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: Vicky Warwick
Bands & Artists: Charli XCX, Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey, UK’s X-Factor
Home: Los Angeles, California
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
The initial weeks involved a fair amount of boring duties: finishing my tax return, searching in every nook and cranny of the internet for a bottle of hand sanitizer, and clicking “refresh” on the Amazon Fresh delivery slot page an inordinate amount of times. I’ve been trying to keep a routine and “work” 10-12 hours a day; spending half the day innovating new ways I’m going to be making a pay check over the coming months, and the other half on creative ventures. Luckily, I’ve been finding inspiration to write almost every day—material for a new project, I think. I’m set to release a new single, “Secrets,” on May 15, with my current project, Ainslie. I'm also spending some time working on my blog, whereareweagain.com, and it's soon-to-be podcast.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
I've been working on chords, and using a pick more effectively. I love playing with a pick. Bobby Vega and Andy Rourke are sources of inspiration, of course. I've also been recording a lot and I love how much my playing improves when it’s under the microscope like that. You can allow yourself to be more of a perfectionist.
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 sharing song recommendations on my socials every day. I call it “Songs for the Scaries.” It’s to try and share music I’ve found comforting, or a song that’s made me dance in my kitchen. The playlist includes Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Breakbot, Mariah Carey, Durand Jones & The Indications, Speelburg, and Whitney, to name a few. Albums that feel like a gentle hug to me are Chet Baker Sings, Donny Hathaway’s These Songs for You, Live, and Palace’s Live from the Arch.
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
The Aguilar Octamizer and Fender’s Downtown Express pedals. I got to play a 1965 Fender Precision previously owned by Willie Weeks at a music store in Nashville recently and it was beautiful—I would’ve liked to have taken that home!
What non-music activities, books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
I’m doing Yoga with Adriene every day, which is amazing. I love it because it’s never so strenuous that you want to talk yourself out of it; turning up is the important thing and I’m loving having the time to build a routine. I enjoyed the documentaries Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives and Quincy, and I can highly recommend the British TV comedy, Peep Show.
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
I’m hoping all my cancelled tours and shows will be rescheduled, but nothing is fully decided yet. The future is very uncertain, but I have faith that as soon as shows can safely be put on again, we’ll be ready to perform and savor every minute of it like never before!
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
I think creating your own project or venture is a great way to regain a sense of control in this situation, and turn it into something positive. Working towards an EP, or building a new website, or exploring an entirely new skill are the kind of things that could be a good focus. That’s what’s been really helpful for me, but everybody is different—it’s totally okay to not feel motivated to do anything. This is the free pass to do whatever keeps you feeling happy. Try to appreciate the little things. Mental health takes work too, and if you’re not happy try to find the root of that. There are some great music and mental health organisations out there, such as [https://backline.care]. Above all else, I think it’s an important time to nurture relationships with friends and family. Check in with them, lean on them when you need to. Ask for help if you need it. Also, dog accounts on instagram.
For more visit: Vicky Warwick
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All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi