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: Nicole Fiorentino
Bands & Artists: Bizou, The Smashing Pumpkins, Veruca Salt, The Cold & Lovely
Home: Los Angeles, California
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
I've been going on a lot of walks with my dog, trying to get more consistent in my yoga/meditation practice, a little gardening, lots of Netflix and lota of pizza eating. Also, FaceTime dates with friends has been keeping me sane!
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
Honestly, this has been a challenging time for me, as I know it has been for many. I’ve been in and out of a deeply anxious and highly emotional state that I've not experienced before. It took a few weeks before I was able to pull myself out of it and begin to refocus my energy on things that I love, like music. I don't want people to feel alone in this. Know that so many of us are going through it. Some days it's a miracle if I get out of bed before noon. I don't like admitting this, but I also don't want to act like everything is fine and dandy and I'm just going about my business of practicing bass, because I really haven't been. Finally the other day I was able to start working on bass parts for a few new songs that my bandmate Josiah [from Bizou] sent me. I'm very grateful for him because it kind of snapped me out of my slump.
What music, songs, recordings, artists, bass players have you been listening to as a source of comfort and inspiration that you can recommend?
I'm obsessed with the new Fiona Apple record, Fetch the Bolt Cutters. She's such a badass. I love that she vanished for years only to suddenly emerge again during the pandemic, of all times. it's quite a statement! I’m also listening to The Cure’s Disintegration, Tori Amos’ Under the Pink, PJ Harvey’s Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged, Radiohead’s Pablo Honey—basically anything I listened to in high school and the early 2000s. For some reason gives me comfort!
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I’ve been sticking to my old, reliable Bonneville bass. It's a relic, modeled after a late-’60s Fender Jazz Bass. It's been my main bass for about five years now.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
I support my local yoga studio by continuing my membership there, even though they can't offer in-studio classes at the moment. They’re offering on line classes so I've been doing that. It’s such an important time to support small businesses! I've been walking and hiking a lot—gotta get fresh air and move my body. Currently watching Ozark on Netlflix.
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
We have so much new Bizou music for the world. We just need to be able to get together and record! We recently released an EP called Stilllifeburning, which is available wherever you get music for your ears.
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
Connect with friends, loved ones, and other musicians as much as you can. it's important to know you're not alone in this. Listen to music that comforts and uplifts you. Be creative if you feel inspired, but also be gentle with yourself. You don't have to come out of this having written the next Dark Side of the Moon. Get outside, be in nature, try to reconnect and just let yourself breathe for a minute. Know that this too shall pass!
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