As the world writhes in the grip of Covid-19, there’s a better-by-the-day chance of the general population being put into lockdown. Which five classic albums are you planning on giving a good listen to when the unthinkable happens, and why? “Yeah… we live in “ interesting times” for sure… I shall be blasting the following classic gems: Cheap Trick – Samurai Rock Band (a 1977 live bootleg) – Cheap Trick captured at their down & dirty best! Then I’d take Led Zeppelin‘s How the West was Won – LZ on top form here! Next would be Rush – All the Worlds a Stage -at their heaviest! Montrose‘s Montrose…. because it KICKS ASS! Last would be Yes and Relayer … ‘cos it’s genius!”
A very nice selection! You’ll 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? “Not so much new… as new ( or new-ish) to me. Rival Sons… Crobot…. Royal Blood…. and Periphery. I’ve seen the first two live and they are awesome… Royal Blood I’ve only just picked up on and have a kinda heavy Muse vibe..and Periphery dazzle with their strange guitar gymnastics!!
How will you otherwise handle the comparative solitude? Do you write music on your own well? Or do you need other musos around to catch the spark? “Oh, I’m writing like a fiend! I’m being extremely productive and music is just pouring outta me at the moment so at times like this you praise the inspiration gods and try to get down everything… I’ve just upgraded my computer recording rig (meaning it works now (laughs)) so that’s both great fun and going to be very useful… although we have a giant backlog of material anyway – you can never have too much good stuff!”
Never! And that’s very good to hear! Away from music, what books, podcasts or TV shows do you recommend to while away a few quarantined days? “I go through periods where I’m a voracious reader… I’ve been bingeing on the Lee Child‘s Jack Reacher books… and the few Stephen King ones I’ve missed! You can’t go wrong with the Joe Rogan podcasts as he has such interesting guests… and I’m trying to avoid the TV!”
Not a bad strategy! Now, 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, et cetera? “It’s a bit of a nightmare. We are very lucky in that we basically just postponed our album release until the (Northern) Autumn as the tour we were arranging wasn’t panning out. Then this virus horror arrived… many bands were not so lucky and have taken big hits.. people need to realise that although we all love to play live, it’s our bread and butter and it takes many shows on the road to just go into the black due to the start up costs- stopping after a few shows is just financial suicide. So… live on the net? It’s not the same but why not! You gotta do what ya gotta do!”
You have indeed. When this all dies down, what plans loom on the horizon for you? “Finalizing our new album and all the promo/touring plans to go with it! We’re toying with doing another crowdfunded covers album also…. we shall see!”
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? “Rock n’roll will never die… it will just smell a bit worse! Unfortunately everyone and their mother will want to tour at the same time… so bands, agents and promoters should do some cool packages – put four or five great bands together on bills…more bang for the buck for the punter and less competition out there!”
Anything else you’d like to say to our readers at this difficult time? “Cheers and stay safe! As I said before… strange times… stay safe.. stay smart & stay metal…. hope to see you all on the other side!”
Thanks for the chat!