As the world writhes in the ever-tightening grip of Covid-19, there’s a better-by-the-day chance of the general population being put into total lockdown. Which five classic albums are you planning on giving a good listen to when the unthinkable happens, and why? “Meshuggah – Nothing, Opeth’s My Arms, Your Hearse, Necrophagist – Epitaph, The Trees are Dead and Dried Out, Wait for Something Wild by Sikth and Porcupine Tree‘s In Absentia. There’s enough tech/prog goodness to keep the mind occupied with these albums, as well as some soothing melancholy vibes with Opeth and Porcupine Tree”.
That’s by some way the heaviest selection we’ve seen so far. Thank you! You’ll still have a lot of time on your hands even after repeated spins of those old faves – any new bands you’ve heard about that you’ll be able to lend some ears to? Who is on the up-and-up in your opinion? “Fractal Universe are a fairly new band I’ve been enjoying. Quality tech death with a good dose of melody and groove for fans of Obscura, Gojira, Alkaloid et cetera. Speaking of Alkaloid, there’s another new-ish band with some big name members making some very original and out of the box music!”
Again, a nice bit of heaviness there. We will check those bands out! Away from music, what books, podcasts or TV do you recommend to while away a few quarantined days? “I just finished reading (Red Hot Chilli Peppers bass player) Flea‘s Acid for the Children which was a very entertaining read. He certainly had an extremely eventful childhood running around the streets of New York and later LA unsupervised! I love listening to the Aunty Donna podcast for a good laugh – it’s a comedy group from Melbourne who are more well known from YouTube but have an absurdist, mainly improvised podcast which usually has me laughing like a maniac on the bus”.
We’ve all been that man. There’s no shame in it! There is a lot of comment on social media about the damage being done to our industry by the virus and its attendant countermeasures – how do you see ways to fight this situation working? What, for instance, do you think of playing shows for the internet and hoping fans throw a few coins into the hat via Paypal or Gofundme, etc? “I think playing live streaming sets from a studio or decent rehearsal room is a good idea to keep fans engaged, with either donations or merchandise orders to help assist bands with their costs/debt. Bands could also aim to increase their online content during this time with performance videos, lyric videos et cetera”.
When it all dies down, what plans loom on the horizon for you? “Well, we were almost set to announce our Australian album launch tour when other tours and shows were starting to be cancelled, so our plan is to reschedule those dates once we have a better idea of when the gig ban is likely to be lifted. Our album was released on Mrch 27th so we’re looking forward to getting the album as much exposure as possible and hearing everyone’s reactions! On top of the two videos we’ve already released, we’ll have some studio and playthroughs videos coming soon. In 2021, our plan is to tour more in Australia as well as overseas, and continue writing new music which we have already started doing”.
Will rock n’roll be the same after the scare recedes – are there any lessons for the music industry to take from what’s happened so far and implement for a better tomorrow? “I think so! The main lesson is probably just to diversify your income streams and try to have a savings buffer in place so things aren’t as dire in this sort of situation”.
Anything else you’d like to say to our readers at this difficult time? “Thanks to everyone who has supported us or any other independent bands either now or in the past. Use this time to relentlessly pursue your passion (if possible!) and maximise your creativity. There are still many uncovered paths within music and elsewhere. We feel like we are only just beginning to scratch the surface”.
That’s a very positive note on which to end! Cheers and stay safe!