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 Dialogia’s Bobby Tufino as he’s been spending this time promoting the band’s new album, Nostrum.
What have you been doing to pass time during Quarantine?
Nostrum! During the early months, we were listening to mixes and eventually the mastering, more recently shooting some video content, preparing for the promotional process, things like that. Other than that, just trying to stay disciplined. I could see from the beginning that without the usual work commutes and whatnot, it would be easy to get lazy, sleep later, quit exercising, stuff like that. I took a few road trips to Colorado and Utah, picking places where tourists are not often found. Also, I’ve been trying not to breathe in too much ash. I’m not too far from some of the CA wildfires, and as much as I enjoy the apocalyptic feeling (and have often been reminded of Kreator’s “When the Sun Burns Red”), it’s not so good for your lungs.
One big thing for me – I’ve made a conscious effort to pick an album at least a couple of times a week and listen to it in its entirety, really loudly, on my main audio system. The game is to listen and try to stay focused on it, phone put away of course. It becomes almost a mindfulness exercise and is really rewarding. I had a great experience doing this with Tiamat’s Wildhoney album, which was conceptually a jumping-off point for the Dialogia album that we released on October 2.
Have you been listening to any music or have any playlists worth checking out?
Not playlists so much, but I’ve definitely had a few favorites. During the quarantine I finally discovered Depeche Mode after years of other metalheads telling me how good they are. Can’t say that I know their catalog, but I bought surround versions of a few of their releases and really enjoyed them. I’ve been really into the Canadian band Atroce, who display nothing but conviction and played an incredible live streamed show in August. I really liked the latest Testament album, Titans of Creation, and very much enjoyed the album Age of Aquarius by Villagers of Ioannina City. Duncan Patterson recently released some gems on his YouTube channel – bedroom demos of some of his songs from Anathema’s Alternative 4 album. I’ve enjoyed following his Facebook page as he’s gone pretty in depth talking about the band Alternative 4, as well as the Anathema albums that he wrote music for. I never go too long without listening to the classic Anathema albums. For that matter, Blessed are the Sick is always part of the rotation, as well.
A lot of people have been spending this time cooking including making their own bread, what food have you been prepping during this time?
Easy stuff! Lots of meat, eggs, avocados, things like that. I used to be more into cooking, but lately I just try to get done quickly.
In terms of entertainment, what movies, TV shows, books, or games have been keeping you busy?
I finally watched the horror film The Void, which blew me away. Great practical effects, creepy vibe, haunting imagery. I also got around to Hereditary and Midsommar, both of which I loved. Terrifier is another horror flick that I blew off for way too long…if you want a super violent slasher, that is the one (thanks to my old vocalist, Psycho Josh, for pushing that one). Also in the horror realm, my constant companions are the great podcasts Dead and Lovely, featuring guitar teacher extraordinaire Ben Eller, and Legacy of Brutality, which is about the history of horror film. My favorite TV show these days is Yellowstone. Great cast and writing, as well as superb cinematography. I love the mountains and that’s exactly the kind of scenery that resonates with me. The What We Do in the Shadows TV series was great, but all too brief.
As far as books, I’ve been going through my backlog. Tokyo Vice was great, and I finally got around to Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities, which lived up to its reputation. I re-listened to the audiobook of Stephen King’s On Writing for the sixth or seventh time and it’s still wonderful.
What advice do you have for your fans in isolation during this time?
Keep busy! Be actively creative if you’re the creative type, try to discover as much new art as you can if you’re more a consumer of it; here’s a suggestion for you.
If you’re fortunate enough to work from home, use that time to develop good habits, whether that means practicing your instrument, or making it a point to read every night, or what have you. These are dark times, to be sure, but it’s also a once in a lifetime opportunity: being at home all the time means you’re largely in control of when and how you do things. I dread the idea of waking up one day and going “I had ___ months of working from home and I accomplished NOTHING.”
Take road trips if you can, find places in nature that aren’t so popular with tourists and go immerse yourself; if you have nobody to go with, FINE! Solo road trips are awesome. I almost hesitate to mention this, but my favorite place in the world is Colorado’s Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Awe-inspiring and so fucking metal, not that popular. As with everything else during this time…GO EARLY. Early means less people, which has always been a good thing; it turns out that a healthy dollop of misanthropy is beneficial to life during a pandemic. Thank you! Check out Nostrum.