Metal Inside(r) Home Quarantine is Metal Insider’s new column during this time of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We asked artists five questions on what’s been keeping them busy ranging from their favorite movies, food they’ve been eating, music they’ve been listening to and more. We caught up with the rock project Aaron Holt as they’ve been spending this time adjusting to the pandemic challenges with music and food.
What have you been doing to pass time during Quarantine?
Aaron: I have spent a bunch of extra time learning to cook, extra time spent going for walks or just sitting outside. The biggest thing that has been for us though has been finding a new home and moving. I had to leave my old job, find a new one FAST, then get everything lined up so that we could close and move before the school year started. It was absolutely stressful but I think it was generally a good distraction from covid news. Otherwise, we spent most of our time at home and just tried to only go out if we needed groceries.
Sujit: A lot more writing and recording than the previous years. Also, I went back to writing a book that I was working on and had shelved a couple of years ago.
TJ: I’ve been watching A LOT of shows and movies, as well as re-binge watching a lot of my favourite shows too. I was traveling a lot before everything shut down, so I’ve also just taken the time to chill a lot more. Lots of teaching lessons (online thru Zoom). Practice, Lessons with my teacher (on Zoom), writing future drum ebooks, and recording. Hanging with friends and family when I can.
Have you been listening to any music or have any playlists worth checking out?
Aaron: I’ll just name a few artists that I have found recently that I think are pretty cool. Amaranthe, Butcher Babies, Strapping Young Lad, Audioslave, Astrid S, Ellie Goulding, and Sarah Reeves.
Sujit: Listening to a lot of independent radio and discovering a ton of independent artists worldwide. There is so much great music out there apart from what we usually are exposed to in the mainstream channels. Look at sites like Metalinsider.net, that write about new releases by independent artists for a start.
TJ: I love listening to Dream Theater’s Live from London Album – every time I hear them I am blown away. it’s just amazing how if you look at when they started (in the ’80s), and how instead of like most artists who get worse the older they get, they get better and better! And not that many artists can keep it going as long as they do either, which is cool.
A lot of people have been spending this time cooking including making their own bread, what food have you been prepping during this time?
Aaron: Sujit has been teaching me bits about cooking Indian food, I’ve perfected some Chinese recipes of my own, and have spent a lot of time on the grill learning to smoke with a pretty standard-sized charcoal grill. I haven’t tried smoking anything for more than about 2 hours but I imagine it would be a little more challenging to do. I love wasting a whole afternoon away just preparing food and cooking it.
Sujit: YES!!! Cooking is another passion of mine. A lot of Spicy Indian food has been a constant throughout this period. Also, interestingly, apart from musical ideas that we bounce back and forth, Aaron and I regularly share recipes and food ideas as well.
TJ: I started cooking breakfast a lot more, usually I would hardly eat breakfast, but I’ve been eating a lot of bacon and eggs this year to get some protein, and that’s helped keep the aches and pains from chopping out at bay.
In terms of entertainment, what movies, TV shows, books, or games have been keeping you busy?
Aaron: I finished up my second book in the Dune series, I read the original dune then went on to read the prequel series. I finished the Butlerian jihad and have moved on to the next book but didn’t get far since we moved and I went back to work. I lost some time there with it for a bit, but I will definitely continue on, I think someday I might complete those series. They’re fantastic, just perhaps a little tough to get into if you’re not reading it constantly. I’ve never been one to just read through a book in a few weeks anyways.
Sujit: It took me this question to realize that apart from Music and cooking, I have done little else during this period. Yes, and teaching online 4 days a week.
TJ: We watched all of the different Spiderman movies at my house, I’ve watched a lot of the super-hero CW shows (and rewatched some), and at the beginning of the shut-down I used all 9 seasons of Dragon Ball Z to keep me practicing a lot of technical things. Lately, I’ve been listening to Lord of the Rings on audio (I am behind on where my friends are) and playing Destiny 2 online with other friends.
What advice do you have for your fans in isolation during this time?
Aaron: Fans in isolation, make a change, and just go do what you’ve always wanted to. There’s so much time now, go pick up an instrument, go for a walk, go buy a bike and get outside. Except maybe traveling the world…
Sujit: please stay safe and do not let the isolation get to you. Pick up the phone and check on your friends. The ones who are quiet are probably the ones worst hit. Do not be afraid to talk to someone. Talking always helps.
TJ: Find a way to stay connected to people, even if it’s online, find people who will love and encourage you, and take the gift of time that you have now to do the things you’ve been waiting to do. Especially those things you always told yourself you’d do one day when you had more time.