Ariel Pink – COVID-19 Quarantine Artist Check In | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, October 28th, 2020  

Ariel Pink – COVID-19 Quarantine Artist Check In

“I think people are more reflective and hopefully enjoying this chance to experience the home life.”

May 04, 2020
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We are checking in with musicians during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic to see how they are dealing with everything. What has their home quarantine experience been like so far and how is the crisis impacting both their career and art? Here we check in with Ariel Pink

We’re living in future history right now, unprecedented times that will define our era. At some point we will be living in a forever-changed post-COVID-19 timeline, but right now we’re deep in it. Many have had their livelihood interrupted by the pandemic and included are most musicians, who make a lot of their money by touring and performing, two things they can’t do right now. Most record stores are closed and vinyl factories are shut down, so album sales are depressed too. Our intention with this series is to highlight the challenges musicians are going through right now to hopefully encourage our readers and their fans to rally around and support each musician (financially if you can, but we know it’s tough out there for many people). 

We’re all in this together, a whole planet united in this fight, and we hope these interviews will help illustrate that. We put together the same set of questions about the current crisis and emailed them to several musicians and will be posting their responses as they come in.

Ariel Pink’s last album of new material, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson, came out in 2017 via Mexican Summer. But more recently he’s been reissuing his older albums on vinyl, also via Mexican Summer. The second installment of Ariel Archives came out last month and featured 2002’s House Arrest, 2003’s Worn Copy, and 2004’s The Doldrums (which was initially self-released in 2000), which are being presented on double LP vinyl for the first time ever. The first installment of Ariel Archives came out last October via Mexican Summer. Find more info on that here. 

Ariel Marcus Rosenberg (his full real name) was born in 1978 and grew up in the Beverly Glen neighborhood of Beverly Hills (he even went to Beverly Hills High School). He eventually ended up at the well-regarded art school CalArts and The Doldrums was his senior thesis there (although Rosenberg dropped out before graduating).

Read on as Ariel Pink reflects on his COVID-19 experience so far. He also submitted a photo of himself under quarantine.

Where are you spending the quarantine and who are you spending it with? If you’re spending it with other people, have you found that the quarantine has brought you closer together or caused tension?

I’m spending my quarantine at home, alone for the most part, hosting the occasional guest, when I need company. Strangely enough it feels like everyone I know is experiencing a kind of “cabin fever” with friends and loved ones remotely, as the world appears to have shrunk considerably for everyone. 

Is everyone in your family safe and healthy so far?

Yep so far so good, knock on wood.

What’s your daily routine been like? Have you spent much time outdoors? And since musicians spend so much time on the road, have you found it hard adjusting to so much time at home?

I go for walks at least once a day, especially where I live in Los Feliz, it’s lovely and therapeutic, definitely.

What financial impact has COVID-19 had on you and your band? Have you had to cancel or postpone any tours or festival appearances or postpone an album release because of COVID-19 and how will that affect you in the long term?

Apart from a few shows I had scheduled at the end of April and the beginning of May, nothing has been postponed or cancelled, so I’m not really feeling the impact on my work yet. 

If you also have a day job outside of music, how has that been impacted by COVID-19? 

No day job, just music. 

Do you trust the government and our leaders (such as President Trump) to effectively deal with the pandemic? What most concerns you about the response of elected leaders at home and abroad?

I don’t trust elected leaders all that much, on both the state and national level—though I applaud them for doing as well as could be expected, given the circumstances. I’m staying at home as much as possible and minimizing putting myself and others at risk—so the real question is less about the elected officials and more about the people. Hard to qualify...

How do you think the crisis will affect this November’s U.S. presidential election? Will it make it easier or harder to defeat Trump?

I have no idea. Too early to say. 

Which sources of news have you been turning to most during COVID-19 and which social media platform have you found most useful? 

None.

What do you think will be the lasting effects on society of all this isolated time at home?

I think people will “slow down,” not be so thirsty for that second job, or be so on edge about making ends meet. I think people are more reflective and hopefully enjoying this chance to experience the home life.

Are your parents, grandparents, and others in your life who are at risk taking social distancing seriously? If not, what lengths have you gone to in order to convince them to stay inside?

I imagine they’re doing their best, my dad still works as a doctor, and he’s required to test for COVID-19—so far he’s come back negative. 

What other steps should record labels, music streaming platforms, and other music industry entities be taking to help struggling musicians through this time?

Gosh, no idea. Pay us more I guess lol.

What is the best way fans can support you financially right now? Buying vinyl and CDs, downloading and streaming your music, buying merch, supporting your Patreon page or other crowd sourcing platform (if you use one), or some other means? Is there a particularly cool piece of merch you’d like to highlight? 

Buy all the records you like, stop streaming already, bring back the compact disc and cassette player, just like they did vinyl. Enough with Bluetoothing everything, we can’t even get proper GPS tracking without slight delays, so keep the aux cables in circulation—are we gonna ever experience music without glitches and delays or pauses ever again?

Which albums, songs, films, TV shows, books, podcasts, live streams, video games, board games, etc., have been helping you get through the quarantine?

It’s personal.

Have you been doing any live-streamed concerts during COVID-19 or do you plan to? A lot of artists have been doing them, do you think it’s a challenge to make them original and interesting?

Haven’t done them and I’m not planning to. 

Is there something you’ve been putting off for a long time, but are now doing with this time at home?

Yes: doing nothing. Haha!

Has the quarantine been a fertile creative time (are you writing or recording new music, for example) or have you found it hard to focus on creative endeavors?

I’ve been focused on the exact opposite. It’s like vacation for me.

Beyond the obvious items (such as toilet paper), what things have you made sure to get from the grocery store when stocking up? And, also, do you have any toilet paper?

I have plenty of Kleenex so I don’t need to get toilet paper. I’m not stocking up on anything, I buy when necessary, and I’m happy to get delivery.

www.ariel-pink.com

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www.arielpink.bandcamp.com/

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