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: Robert DeLeo
Bands & Artists: Stone Temple Pilots, The Doors
Home: Los Angeles, California
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
I’ve been staying active outdoors and away from people. I naturally gravitate to the woods or the ocean, so it’s been even nicer with no one else around.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
It’s never a routine when I pick up a bass. There’s always the question of if I can still play! [Laughs]. Somewhere along the line of playing, it turns into jamming and into some form of R&B, whether it’s Motown, Stax, or Philly. It’s all about the feel.
What music, songs, recordings, artists, bass players have you been listening to as a source of comfort and inspiration that you can recommend?
Most anything Creed Taylor produced, whether it be Paul Desmond, Chet Baker, Bill Evans, or Jim Hall. These records always speak to me.
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I’ve been sitting here enjoying the acoustic sound of a guitarron that has been converted into a four string with frets [pictured]. It truly is a comforting, fat tone that sets such a mood.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
I find it very difficult to sit indoors, so a lot of my time has been spent out in areas where no one else is around. Fishing out on a beautiful lake is definitely my idea of social distancing.
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
I feel for everyone who has a job, whether it be in music or any other field. I hope we all reset the humanity button and really think about what is important—not only for ourselves, but towards other humans. Let’s all make this a celebration when we have our freedoms back. For me, it’s getting to see everyone’s smiling faces from stage when touring is safe for us all to participate in again.
Which albums bring you the most comfort when you listen to them?
I’ve been reflecting on life a lot lately, with what has been happening. I’ve been very caught up in Beyond The Missouri Sky by Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden. I always enjoy From Left to Right by Bill Evans, with Eddie Gomez on bass; and having my heart torn out by Rosa Passos on her recordsRosa and Entre Amigos with the great Ron Carter.
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
If you really enjoy music, it will give the gift of comforting you for the rest of your life. Always savor the thrill of experiencing it.
Follow Robert: Here