As the world continues to recover from the Coronavirus, we're all finding ourselves in unfamiliar territory given the subsequent lockdown that is keeping us off of stages and confined to our homes. Luckily, there's comfort in the fact that we're all in this together, and that there are still many outlets for us musicians to keep us active and sane throughout this quarantine. We're checking in with bass players from all over the world to see what they're doing to stay entertained, healthy, productive, and safe during this trying time.
Bassist: Lee Rocker
Bands & Artists: Stray Cats; Phantom, Rocker & Slick; Solo artist
Home: Southern California
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
Besides drinking? Well I’ve been writing a good amount of new songs, as well as having my video producer, Justin Rocker, develop and release films for my songs, “The River Runs” and “Moving On.”
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
My bass playing routine is basically the same as always. I play every day for at least half an hour. Of course, some days I’m spending more time at it than others, usually playing chromatic scales and arpeggios.
What music, songs, recordings, artists, bass players have you been listening to as a source of comfort and inspiration that you can recommend?
Currently, I’ve got the new Bob Dylan record, Rough And Rowdy Ways, on the turntable. I’ve got to say it’s a monumental album that’s very inspirational. Don’t miss this one! I’ve also spent a tremendous amount of time on the Stray Cats live record mixes Rocked this Town: From LA to London, working remotely with engineer Vance Powell. We released it September 11th and it was recorded during our 40th anniversary tour last year.
Stray Cat Strut Live:
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I’m mainly playing my go-to Blast Cult uprights.
What non-music activities, books, shows, movies, or workout recommendations do you have?
I’m a runner so I love to get out and jog. It clears the mind and I always feel renewed afterwards.
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
I’m working on a new album and I’ve been in the studio recording. I’m super happy with how it’s going, so far. The album will be out later this year. I’ve got my guitarist Buzz Campbell, drummer Larry Mitchell, and piano player Matt Jordan all involved. These guys are absolutely fantastic players and the record is a killer! As well as my upright, I’m playing some acoustic and electric guitars, and mandolin. Check out my website and my social media to pre-order and for additional information.
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
I say be careful and have patience. I believe we collectively will get through this.
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All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi