Bass Magazine Lockdown Check-In With Tony "Montana" Cardenas - Bass Magazine - The Future of Bass

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: Tony Montana

Bands & Artists: Great White, Jack Russell, Shadow & The Thrill

Home: Los Angeles, California

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How have you been passing time during the lockdown?

I’ve been trying to stay healthy, mainly. I’m working on the release of my Shadow & The Thrill album, Sugarbowl. I’d been playing a lot of piano until my recent biking accident. One guilty pleasure is following the different bass groups on Facebook, and viewing some bass porn—there are some very beautiful instruments out there!

What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?

My accident and subsequent surgery has laid me out, but I try to put my hands on all of the instruments I play.

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 drawn to ’60s and ’70s music simply because the bass occupies a different part of the audio spectrum. The bass seems to be relied on as more of a melodic instrument. Movement was purposeful in those days. I love Leland Sklar’s YouTube Channel. I’m a fan of Tony Hall from Dumpstaphunk and The Neville Bros. He played on a few tracks on Sugarbowl where we needed a different approach from my bass style. He’s awesome!

What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?

I stick with what works for me. I love my Music Man StingRays. No amplification needed right now. I’d like to find a few new mic pre’s to play through for the next round of recording.

What non-music activities books, shows, movies, or workout recommendations do you have?

Well, I was riding my bike alot, until I crashed and put myself in the hospital. I’d say, no bikes for bassists!

What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?

Shadow & The Thrill recently drooped our first single and video from Sugarbowl, called “Just Enough.” The next single, our blues cover of Gnarls Barkely’s “Crazy,” is set to drop on July 31st, and the album will be released August 14th on Deko Entertainment.

What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?

Based on my recent issues, certainly do not bust up your body by biking, hang gliding, rock climbing, or similar activities that can have adverse outcomes for your bass playing. Spend the downtime listening, learning, and getting some new chops.

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All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi