This time last year we were celebrating the release of The Impossible Wild album by The Last Inklings. Here’s news of Inklings’ Leo MacKenzie and David Hoyland’s upcoming six part podcast series, Limited Bandwidth.
Through conversations with artists, expert specialists, and a panel of audience members the podcasts aim to unite multiple strands of research into social media and its effect on mental health for the first time, and provide helpful advice and tips on how to balance our online and real world lives.
Episodes will be released fortnightly between 28th September and 7th December.
What’s the starting point? The Last Inklings have returned gigging this year with the struggle to balance creative practise with maintaining an online presence has been the ever present thread through a lot of their conversations with artists and other industry professionals alike.
There is a general view that social media has become a necessary evil. This podcast is their rather positive response, with each episode delving into a different aspect of how social media works and distilling helpful tips and advice on how artists and general users alike can manage their online presence and social media use in a sustainable and healthy way.
The series begins with two episodes focussing on the experiences of singer songwriter Chris Cleverley and session double bassist John Parker, two artists working in different areas of the music industry. In each of the following three episodes David and Leo will be in conversation with an expert guest – cyberpsychologist Dr Sarah Hodge, digital marketing expert Mischa Weston-Green, therapist Nicola Neath – unpicking a different facet of how social media works and offering suggestions for safeguarding mental health and maintaining a balance between creative practice and a sustainable online presence. In the final episode of the series a panel of audience members will be invited to share their view from the other side of the stage and discuss the way they use social media and how they interact with their favourite artists online.
Listen to the pilot episode here:
The post-pandemic situation and current economic squeeze remains very challenging for the music industry. Ticket sales for live shows remain suppressed in the face of the looming economic crisis and amidst ongoing audience covid hesitancy. Many of the shows about to happen this autumn were first booked in 2019 and have been rescheduled several times, causing hardship for so many in the industry over the past two and a half years.
“We’re professional musicians,” say Leo and David, “but now we also have to be social media experts, digital marketing specialists, content creators, and influencers. It’s absolutely alien to us. Suddenly we’ve had to really understand what the word algorithm means, how many of them are out there helping and hindering. And it’s not just us. Clearly there are a large number of other artists out there struggling to learn this new skill set. This is the harsh reality of something that has moved so quickly. We still haven’t caught up yet.”
Real world gig promotion has often not been resumed by venues and promoters post-pandemic while social media platforms endlessly evolve their algorithms in unhelpful ways that most of us do not have the skills to keep up with. Pressure grows on artists to do more social media marketing than was ever expected of them pre pandemic. It’s easy to feel like no one cares and it’s understandable that the mental health of artists is suffering.