This weekend, I went over to record some bass tracks for a friend I met at the Stacy's open mike. He's a good kid, a singer/songwriter type who mostly plays white-boy blues. We tracked something like 12 songs in 3 hours, which is screaming--but since all he was usually asking for was root-5 lines, it was pretty easy work.
Really, it couldn't be more different from what I'm doing now, something that became clear when I played a couple of my sketchpads for him. Whereas all of my stuff is spare loops layered with distortion, he was looking for that acoustic folk vibe--to the point of asking me if I could sound like an upright. But while it's not the same sound, it's nice to know that I can still play a traditional rock bass role when I need to. Sometimes I miss the idea of being in a full band. And then I remember the hassle of practice, paying for equipment, searching for gigs, and having to play second fiddle to a guitarist again, and I feel pretty good about what I've chosen to do.
In other solo bassist news, one of my acquaintances from the Lowdown, Steve Lawson, has a new gig. He's still playing his looping bass, but now he's doing it with a jazz vocalist and covering everything from Slipknot to the Cure. They're calling themselves "The New Standard." It's interesting stuff, and very different from the way I loop. You can check it out here.