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: Carlitos Del Puerto
Bands & Artists: Bruce Springsteen, Steve Lukather, Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand, Chick Corea
Home: Los Angeles, California
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
I’ve been at home and loving it because of how much I travel. With the grace of God, I’ve stayed busy working. I’ve done four albums, one of which I’m especially fond of is by the Latin pop star Juanes. I’ve been doing tracks and videos for Chick Corea, both with the Spanish Heart Band and with Chick, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Bela Fleck. And I’ve been doing a bunch of my own videos on instagram.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
There’s always something to practice on the acoustic and electric bass; it’s an endless quest. But I had some accounts to settle with the piano. I’ve been working on my keyboard playing. The piano is such a great instrument; all of music is right there in front of you. It helps my ear and it helps me conceptually, which makes me a much better bass player.
What music, songs, recordings, artists, bass players have you been listening to as a source of comfort and inspiration that you can recommend?
Thankfully, I’ve been busy working at home, so I haven’t had a chance to listen much to any new or old music, but I plan to. My main source of comfort is my family: My wife Pernilla, who is my rock, my best friend, and my biggest supporter; my mom, dad, and sister, and all of my dear friends. And Freya, my Bluenose Pitbull! She’s so loving, and just looking at her comforts and relaxes me.
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I’m happy to say the bass quest is over for me. My Fodera Emperors play and sound great in any musical situation, and they feel like home. My new Italian upright bass is ridiculous! It was handmade in Italy by a young master named Cosimo Fischetti. My old friends at Gallien-Krueger make the best amps for me. I use Fodera and Thomastik strings, Mogami cables, Nylander straps, and I’ve been using Zoom recording products for all of my video postings.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
I love history—books, movies, documentaries; I find it fascinating to learn from others who have come before me. I get lost in reading or watching anything historical. I also love running, but I’m limited to safe runs in my neighborhood right now.
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
I had a whole summer full of tours and projects, which are on hold. I’m looking forward to whatever the future brings. I’m ready to have some fun making music with others. Good things will come, I’m not worried at all.
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
Stay positive, concentrate on yourself, and keep your spirit strong. I know that may be difficult to do in these times, but it will ensure that when all of this passes you will be ready to work, create, and be productive. The only thing we can control is ourselves, and in doing that we will continue to grow and do well for our families, our communites, and our art.
All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi