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: Billy Sheehan
Bands & Artists: Talas, David Lee Roth, Mr. Big, Niacin, The Winery Dogs, The Fell, Sons of Apollo
Home: Nashville, Tennessee
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
Working like a madman—playing bass, practicing, writing, fixing/modifying basses and gear, reconfiguring my studio, working around the house, feeding the birds, squirrels, chipmunks, possum, raccoon, and cooking up a storm.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
Revisiting many older songs and relearning them. Expanding and improving upon my practice routines and trying to invent new ways of doing things.
What music, songs, recordings, artists, bass players have you been listening to as a source of comfort and inspiration that you can recommend?
Debussy! Always one of my go-to composers. Some old Eddie Harris, Sonny Rollins, Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, and Art Tatum! Plus I have a huge collection of obscure ’60s garage rock from around the world. Some of it is so bad it’s good!
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I’ve been experimenting with the Line 6 Helix, it goes deep. I also got a new Suncoast preamp pedal that is quite awesome.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
Just cooking and reading. I stay away from watching TV. Especially the news!
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
A bass and drum record with drummer Ray Luzier from Korn, a singer-songwriter record for a great artist I’m working with, and hopefully lots of live shows ASAP.
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
Look at this downtime as an opportunity to spend quality time on yourself as a bass player, musician, and songwriter or composer. There is so much to learn. So much to know. Here’s your chance to go as deep as you can into aspects of your playing and music in general that you may have never had before. When this is over, may we all be better for it. In many ways. Think positive. Make it happen!