“I simply will not let something like this prevent the most important goal of the band, which is to release music that it’s worked real hard on” – Thee MVPs stop by the Lockdown Lowdown to discuss recent times and their upcoming release.
Having built a reputable following off the back of their energetic and infectious live performances, London based alternative outfit Thee MVPs have spent their time on the road to finesse their ambitious sound. Now, ahead of the release of their first LP with Easy Records, Science Fiction, 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?
Basically a shit load of hip hop from all eras, I find that easiest on my ears when I feel wigged out – the quarantine has done a good job of making me feel quite wigged out a lot of the time. Also, Converge.
How have you found the extended period in isolation has impacted your creativity? Have you found it to be a blessing or a curse?
I wouldn’t say it’s impacted creativity if anything it’s augmented it, sure we can’t gig but that hasn’t stopped us from making other things. The other guys have been painting and making videos with their other group, I’ve learnt to do Photoshop badly and trying to build a guitar. I’m separated from everyone during lockdown so I’m a little more restricted in the sense of being a dude gigging in a band but I don’t feel cursed by it. I’m just glad I stopped watching so much TV!
Have you taken to any social media platforms to deliver live performances during this time? If so, how did you find the reception?
My living situation right now means the logistics of doing a gig like that, as this pandemic remains a real threat, would mean I’m putting my friends and family’s health below the music. I’m at my parents’ during this and my guitar I had as a teenager is here, I’ve been doing a thing on Instagram where people send riffs for me to try and learn it’s pretty fun and people have been tuning in and saying it’s cheered them up or made them laugh. Social media permeates everything now and can weigh heavy on a lot of people but I’d rather have that be a designated spot people can have a laugh on rather than get bombarded with the news.
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?
I’m actually heading up the label releasing this so I’ve (unfortunately) got more of a business based answer here. We had the option to postpone to autumn but it’s gonna be a pretty monumental bottleneck of record releases then, I think the indies and small-timers are gonna catch a break sticking to their guns and releasing music now, people need it more now really. A friend of mine is a vinyl dealer and he’s actually doing better now than he was before all this!
Of course, this pandemic has drastically affected how the album could have done, people don’t have as much disposable income so they’re keeping to getting the essentials. Also, the band’s touring schedule got thrown out the window so we’ve had to accept never being able to do a proper release tour for our first record – we’re a live outfit and when we do eventually get to gig it will be a stack of fun but it would’ve been much nicer to be on the road already gigging and playing a big blow out party on the actual date.
Generally speaking, I don’t think it’s a good thing for the industry at all on all levels, countless venues face closing down, events and hospitality workers are out of work indefinitely (I switched jobs from being a roadie like a month before so I feel dead lucky not to be as affected by that), people can’t go to see shows they’ve been looking forward to for months. It’s across the board bad but rolling over and giving up is also a shitty response to it. I simply will not let something like this prevent the most important goal of the band, which is to release music that it’s worked real hard on and I encourage anyone whose sitting on the material to release it, you will feel better for it and your audience are probably gonna be grateful for it.
How do you think this period will shape the music landscape for the years to come?
I’d really like to hope it’s going to help attach value to creativity again, don’t get me wrong I don’t do this for the cash and I’ll be broke my whole life from gigging but I really would love people to see how much, help, relief, inspiration and joy art will have brought to them in this time and I sincerely hope people will be far quicker to invest in venues, projects and artists again. Furthermore, folks who weren’t pursuing something creative might be doing so now and continuing with it when life goes back to normal can only be a good thing.
What is the first thing you are going to do when this is all over?
I wanna get a pie and a pint at Brudenell Social Club and see my mates.
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?
It would be great if you can put in an order for the record but only if you can afford it! Keep streaming it otherwise, the rest of it’s out May 29th.
Pre-order Thee MVP’s upcoming record, Science Fiction