Q: Do you think that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the consumption or release of your songs this year?
A: I usually will take the time to do any music listening I need to do in the car on the drive into town to write or when I’m on the road. Since we didn’t tour this year, it has definitely cut down on my listening time, but I can see where maybe the opposite could be true of most people.
Q: If you answered yes above, do you believe it helped or hurt the numbers/ performance of your release?
A: If it did anything, I think it helped our numbers. COVID has given us the opportunity to be curious again, and I think it’s possible that some people might have taken the time to check out the music that might not have made time to do so pre-rona.
Q: Have you gone through more than one stage of releasing music during the pandemic (March–present)? Ex. Writing & having recorded a song, Recording & releasing a song, etc.
A: I am currently in the second stage of writing/recording/releasing as I type this.
Q: Have you had to cancel/postpone recording sessions or releases due to gathering restrictions, quarantine, or other COVID-related reasons?
A: Personally, I haven’t had to cancel anything. I’m fortunate enough to have a small studio at home that I get to work out of everyday. One thing COVID has forced me to do is become better behind the desk as a producer/engineer. I would usually pay the pros to mix, but this year has afforded me the time to really dig into the engineering side of what I do. I would never call myself an engineer (I respect the audio engineers in town too much for that), but I will say that I wouldn’t be afraid to put out some self-recorded/self-mixed music at this point.
Q: How has the process (writing, recording, producing) been affected by restrictions related to COVID-19?
A: It has saved me about 3 hours in the car every day driving back and forth to writes in town. I have a small group of people that I write with that are willing to start early, so I’m now able to write 2 and sometimes 3 songs a day. When the song is finished, since I write from my computer in my studio, I can usually start recording it as soon as my writes are done for the day. My productivity has actually gone through the roof. I’m busier than I’ve ever been.
Q: What’s been your primary mode for writing sessions, review sessions, etc. during the pandemic (Zoom, FaceTime, others)?
A: Primarily, I’ve used Zoom. I was completely against it for the first couple months of quarantine. I actually refused to do it, but I will admit that it has made my life so much easier. I think the use of platforms like Zoom has caused us all to rethink what our jobs look like–at least as far as songwriting and radio tours go. It doesn’t hurt that, by the end of the year, I will have saved a few thousand dollars in gas.
Q: Do you believe that the writing/recording/producing process has been made better or worse during the pandemic?
- Easier or harder?
- More or less efficient?
A: For me, the “process” has become much more efficient. Every day is different as far as how “easy” or “hard” the songwriting is. It just depends on how bad the song wants to be written, I think. As far as recording goes, I think it depends on where you are on that learning curve if it’s not something you did before COVID and if you’re diving into doing it yourself. Since I have most of what I need sitting in front of me during the day, it has made most of it easier (minus the hours I’ve spent on watching how-to youtube videos and reading articles on EQ and compression. I pretty much sent myself back to school when it comes to that stuff.) On the flip side of the coin, it makes things much more difficult on an artist that doesn’t have the means or the gear to do it themselves.
Q: Have you found yourself with more time or less time to make new music during quarantine?
A: My commute to work these days is about 10 steps, so I’ve had much more time to create, experiment, and learn. To be honest, I’ve loved it. In a lot of ways, it has caused me to fall in love all over again with music and hear it with different ears. It’s been a hard year for everyone, but it’s been one that I will forever be thankful for. After I got over the initial quarantine hump, it’s actually been a blast for me to dig into the other parts of music that I never thought I’d be able to have time to learn.
Q: What lasting impacts do you think the pandemic will have on your career?
A: As a writer, I know there are many people in town who will disagree with me, but as long as Zoom (or a platform like Zoom) exists, I don’t feel like I need to drive into town every day to work–especially when I know that I can get more accomplished at home. This means that I’ll be comfortable writing songs when I’m on the road without having to put songwriters through the long weekend stuck on a bus to get a song or two written. I’m also excited to continue to collaborate with artists from other countries that I might never get to work with otherwise. The internet CAN be a good thing.
As an artist, to be totally transparent, I have NO idea how this will affect my career. The pandemic has been interesting because I feel like it has put artists on more of an even playing field. We’re all trying to figure out what this is going to look like in the future. Personally, my plan hasn’t changed. It is now, and has always been, to play every chance I get everywhere I can. As soon as we get the go-ahead and everyone is onboard, I plan on burning up the blacktop again–and I can’t wait. I hope people share that sentiment when it comes to going to shows and supporting their favorite artists–whoever they may be. I may have to play in a damn Hazmat suit, but I’ll take the risk of looking like a dollar store astronaut if it means that I get to play live music again.