Amputate corporate art

By John Clay

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We asked The K. about their hiatus after the last European tour, their rebirth and how the lockdown affected their band and the Belgian post-punk scene. And as you can imagine, it doesn’t look good over there either.

The K.: Touring all across Europe as a DIY band is extremely exhausting. We just needed a break. You’re working nine to five, you sometimes have a family, and you’re subsequently spending all your free time in a van with the same four or five people. We just had to give it some time and distance between us to regain that joy of being together and making music. 

What’s the local scene in Belgium positive for post-punk, or is there another genre of music that has more momentum behind it?

The K.: There’s always been a profusion of good alternative bands in Belgium. Like in the UK there’s probably more money behind popular genres, but bands here are quite well “marketable” outside of Belgium. There’s clearly a scene and sometimes “a sound”. Antwerp and Ghent have their own scenes and good following communities for any kind of alternative genres. 

How are artists dealing with life in lockdown in Belgium?   

The K.: Most of them are broadcasting live from their sofas, living rooms or whatsoever. And like everywhere else it was already getting really dull after two weeks. We’re now eight weeks after the lockdown started so you can imagine. I don’t know if anything good that will last long term is going to pop up from this period actually. Not to be a party pooper but our job as a band is to make music and to perform it live. 

Do you think you’ll do any online sessions to keep your band visible given the lockdown situation?

The K.: We had kept some videos for future release. So we don’t have to force people watching another living room session of a guitar player sitting on a sofa. Haha. We started a bike delivery campaign last week. Still, our freedom of movement is restrained so we can’t really meet up to create something together. 

What do you think will be the effect of the music community in your homeland given the constraints of the lockdown?

The K.: That’s unclear. The whole art and entertainment community is waiting for a date and clear measures from the government, for when the lockdown will be lifted. Until that happens, it’s hard to tell. Live venues are under pressure, bands released records that they can’t really promote now. I’m scared that it could be disastrous for the whole music community. 

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Cover photo by Oliver Donnet