As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 19 – Spring 2022
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned about yourself as a musician and as an individual through COVID?
~ Matthew Douglas
That is a fabulous question. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I don’t function very well if I can’t play live… and I don’t mean live stream. I mean LIVE live. I need to feel and feed off the energy of an in-person audience. There’s just something missing for me when it comes to online performances, and oftentimes I feel hollow afterward. I know people are being supportive, commenting, and cheering virtually, but it’s just very strange when you finish a song and no one’s applauding.
When everything closed up and musicians couldn’t play live shows anymore, I kind of shut down. There are so few avenues left where we can make money (live shows being one of them), so when that happened, I didn’t know what the heck I was going to do. I suppose I could have done more writing during that time, but I felt so uninspired because my livelihood was taken away, and I was scrambling to survive. Instead, I took most of that time to really self-reflect and figure out what I really wanted to do with my life and career.
What I learned is that music isn’t the only thing that defines me. I like to think of myself as more of an artist in general nowadays, as I have a lot of different interests and abilities in the creative realm. I started to delve more into photography and videography. I traveled more. I spent more time with my family than I have in years. I met an amazing man who saved me in so many ways during the pandemic, and now we’re engaged. I finally took a moment to just breathe for a change.
There are obviously a lot of negative things I can say about the pandemic, but what I am grateful for is that I had some time to really look inward, develop some new skills, and remind myself that music is still very much in my blood and bones, and that I can’t live without it.
Here’s hoping you learned a lot about yourself during this time, too.
~ Alexx Calise