From the entire family at Thrills, we hope that this finds you all safe and well. Our thoughts are with all of the people and communities recently affected by the worldwide pandemic. There's really no other way to put it - things have been pretty fucked up of late.
Sadly, for many of the world's musicians, work stopped immediately, and for many touring artists, isolation started early. With some of the more interesting and creative minds contained to their homes, we thought it was probably high time we checked in to see how they were keeping sane. Call us nosey, but we're genuinely curious to see what’s been going on behind closed doors.
Enter, Alex from Bad Dreems to help us figure out just how to ride out the quarantine wave.
ALEX: We were about halfway into a tour of the UK and Europe when it became clear that we had to pull the pin and return home. The previous week and a half had been a disquieting time, as we woke up every morning to more bad news from around the world. Fortunately, we were able to get home relatively easily and return to our respective homes for the mandated 14 days of quarantine.
ALEX: Ben and Ali decamped to Pine Point in SA; while Miles and Tom Stevens (who had filled in on bass for this tour) went back to the house they share in Richmond, VIC. I had actually developed some symptoms on the flight, so was advised to go to the hospital to get tested. I did this and then started my quarantine all alone at my house in Bendigo. To be honest, quarantine/self-isolation is pretty much my ideal mode of living. Tomorrow my time is up and it feels a little like the end of the school holidays, with returning to work. My test came back as negative in the end.
ALEX: I spent most of my time recording ideas for our new album. The hours just slip away, especially in these early phases of creation. It was a luxury to have time to fully immerse without distraction. We had made some demos in London with Rory Attwell, who used to be in mid-2000s band Test Icicles.
ALEX: I re-read The Plague. Camus is probably my favourite author. People say the novel is an allegory for Vichy France, but re-reading it in the milieu it seems a very accurate description of something similar to what we are experiencing.After that I’ve variously been reading Camus’ Exile and the Kingdom (short stories), Gerald Murnane’s A History of Books (which I can’t make head nor tail of) and the Larkin and Borges poetry books.
ALEX: Leuchtturm Des Chaos (Pharos of Chaos) - A 1983 West German documentary about Sterling Hayden, an American actor from the Hollywood “Golden Era”, who was one of many affected by McCarthyism. It mainly consists of an interview in which he smokes hash gets progressively drunker. Compelling character, but.
Chimes of Freedom - Orson Welles piece de resistance which he directed and starred as. Incredible battle scene.
Of Mics and Men - Wu-Tang Forever.
ALEX: Screaming Believers - Great pop records from 80s Adelaide. Should be better known.
Murder Most Foul - Dylan. If you don't like this sell your Dylan albums and fuck off.
Iggy Pop - New Values. This 3rd solo album is as good as the first two but not as well known.
Snowy Band - Audio Commentary. Prob Aus Album of the Year by the Wagga Wunderkid.
Robert Fripp's - League of Gentleman. Fripp's post-punk album.
ALEX: It's such a strange time, especially having been in the touring bubble for two weeks and then quazza. I've talked to other people who are locked down, like the band. Some cope better than others. It's been good to touch base with old friends, many of whom have lost their income and are faced with great uncertainty. It's been hard to sit around helpless and see friends and loved ones struggling to keep their businesses alive. Like we saw in the bushfires, I think this crisis will bring out the best in us as a community. It'll be good to get out tomorrow and help however I can.
Health be with you.