Pic: Matthew Garoffolo UnSplash
This past week it has just been announced that there will be no live music in bars for the coming months in Ireland. Still side-lined, what does this mean for a musician whose income is derived solely from live music? As with other industries, it’s been a testing time and has been devastating for some no doubt. But what about the day-to-day? How does one approach a situation with no concrete solution or answers? As that time has gone by, and with more a year out of action we ask Colm, again, how he’s been dealing with the stasis of his situation.
“I’ve just tried to remain active, giving myself something to do daily. Monday to Friday, really and try and get into a different head space for the weekend. If the crisis has taught me anything it’s the importance of routine. So there’s always emails to be sent and new avenues to explore in terms of getting our music out there. Research takes up a good chunk of my time.” In what way? “Well, just trying to identify people or publications who might like our music and share it. It’s a global effort, haha. I search everywhere and anywhere.” I remember you’d been featured in some publications last year, any success this year? “Yes, actually. Preacher’s Daughter was added to Heat On The Street’s Start Me Up Playlist on Spotify, and we were featured on a blog called Indie Buddie. I was really happy with that because they’re Irish and it’s a really good platform with some great acts covered. Those features were both this month (May). In April Preacher’s Daughter was played on Tracks Show on Dublin South FM. Thanks again to Eoin and Noel the presenters.” So can we expect to see the Hot Touches featured in more publications this year? “If not, it won’t be for a lack of trying anyway, haha. Hopefully. It’d be nice to make a breakthrough.” You were promoting Preacher’s Daughter as well last year. Why have you decided to start promoting the same song this year? “Because I don’t have a clue what I’m doing! By the time I started getting it out there last year, promotion time for it was coming to an end. Rookie mistake by me. It’s a summer song and I started promoting too late. Now is a good time to start promoting again and we can hope for a better out come.” So far, so good. Indie Buddie gave it a nice write up. “Definitely. It was great to be fair. I’ll get some great mileage out of that one, haha. But seriously, it was very complimentary and puts us on a good footing for the next month or so in terms of promotion.”
So we’ve spoken about the routine side of things, administration and promotion etc. Have you been playing or writing much music over the past few months? “A bit. I always write here and there so that’s nothing unusual, but I usually played a lot more, even when I was gigging. But I’m just so focused on the research I suppose I don’t create enough time for playing. Also, it kind of reminds you of the situation that we’re in. But things are looking up so hopefully it all be closer to normal as soon as we’re all fully vaccinated and that.” So it’s fair to say that the Hot Touches have remained inactive for this whole time, too? “Last June (2020) was when we last got together for our virtual launch on The Tatler Jack’s Live Lounge sessions here in Killarney. We might get together soon though, as restrictions relax. Just to go through some songs and have some fun. Maybe practise for an imaginary gig, haha.” Supposing things do get back to normal a little quicker than expected would you try and have the band do a gig as soon as you could? “I’d love a live launch. We did a gig once before for some YouTube live footage and had a great time. We did launch on-line last year but there’s nothing like playing in front of people and feeding off the reaction. So, that’s the first gig back and I keep playing it over and over in my mind. I’d love it.” Music is for sharing! “Oh, it is. It really is. It’s about a shared experience, knowing that you’re not alone, about connection. That’s where music and sport and the arts in general show their worth to us as human beings. And while we’re all sharing this Covid experience together, the lines of connection have been broken. Let’s hope we can all plug in again soon!!!”