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: Bethany Blanchard
Bands & Artists: We Three
Home: Portland, Oregon
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
Practicing, writing a lot, and working on tons of content for our album that just dropped, Dear PARANOIA, Sincerely ME. Even though I’ve been home, I’ve been staying pretty busy with all the online live streams I’ve been doing with the band.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
In terms of practicing, I’ve been spending a lot of time getting the new songs off the record ready for our live set. Some of the bass lines and harmony parts have been challenging. I love playing and singing simultaneously, so whenever I run into vocal lines and bass parts that are hard to play together, I get excited to challenge myself and work them out. For example, "Overdose" has been fun to play live!
What music, songs, recordings, artists, bass players have you been listening to as a source of comfort and inspiration that you can recommend?
I’m obsessed with The 1975 at the moment. I like to pick an album to obsess over during travel and when we were in England and Germany, I had their albums on repeat. Since coming home I’ve gotten into Lennon Stella’s new record, Three. Two. One. Her vocals are insane and very inspiring.
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I’ve been doing shows, rehearsals, and live streams on my BEE bass, custom build by Fred Bolton [www.beebass.com]. I have two 5-string BEE basses, and I’ve been playing through a BOSS GT-1B Bass Effects Processor.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
For me, at the moment I’m very much into bodyweight workouts. It’s been keeping me consistent, with not being able to go to a gym. Exercise is a daily ritual to keep me sane. It helps with my mental health, as well as my endurance for live shows.
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
We’re about to start pushing our next single, “Hold Me, Baby,” and drop a music video for it. We also have some more live stream concerts coming up to promote the new record. I can’t wait to get out and tour with this music, as soon as it’s safe!
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
Something I’ve been doing as a fun exercise is pulling out challenging, old cover songs on bass, that I used to play, and seeing how much muscle memory comes back. It brings back some great memories of where I was when I first learned the song. Yesterday it was John Mayer’s “Still Feel Like Your Man”—such a good song. Sometimes to get fresh creative inspiration it helps to look back at old stuff.
Follow Bethany: Here
For more on We Three: Click Here
Stream their new album: Here
Read all 100+ Bass Magazine Check-in Features: Here
All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi