“People are able to make amazing sounding records in their bedrooms, so if you can do it that way, why not?” – HYLA stop by the Lockdown Lowdown to discuss how they see these times affecting the music industry.
Guildford-based alternative outfit HYLA have made waves with their brand of emotional, modern rock music. Capturing the attention of many on the local scene, the band’s most recent release Breathe is evidence that they are continuing to move from strength to strength. Now, as we find ourselves in truly unprecedented times, we asked the band a few questions to discuss how these times are affecting musicians and find out a little more about how the landscape of the music industry will look moving forward.
What have you been listening to recently to ease the boredom of being cooped up?
Aaron – I’ve been listening to so much music man. I’ve been smashing the new Shikari album, loads of Mura Masa, Skepta, Dua Lipa, lots of random stuff haha. Obviously, I’ve been listening to our bois BlackWaters, George Rose, Annabel Allum, China Bears and Lauren Dejey (she’s just put out a new stonker of a tune).
Vicky – As always a mix of everything. Dua Lipa’s new album giving me serious disco vibes, PVRIS are releasing tune after tune, Four Tet, Georgia is brilliant and I can’t wait to see her get huge. Also,, chucking in some Erykah Badu on the days where I need chilling out which is common at the moment!
Libby – A whole range of stuff to be honest. Naturally, everyone’s emotions are up and down ‘with what’s going on’ and I feel like my listening is reflecting that a lot because I’ve been jumping between genres, smashing out some Deftones in the morning then Dolly Parton in the afternoon. Soccer Mommy, George Rose and Girl Ray have been on repeat. Bare Jams have also just dropped an album which is peng.
How have you found the extended period in isolation has impacted your creativity? Have you found it to be a blessing or a curse?
Vicky – Definitely a curse for me. When I’m stuck alone too long with my own thoughts and company I tend to get stuck in a rut and feel pretty uninspired. Trying to get lyrics down as much as possible but I’m also working from home full time and it’s very busy. Nothing like staring at spreadsheets all day to make your mind numb! Going to set up some equipment in the front room and do my best to power through.
Libby – In terms of writing together, it has been a bit of a challenge for us, because we’re used to sitting in the same room and working on stuff together. We’re adapting though, and it’s given us a reason to work on our home recording skills. Personally, I’m the same as Vicky, trying to find that work/band balance all over again. I guess we’re lucky to still have money coming in though, unlike some bands that are at the full-time stage.
Aaron – I’ve personally found it good for my creativity, I’ve written a lot of new ideas, been learning to sing (although, I’m still terrible) and outside of music I’ve been trying to draw – it’s good to be creative in other areas too.
Have you taken to any social media platforms to deliver live performances during this time? If so, how did you find the reception?
This is something that we’re trying to sort out, we’ve had a lot of ideas but because we don’t live together and technology isn’t on our side, we haven’t done anything yet. But something is coming very very soon.
Do you think this time will see a rise in ‘DIY’ musicians stepping into the spotlight? Do you think this is a good thing for the industry?
Aaron – Too right! I think the industry has been moving in that way for a fair few years now though, not just because of lockdown – people are able to make amazing sounding records in their bedrooms, so if you can do it that way, why not? It’s ultimately a good thing, right? More bands, more music, more gigs – perf.
Libby – I think it’s a great opportunity for people who have been thinking of making music on their own to really get stuck in, and be encouraged – you’re seeing people like Lady Gaga and Paul McCartney performing in their living rooms and it really strips music down to its fundamental core, so people can see how possible it is for them to work hard and get their stuff out there. The internet can be a great tool.
How do you think this period will shape the music landscape for the years to come?
Aaron – I think the attention will be drawn to online more – people are live streaming more which is cool, people are doing really cool collaborations that wouldn’t have happened otherwise, there are online festivals and that. I think it will be a thing that sticks around, but on top of everything that was already there – no way will sitting in your lounge watching a gig beat crowd surfing in a field with 10k other people.
Libby – I don’t want to put a downer on this, but I have to mention our small venues. It’s such an important time to be supporting them in whatever they’re doing to try and navigate this period. They have been the roots of the music industry forever and we don’t know how long it will be before we can get the live scene back up and running. We need to make sure it happens full stop. Among other venues, The Boileroom are doing a crowdfunder which you can donate to here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/help-the-boileroom-survive-the-covid-19-crisis-1
What is the first thing you are going to do when this is all over?
Aaron – Pub.
Vicky – Pop open a bottle of whiskey, toast to freedom and go see my soppy mates for a big juicy squeeze
Have you got a message for any of your fans that might be reading this? Any means by which they can support yourselves/the band at this time?
Thank you to everyone that is still streaming our music and watching our videos, we love everyone that is supporting us. It’s really hard as a tiny independent band, but seeing people responding to our music and shows is so worth the effort. Please keep sharing and streaming, we’ll give you some more stuff soon. We can’t wait to see where this will lead us.
Love u, stay safe, stay clean x