Q&A - Nightshift - The Mind Map
By Ellis Toner

Q&A – Nightshift

The pandemic has made me acutely aware of how fortunate I am.

Published 01/03/2021
Pushing boundaries for decades, Nightshift were formed in the ecosystem of Glasgow’s current indie scene.

Comprising DIY, punk, experimentalism and indie pop, this group of creatives have produced Zoe – an album soaked in personal reflection on everything from dyslexia to politics.

Hypnotic, melodic, with hooks that stick around long after you’ve heard them, the band credit the pandemic induced isolation for the openness and creativity of the songs.

Vocalist & primary lyricist Eothen Stearn describes  it as “this gesticulation of reaching out to one another and responding. Building up the next layer and passing it on.”

So, musically enriching, certainly! – but how about mentally? We chat to them with the hope of finding out.

How has the pandemic affected your mental health?

Eo: It has made me feel a sense of impending doom and fear at times.

The unknowing of everything. The injustice and feeling of helplessness.

Georgia:  It’s been mixed. The pandemic has made me acutely aware of how fortunate I am.

I’ve been forced to reflect on how tenuous our existence is, and the certainty of death.

It reminds me to spend my time well.

Chris: It’s been a paranoid time but it’s made me feel very lucky in a lot of ways.

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

Eo: I try to workout. My friend has been running these online queer judgement free workouts which have been amazing.

Also I’ve been trying to do yoga and take moments to focus on breathing to combat my anxiety.

I started cooking things that take a while to make, or have a lot of satisfaction.

Going on walks being near trees. I began growing my own vegetables in summer.

Georgia:  I’m not putting much pressure on myself.

Getting outside to walk or run most days is helpful.

The the fresh air and exercise clears my head.

Seeing friends for walks and having chats on the phone bridges the gap between us.

I do simple things I enjoy like cooking an interesting meal.

Listening to music, playing guitar, watching silly TV.

Chris: I’ve been keeping busy with DIY stuff after moving house in February 2020.

It’s been a really good distraction from the strangeness of the last year.

What are you looking forward to doing once things improve?

Eo: Seeing my friends and family. Dancing, playing music with a line up.

Sweating! Hugging! Eating out in restaurants.

Georgia:  So much.  I hope to have parties with friends in Glasgow – eating & drinking together, dancing, jamming!

I also can’t wait to hop on a plane to the US to see my family and reunite with friends there, and maybe take a road trip.

To swim in the sea and bask in warm weather somewhere.

Scotland is beautiful, but brutal for being grim and cold year-round.

Chris: Playing music in a room with a whole band again.

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

Eo: Two things I watched in lockdown which stay with me, both obviously very different.

It’s a Sin, by Russell T Davies TV drama following late teens/early twenties living in London who have their lives torn apart by HIV/AIDS.

The Mandalorian series, very good.

Books Homegoing by Yaa Gysai.

Georgia:  One book I’d recommend is The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers.

I recently really liked the film Happiness.  I just finished listening to Everywhere at the End of Time by The Caretaker, a series of albums that aim to capture the cognitive decline of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

It was beautiful, but haunting… I’m still thinking about it.

I feel like these are dark recommendations so, finally, I’ll recommend the Australian TV show Rake. 

It’s one of the more entertaining shows I’ve seen in a while.

Cleverly written comedy/political satire with a heart.

Chris: The film Lovers Rock by Steve McQueen is really great.

I thought it was really well made and it has a nice soundtrack.  ‘We Are Who We Are’ is a tv series I enjoyed and ‘Rap Game UK’  is pretty fun to watch too.

Listening to Wake on WFMU a lot, they play good music and I think Clay Pigeon is a really uplifting DJ.

I enjoyed reading Grace Maxwell’s ‘The Restoration of Edwyn Collins’ recently, she is very inspiring.

What advice would you give to 16 year old you?


Hang in there your world will expand and you will meet your people.

There is a lot of potential and difference out there. 

Georgia:  You won’t always feel the same! Quit smoking.

Chris: Chill out mate!

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

Eo: I find this hard to answer sorry. Not sure? I’m not sleeping very well atm. It’s very up and down a lot.

Georgia:  I rely on connection, contemplation, and creation…. coffee!

Probably in that order, also not taking things too seriously.

What are you passionate about?

Eo: Art, friendship, music, food & love.

Georgia:   All the people who are in my life by choice.

Music, travelling, teaching, learning, thinking about mathematics.

Appreciating beauty and the big ideas in life.

Seeking out new experiences, being useful to others, having fun!

Chris: The cats in my life. Jess and Sandy.

Tell us something not many people know about you?

Eo: I’m a certified welder.

Georgia:  I used to do synchronised swimming.

Chris: I’m pretty good at hula hooping.