Music Music Features Muse

Gengahr's Felix Bushe reflects on creativity in the time of Covid

Kristina Wemyss speaks to the frontman about life as a musician in lockdown and the impact on the industry

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Image Credit: Liberator Music

Everyone has been affected by the current pandemic, but one industry that has largely been forgotten and neglected by the government is the music industry. New artists who are trying to establish themselves are having a difficult time as they are unable to tour and make a name for themselves. Furthermore, once lockdown rules are lifted, the lack of business and support which independent venues have had could prove to be the final nail in the coffin for them- places which are very important in providing a platform to new talent and enriching local culture. It is not only new artists who are facing difficulties during this time though. Songwriter Felix Bushe from the well-established indie-rock band Gengahr, was kind enough to give us an interview about their experiences and struggles during this time.

Would you say that lockdown has increased your creativity?

I wouldn't say that lock down has helped but I decided right from the start that I wouldn't sit around moping and instead I would try to use this time to work.

How has the current situation impacted the content of your work? Do you find that it is more solemn in light of this tragedy or have you found yourselves feeling more grateful and optimistic with the sense of community that it has brought about?

It's hard to say right now, I'm still right in the middle of it all. It will all be clearer when it's finished and I get a chance to step back. The thing which probably interests me the most is the difference of attitudes that I'm seeing. Not necessarily from a political standpoint, but that certainly seems to play a part in it.

How do you think this crisis will shape the future of live music, considering how the government has neglected to help the creative industries during this time? Do you think that you might be playing digital concerts for the foreseeable, and if so how would you feel about that?

I hate all of the digital concerts to be honest. I never want to see someone perform an acoustic rendition from their bedroom ever again! And I am very worried for the small venues, many of which played a huge part in enabling us to develop and establish ourselves as a band. Our government has been disgraceful in its disregard for the importance of the arts and what that contribution means to so many of us. It breaks my heart seeing all of the crowd funding going on, it shouldn't have to be like this.

It must be somewhat harder to make music if you can't get all of your members together in one place. Have you had to do things much differently as a band?

It's certainly a slower way of working for me, but then again it's not too dissimilar from the way our last record was made. With lots of time writing into the computer before taking things into the live room. Digital technology is great for working on interesting sounds but the downside is you can spend hours/days on something that if played as a group you might quickly realise wasn't worth the time!

What are a few of the albums that have been getting you through this time?

A few of my current favourites are Angelo De Augustine - Tomb, Sir Was - Holding On To A Dream and Waxahatchee - Saint Cloud.

Many people have been occupying themselves by attempting to take up new hobbies like playing instruments and song writing. I know that you have been posting guitar tutorials on your Instagram which is a fantastic idea to help your fans. But if you could only give one piece of advice to any new budding musicians/ songwriters what would it be?

You will learn more from others than you will learn by yourself. Find people that enrich your creative progress and never stop developing your own musical voice.

We seem to have a lot of free time at the moment but a lot of people are still struggling to motivate themselves. How have you been staying motivated?

For some people motivation is a physical thing. Maybe you go for an early morning run to get the serotonin levels up ready for the day. For others it's a case of looking at their peers and finding some competitive fire through that. For me it changes day to day but the important thing is to find what works for you.

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