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: Peter Hook
Bands & Artists: Joy Division, New Order, Freebass, Peter Hook and the Light
Home: Manchester, United Kingdom
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
I’ve been working on organising all of my New Order memorabilia, getting ready for all of that to go to auction in October. There is a lot... I think about three times as much stuff as I had made available when I did my Joy Division auction. It’s actually been very helpful to have this time to devote to that. I’ve also been doing a lot of gardening—that keeps me sane, and we’ve been having fantastic weather here in Manchester recently.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
I’ve been playing my 6-string bass a lot recently. I have a new signature Eastwood 6-string bass coming out next month that is modeled on my old Shergold Marathons. That’s been great, but I really should be doing more. I know that because all of the callouses on my fingers were fantastic from all of the gigging and rehearsing, but now they’re all going soft! That’s the first sign that you need to be playing more. The other main bass that I use around the house is my semi-acoustic Gretsch that actually used to be John Entwistle’s. I bought it at auction when they sold his collection.
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 classic ’70s records recently; lots of John Cale, Nico, Brian Enom, and Roxy Music. Next on the list will be Cockney Rebel!
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I have just got a new Line 6 HX Effects unit after seeing firsthand how great those are when my son brought his into rehearsals. I’m really looking forward to setting that up and seeing what sounds I can get out of it.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
My number one thing is staying fit—trust me, it’s a lot easier staying fit than getting fit! I set up a treadmill in my office as soon as I was no longer able to safely go to the gym. I’m now running up to 14.5 kilometers three times a week—not bad for 64, eh?! TV-wise I enjoyed the latest season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and my favourite books are Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series.
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
I hope we can go back to some semblance of normality as soon as possible. I miss gigging, I miss rehearsing with the lads... and at this point I even miss all the traveling! Never thought I would say that!
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
Remember what can be... and WILL be again!
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All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi