In today's Bands in Lockdown interview, Mark Glenister speaks with Harrison from Talk Show about not yet becoming fluent in French, and why it's so incredibly important that YOU post online via social media about music you like and tag the bands.
Firstly, how are you? How are the rest of the band as well?
Hiya, yeah good thanks just cracking on with lockdown, trying to stay positive and productive.
Do you have a daily routine, are you learning anything new as everyone else seems to be?
I’ve been working like it’s a normal working week, to make sure it didn’t feel like this endless Groundhog Day. To try and keep me sane I’ve started running and doing a lot of home exercise, which is definitely helping. No fluent French skills yet haha
Are you seeing this lockdown as a time to be creative? And has it changed the way you view the industry?
I forced myself from the very start to be productive and to write as much as I could. It was the only way I was gonna get through it- to set myself some goals. This lockdown is an extremely stressful time for so many, so I made sure to bury my head in to writing and just crack on- almost to block out the noise, and remain positive. I’m well aware of how lucky I am that I can do that. At the end of the day, I’m not a key-worker or an NHS nurse, so I’m not gonna sit here and complain about plans being cancelled, My life’s not on the line.
Photo by Matt Wilder
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?
In the first few weeks of lockdown we decided to do one isolation session, and then wanted to move on from live streams. I fully respect the work that goes into running live stream blogs, but I get the feeling people are somewhat tired of them now. Quickly we realised we had to find new ways to remain engaged with our fans, so started tongue-in-cheek Sunday classes and an art collaboration project. We wanted to show that we’re still humans, also in lockdown, trying to make the best of it in anyway we can. Not like these idiot celebrities telling you to stay at home, whilst playing tennis in their fucking massive back gardens.
With no apparent end to the lockdown, does that effect plans for tours, singles, albums?
Well we released our debut EP at the very start of lockdown and had our first ever headline tour cancelled, as well as a huge number of festivals. The lockdown changes everything. Who knows when venues will open again. We’re currently drawing up a few plans to keep our momentum going, we’ve worked so hard to get to this point, I’m not stopping now. In terms of new music you’ll just have to wait and see…
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?
Damn right it is, for me gigging is the best bit about being in a band. It’s a proper visceral experience which you can’t emulate online. BUT, I only want to gig if it’s in a safe environment, not rushed because we’re all feeling a bit bored.
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?
Fans are unbelievably important to us, It’s why we try and be as vocal and approachable to them on social media. In pre-rona lockdown, where I would try to make sure I chat to people at the bar of the venue I now more so than ever, am trying to reply to as many people as I can online. To make sure they know it’s appreciated and that we’re incredibly grateful for the support. One of my main pieces of advice to any music fan right now, is to post about your favourite bands in anyway shape or form. Buying merch is obviously great, but DMing or tagging your favourite band on social media going “yo this is f*cking sick”, it’s a tiny gesture that really helps a lot. It shows people are out there, that care.
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?
Obviously, I’d love to go back to seeing my mates at the pub and what not, but the world will never go back to how it was, this pandemic will leave a mark that will last a very very long time. I just hope we realise how co-dependent we are on each other, how we all affect each other, and how we’ve got to act collectively to see real positive change. Who knows though, I’m not running the country, I’m only a singer in a band hahaha