Today’s ‘Artists in Lockdown’ interview is with Steve Roberts, from Bristol-based noisy two-piece, The Road.
How has this lockdown affected The Road and any plans you had?
We had planned on recording a couple of new songs to release alongside a music video later this summer, but with the lockdown in effect it’s meant that we’ve had to postpone until it’s safe for us to get in a room with our friend Dave Draper as he’s not taking any chances with all this. There were also several gig bookings in the pipeline around August and September, but those have been canned too. Overall, the momentum we were gearing up to use has had to be redirected.
Have you managed to be creative at all? If yes, what have you been working on?
Rob and I have actually been quite busy at home with work, but also found time to regularly send each other musical parts over shared drives. I was finding it quite difficult to ‘finish’ song ideas: I’d regularly be writing riffs, drum parts and synth elements, but found that I was getting locked into one particular phrase without being able to progress further. Luckily, now that we’re able to ping ideas back and forth, we’ve been enjoying setting each other parts to write to, work on and send back to add to. It’s the way Talons write their music and it’s proving to be enjoyable to push each other in a virtual space in the same way we’re used to doing in a practice studio. At the moment, finding a new way of ‘normal’ working is proving to be interesting and hopefully pushing us towards some directions we wouldn’t have found ourselves in.
What is the first thing you want to do when lockdown is lifted?
First, go to my local for a cold pint. Then organise a gathering to replace the lost festivals this summer. I have been part of ATG for the last 6 years, and the loss of it this summer has left a pretty big hole in my heart. There’s so many people that I get to spend a great amount of time with only there, so getting that sorted and everyone along will be absolutely vital. Then, getting on a plane to see my family in Jersey and seeing my nephew, as it’s been tough to see them from afar and not see them as regularly as I normally do.
Has the lockdown affected your mental health at all? How?
It’s been interesting to see how anxious I’ve become about elements of my home. We’ve had to do a few expensive replacements during this time and each thing I notice seems to be amplified as I’m there all the time and I tend to ruminate on things quite a bit. I’ve been a lot more engaged with mindfulness and took the time to ‘break up’ with my phone: deleting social media; only using it downstairs; not using it all once a week. This has helped. As a teacher, there is also a certain amount of fear about enjoying this time at home. There are lots of families having a rough time through all this, and whilst I have had some tricky moments, it’s been wonderful to spend so much time being creative and being with my partner and dog.
How can fans support the artists they love during this time?
Buying merch! I snapped up an Effigy facemask and tshirt to support the best promotion team in Bristol as they are being rinsed by all of this. Keeping the funds coming in will certainly alleviate any fear that they’re being forgotten during this. Also taking the time to reach out and speak to them; most bands have got time to really speak to and connect to their fans on a personal level during this time. It’d be great to engage in a dialogue with people and find out what they enjoy about what you do.
Huge thanks to Steve for sharing his lockdown experiences with us! Supporting festivals such as ArcTanGent, promotion teams such as Effigy, and local venues and artists, is more important than ever right now, so buying merch is a huge help. What merch have you been able to buy recently?