Insides: Ulrich Rois
Hello, how are you?
I’m fine thanks. I’m very grateful that I can spend this time with loved ones but I’m pissed off about what’s going on politically and even more anxious than usual about the general situation.
Where are you right now?
I’m at my mom’s house in Lower Austria, where we also have our studio with Sky Burrow Tales. My partner and I have spent the lockdown between here and our Vienna apartment.
Which sounds surround you?
The most prominent sound here is birdsong. They start before sunrise and go on the whole day, sometimes so loud you can hear it through the closed windows while music is playing. The neighbors are renovating, so sometimes there’s also the sound of construction work.
Have you been productive so far? What are you working on?
We recorded a new EP with SBT and we also did a children’s books reading with music for Rrriot TV.
Other than that I’ve done some editing and translation work and I wrote an almost complete homebrew campaign for Dungeons and Dragons.
Children’s Books Reading (last 27 min of video)
What inspires you right now?
My partner, nature, music, books, movies, video games
Reading material you can recommend?
I recently read and completely enjoyed Prince’s (unfinished) autobiography “The Beautiful Ones”. It’s a fantastic work about leading a creative life.
I absolutely love the new release Matt Valentine put out on May 1, “Cosmic Oooze”. The recent split LP by Prana Crafter and ragenap and the recent live LP by Dire Wolves, “Flow and Heady” have also been on heavy rotation here.
Recently re-watched and loved “Princess Mononoke”. Everything by Terrence Malick. “A Hidden Life” was the last movie I saw in the cinema before the lockdown.
What’s your opinion on live-streams? You see any alternative ways to support the music community?
If people enjoy doing and watching them, why not? Nothing can replace the experience of a show, though. I guess at the moment buying releases directly from artists and labels is the best way to support the music community. I really have no idea how venues will be able to survive this. Personally I can’t see myself doing or attending shows if you would have to wear a mask. Limiting the number of people in attendance could be a possibility, I think. Personally I don’t enjoy overcrowded shows anyway and if all parties involved can adjust their expectations accordingly, this might be the way to go for the foreseeable future. Most stuff I’m interested in is kind of self-limiting in size anyway, so that might even be an opportunity.
What are you missing most? What are you afraid of?
I just really miss just not having to worry about this the whole time. What worries me most is the widespread acceptance of authoritarian policies and the support for right-wing governments that has seemingly grown in this time of crises. I’m afraid that topics like the plight of the refugees on the Greek islands don’t receive the attention they should because of a combination of rising nationalism and sensationalist media coverage.
“times of crises can bring out both the best and the worst in people”
What will change you think?
I think this crisis offers both dangers and opportunities. It has never been clearer that capitalism is a death trap and this would be a great opportunity to change how we value human life in our society. I don’t want to seem too pessimistic but so far it looks as if people who are already struggling will have to bear the brunt of the crises, whereas big corporations are getting bailed out.
Generally, I think times of crises can bring out both the best and the worst in people. It’s heartwarming to see all the benefit compilations for food banks, etc. that people have put out and lots of other projects but it can be sickening to ponder what’s going on in politics and economy.
The way this is being handled is of course a catastrophe for culture but we’re like weeds, soon there will be some weird flowers growing through cracks in the concrete of society again.
What is the gig or occasion you were most looking for, that was cancelled in this period?
We had to cancel our first tour with Sky Burrow Tales. We were very much looking forward to that but hope to be able to re-schedule in autumn or in the worst case next year.
Are you still able to pay your rent?
I was lucky to get some editorial work during lockdown, but of course it’s hard and I count myself extremely grateful that I have a very good support network in my family. Many people don’t have this and don’t have any source of income right now. A basic income for everyone would have been the only intelligent solution to this situation, in my humble opinion and a step in our society’s evolution that is long overdue anyway.