We’re all coming to the end of yet another year, this one being 2022. I thought I’d write some thoughts here as I haven’t really been as active online lately as I have been in the past.
Although I’ve been busy with music and travelling for shows this past year, my posts are less frequent than they have been, especially on softriot.com, where I used to post a lot more often. Thinking about it, I think perhaps this year I’ve just been burnt out a bit on content. There was a time when finding out about artists and information online was a bit of work to find, but now content is everywhere to the point that to me it’s sort of culminated in one massive wall of white noise that’s easy to burn out on. Perhaps that will change. There’s millions of posts of content per day. Sometimes it feels difficult to keep up and share with those that are relevant to oneself.
My attitudes over recent years have changed to social media platforms. I’m now seemingly very reserved about what I post, rather than using the medium as a loudspeaker for what I’m doing and how I’m feeling. Perhaps it’s all a bit more sinister than what I thought it was. Maybe I feel that less is more at times.
I sort of go in ebbs and flows. Right now I’ve been taking some downtime after a busy year not only with Soft Riot, but my “day job” of being a self-employed graphic designer as well as things going on personally and locally to me in Glasgow. I’ve met a lot of awesome people here in Glasgow (as well as abroad) this past year and have put some priority on things other than music — at least for the time being.
Being an active musician in this past year after about 1-2 years of lockdowns has been a strange one. In some ways things have returned to normal but in others they feel very different. The pandemic is still raging out there, as well as other world events including wars, cost of living and changes in travel options that make being an average globe-trotting musician more difficult and trying in this day and age. I don’t really see this getting easier in the years to come but we’ll see.
Having been playing and releasing music as Soft Riot for over ten years now, I’m sort of at a strange point of “where to go next”? I’ve done a lot of the things I’ve wanted to do and have realised a lot of the extra work of being a modern musician I don’t really enjoy at times. Having said that, I still love writing and creating music, getting lost in its world and performing it for other people. It seems trickier than it used to be to find a balance.
And during this time I’ve mainly been a one-person source of output — music, graphics, video, bookings, keeping things moving along. I’ve moved the project from London to Sheffield and then to Glasgow — sort of like bringing an exotic virus to a new city. Many times it feels like I’ve been working away alone in a bubble. Having said that I’ve been grateful to folks like my booking agent and PR folks for taking off some of this load and having some belief in what I’m doing. That makes a different.
There’s a new record that’s finished and will see the light of day in 2023. Production times and options for releasing music are taking a lot longer these days. Writing a follow-up to 2019’s When Push Comes To Shove was a very different process and took longer to pull it together to be a collection of songs to release out into the world.
Overall this has just been reflections on the past year of doing music and how it will go forward. I think overall, despite some of the negatives I’ve outlined, there’s an underlying drive and excitement to do new things so there’s optimism to move forward. For me music is most importantly about trying new things, meeting new people, creating art, building communities and sharing ideas. And as long as those key elements are there, I can see myself creating music and art for some years to come. Thanks for your support in 2022 and see you in 2023 — hopefully somewhat refreshed! =)