Technically speaking, session bassist Alan Hampton started out his career as a drummer. The drums were his instrument of choice as a teenager in Houston, but after realizing competition for arts school was high (he’s not one to quit, but he is pragmatic) he stepped one toe into the world of jazz and, as they say, the rest is history. Fast forward some years, and Alan has combined all of his youthful interests — bass, jazz, and songwriting — into a multifaceted career as a solo artist, commercial composer, and touring and studio musician. Along the way, he’s worked with artists like Andrew Bird, Sara Bareilles, Meshell Ndegeocello, Chris Thile and reggae-rock band 311. Alan studied at the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, after which he found his footing in New York City, playing nine gigs a week with rock bands, jazz combos—you name it. We spoke to him about the challenge of juggling so much in the face of the rapidly changing music industry.