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: Gareth Murdock

Band: Alestorm

Home: Bangor, Northern Ireland

How have you been passing time during the lockdown?

Other than washing my hands about thirty times a day, I have been playing an awful lot of Playstation. I’ve also become a much better cook than I ever had been before this.

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What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?

As all gigs and festivals have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, I had been finding it quite difficult at times to be motivated to pick up a bass. With our new album, Curse of the Crystal Coconut, coming out on May 29th, I have since found this time is a good opportunity to brush up on those new songs in preparation for when we finally get on stage again!

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 using this time to catch up on a lot of new releases I normally wouldn't have time to. Most recently it’s been the latest Nightwish album, Human. :II: Nature, and Die Antwoord’s House of Zef.

What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?

Annoyingly, nearly all of my gear is in storage as I was in the middle of moving house when all this started. Thankfully I have one bass here that I had used in our latest music video, “Treasure Chest Party Quest," [see below] that we filmed a couple of months back. Its an LTD AP-4 Black Metal. I don't have anything here to plug it into though, much to the delight of my neighbors.

What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?

I binge-watched the last two seasons of Stranger Things, which I found surprisingly good considering I didn't enjoy the first season. I guess I would recommend forcing yourself to listen to, read, and watch things you wouldn't normally—you might be surprised.

What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?

With the new album dropping next month, the plan is to get back out on tour as soon as physically possible. This was supposed to be a big year of shows for us, so hopefully that wont be delayed too much longer.

What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?

Ride it out, enjoy the silence while it lasts, and don't forget there's people having a much worse time of it than you, even if it can be rather boring.

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All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi