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: Matt Freeman
Bands & Artists: Rancid, Operation Ivy, Social Distortion, Charger
Home: Berkeley, CA
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
I’m just trying to stay occupied. I've been practicing a lot, hanging out with my kids, doing home maintenance projects—some I've been putting off for years.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
Not much has changed. I’m always trying to learn new stuff or improve in some way. I have a set of exercises I do every day to a metronome; I've been doing them forever.
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 going back to the bands and bass players that made me want to do this in the first place. A lot of the Who, Black Sabbath, Motorhead, the Specials, X, AC/DC, the Clash, Motown—stuff that really inspired me to want to play. It still does.
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
My go-to bass is my ’77 Fender Precision. I have a ’64 Ampeg B-15N that I usually practice through. It does not like pedals, so I also have a Fender Bassman 100T with a 1x15 cabinet. I’m a big fan of ’70s Fender Jazz Basses. I always have my ’78 Jazz Bass around. I’ve collected different basses over the years. I pulled out my ’81 Peavey T-40 the other day to see how many tone combinations I could get out of it. It sounds great but weighs a ton.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
I ride my bike and walk my two German Shepherds. They are loving the lockdown, by the way. The whole family is home 24/7 with them. Dad doesn’t disappear for weeks. They think it’s great!
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
Charger is going to record a full-length record when we can. I want to get back out on tour as soon as it is safe to do so.
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
Just take things one day at a time and stay safe.
Follow Matt: Here
All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi