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: Joe Dart
Bands & Artists: Vulfpeck, Theo Katzman, The Fearless Flyers, the olllam
Home: Ann Arbor, Michigan
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
I've been trying to get a good daily routine going that feels balanced, productive, and at least somewhat relaxed. Keeping up on the news, checking in with friends and family, learning and practicing music, and checking out all of the cool music and performances that people are putting out on Instagram.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
I have the pleasure and honor of playing on an upcoming record by the olllam, which I'm doing remotely here at home. The music is very deep and there are some odd time tunes that are really stretching my brain. It's been great for keeping me in shape and very fun.
What music, songs, recordings, artists, bass players have you been listening to as a source of comfort and inspiration that you can recommend?
Lots of classic vinyl - Marvin Gaye, The Band, Steely Dan… I'm back on a Bill Withers kick right now after his passing. Truly one of the greats. As far as comfort, all the music I listened to in my teenage years still has the most emotional weight to me.
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I'm rocking my MusicMan Signature Bass everyday, as well as a 5-string MusicMan StringRay Classic for the record I'm working on.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
Speaking on the phone with friends and family, reading, getting some exercise, watching all the movies I missed. The movie Parasite absolutely blew my mind. And I recently loved a documentary called American Factory.
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
Heading back out on tour! There is nothing I love more than traveling and playing music.
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
Find some records, or even some players on Instagram, that really inspire you and and take this opportunity while everything is on pause to really do a deep dive. Stay positive and stay healthy. Things will come back, shows and tours will happen again. I'm so looking forward to that.
I really believe we will get through this thing and that we will be stronger for it. The musician community has rallied around each other, and I think a lot of great music is going to come out of this period. I have a feeling 2021 will be one of the best years yet, and I can't wait for all of the shows and festivals when this has all passed.
Follow Joe: Here