How has lockdown been for you on a personal level?
Not to deplete from the obvious negatives of a global pandemic, on a personal level I’ve made the best I can of it. It seems to me ‘lockdown’ hits different people very differently depending on their personalities, priorities and life circumstances. For me, I think that between working full-time and going full throttle with my creative endeavours, I’d been neglecting other aspects of my life. Since live music activities and my former career came to a halt, I moved out of the city to live with my partner and took a little time out to get rested. I’ve now started a new job driving for a courier company. I’m glad to be working in a role that is getting me outdoors, keeping me fit and filling an important role for the current needs of society. It feels good to be doing that, and to be in a new living situation. I’ve made some other changes too, I’m more or less fully sober now, for example, and feeling better for that. Of course, I miss seeing my family, but I didn’t really have a great deal of social activity outside of my life in music before. I worked alone and lived alone for a fair stint. So, oddly, since lockdown kicked in, I’ve felt less isolated because others seem to have more time to communicate now, and I’m working in a role that keeps me interacting with others. Consequentially, I’ve been less engaged with social media, which is absolute mental poison. So as somebody who was already a “stay-at-home” kinda guy, I guess it has just been a good chance to take a breath and focus on other aspects of my life, that were more important than I had previously given credence to. I miss playing shows of course, but then on the other hand the organisation and logistics of it all, it’s very time consuming and oftentimes frustrating, so there’s a lot about that I’m glad to be away from. I’ve not been pushing for any festivals or tours or anything like that, for the band we’re just going to let the chips fall where they may, confident we’ll be back with full force when the time is right.
Have you been able to be creative?
Sure. I’ve been doing most of my part in our musical work from my home setup since the band began anyway, that was where the whole thing was born really. In Necronautical if we weren’t rehearsing for a show, most of the creative stuff was already functioning in this kind of way, exchanging ideas over the phone or through emails, videos or guitar tabs. So, it’s not been too different for us, and we all live in different areas anyway. By February we had already written an album’s worth of new material, so I think in lockdown we just kind of took the chance to refine and complete that work. For the first time we actually discarded and replaced some songs, rather than going with the first ideas we had. But only two of the new tracks were actually written ‘in lockdown’. Rather than writing, I’ve used my time to do all the work on the keyboards, so I haven’t been playing my guitar all that much. I’m happy that we’ve had to reassess the usual creative process, because it means that when we are able to record, that’s a large part of the process already out of the way. We can just get in the studio and knock it out over a couple of days, so that’ll be refreshing for us, I hope. We have studio time booked in for the winter, and so all being well we’ll be looking at releasing this next album in summer of next year, but we’ll see how things unfold. People can expect a much more concise, condensed and brutal album than they have had from us in the past. We’ve ramped up the speed, technicality and “progressive” elements, whilst still holding on to what we perceive to be our fundamentals. In some ways, it’s going to be a departure from what we’ve done before, but if we weren’t confident that the new material had surpassed our previous efforts, we wouldn’t be moving forward with it. We like where we’re headed, we’re working as more of a unit than ever before and that’s only going to yield great results.
What do you think the short-term and long-term impacts of the pandemic will be on your art?
Aside from the current absence of live performances, our output will not be influenced by the present situation.
Are you hopeful about the future generally?
What can fans and/or promoters do to support you in the coming months and years?
They should stand out on their doorsteps and clap.
- If you haven’t already checked out ‘Apotheosis’ out on Candlelight Records then I don’t know that I can help you.