For today's Bands in Lockdown interview, Mark Glenister talks to Thom Foster of Lumer, about how getting injured, being productive and being grateful for the music scene coming together at this challenging time.
Firstly, how are you? How are the rest of the band as well?
We’re all good! Despite all the craziness that’s going on we’ve all been keeping well. Apart from Ben, who broke his wrist skateboarding! He’s okay now though. Oh and I dislocated my knee the other day! It’s all fun and games in sunny Leeds.
Do you have a daily routine, are you learning anything new as everyone else seems to be?
There are some definite patterns for sure. Exercise has been a blessing, even just getting out for a bit of fresh air takes some of the cabin-fevery-ness out of the whole situation. As for learning new things, Ben and Jake have been skateboarding a fair bit and I’ve been trying to learn a new cover every week. I can’t speak for Alex though - he may well be conversational in German by now!
Are you seeing this lockdown as a time to be creative? And has it changed the way you view the industry?
Absolutely. We’ve all been knocking out new songs of our own and keeping at it - you’ve got to keep your mind active or it’ll chew you to pieces! That’s what I’ve found anyway.
As for the industry, not so much - if anything, behind the scenes a lot has been able to just tick along as ‘normally’ as can be. Shows are still getting booked, releases planned etc.
That said, venues, studios, practise rooms etc - often ran independently - are the ones facing the brunt of this. It’s upsetting that it’s taken a deadly pandemic to get people talking about things like universal basic income and generally how we treat each other.
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? How has this impacted your side projects?
We played a live session for Mabgate Bleach a few weeks ago which is still available on YouTube. Our latest singles are also available on Bandcamp if you would like to inject some money straight into the band!
Alex fronts Document and they’ve just released their debut EP (I’m not sure if the limited edition tapes have sold out yet but if not get on it) & Jake plays drums in Polevaulter who have just released new single ‘Ra’ which you can also grab on Bandcamp!
With the lockdown being extended, does that effect plans for tours, singles, albums?
Tours - hugely. Everything’s gone out of the window for the next 6 months. We had a bunch of shows planned for April and May, but we’ve been really fortunate and rescheduling hasn’t been too difficult. Our spring tour has essentially just morphed into a bigger autumn tour, so it’s not all bad.
As far as releases go we’ve brought forward our next single release - which will be available mid-May! More information to follow on that one...
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?
Totally. Asides from gigs and venues we’re a pretty introverted bunch - we really don’t get out much. That said, we’re all partial to spacing out in front of a TV for hours at a time so it’s not been a total shock to the system!
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, and I know you have a great connection with fans generally so are they an important aspect of getting through this?
We’re shocked every time we play to a room full of people never mind when someone tells us they like our music - never mind pays for it! I suppose it has been nice to watch the whole scene band together in a time like this - knowing people are willing to part with their hard earned cash in a time when so many are out of work or furloughed to support artists is really uplifting.
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 I 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
The latter totally. There’s no way things can go back to the way they were before, though the cynic in me tells me that might not be so strange. After all, this country has a real knack for shooting itself in the foot. But hey, here’s to being positive!
You can listen to Lumer and buy their music and merch here.