My 2020... by Aaron from Slow Readers Club
Two albums in 2020 from Slow Readers Club shows that they made the most of the UK's spring lockdown. We spoke to frontman Aaron Starkie about his year.
What’s been the most exciting thing you’ve done in 2020?
We had an album in the top ten of the official UK charts at the start of lockdown. The week leading up to the chart position was pretty exciting, a bit weird because we couldn't get together to celebrate but cool all the same.
What’s been your biggest challenge of 2020?
Not being able to tour was a massive blow for us along with every other band and artist out there. It represents about 80% of our income so we've had to find other ways of staying in the game. We launched a fan club and put on streamed shows which has helped us see the year out with the band still being full time.
In the year of COVID, what’s the thing you’ve done more of, or done for the first time due to the pandemic?
I've eaten a lot more... seen a lot more of my wife and kids than I would have done if we were touring which has been really good. We also wrote an album remotely during lockdown which wouldn't have happened if COVID hadn't have come along. And that was a new way of working for us, normally we write together in a room and jam stuff out. I also got all the way through 'The Last of Us Part 2' on PS4 which is amazing. [laughs]
Where’s the coolest place you’ve played music in 2020? (Or, what’s been your experience of playing live streams?)
Coolest proper gig this year was probably Button Factory in Dublin. We love playing there. Live streams were a little strange at first but you get used to it and you can interact with fans and respond to comments and questions between tracks. It will never match a proper live stow with people bouncing around in front of you but it's the best we can hope for at the moment.
What’s the one album you’ve loved most in 2020?
Hard to pick one but Fontains DC - A Hero's Death probably, other than ours of course.
What’s been the song that’s most soundtracked your 2020?
Paul Simon - 'Graceland', got into Paul Simon quite a bit recently.
What have you hated about 2020?
Death, social disintegration, people being racist on social media, seeing friends losing jobs, the collapse of the events industry and the night-time economy, not being able to see my parents, not being able to gig, think i will stop there. [sighs]
What are you most excited about for in 2021?
Performing live before an audience again. We live in hope.
Finally, what’s the one thing about your 2020 that you’d like to share?
We wrote and recorded an album in lockdown called 91 Days In Isolation we are really proud of it and feedback has been fantastic. Please check it out.