The Drive-By Truckers were planning on spending March on the road in support of their new album, The Unraveling. Instead, band members have been at home with their families, riding out the coronavirus pandemic, and eager to resume touring later this year. Here, in his own words, is how the group’s Patterson Hood has been making the best of his quarantine at home in Portland, Oregon.
I’ve been trying to be helpful and present with the family, but also trying to be as creative and useful as I can. The kids are glad to have me unexpectedly home, but they’re also kinda stressed out about the conditions, and we’re all going a little stir-crazy from being cooped up at home.
It’s a tough balance between wanting them to understand the magnitude but not wanting to freak them out. Us too. I’ve been hoping to do some writing of songs, as well as a book project that I have been working on for some time and never really have enough time for. We’ve also recently built me an office in the attic of our house and I’ve been trying to get a little bit moved into it.
I’ve been listening to a little bit of everything, from old favorites to new stuff that has been knocking me out. The Porridge Radio album Every Bad has been in constant rotation. What a killer album. I’m loving the new Lilly Hiatt and Caroline Rose albums, and the King Krule album Man Alive!, and Gil Scott-Heron’s We’re New Again (A Reimagining By Makaya McCraven), which I‘ve been playing every day.
I’m also a judge for the Vic Chesnutt Songwriting Contest (based in Athens, Georgia), so I’ve had some extra time to really focus on listening to the entries. For older stuff, I’m loving those Big Star reissues of the first two albums, and I’ve been on a Sandinista! jag of late. The Clash just never seems to grow old.
I want to wish everyone luck in surviving this crazy time, physically, mentally, and financially. I’m really stressed about so many people being without their livelihoods for an indefinite length of time. Feeling like no one is in charge on a national level is making all of that way more stressful. I fear for my industry and the service industry in general.
If you’re feeling alone, reach out to friends, via whatever medium you can, and know that you’re not alone.