Pentagon Tales * Trasmissioni dal lockdown
Bryan Hollon (Boom Bip)
Los Angeles, USA
1. Where are u right now?
I’m in Los Angeles in my home with my wife and two daughters. More specifically, in my music studio transferring some old tape recordings into digital formats.
2. What’s happening in your country/city at the moment? Are there any restrictions?Are venues/shops/bars opened?
At the moment we are all practicing a “safer at home” routine. We don’t really leave the house unless it is vital. Everyone has embraced wearing face masks in the past few days, so we have a friend making masks for the kids. It is quite dark to think about but I find comfort in the fact that it is only temporary.
3. Did u have any tour/gig planned before this thing started?
Stella Mozgawa and I have a new project called BEEF and we had just completed the album. We wanted to start touring in late Spring and Summer for it. All of that is postponed at the moment and we will set a new release date as soon as we have some clarity on the music industry.
4. How this situation is reflecting on your everyday life?
It’s difficult and wonderful at the same time. The difficulty comes from my anxiety about seeing the sickness and death around the world and right outside the door. I face the same enemy as people on the other side of the world. That foundation of anxiety is wearing me out to be honest. However, the time I have at home with my kids and wife has been really special. Cooking every meal and spending every minute of the day with them is something we never took the time to do. We were all so busy and stressed, so having the time to do absolutely nothing together is strange and wonderful.
5. How the Music Community in your country/city is reacting?
It is interesting because so many musicians have home studios or simply a laptop, so they can continue to work on music remotely. I actually have several projects to work on while in lockdown. I could be busy if I wanted to but I actually don’t feel that creative right now. Hopefully that will change soon.
6. Do u usually have any help from the Government if u’re a musician in your country?Do musicians get some money or help for the tour they cancelled?
Our Federal government has signed a stimulus deal that will help out self employed people. That means, for the first time, musicians can get some benefits. The problem is that it simply isn’t enough to sustain food and rent for many people. More needs to be done and quickly!
7. How the Government reacted?Did they think about the economical loss and disaster the musicians are facing?
Our current government is not supportive of the arts. However, allowing musicians to receive some help under the “self employed” umbrella does help. If you are a small business, which includes labels, publishers, distributors, etc. you should be able to get a loan to help you through the crisis. However, they are loans so they will need to pay the money back. This crisis could prove to be devastating for a lot of small businesses and our system is so overwhelmed that many won’t receive funding until it is too late.
8. What’s the social situation where u live?How people in general are living these days?What’s the percentage of your friends that right now is not working for this reason?
I don’t know anyone working right now outside of the music industry. So in that way, musicians are lucky? Royalties are still going out and planning has begun for when touring and venues open back up. In the meantime, artist have a lot of time on their hands and I believe some incredible music will come out of this. Local restaurants have started selling groceries like produce, bread and dairy. This keeps them afloat and also means you don’t have to expose yourself to the masses at larger grocery stores.
9. How’s reacting the Society and do u think after this will be over something will change in the everyday life?Do u think people will change anything in their life?
I truly believe this will wake people up in a positive way. We will all appreciate each other so much more. We are being humbled by the power of nature. Those that can see that, will come out stronger with more love in their hearts and appreciation for friends and family. I’m in awe at how brave the doctors and nurses are on the front lines of this pandemic in every city around the world. The grocery store workers and delivery people as well. There are so many amazing displays of humanity right now. When things are this dark, it is much easier to see the light. We take so much for granted in our lives. Not after this! Simple social gatherings will feel wonderful. On a local level, Los Angeles has incredible air quality for the first time since the 1970s and the homeless population is finally being housed.
10. Is there anything u would recommend to the people of the music world during these hard times?
Absolutely not. Everyone is dealing with this in their own way. The only thing I can recommend is listen to your inner voice right now. How are you reacting to this? What does that say about you? If you turn your focus on how to take care of yourself during this time, you will come out stronger or at worst, inspired. Use this time to discover more about yourself and what is important to you. That in turn will come out in your art, work, personality and music. Do breathing exercises daily.
11. Is there any book/lp/movie u read/listened/watched recently that u would recommend ?
To be honest, I’m not reading or watching tv right now. My days are filled with cooking, music production and activities for my kids. They absolutely love this time with their parents, so they are my first priority. When I do find a few minutes for myself, I’ve been finding strength in spiritual teachings or guided meditations. Jack Kornfield has been offering some great sessions through Zoom and other platforms. Also, the Beastie Boys audio book is fantastic if you haven’t listened.
Love and health!