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: MonoNeon
Bands & Artists: Prince, Ghost-Note, Mac Miller, JD Beck & Domi, Medeski, Martin & Mono
Home: Memphis, TN
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
I’ve been writing music. Definitely been sleeping a lot, practicing, eating, online fashion shopping, laying in bed staring at the ceiling, hanging with my mom, and watching John Cage interviews and prank videos on YouTube.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
The way I practice is just playing stuff I’m not comfortable with or playing things I don’t particularly like. Since being quarantined, I’ve found myself playing along with songs I grew up on by artists like The Staple Singers, Ann Peebles, and Johnnie Taylor. I’ve also been practicing on my Indian gamaka and working on inflections on bass and guitar. I also just finished an old song of mine called, “Let’s Go Out And Have A Drank!" I really don’t like the song but I’ll probably release it anyway. (He did, and it's here)
What music, songs, recordings, artists, bass players have you been listening to as a source of comfort and inspiration that you can recommend?
My listening to music varies rapidly. Sometimes I’ll probably be listening to Steely Dan for a minute and then Memphis rapper Playa Fly, U. Srinivas, Issac Hayes, or Mavis Staples. I even go back and listen to this one song called “Ruff Enuff” I recorded with Prince during the time I was with him at Paisley Park just to feel that vibe again.
As far as comfort, mane, there's a few albums that make me feel good and bring me comfort. The Claudine soundtrack with Gladys Knight & The Pips, Johnnie Taylor’s Eargasm, Steely Dan’s Aja, the Car Wash soundtrack with Rose Royce, and Miles Davis’ On The Corner.
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
The two basses I’ve been playing right now are my multi-neon colored Sandberg 5-string and my white Spector Euro 5-string.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
Eating, farting, and maybe a little bit of yoga. As far as movies, Harlem Nights, Which Way Is Up, WattStax, Car Wash, Uptown Saturday Night, Bustin’ Loose, Truck Turner, Dead Presidents, and I’m Gonna’ Get You Sucka. Now for some books, I like ones about Dadaism and other avant-garde art stuff.
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
I'm looking forward to getting back on the road playing music, doing my own shows, and recording more music to put out. And of course getting this money…haha!
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
Practice, get in tune with yourself (whatever that means to you), write songs, eat well, try not to get depressed, and if you are, don’t stay down too long! Love yourself always…no matter what is going on. Like forreal always love yourself!
For more visit: MonoNeon
Watch his videos: Here
Read all 180+ Bass Magazine Check-in Features: Here
All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi