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.
Bass Player: Patrick Jenkins
Bands & Artists: Signal 13
Home: Baltimore, Maryland
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
Lots of practicing, lots of writing, even more recording!
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
Chords and chord voicings. Being the root of everything is fun, but there are so many more notes out there we can explore.
What music, songs, recordings, artists, bass players have you been listening to as a source of comfort and inspiration that you can recommend?
My top three bass influences are Billy Sheehan, Tim Commerford, and John Deacon. Comfort music for sure, but still inspirational for me all these years later. With regards to more modern stuff, I love Muse. I’m very into bands that veer off the safe path and into different—but still accessible—territory.
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I’ve collected a ton of gear over the years, having been in way too many bands each with exacting requirements. Now that I’m calling my own shots, I’m pretty happy with stock Fender Precision Basses. My go-to basses are three modded Spector Performers, with the J bridge pickup removed; two for live shows, one just for recording. My pedals are very exacting but not terribly complicated: Darkglass Vintage Ultra V2, EBS Billy Sheehan Signature Drive, and Damnation Audio MBD-1 make up my sound. No more racks. I don’t miss those days.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies, or workout recommendations do you have?
Reading! Fiction, nonfiction, just do it! It’s good for the brain and good for our perspective on life. Also learn to cook—something beyond just a frying pan. It sounds silly, but the reward of stumping people—“You made this?!”—is worth it.
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
We released our first EP, Destination Unknown, a few months ago; basically the week all of the lockdowns started going into place. Good timing, right? In a weird hindsight, it couldn’t have been better for us. Normally you tour an album after release, not so now. We’ve been strategically focused on videos, meeting people virtually, and interviews galore—all while working on the next full length record, with about half of it written.
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
Eat well. Get good sleep. Practice. Record all of your ideas. You’ve got more gems than you think you do.
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All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi