Luke Temple (aka Art Feynman) of Here We Go Magic – COVID-19 Quarantine Artist Check In | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024  

Luke Temple (aka Art Feynman) of Here We Go Magic – COVID-19 Quarantine Artist Check In

“All my immediate family and I have asthma so we aren’t messing around with this.”

May 01, 2020 Here We Go Magic 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 Here We Go Magic frontman Luke Temple, who is also releasing a new album under the name Art Feynman.

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.

Temple is releasing a new album under the name Art Feynman, Half Price at 3:30, on June 26 via Western Vinyl.

A previous press release laid out the Art Feynman persona and the album as such: “As Feynman, Temple uses his dual persona like a needle and thread to stitch art pop, Nigerian highlife, worldbeat, and other less-heard genres into a musical quilt that displays his unmistakable guile and eccentric songcraft.”

Previously Temple shared the album’s first single, “I’m Gonna Miss Your World,” via a Caroline Sallee-directed stop-motion video for the new song. “I’m Gonna Miss Your World” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then he shared another song from the album, “The Physical Life of Marilyn.”

In terms of Temple’s solo work, the album is the follow-up to 2019’s Both-And, 2016’s A Hand Through the Cellar Door, and 2013’s Good Mood Fool, all underappreciated works. In 2017 Temple released his first Art Feynman album, Blast Off Through the Wicker. Here We Go Magic’s last album was 2015’s Be Small.

Read on as Temple reflects on his COVID-19 experience so far.

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 it in San Francisco with my girlfriend, Abby. It’s definitely brought us closer. We haven’t had the opportunity to slow down and spend this much time together before so in that way it’s a gift.

Is everyone in your family safe and healthy so far?


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

We actually have created a very specific routine for ourselves as to not go crazy in the free form, which includes waking at the same time, meditation, exercise outside, creative time. When the stay in place order first started we were treating it as a little vacation, but that soon became too psychologically mushy feeling so we put together a little routine.

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?

In terms of playing live, I had an EU tour in the works scheduled for the summer that has been canceled but I probably wouldn’t have made any money off that anyway. I make most of my money these days doing production for other musicians and artwork for albums and tour merch. I had a bunch of jobs lined up through summer that have all been postponed for an indefinite amount of time, making it a big question mark as to how I’ll survive through the summer. Fingers crossed :)

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?

It’s hard to tell what’s really going on in the U.S. except that it’s each state for itself. I’m in the Bay Area, which was the first to implement the stay in place order and we’ve seemed to begin to flatten the curve while avoiding the worst of it in the way New York has suffered. It’s hard to know who to believe media wise, I have a powerful sense of hatred towards Donald and it’s obvious he’s a sociopath, but I wonder whether to some extent the left media is using his reaction to the pandemic as a way to get him out office and maybe not giving straight facts. He does absolutely need to go and probably be thrown in jail and then in the hole with a camera on him 24 hours a day so the whole world can watch him come apart but aside from that I want to know the absolute truth about this pandemic and not as much partisan bickering. It seems like the rest of the world has dealt with this in much better ways. I’m in favor of the Chinese lockdown method frankly, this isn’t a time to cater to people’s discomforts and supposed “rights” as free citizens if it means more spreading of this thing.

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 fucking idea. I live in the world of Trump haters and I never cross pollinate with his supporters, but apparently there are lots and lots of them. I think Trump is banking on this virus attacking mostly blue states due to their larger populations but if this starts to eat into the interior red areas more, then I think he may be in trouble.

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

NPR, some Democracy Now, Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, and some of Michael Moore’s podcasts. Instagram is really the only social media I’m engaged in and really only on the Luke Temple side of my Luke Temple/Art Feynman divide.

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

Well I think that any kind of slowing down is good for us as a society and hopefully people will learn a taste for it and reflect on the frantic pace at which we normally operate.

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?

Yes, all my family thankfully is taking this very seriously. All my immediate family and I have asthma so we aren’t messing around with this.

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

Labels and streaming platforms, especially Spotify, should be giving artists a much larger cut of profit. Spotify is supposedly starting a donation based fund for artists but I don’t understand why they are asking subscribers to pay when they could just dig into their already enormous pockets. I think they grossed something like seven billion in 2019.

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

I’ve been drawing a lot and listening to NPR mostly, but lately I’ve been listening to a book on tape called Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes about the Pirahã people of the Brazilian rainforest. They don’t have a numerical system in their language.

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 drawing a lot, and doing some recording but I’m taking a little break from music for a bit. I put a lot of pressure on myself in terms of music so I’m using this time to let go a bit. Drawing feels more relaxing.

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?

Yes, toilet paper so far! In terms of food stuff, my girl and I are basically keeping it simple: coffee, oatmeal, apples, bananas, some protein like fish or chicken and lots of greens.

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