Q&A - Buffet Lunch - The Mind Map
By Tess Leigh-Phillips

Q&A – Buffet Lunch

“Throughout this time I think it’s been important to give yourself an easier ride.”

Published 22/06/2021
 ” There is detail, and deliberateness in our wish to explore and create…”

Buffet Lunch are Scottish purveyors of humour-tinged, DIY pop.

The group comprises of Perry O’Bray (Vocals/Keys/Guitar), Neil Robinson (Bass), John Muir (Lead Guitar) & Luke Moran (Drums), united by a shared love of music across all genres.

Let’s uncover the characters behind the music . . .

How has the pandemic affected your mental health?

Perry: It’s been pretty tough not seeing anyone and life has become very small. I have been working in social care throughout though and that has helped a lot

John: It’s been tough, really tough. I live alone, so I’ve only got myself to vibe with. Sometimes the vibes aren’t great.

Luke: Not too badly – I feel sheltered from the worst of it really.

Like most people there have been tougher periods when the weight of not being able to see family and friends hits home, and last year there was an initial wave of ‘nice things being cancelled’- but other than that I’ve nothing to complain about!

Our album has been a great distraction from things too.

Are you doing anything differently to look after your mental health during this period?

Perry:I turned my shed into a tiny little art studio and have been spending more time outside before and after work, explored the local area more too and started a naff little tourist brochure called ‘Edinburgh’ – all the places around Edinburgh that aren’t just off the royal mile.

John: I’ve been journaling and reading a lot. I got into meditation and yoga. I’ve been mostly sober this past year, which is pretty big for me.

Luke: I’ve never been particularly hard on myself (sometimes to my detriment!) but throughout this time I think it’s been important to give yourself an easier ride.

Want to watch another episode of your box set? Want another few squares of chocolate? Crack on! I think getting some exercise everyday is important, but besides that just doing what I can to cope.

What are you looking forward to doing once things improve?

Perry: Really looking forward to starting to put gigs on again, we used to put on a gig roughly once every couple a months in Edinburgh which was great so hoping to get booking some touring bands again soon.

John: Hugging all of my friends. Going to all the gigs and exhibitions.

Luke: Just general life experiences – seeing family and friends, pints, live music (playing and watching), live sport and going on holiday. As much as playing gigs is great I do miss band practice just as much.

Meeting up with your pals after work and going for a ‘swift half’ afterwards was/will be an absolute joy.

Speaking of work, it has been very busy throughout, so I’m hopeful it might calm down just a bit.

What new TV, films, music or books have you discovered during lockdown that you’d recommend?

Perry: Tim Key – He used thought as a wife. Scabby Queen – Kirstin Innes

John: Nothing new, but new to me.I’ve been watching the early work of Wenders, Herzog and Cassavetes.

I’ve been reading a lot of books on stoicism.

We made a ridiculous playlist on Spotify that’s currently at 90 hours of music.

I often put that on shuffle and go about my day.

Luke: Tim Keys book- ‘He used thought as a wife’ which was written in Lockdown 1 was great.

Very funny and weirdly comforting to read about someone stuck in their flat for the best part of a year. The book looks great too!

What advice would you give to a 16 year old you?

Perry: Practice guitar a bit more and find more time to make stuff/do hobbies. Maybe don’t study history and make art instead

John: Do better at school. Help your mum.

Luke: Enjoy yourself.

If you had to draw a pie chart for what keeps you mentally well – what would it look like? 

Perry: 20% Sea/Coast/Mountains – 15% Making/playing Music – 15% Making Art – 15%Dog – 30%Family & Friends 5% Pub

John:30% sleep, 20% good diet, 10% writing lists, 20% doing the things on my list, 20% Journaling/reading.

Luke: 40% sweet food/baked goods consumption, 40% TV, film & music consumption, 10% daily walks, 10% inane football chat.

What are you passionate about?

Perry: Music

John: Music, art, books, cooking, sleeping. Making lists

Luke: Buffet Lunch! Leeds United!

Tell us something not many people know about you?

Perry: I once cooked Brian Eno dinner twice on consecutive nights – he ordered salmon with new potatoes.

John: I once was a harvester of the sea.

Luke: Despite my intimidating stature, awful vibe, and frankly, terrible opinions… I’m actually a total sweetheart!