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: Maddie Jay
Bands & Artists: Solo Artist
Home: Los Angeles, CA
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
Producing, screen-printing my own merch, teaching lessons, streaming on Twitch.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
I haven’t been practicing bass much, but I've been shredding my keyboard hard! I’m trying to get all my scales and 7th chords down pat.
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 listening to a lot of Bill Withers since he passed a couple weeks ago. That man had one of the most comforting voices I’ve ever heard, and although I’m sad to hear about his passing, I’m very grateful for his art right now. My current favorite song of his is “Make A Smile For Me” from his 1974 album, +’Justments [with Melvin Dunlap on bass]. I’ve also been listening to some favorites, like Fresh Air, by Homeshake, and Skiptracing, by Mild High Club.
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I bought a Casio CZ-101 Synthesizer synth, which I’m obsessed with. I’m loving my new Fender Ultra Precision Bass for recording. When I was touring, I was so used to playing my Mustang bass, and it’s been fun to transition back to recording on a full-size instrument. I forgot how warm and beautiful those basses are.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
Baking bread! It’s doubly good because you can get out some pent up energy while kneading the dough, and you can save yourself a trip to the grocery store.
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
It’ll be a while before we can tour again, so I am going to see how much I can lean into the live streaming world for the foreseeable future. I don’t think any releases need to be put on hold during the lockdown, so I imagine I’ll have another record done before this is all over.
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
I’ve been trying to get out of the productivity mindset these days. I think we have an opportunity to be playful and try new things, rather than focusing on our progress in our career or technique. Remember that music is therapeutic and fun for most people who don’t make music, and it’s so important to try to find that for yourself.
For more on Maddie: Click Here
Follow Maddie: Here
All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi