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: Brandon Brown
Bands & Artists: Fergie, Jessica Simpson, The Jacksons, Isaac Hayes, The Brandon Brown Collective
Home: Los Angeles, California
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
Ironically, my life hasn’t changed too much during this time. For the last four to five years, I’ve kept the same routine of home, gym, studio, pretty much everyday. Now, it’s just home and the studio to do IGLIVE performances from time to time, and workouts in my neighborhood and in my living room. And I do a lot of meditating, reading, and studying new ways to expand my consciousness.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
The quarantine has allowed me to break down my playing from the core. Such as working on right hand muting with open strings and using a freakin’ metronome! I’ve been used to playing with people for so long that I hardly ever used one until recently. It has been nice accepting that challenge.
What music, songs, recordings, artists, bass players have you been listening to as a source of comfort and inspiration that you can recommend?
I’ve been diggin up a few of my early inspirations. I’m listening to Butterfly Dreams by Flora Purim—Stanley Clarke is rippin’ on acoustic and electric bass on the entire album. “Garden Wall” from Dave Weckl’s album, Master Plan—Anthony Jackson plays with so much soul and precision, it’s very inspiring [see video below]. For new music, I’ve been checking out 1988 by Knxwledge. And I dig all the bass players I see on social media: Ethan Farmer, Mononeon, Thundercat, Andrew Gouche, Aron Hodek, Joe Cleveland, Sharay Reed, Daric Bennet, Bubby Lewis, Justin Raines, Rodney Jones, Eric Ingram, Frank Brunot, and Bryan “B-Dub” White, to name a few!
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I recently got the Boss RC-3 Loop Pedal and I’m loving the way I can expand my creativity with it, fun stuff!
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
Yoga, eating less meat and sweets, reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, and if you’re interested in spirituality, the universe and law of attraction, I recommend checking out Les Brown, Rev. Ike, Abraham Hicks, Bob Proctor, Joe Dispenza, and Spirit Science, all on YouTube.
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
I have a band called The Brandon Brown Collective, or The BBC. A few of our singles and videos are available on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music, but the whole record will be out soon. I’m eager for everyone to dance to it, make babies to it, and enjoy the loving vibes we put in each of our tunes!
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
As a bassist, I think an old narrative of being “in the background” has taken a backseat! The bass and bass players are more in the forefront now than ever before, and that’s awesome! Remember, we play a very “young” instrument, compared to the others. So, keep being creative and finding new and old ways to become a better bassist.
Follow Brandon: Here
All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi