COVID-19 has put most musicians’ careers on hold – but for Indie band Yellow Lines, it’s just the beginning.
Mason Guthrie, 17 and Lewis Gardner, 21, from Barry, decided the extra time they had in lockdown would be the perfect opportunity to set up a band.
I spoke to the band’s vocalist and guitarist, Mason, about why now was the right time and what it’s like starting out during a global pandemic.
“We’ve been friends for six or seven years, but only decided to start a band recently after finding a common interest in what music we like.
“It started as a hobby really.”
Only a month after forming, the duo has already released two singles on Spotify - ‘Messy Bun’ and ‘The Love Bottle.’
But because of current government restrictions they haven’t been able to get into a studio, so all their music has been recorded and produced using smartphones and a laptop. Interestingly, they’ve never performed together physically either.
Talking about the challenges they faced, Mason said: “We were surprised how well the music turned out because of the circumstances, but we do want to re-record the songs once lockdown is over.
“It would be easier if we could be together instead of just Facetiming – our ideas would bounce off each other more.”
However, they haven’t let that stop them as Mason tells me they have a new EP which will be released by October this year.
When asked if he thinks being in a duo makes them different to other bands these days, he said: “I’d say so, yeah.
“I also think it makes it easier too because there’s less opinions.
“So many good bands have faded away because of disagreements.”
Despite their music falling in the ‘indie’ genre, the boys are both studying musical theatre - which made me question why they chose that style of music for the band.
“I think it’s because we both love Pink Floyd and another Welsh singer called Martin Joseph.
“They definitely inspired our music, which makes it easy to change from the two genres.”
But that isn’t all, Lewis is also a Welsh Beatboxing Champion, which the pair hope to include in their music when they get into a studio.
So, what’s next for the band?
“We hope to grow our following and keep making music.
“There’s a few gigs we have penciled in when lockdown is over too, but most importantly we want to come out of this with good mental health.
“It’s so easy for us to spend all our time on our phones because there’s nothing else to do at the moment – the band has been a great distraction.”
You can keep up with Yellow Lines on Instagram (@yellowlinesofficial,) and listen to ‘Messy Bun’ and ‘The Love Bottle’ on Spotify.
Olivia is going into her second year of Journalism at the University of South Wales and provides online content for Bro Radio.