During these unprecedented times, lockdown has meant that we are spending most of our time inside with only ourselves, or our very closest, for company. As it looks like the world won’t be returning to normality for the foreseeable future, we thought we would find out how our favourite bands are handling things, what they’re getting up to, and tips and advice they could share.
If you’re after the hypnotic melodies of post=hardcore like Pianos Become The Teeth and Envy then French quintet Fall Of Messiah‘s fourth record should be on your playlist as soon as possible. ‘Senicarne’ is a story of human ties evolving over time, an image of roots and attachments and symbolic representations of nature.
We caught up with drummer/vocalist Pierre Bailleul to talk about his experiences during lockdown in France.
DP!: How are you managing lockdown?
Pierre: Quite good actually, the lockdown in France ended on 11th May, but I have to say it finally allowed me to get some rest!
DP!: Are you on lockdown on your own, or are you with friends or family?
Pierre: I’m living with my girlfriend, so we were together. I’m working at home and she is working in education, so both of us kept working during the whole time. My family lives close by, but we were seeing each other through video calls.
DP!: How do you personally feel the government is handling it so far?
Pierre: In France, it was quite… weird I guess… On one hand, I think lockdown was a necessity to protect people from the virus, but I’m working in event planning, so on the other hand it was (and still is) quite hard due to the incapacity of knowing if we were able to do things for people or clients… The situation is evolving a bit, but the future is quite unclear at the moment, we can’t really project ourselves in what’s going to happen in the future.
DP!: What have you been doing to keep yourself entertained?
Pierre: As I said, I kept working from home (I’m also a graphic designer) so I tried to keep working as usual, even if I had less work to do. But I also took the time to read every book I wanted to read, to cook and to listen to music a lot, and to watch series I didn’t have to time to watch.
DP!: Have you been using the time to write and/or record any new music?
Pierre: Actually, we had our new record on the way during lockdown, so I had time to manage everything around it, as I’m designing everything for the band…so I’ve written down all the ideas we had and put them into the artwork and layout of the new album, and I’ve been working on new merch designs in order to have everything ready for the release. Lockdown allowed me to prepare everything without any stress or urgency.
DP!: Has the extra free time in lockdown (if any) allowed you to pursue other hobbies and interests? If so, what?
Pierre: I’m in a bicycle club in Lille and I build my own bikes, so I put the extra time I had into designing bikes I wanted to create in the near future! I also took time to work on video editing. I always wanted to be able to do that, so I trained myself to do it!
DP!: Have you been working in the meantime to help you through financially?
Pierre: Yeah, as I said, I’m self-employed working from home, so even if I had less work to do, I was trying to work as much as possible, but also to develop my company on the internet to reach new clients!
DP!: Any tips or suggestions for others to keep themselves entertained?
Pierre: I’m curious by nature, so I get easily entertained…documentaries, books, new cooking recipes… I try to give myself a “schedule for the week” and to work on a new thing every day, in order to not get bored easily!
DP!: Any advice for people who may be struggling mentally?
Pierre: It might be easy to say, but for what I experienced, talking to people, in this case, through the internet. I was having chats with friends I didn’t chat with in a long time, and it helped me a lot when I was having a bad day…My girlfriend helped me a lot so we are always trying to communicate to help each other out. I can also recommend taking some time for yourself to do something you love. For me, it was cooking while listening to records I love, or to new bands. Finally, and maybe the most important, which is also very helpful for home-working people, is to make yourself a timetable with things to do, even if it’s just to get yourself out of bed, it helped me stay focused on things other than to be alone with my mind.
DP!: Final words?
Pierre: I just hope that people take care of themselves and their family & friends. If you need someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to send messages around you. I really hope we will able to tour again and meet new and old friends during shows! Also thank you, and take care of yourselves.
The band’s new album, ‘Senicarne’, is out now, via Holy Roar Records.