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: Evan Marien
Bands & Artists: Allan Holdsworth, Wayne Krantz, Tigran Hamasyan, Elliot Moss, EvanxDana
Home: Brooklyn, New York
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
The first couple weeks I was just playing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and mixing the next EvanxDana [with drummer Dana Hawkins] album, but now I’ve been trying to use this time to finally learn how to cook.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
I’ve been using the app Synkd and programming different odd time phrases so that when I go back to playing with guys like Wayne Krantz, Virgil Donati, and Tigran Hamasyan my rhythm won’t be rusty.
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 really been digging Thundercat’s new one, It Is What It Is, and Squarepusher’s latest EP, Lamental. I love Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint, it’s so rhythmic and melodic and it has deep harmony. I also love Mike Slott’s new album, Vignettes, it’s very relaxing and beautiful.
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I couldn’t bring much with me to Denver, where my wife and I have been staying with my brother-in-law during the quarantine, so I’ve been playing my Serek short-scale custom bass and a tiny practice amp. I’ve been more interested in developing new EQ and compression techniques and experimenting with them in my mixes for the upcoming EvanxDana album.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
Tiger King is crazy. Going back and watching old South Park episodes is great. On Youtube I’ve been watching a lot of cooking channels, like Bon Appetit and weird stuff like Steve1989 [Here], who gets old food rations from like World War II and eats them!
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
Mainly I’m trying to finish up the EvanxDana album—the mixes are coming together and I’m starting to get the homies on it. Shout out to Mario Camarena [Chon] and Cory Wong [Vulfpeck] for recording and sending me their parts during this quarantine!
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
Maybe you fell into quarantine as just a bassist… but what if you could emerge from this whole thing as an artist? Use this time to learn something you didn’t know before this isolation, like how to use a DAW or plugins, so that you can start making your own music happen!
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All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi