We checked in with Ty Vaughn (Broadway Calls) and Rich Salsbury (Soviet Machines) on how they spent 2020, what they learned, and their thoughts and hopes for what 2021 will hold, as part of our New Year’s Evolutions Series!
Ty Vaughn – Broadway Calls
Ty Vaughn of Oregon’s Broadway Calls has spent lockdown in one of the wildest places to be, with protests, militias, and mayhem, but stuck to making music with his long time crew, talking shit on his new podcast, cleaning his guns, and of course, reading his New Noise!
I spent most of 2020 trying to figure out why my dog was barking. Sometimes it was the MAGA turds outside my house waving a flag, but mostly it was at me for watching too much TV with those same people on it.
I spent this year in fear. I never want to feel that close to civil war in this country again. I learned what getting tear-gassed feels like. It sucks. I bought things like ammunition and gas masks to feel safer from the outside world. That sucks. I didn’t really feel like myself for a good chunk of 2020 even though I was lucky enough to spend most of it in the comfort of my own home.
We put a record out. It’s called Sad In The City and it’s on Red Scare Industries. It’s our first record in the better part of a decade and we’re really proud of it.
When the pandemic hit and our record was finished, we had those painful couple of weeks deciding if we even put the record out even though our tours (that we hadn’t been playing for seven years) were all getting canceled. I’m glad we decided to get it out. So many bands know the pain of putting music out and not being able to play it live. We’re at least lucky enough to all live within an hour from each other, so almost every Sunday of 2020 was spent up at Josh’s house. We made a couple music videos in his garage and out in the hills. Some of them you’ve seen, some you will. We played Sad In the City front to back several times this year so we’re ready when shows come back.
We also fucked around and found out we could still play songs from our youth! We re-learned a bunch of Countdown To Life songs and had Danny come out to do vocals and hang out. It’s actually been a pretty cool year in the playing music department. No audience though. Kind of used to that.
We started a podcast with our friend Trevor that is a very honest conversation through the lens of a support band. It’s called The Load In. We can get kind of mean on there at times, so beware if you have fragile ears and/or care about the feelings of band guys from the early part of the 21st century we may have toured with.
I work three days a week in a wood fired pizza food cart. It rules! I spent 2019 as a mail carrier for the USPS and I quit because I knew we had a record coming out and the Post Office would never let me tour… but I love this new job. I’ve kind of been working with pizza since I was 16, on and off, and I found a place with a cool boss that listens to Toys That Kill and The Muffs, so I feel right at home. I bring pizza home three nights a week so it’s actually been really helpful in not having to go out to the store and be in public.
Like everyone else in 2020 I learned to Zoom. I hate it, but it’s what we got. Some pretty cool people asked me to do some live streams from my living room, so between doing that and learning how to podcast with the same equipment I kind of at least feel a little competent in that field. Even though the first five to ten minutes of every episode is us making sure we’re all recording, so maybe I’ll learn how to edit in 2021?
Starting this year off with the Capitol riot was not exactly what I expected, but if you’ve heard Sad In The City, you’ll know I expected something similar. How could you not if you’ve been paying attention? But all those people had their platforms taken away, social media profiles disappeared, so out of sight out of mind, right? I’m sure they won’t be back to cause any major problems…
I don’t see us coming back from that to any kind of normalcy at all. I expect even more terror from the Right Wing than we experienced under Trump, because they get to play the victim card even harder now. I hope the vaccine rolling out helps people get back to a more normal way of living, but I don’t think the bastards will let us forget they’re still here.
Anyway, I’m gonna keep reading my issues of New Noise and cleaning my guns, and I hope all of you out there find some comfort and some distractions in 2021. We will see you all in 2022 (or maybe at Fest?)!
Rich Salsbury – Soviet Machines
Rich Salsbury of Minneapolis, MN garage rock band, The Soviet Machines kept occupied with all the trappings of making and promoting a new album and looks forward to a post-COVID explosion of creativity.
We spent the year rebuilding personal connections and friendships, reviving The Soviet Machines— all the rehearsing and preparing that went into putting the record together, traveling to and from Seattle to record it with Jack Endino, creating new music, and making plans for the future.
We travelled to Seattle to create the record, and within a week we were talking with DC-Jam about releasing it, which opened up a new world of doing lots of interviews and making our own music videos and taking photographs and creating other promo material. It’s been a blast and a little overwhelming.
We collectively learned how to once again be a band. We witnessed firsthand the benefits of a rigorous rehearsal schedule. We experimented with home recording techniques and demos. Rich had never played bass in a band before and took to exploring that world.
We’re taking it as it comes but staying hopeful and waiting for the live music scene to re-open its doors.
2021 will see a creative explosion. New artists will emerge in unprecedented numbers. Established artists will have spent a lot of private time with their work and will see an increased depth and evolution to their craft and their creative process. People will have largely reevaluated the roles of work, freedom, recreation, and social relationships in their lives.