Bass is the instrument that few musicians in a band understand or even know what the bassist is doing. Possibly sometimes the bassist doesn't know what he is doing......
I jest of course. From my perspective, the bass is the only fully interpretive instrument in the band. Take any song and five bassists will likely play bass differently for this song. And all will be right as long as they are playing in the right key! Googling the original band and learning the bassists chops is not the only way to play bass on the song. The original bassist has, himself, interpreted the song and he played it as he felt it should be played.
Guitarists have not got this freedom. Well known riffs like SCOM, Sweet Home Alabama etc need to be 100% right by the original as the audience know the song and expect it to sound as per the record. The 'correct' way to play bass on Brown Eyed Girl does not work for me. By correct I mean the way the guys on YouTube play it. I hear it differently and play it differently. And at no stage did any of the band members say that my efforts sounded wrong. For some songs they might say - we will play it with a shuffle feel and leave it up to me to make sense of that.
So: is bass the final frontier? It may well be. No other instrument, jazz guitar, sax etc. allows the player complete freedom to play a song as he hears it in his head. And if the groove is good, nobody in the audience is even aware of this fact.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]