While their upcoming EP release has been delayed a little, Fleet, Hampshire newcomers Drug Store Romeos are soldiering on through lockdown working on a very exciting project: their debut album. Writing new material from their respective lockdown hideaways, Charlie gives us an insight into what they've got coming up, ahead of their imminent set at Dork's online festival, Homeschool.
Hey Charlie, how's it going? Have you had a productive day?
Hey! I'm very good thanks. My day's been 24 hours so far. My sleeping patterns a little skew-whiff as I was up playing one intense online chess game all night. I've decided to stay awake 'til this evening to reset my sleeping pattern. I'm riding a third-wind currently though and have been quite productive.
Are you all self-isolating on your own at the mo, or are you together Monkees-style?
I'm living in a warehouse with 12 other people, Jonny's with 15 other people, and Sarah's in Winchester with her dad.
What does the lockdown mean for band business? Have you had to bin off all your plans for the next few months?
Not quite! We're actually still working quite hard making new forms of media that the coronavirus has created [such as Homeschool]. We're also writing songs for our album and trying to keep active on social media. Our single / EP release has been delayed, and we've had some gigs cancelled, but we're still releasing a single pretty soon, and the gigs we were really excited about are still happening (at least for now).
Do you have any TV, podcast or book recommendations to help fill the time? What entertainment are you into?
Graham Hancock's interviews on the Joe Rogan podcast have me completely enthralled. He talks about a civilisation 12,800 years ago that we're much more advanced than the hunter-gathers we thought were exclusively roaming the earth at that point. Apparently, they were wiped out by a comet impact. If he's correct, it changes a lot of things like our perception of history and archaeology.
Have also been watching the documentary on the director of Studio Ghibli. He's surprisingly super grumpy and anxious, but he's also a creative genius, and so it's very inspiring to see him frustrated at the fact that the art/story he is creating isn't satisfying the vision in his head. He just knows it's not right. But he persists for weeks and eventually strikes gold. So it's inspired me to persist at a song idea even if I've been trying and failing for ages to find the right sound/lyrics to tie the melody and chords together.
What do you reckon the best hobby is to do while stuck at home? Have you resorted to making your own sourdough starter yet?
I'm lucky enough to be able to do whatever I want to my warehouse room, so I've been building/ sawing things (like shelves) for my room... very satisfying. Constructing/crafting something makes you feel really good about yourself, and you can do it outside so I would say that's a contender for 'best hobby'.
If you could only pick one album to be on lockdown with, what would it be?
'Wede Harer Guzo' by Hailu Mergia as it's really important to revel in delightful feelings during this surreal period of time and luckily it's been amazing weather, so this album helps further the emotion of joy I feel in the sun.
Do you have any predictions for later this year?
I'm really hoping that by July some non-essential shops will start opening and we will be able to visit two friends each.
What's the first thing you'll do once lockdown is over?
See Sarah and Jonny! Perhaps go sailing in the reservoir in Harringay, go to a bustling high street. Maybe hug someone random and then go to a sweaty rave type thing in the evening. If everything is fine by the summer, then live music events are going to be the most energetic they've ever been.
Is there anything else we should know? Something fun would be good.
This is a website full of vintage drum machine samples, and the website is so perfectly 2003.
Drug Store Romeos are taking part in new online festival Homeschool, which runs from 8th-10th May - visit homeschoolfest.com for details.