Deradoorian – COVID-19 Quarantine Artist Check In | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, May 28th, 2024  

Deradoorian – COVID-19 Quarantine Artist Check In

“We have many leaders in place who ignored the warning signs and now the people are paying gravely for it.”

Apr 22, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

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 Deradoorian (full name Angel Deradoorian).

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.

California-based Deradoorian was releasing a new album, Find the Sun, on May 22 via ANTI-, but this week she pushed back its release date to September 18 due to COVID-19.

Previously Deradoorian shared Find the Sun’s first single, the seven-minute long Krautrock-inspired “Saturnine Night.” “Saturnine Night” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then she shared another song from it, “Monk’s Robes,” via a video for the track.

Deradoorian was formerly the bassist/vocalist for Dirty Projectors. Find the Sun is the follow-up to her debut solo album, 2015’s The Expanding Flower Planet, and 2017’s Eternal Recurrence EP. Find the Sun was recorded with Deradoorian’s friend and percussionist Samer Ghadry, along with Ghadry’s frequent collaborator Dave Harrington.

“Overall, a lot of these songs are about trying to reach yourself—how to be your most
brilliant self,” Deradoorian said in a press release about the album. “Because we come from a culture that doesn’t actually support this. We are so deeply programmed to obey societal boundaries that we don’t even know the power we contain within.”

The press release further described the sound of the album: “Inspired by the freedom of Can and the singing style of Damo Suzuki as well as the influence of Indian spirituality on free jazz masters like Pharoah Sanders and Sun Ra, Deradoorian gravitates to transportive, shamanic sounds on this record, wielding bells, flutes, and gongs in service of a rock record guided by the spirits.”

Summing up the album, Deradoorian said: “Find the Sun is a record to sit and listen to, and ask yourself about your Self.”

Read on as Deradoorian reflects on her COVID-19 experience so far. Deradoorian also submitted photos of herself 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 in California with my partner. It has brought us even closer together. I’m very fortunate that this is my experience.

Is everyone in your family safe and healthy so far?

Yes, everyone is doing very well health-wise.

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?

Start with coffee then kind of do whatever. Sometimes it’s working at the computer. I overhauled the abandoned garden and brought a lot of suffering plants back to health. My neighborhood is full of trees and plants and we can safely walk around taking in some plant and light energy. I usually start going crazy if I’ve been in one place more than two months, but I’m not bummed I’m not on tour. I’m learning patience and joy in being grounded.

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?

It’s had a big financial impact on me. I’ve lost a couple tours and any local concerts (which I play often) so I’ve been applying for aid grants and asking listeners to buy music directly from my Bandcamp. The album is postponed. I don’t know how it’ll affect me in the long term. At least we have the Internet to share our music with the world.

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 mean, I think it’s quite obvious what is happening here in the USA is disastrous. We have many leaders in place who ignored the warning signs and now the people are paying gravely for it. We do not have enough tests for everyone. Hospitals are sending people home with over the counter medicine who very well need more attention. The amount of home deaths has risen. People whose health insurance is tied to their job (which they most likely have been laid off from) now don’t have a way to cover their health issues. The fact that we have to continue paying rent when our income has been cut off is going to create serious housing issues. I mean, I’m sickened with how this is being handled here. We are seeing the weak infrastructure around social services crashing hard. We’ve already known how weak it is and now we are having to deeply deal with it. It is beyond sad what’s happening to our people.

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?

This is so hard to tell. There are so many powers in place beyond the voters to take into account. I honestly do not know.

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

Mostly The New York Times. Don’t really know re: social platforms.

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

Well, we are going to have to cut back on our consumption of unnecessary items. It’ll be like a new depression. People will have to find different ways of feeling safe and satisfied in their every day lives for a while and I think that’ll bring a new layer of awareness to us. An awareness of how fragile and quickly your reality and safety can change.

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

Some record labels are being generous and financially helping out their artists. That is very appreciated. Streaming platforms can afford to do payouts to all the artists on their platforms directly. I know Spotify donated to MusiCares program but that program only supports musicians under a certain guideline of what constitutes one a valid musician. I mean, more than anything, I hope this shows that there are other ways for musicians to make an actual living wage from the music industry and that we aren’t stuck with the current reality of how music is being bought and sold.

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 directly from artists via platforms like Bandcamp or Patreon. We need your direct support and these are the avenues for that.

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

Been into this Thelonious Monk Live in Paris, 1964 recording. Lots of Simpsons and recently finished Mindhunter. Getting back into The X Files. Dharmapunx podcast. Reading True Hallucinations by Terence McKenna right now. I listen to a lot of audio books, currently The People’s History of the United States and recently finished Mindsight. Excellent books. Getting really into cooking. Not really doing games. Got traumatized playing Mario Kart recently because it’s so intense. Toadstool is the best though.

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?

Yes, so far just one, but I learned what you need to do to put on live streams, so that has been very helpful. I plan to do more. It is a challenge in a way to make them interesting, but it kind of falls in line with how I do live shows in that they’re often improvised. I still think a lot about how I want to do the live stream performance, though.

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

Yes! Finishing an album I’ve been making with Kate NV. We have a band called Decisive Pink. It’s been super challenging finishing the project because she’s in Moscow and I’m here in the States. We are putting out solo albums this year so that’s where the focus has been, but I really hope we can get this album done. It’s so good (not to toot my own horn, 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?

Lots of ideas are coming in, but haven’t really started on them yet. I feel very creative though. Actually, gardening has been really great and I’m cherishing doing housework right now because it often goes unattended.

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?

Lately it’s been green onions, and trying to obtain the elusive bag of flour. Yeah we got TP!

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