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The Lockdown 2020 – Karobela

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Music is the soundtrack of our lives, whether we’re aware of it or not, inspiring us and bringing to mind memories both good and bad.

Kent quartet Karobela have grasped this concept firmly and their brand of commercial hard rock is an instant good time party that matches perfectly crafted tunes that are both huge fun and achingly human, making you dance and think at the same time.

With the release of the recent self-titled EP bringing five divine slices of aural goodness to your ears, the band are on the verge of capturing the hearts and minds of the nation and at a time like this we need them more than ever. Singer Lauren Diamond gave us the lowdown on what’s happening in their world.

First off, and most importantly: How are you doing?

We’re all good thank you! Making the most of a weird situation and keeping positive. We’re very lucky we’re all healthy and safe. How are you?

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How have you been keeping yourself busy?

The guys have been working but now furloughed and I’m on maternity so every day is a whirlwind! As a band we’re working on a lot of behind the scenes stuff but continuing to put projects together too. We worked really hard on the release ‘show’ and now working on something else for our lovely fans.

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Have you been doing any online live shows or seen any good ones?

We did our EP release show which went down brilliantly and we had so much support and great feedback! Most bands we know have been doing some incredible online shows, including Scarlet! Salvation Jayne, Tiger Mimic, Marissa and the Moths and more

Have you had to change your way of writing material?

Most definitely, we collaborate a lot on our writing usually at practice but that’s had to change now. Rob and Katie are working on ideas that then get sent to Ben and me to add our stamp on. So, it’s still collaborative of course, but slightly different to what we’re used to! We normally like to spend a lot of time jamming different ideas and seeing what works, but we don’t quite have that freedom at the moment

Do you keep in touch with your fellow bandmates / other musicians much?

We have a group chat we speak in most days and we do weekly video calls to catch up

What plans have you had to change this year?

All of them! We took some time off from December 2019 to write and focus on finalising the EP and 2020 was supposed to be a big year for us to get it all out there. It’s still had a great reception but we had some fantastic gigs and festivals booked all in time to run with the EP that unfortunately haven’t been able to go ahead. But we feel we’ve made the most of a bad situation in doing the EP ‘show’ which had a great audience and fantastic support

What do you think of the social distancing gigs (like the one that happened in Kansas this week – 229 people in a 1,100-seat venue) or the thought of drive-in gigs?

Happy to gig ANYWHERE at the moment. If it can be done safely then great! Speaking to other musicians and music lovers, most say it’s often the most intimate and unusual gigs that leave a great memory and sticks in your mind. So, it could end up being something really good!

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How do you think the music industry will have changed after this period of lockdown?

Exponentially! So many venues are sadly really struggling and if they’re forced to close, it means even less places for fledgling bands to hone their craft and could end up being lots of pay to play because the venues have too many overheads. But hopefully not and the fans will continue to go to the shows and support the venues and young bands. All the great bands now had to start somewhere

What plans have you got for when the isolation finishes and gigs start back up again?

To get out and gig as much as possible. For musicians, not gigging is absolute torture. Our hearts lie on the stage and it feels like there’s a big hole in our lives at the moment. Sometimes it’s tough having to work all day then driving miles for a gig, but when we’re all there together, in the moment and on stage, it’s a feeling you can’t really describe. It’s euphoric. That first gig back will feel incredible!

How can people support you during this time?

Keep buying merch from artists, donating to keep venues going, streaming our songs over and over again, talking about us on social media, get your friends to listen, like/share a post. But also, taking care of yourselves! It’s an incredibly tough and weird situation we live in, and as hard as it is to not be gigging, the safety of the public is what’s most important. So, stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay strong. And keep spreading love

Interview by Paul Monkhouse for MPM

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