As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, Matthew Sweeney of Canadian indie-rock outfit The Elwins shares his Quarantine Diary
[10:30 a.m] Quarantine has done a number on my sleep schedule, but I actually managed to wake up at a fairly decent time today. Most days time is just a construct and I haven’t even glanced at a clock until it’s 4 a.m. and the sun is rising, but today we are t h r i v i n g. I have been in Kingston, O.N., Canada, during the pandemic. I was supposed to be on an American tour this month, but ya’ll know what happened with that. I kicked off the morning with a beautiful (all-American) Krispy Kreme House Roast Keurig K-cup coffee as the next best thing.
[12:00 p.m.] Time flies when you’re shakin’ trees, fishin’ for Red Snappers, and working on the feng shui of your "Animal Crossing" dream home. Today I bought the Top Pop Hairstyles and a new color pack with my Nook Miles, things are really shaping up around here! Feeling like I’m on a spiritual journey of self-expression, but turns out I’m just another millennial in quarantine. Nevertheless, hit me up if your turnip prices are over 400 Bells.
[1:00 p.m.] I’ve been really trying to play and write more music while I have the chance. It’s a slippery slope though, I can put a lot of pressure on myself to do it and then it doesn’t feel fun, so then I don’t do it and procrastinate until I feel guilty. Rinse and repeat over and over. I’ve found talking with my bandmates and setting deadlines has been a good way to make it more fun and exciting. Right now, I’m working on a song with our drummer Travis. He sent me a guitar part that I’m working on writing over. As sh*tty as it is having this pandemic, it has been interesting to see the creative practices that come out of having such rigid limitations.
[4:00 p.m.] I have a livestream today at 5:00 p.m. with Jam In The Van. They are doing a fundraiser for the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund. I worked on a set list and practiced a bit before. I wanted to do it somewhere quiet, so I took the van for a drive and found a spot by the water to set up.
[6:00 p.m.] After the livestream, I went for a walk at a conservation area close by. Being outside has really helped with my anxiety lately. We love a nice golden hour stroll amongst the trees, don’t we??
[7:30 p.m.] After dinner, I went for a walk around the block to admire the sunset. There’s something really cozy about the fact that everybody is home right now. The neighbourhood is lit with the orange glow of full houses. There’s comfort in remembering that we’re all going through this together.
[9:00 p.m.] One of my favorite quarantine pastimes is consuming copious amounts of reality TV. Tonight’s first course is a little "RuPaul’s Drag Race," followed by a main course of "The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart," then capped off with a sweet dessert of "90 Day Fiance: Before The 90 Days." If you’re not watching these shows, you’re probably doing better than me, and that’s okay.
[12:00 a.m.] My alarm goes off to remind me that I have a bedtime. I get a little sidetracked trying to make my cat a TikTok star. Now I’m off to bed to dream about Tom Nook upgrading my home to a two-story.
If you wish to support our efforts to assist music professionals in need, learn more about the Recording Academy's and MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.
If you are a member of the music industry in need of assistance, visit the MusiCares website.