Interview, Our City, Our World

Sweet Brian Poulin says there’s light at the end of the tunnel

Video Filth frontman and punk scene pillar talks covid times

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This interview was conducted over several weeks via an email conversation.

Dan Shea:
So, who are you and where are you?

Brian Poulin:
I’m Brian Poulin and currently I’m in Somerville, Massachusetts.

DS:
And how would you say the pandemic affected your music life, your work life, and your community in general?

BP:
As far as music life, I’ve had to cancel basically every show I had booked in March and April. It’s a bummer but I’m trying to remain positive. As of now I’m laid off from work which really sucks because unemployment doesn’t really give you anything. The community I live in feels like a ghost town. All my peers seem to be trying to stay as strong as possible. It hard to stay positive when you don’t have an estimated end date for this thing though. We’ll find a way though.

DS:
The ambiguity surrounding the future of things right now is vary hard. Would you say you’re finding any new creative outlets? Are you hopeful that the government is going to be sending a check to help you out?

BP:
Honestly the most I’ve been able to do to be creative is to write in a notebook and maybe make some collages. I have been going on weird walks in the woods and taking pictures with an old camera so I’m hoping those pictures come out cool and I will enjoy them once they are developed. I’m not hopeful about getting a check sent to me. I’m kinda on the I’ll believe it when I see it team haha.

DS:
Well, it looks like a check IS coming, but with a boatload of corporate bailout back end that has nothing to do with saving lives or jobs. So many politicians are just criminals straight up. It’s fucking disgusting. NOT, that I need to tell you.

Walks in the woods are the real deal. My wife and I have been out there with my sons a bunch staving off their cabin fever.

Do you think this experience, this situation will have any long term lasting effects on how the punk and underground art and music communities operate?

BP:
I definitely think it will have lasting effects at least with how the venues that hold shows operate, or at least how they operate the financial side of the business because they have got to be financially hurting

DS:
But what about people going to shows? You think it’s going to take a long time for people to get back into being around other people again? I obviously throw shows too. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Like, even after everything is “all clear” whenever and however that might happen, attendance for shows could be hurt for a long time. Not trying to be a downer, just sharing my thoughts. UGH!

BP:
I honestly have high hopes that the first show after this is going to be great! I think everyone is going to need a serious release! I am getting unemployment and I found some under the table work to make ends meet. It’s gonna be some hard times for people, but New Englanders are too folks. We will get through it without a doubt!

DS:
Yeah I hear that man. Punks are a different breed also so maybe a punk show, especially some 4 Minute Warning action, or the like, is more likely to be a ripper. Especially the back from quarantine gig! Who’s gonna play?

Great about unemployment. I know some people having issues for some reason which is just cataclysmic obviously.

Is it just you and Nicole where you’re at? You leave the house for anything besides food?

BP:
I’m not really sure what the first gig back will be. Yes it’s just Nicole and I at our apartment. We’ve definitely left the house for walks and such. I can’t just stay inside or I’ll lose my mind. It just feels so weird out in the world lately so going out for a walk can just seem eerie at times.

DS:
Yeah not really a time for planning gigs.
IT IS weird out in the world. Every day I go to work, the commute is extremely short and I stop nowhere. Except for gas when I must. I’ve begun taking exotic routes to and from just to liven it up a bit. In JP there’s like hundreds of people walking around the pond @ all times. My fam and I aren’t going anywhere near that shit. We’ve been hitting up strange corners of the wooded outskirts of the city and city parks. We see people, but not that many. Just trying to stay away from people cuz there’s so many who STILL aren’t dealing with this whole thing in a serious manner. You HAVE to get outside though, I hear that. I would lose my mind just staying in my tiny place.

BP:
Yea it definitely sucks that a lot of people aren’t taking the whole thing seriously at all. I wish that people would understand the sooner this stuff is dealt with the sooner things can open back up.

DS:
NO SHIT! And now all these protesters (not here thank the lawd, as far I know of anyway). ave you seen that shit?

BP:
Yea they are god damn ridiculous and don’t even understand how much harder they are making everything for everyone else around them!

DS:
It hadn’t even dawned on me, but after reading a few things (and maybe this is just conspiracy theory) it seems plausible that these protesting freaks are on someone’s payroll to be doing what they are doing. It’s getting harder to know what is real and what is not. And all the while I get closer and closer to vomiting.

Ok, anything to leave us with Brian? I think it’s time to wrap on up.

BP:
Just for everyone to be safe and aware of everything happening and to not lose hope because there is light at the end of the tunnel!

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