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LIFE IN LOCKDOWN with Jonathan Horstmann

Following the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdown, Kate Blaising photographed and interviewed each musician socially distanced within their homes to capture and discuss the changes to their lives, music, and creative spirit. Photo Cred: @kablaising 

Photo by Howard Photo and Film

Jonathan Horstman (V3CO) is the lead singer of Urban Heat, Austin, Tx.

When we were in Thailand, were you worried about the virus, did you know what it was, or how it would affect you physically? JH: Yes, I was very aware there was something potentially big happening, but I didn't think we would be at the place we got to. We wore our masks when we thought we'd be around other people and used hand sanitizer generously. Do you think the virus is real? JH: Yes How has quarantine impacted your creative process?  JH: Well having my 2 year old at home constantly basically shifts everything. I would need to get up at 4 am in order to really get anything done. I shifted from focusing on finishing an album to bite-size bits of social content, and have tried to become a better marketer and PR for myself since there wasn't much reason to focus on live performance. Did you write new music? If yes, what was the fuel behind that fire… what kept you going? If no, what was holding you back?  JH: I have written more new music during this period than any other. By focusing on shorter sketches for social media I basically fleshed out the hooks for tons of tunes and whenever I needed to develop something further I would just look into the stash of half-finished pieces and go from there. Social media has also been a great way to test new material without committing to a full release. Did you make any impulse purchases? JH: I don't know if I made IMPULSE purchases but I did have to buy a lot of gear in order to continue producing during the quarantine. So livestream gear and some outboard recording equipment and upping my sequencer game. 

If you could call your past self… lets say when we were in Thailand, what would you tell yourself? JH: Don't sweat the small stuff.

Who were you quarantined with? What was that like? JH: I was quarantined with my wife and daughter. We went to North Carolina to get childcare help from my mother-in-law and basically ended up quarantining with her side of the family. I set up an office and studio above the garage and had a dedicated creative space for a while. Was life much different when quarantined? What was new, or what comforted you during quarantine? JH: We went to a pretty empty beach for a week and I got to surf like 3 times a day. I have been able to really focus on building relationships with fans and editing a ton of video. Started meditating. Started learning day-trading. Basically I've been really focused on living my best life and keeping the dark thoughts out. Did you watch other Austin musician live streams? Did you perform any livestreams? Or why did you decide not to livestream? If you did perform livestreams, what was it like to connect with others? If you didn’t livestream, how do you see yourself in the future performing under these circumstances? JH: I hate a livestream lol but I recognize it as a necessary evil. Once I bit the bullet and was able to do it at the quality I wanted it became an incredible experience. There are fans that will hit me up to make sure I'm still doing one of my 2 weekly livestreams, we'll check in on each other's wellbeing. Its a really great way to foster and connect with the community you are building around your music.

I watched some of my Project ATX6 mate's streams, Mobley, and the one where Post Malone covered Nirvana. The Post Malone stream was the one that helped me realize how special they could be. How do you find inspiration when life..just..stops..? JH: Turn on the synths, turn on drone mode, and start tweaking knobs.

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