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: Pancho Tomaselli
Bands & Artists: War, Philm, Tower of Power, Rex Brown, Dos Lobos, Tricky, Nelly Furtado
Home: Los Angeles, CA
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
I’ve been spending a lot of time with family and also doing a bunch of gardening and playing bass.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
Everyday I work on my right hand technique by playing along with Tower of Power, the band’s second album from 1973. That’s the one with “Soul Vaccination” on it, and it’s a workout!
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 anything featuring the playing of Rocco Prestia, Willie Weeks, Eddie “Guagua” Rivera, Aston “Family Man” Barrett. Also lots of African music mixed in there. Jimmy McGriff’s Electric Funk, with Chuck Rainey on bass, is definitely some comfort music for me.
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I’m in the final testing stage of my new G&L Guitars signature bass. The pickups, man! Its all about the pickups! It’s going to rule! It’s an all-passive Jazz Bass but with super hot Pickups. Plus, I just joined the Mesa family and they sent me two heads, one with tubes and another solid state. I still have my Form Factor rig that I play through in town. I use my Mesas for recording. And of course, everything goes through an A Designs Audio REDDI tube DI, as usual.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
I love the outdoors. I get out into nature as much as I possibly can. Especially now.
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
Just before the lockdown, my band Dig Infinity met with Tower of Power and recorded a version of a song I’ll have to tell you about later—it rocks! We are going to release it soon. I’m working on finally releasing PHILM’s massive third album. I’ve been writing music with George Lynch and Angelo Moore. I’m running session work with three different collectives worldwide: One in New York led by master bassist and friend Alvaro Benavides, one Madrid led by master percussionist Shango Dely, and one in Ecuador led by virtuoso multi-instrumentalist Roberto Cachimuel.
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
Whether it’s music or exercise, get a routine going and stick to it. It helps the brain. Try to sleep as much as possible. It heals the body. Drink plenty of water. It keeps you healthy. And pinch your spouse’s ass every day, just ‘cause.
Follow Pancho: Here
Compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi