British alternative metal outfit Winter Hotel have unleashed their debut EP, Vacancies, on Friday (18th). We asked the group to list five things they learned recording this EP during the COVID-19 pandemic.
01) Don’t take shit like this lying down. It’s so easy to feel defeated and like there’s nothing to do in times like these. The first couple months we really didn’t do a whole lot for the band and gave in to apathy before we realised there will always be opportunities to look into. There’s always room to write music amongst so many other ways to move the band forward throughout the pandemic. We’ve been able to release all 5 singles from our EP during the pandemic, just by researching and using our time as best we can.
02) Be organised, adaptable and conscientious. It is harder than ever to organise things like music video shoots, studio time and practices; we always try to be thinking ahead and keep as up to date as possible on changes in restrictions and in the development of the pandemic. We strived to be as prepared as possible for our schedule to change and have contingency plans in place. There will be many opportunities in the future, don’t be afraid to delay, especially when everybody is suffering and at risk. We felt that it was important for us to keep our eyes on the bigger picture.
03) Every area of the music scene has been hit hard by the pandemic and we all need to support each other to survive. We couldn’t have done everything we have for our debut EP Vacancies without the support and hard work of the talented team of people around us. The videographer, manager and producer that we have worked with have all had to find a way through this mess the same as us. We all need to get each other through in order to have a scene to return to when all this is over. When the most recent lockdown well and truly shat all over our plans, ourselves along with other bands still went ahead and paid all those we were due to work with on the originally scheduled dates despite having to delay so that we could help keep things running smoothly until we were able to proceed.
04) Keep a clear pathway for communication. We made sure that we had video calls, scheduled meetings, group chats so that we could keep clear plans for releases and writing to ensure everyone can be on the same page. We also looked after ourselves and each other by keeping communication flowing, checking in with everyone and being there even in a virtual capacity to support one another when one of us went down so that we could all be the happiest, healthiest and most productive we could be for ourselves and for the band.
05) Make the most of the time that you can. This past year and a half has made it unbelievably difficult to be able to do so many of the things that we used to take for granted such as meeting regularly and rehearsing often. With how frequent restrictions can ease and then be reintroduced as cases fluctuate, take every opportunity you have to do the things that you need to as a band because you never know when those opportunities will be taken away again. This is something we’ve found particularly with writing, as much as technology allows us to bounce demos back and forth with ease, it’s no replacement for the natural synergy that can only occur when we’re able to meet and jam in person.