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: Hayley Jane Batt
Bands & Artists: BØRNS, Love Fame Tragedy
Home: London, England & Los Angeles, California
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
Musically, I’ve been doing more recording. I have a few friends who are sending songs back and fourth to play on and write, so that’s been a great way to stay connected and feel slightly productive. I’ve been learning to use the program Adobe Animate, and have started animating a music video for a friend—that’s taking up quite a bit of time, as I’m hand drawing every frame and I don’t know many short cuts yet! I’m also an avid crocheter, so most evenings are spent doing that. I just finished the big cardigan I’m wearing in my photo, which definitely passed some time. So, a few different creative outlets!
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
I don’t have a technical practice routine right now; I’ve just been recording and writing. So, I guess I’m practicing that.
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 had Donovan Woods on repeat, he’s such a brilliant songwriter and his voice is so comforting. I’ve been loving the new Mandy Moore album, Silver Landings, which features the whole Dawes band, another favorite of mine.
Which albums bring you the most comfort when you listen to them?
Perhaps ones from more of my teenage years/early 20's that became a soundtrack for me at the time of listening to them, as there’s comfort in nostalgia. I also just found an old iPod from years ago so have been reminded of albums I used to love (still do!). To try and get specific, Damien Rice ‘o’, any album by Crowded House, Paulo Nutini ‘Caustic Love’, Jeff beck ‘Emotion and Commotion’, Michael Kiwanuka ‘Home’, John Mayer ‘Continuum’….the list goes on.
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
Nothing new as I’m limited to the gear I brought to England with me for a recent tour with Love Fame Tragedy. Our tour was in the UK, and I didn’t realize I would get stuck here when I left L.A., so I only brought what I needed for that gig: My Fender Precision and a small pedalboard with an Ampeg SCR-DI, Fulltone OCD, and MXR Analog Chorus. All staples in my life!
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
My three go-to podcasts right now are The Daily [the New York Times], ‘Telescope’ [Neon Hum Media]—stories of people in lockdown all over the world, and Terrible, Thanks for Asking [American Public Media]—not the most uplifting thing to be listening to right now but it is my favorite. Apart from Tiger King, I haven’t watched much TV at all. My favorite shows—This is Us and Grey’s Anatomy—are on Hulu and you can’t get that in England. It’s a nightmare!
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
Some new dates with Love Fame Tragedy that have been postponed. If touring ever comes back, that’s what I hope I’ll be doing.
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
Remember that once this is over, people will need concerts and connection more than ever. There will be a use for us once again! This is a great time to start other hobbies and interests you don’t normally have time for, if live music is your livelihood. Embrace that. We truly are all in this together. There’s a comfort in that, too.