Kent Beatty talks about technology, touring, and transition
It's a great time to be a musician. Some might disagree with that, in this age of TV Voice/Idol contests and live bands being replaced by machines all the time. Sure, record deals aren't being served up on the hood of a Ferrari often these days. But now there is so much that artists can do independently, if they are willing to put some work into it. Technology is a double-edged sword. More things to keep up with and manage, but most of the time, it is a musician's best friend. Imagine a tour without GPS. YouTube (and many others) allows anyone's music to be heard across the world, for free. And social media is far more effective than posting fliers around town. We take these useful tools for granted, some of which didn't even exist 10 years ago.
Kent Beatty bass solo with Hamilton Loomis Band.
I often compare life on tour to the movie The Matrix. Neo is presented with a red pill and a blue pill. One allows him to continue his normal life, the other takes him farther down the rabbit hole. Touring is a crazy lifestyle. It allows you to live your dreams and opens many doors. You make friends from around the world! What you sacrifice is everyday life events. I have friends whose babies I haven't met yet, and weddings, concerts, and trips are frequently missed. No pets, and relationships can be a challenge. That said, I wouldn't trade my experiences for anything, and it makes you appreciate home and family that much more. Being from Louisiana, I appreciate the food more too!
Transitions can be scary, but with great risk comes great reward. I'll never forget deciding to quit my job to play music full time. After 5 years on the road with Hamilton Loomis Band, I've transitioned more into a solo artist, as well as continuing to be a touring bassist (two very different things!). I've become a sort of "hired gun" between bass events. It keeps me on my toes and sometimes you have to do gigs cold with no rehearsal. I've always been more of a band bassist, fortunate to have an identity in whichever band I'm with. Funny bass player jokes aside, we have it pretty good. The solo bass community is full of some of the nicest, good-hearted people I've ever known. Some of my solo compositions are on YouTube, and I'm working on compiling my songs into an album. I recently performed during NAMM in Anaheim and now I'm recording with an alt-metal band.
Kent Beatty solo bass composition ''Image''.
I've grown to appreciate all types of music. I was lucky to grow up with everything from classical to metal. I love music for the sake of its beauty and what's right for the song. I don't get hung up on which genres are "cool" or not anymore, I just love playing bass. This is an area where spirituality helped me to grow. You might see me with a country band one week, and then hear my original projects and wonder if I'm even the same person. Versatility goes a long way, and if you really love music, you'll find something to like about things you may have not liked before. There are songs I love now that I wouldn't have considered years ago. Whatever I'm playing, I'll always be a rocker at heart.
Kent Beatty's bass set up from DVD
It's helpful to realize your strengths and weaknesses. There will always be someone who can out shred you, new players pop up every day. Just go down Broadway in Nashville any night of the week. Of course, try to improve what you aren't so good at. But realize what makes your style unique and what you have to offer. For me, that has been one of the most liberating thought processes. There are few musicians who are good at everything, so try to be good at being you. And most of the time, you won't be getting paid for your shredding.
''No No No'' live in Belgium with Hamilton Loomis.
''The Instrumental'', original song by Jared Daigle and Kent Beatty.
Kent Beatty works as a touring bassist, and is known for his work with Hamilton Loomis. He performs at bass events, clinics, and is currently recording with upcoming alt-metal band Fight Night Anarchist on their debut album. Find out more HERE.
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