
Having exceeded expectations, I feel like the perfect individual to spread the word and raise money for people that are in similar situations. I feel that no matter how many books they read, classes they take….no neurologist will understand what having a Traumatic Brain Injury is like, without having it themselves.
Jess: You’ve had the opportunity to have Famous Musicians play on your bass. Name a few.
- Fat Mike-NOFX
- Ken Casey-Dropkick Murphys
- Jay Bentley – Bad Religion
- Matt Freeman – Rancid
- Randy Bradbury – Pennywise
Jess: How can we help your cause? How can we donate?
Dylan: Spread the word! The more people who know the better.
- Link on FB page
- BIAA (Brain Injury Association of America)
- Shirt available on BIAA website
Jess: You are making a playlist. What are your top four songs on that list?
- Go West by Anti-Flag
- If you had a bad time by Alkaline Trio
- Adam’s Song by Blink 182
- The idiots are taking over by NOFX
Jess: Favorite animal and why?
Dylan: Dogs! The world would be a better place if there were more dogs and less people. We’re the ones destroying the planet.
Jess: Flash forward 5 years
- Where are you?
- What are you doing?
- How is Pass the Bass’s cause doing?
Dylan: In two days’ time, I will have been doing this for five years. I can’t believe those five years went so quickly. Fingers crossed in another five years; it will not only be coast to coast but continent to continent. It will be a non-profit organization. I will be doing tours raising money for it. I won’t have to reach out for donations, they will just come. I want to have actual Pass the Bass benefits. I’d love to host festivals where the bands are donating their time and talent to show their support to the cause.
Along with music, I would love to tie skateboarding into this. I think that the beach and skating are the two most beautiful things in the world. I was going to take up skating with a friend when I was a freshman but suffered my injury and wasn’t able to. I feel it is pretty jaw dropping to see what people can do on the skateboard. So I would absolutely love to tie skateboarding into this campaign.
Jess: If you could have any musician in the world play your bass, who would it be? What song(s) would they play for you?
Dylan: It would be Dan Andriano. He is Alkaline Trio’s bassist. He played with my bass once. I’d really love to see him play it live on stage. I’ve traveled all over the country, many thousand miles, to see this band play many times. I’d say Dan Andriano is my favorite bassist. I’d love if he could play a full song for me. It would be amazing. I think I would say, for the song I’d love for him to play, it would be In Vain, by Alkaline Trio.
Jess: Favorite color and why?
Dylan: Always green! There is no why; I think it’s a great color.
Jess: Fantastic! Okay, last question. What song should I post with your interview?