We all have been traumatized, more or less, by the pandemic – and it’s OK not to feel OK, as I pointed out in my editorial. Follow our new series „Fuck 2020“ and find out how the art world, namely musicians and bands have been dealing with it.
What made 2020 most difficult for you, personally and for the whole band – what sucked the most in your opinion?
Since we decided to put Profane Omen in hibernation I’ve turned my musical focus for my other bands in Rootbrain and Spiritraiser. We had been busy prior the pandemic in recording wise and there’s a lot of material waiting to be released. We had lots of plans with both bands for 2020. Then when the gravity of the situation hit we just pushed the brakes immediately. I’m living in Brazil most of the time so planning to do something together in Finland is already fairly challenging. Now during the pandemic it’s just a waiting game. The bands are basically newcomers so we can’t really rely on just putting the songs out, we need to play some shows as well. My guess is many bands who can choose to sit on their releases are doing it now until the situation clears enough. Of course the fact that we are in a country that has been hit severely with Covid doesn’t really let you plan ahead much. We have been socially distancing at home since March 2020 and only doing the necessary trips with walking the dogs and getting the groceries. The fact that I’ve not been able to visit my family and friends in Finland has sucked the most but otherwise we are coping quite ok with this.
How did you deal with the 2020 stress & challenges?
We had a feeling with my wife right in the beginning of this that this is going to take a long time until it gets better. We decided to make our home as comfortable we can so that staying in it feels relaxing. Lot’s of painting and decoration went into it! We both work from home so somekind of a detachment from that was also necessary not to feel like you’re suddenly living at your work place. Personally I also decided that I’m going to use this time to my advantage. I’ve been taking on-line guitar lessons to improve my own musicality. Home workout sessions have become a routine and vocal practising has also taken another level. All the before mentioned activities work as a stress release for me. I can concentrate on something that makes me feel energized and create. Staying healthy and fit is somewhat important to me. At some point I felt that some channel just switched on and I had to write, a lot! This situation has definitely awaken my creative side if I need to search some positives.
What changes did you have to make in / with the band in 2020, besides a lot of cancellations?
With Rootbrain and Spiritraiser we took the time to plan more ahead and how we’re going to start putting new music out. Rootbrain’s first album is already done so you can expect some songs coming out very soon! With Spiritraiser we have half of the second album recorded and now we’re in pre-production face to record the rest hopefully in August/September 2021 (if the situation allows) but we’ll start putting out songs closer to summer already. I’ve been mostly living abroad since 2012 and I’m used to this form of making music in distance with other members of the band so in this way not much have changed. I guess bands are now trying to take their activity more on-line to social media channels and this is what we are planning to do too. The only thing we can’t and won’t plan are the shows. Not until there’s some sense of real ease in the situation and flying to Europe makes sense again. We did had to cancel all the shows for both bands of course but crying about it doesn’t really help.
Did you see 2020 also as a chance to try something else to continue as musicians, e.g. live-streaming, “Zoom-sessions”, music videos? If yes, can you tell us something about this experience, e.g. how was the fan reaction?
There’ll be definitely more content on our social media channels and that’s a big challenge for us who get allergic reaction when promoting your band in social media. The younger generation does it with such ease but I feel like this whole thing exploded too fast for me to keep up so there’s some learning to do! Most connections with the listeners happen nowadays in social media and it’s important to have this interaction. We’re planning some stuff to show our mugs more there! With Rootbrain we also shot a music video with everyone shooting their parts at their homes or nearby. We live in three different countries so it sure had it’s challenges but it turned out pretty rad! We’ll be releasing it soon and then we’ll know more about the reactions.
What are the plans for 2021, what are you looking forward to? Your message to your fans?
Be sure to check out Rootbrain and Spiritraiser! Both bands will release new music during this year, no matter what. Stay safe, stay home if you can, protect yourself and others. Don’t be an asshole.
In case of emergency: anxiety relief video