In the latest Bands In Lockdown interview, Jon Milton spoke with Andy Buss of Egyptian Blue, who have recently released their 'Body of Itch' EP.
Firstly, how are you? How are the rest of the band as well?
Not too bad thanks. I think they’re good, it’s been a while since I’ve seen everyone. Just longing for the day we can get back in the rehearsal room.
Do you have a daily routine, are you learning anything new as everyone else seems to be?
I’m not sure about routines, they seem pretty shot at the moment, but I’ve spent quite a lot of time exploring the beauty of the countryside around Brighton. I never knew it was there, so it’s nice to be able to discover some new places. I find a lot of inspiration in distant city views, so i'm feeling blessed to broaden the horizons.
Are you seeing this lockdown as a time to be creative? And has it changed the way you view the industry?
I mean, creativity can’t be forced, it comes when it comes. I rely on hearing conversations for a lot of lyrical inspiration and obviously, that door has been shut recently. So, I guess channelling the music and the words through intense detachment and solitude has opened another door. We’ve all been working on ideas, pinging them back and forth, but nothing can be set in stone until we’re together.
As a band are you doing anything for the fans? A lot of online gigs and Q&As seem to be the norm for a lot of bands, how easy or difficult is that for you as a group?
There’s been a lot of talk between us about staying engaged with fans. We’re staying in touch where we can and trying to figure out what we can do live. Most of our equipment was stored at our practice space, so it’s been tricky to do online gigging. Once the lockdown is lifted and we can be in each others houses and rehearse, then for sure we’ll be looking at what we can do.
With the lockdown being extended, how does that affect your plans?
We’ve missed out on tours and festivals, both in the UK and overseas since lockdown, and I think unfortunately that's going to continue over the summer. A couple of us have been forced to move house at this time, which is proving quite stressful with lockdown extended. Although, once things are slightly lifted, we’ll have the leeway to complete our first significant body of work.
As a fan I know how much I miss going to gigs, for the music and for the social aspect, is this something that you miss as well?
Amen. Miss them more than anything. Just hoping there will be some way the process of getting back there can be quickened. Gigging and being on tour is such great escapism from the harsh realities of our fucked up world.
How important are your fans at this time, I know and I speak from experience, a lot of merch is being purchased to help bands, so are they an important aspect of getting through this?
They are pivotal for most bands financially. They are important to us of course on many levels, but after our merch was left in Dublin pre-lockdown we haven’t been able to restock - so that’s an extra sacrifice on income we’ve had to make. We're thankful to fans who have brought tickets for our shows, with our tour now rearranged for late September into October.
Despite horrors of this pandemic, the lockdown seems to have a created a lot of really positive community action, and for once social media is being used mainly in a positive manner – Do you want life to return to normal once this is over, or would you like people to be using this time to evaluate their lives and start be part of communities and positive social change?
Positive social change can never be knocked, so of course continuing that is vital. However, I think there’s a lot of unfinished business in the world, and social media, which i’m not usually an advocate for, can be a pretty toxic agent. Life before was not normal and won’t be after this. There needs to be change in many manners and that needs to be in reality and not online. Positive social change can’t only exist in an artificial world.
Body of Itch is out now on Yala Records.