Brothers Osborne Have Picked Up Some Quarantine Hobbies That Help With Mental Health
Like most other country artists, the Brothers Osborne have found themselves with an unexpected and dramatic uptick of downtime during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the sibling duo have found creative ways to keep busy while they're stuck at home.
Early on during quarantine, bandmate TJ Osborne spent some time perfecting his skills in the kitchen, learning to cook the perfect steak. Now, he says, he's moved on to other — perhaps less sophisticated — pursuits.
"One thing that I do play — and you know what, I don't care, for those of you out there who hate guys that do this — I like to online game at night. It's very helpful for my mental health," TJ recently told Taste of Country Nights with a laugh.
The singer goes on to say that he prefers multi-player games like Call of Duty, but he's selective about who he teams up with, typically preferring to game with friends instead of strangers.
"I don't play with random people. Mainly because you end up playing with, like, a 12-year-old, who just cusses non-stop," TJ jokingly explains. "That's part of why I play, I end up playing with friends that I've had for a long time, that I don't get to see anymore. I didn't get to see them when we were touring, so that's really where it started. It was like, 'Oh man, this is a cool way for us to stay in touch, you know, and feel like we're hanging out.' And then, obviously, we went into quarantine...honestly, it was kind of a life-saver."
As for his brother and bandmate? John Osborne has spent quarantine digging deeper into painting, a hobby he's long enjoyed but hasn't always had time to dig into. Like TJ, John explains his painting hobby has eased some of the stress of the pandemic, as well as the fatigue he felt after finishing the band's newest record, Skeletons, early in 2020.
"I was really exhausted with fatigue ... just getting my butt kicked with touring and working non-stop. By the time we finished our record, I'm like, 'You know, I love music, but it's just not really doing it for me at the moment.' I was a little fried," he explains.
Plus, while painting and making music are both artistic processes, John says that making visual art is a different experience for him because compared to making music, he's still a novice at it.
"I have kind of a natural ability but it doesn't come super easy, so I have to really focus on what I'm doing. And that's what I love about it," he explains. "Because music, it's amazing and it has its own challenges, but we've done it for so long it doesn't require as much brainpower as it maybe did when we were learning."
John recently showed off his quarantine project, posting a snap of himself along with his painting of rocker Mick Jagger on Instagram. However, fans shouldn't expect John to start posting his artwork for sale: Unlike music, it's a hobby, not a career, and he's happy to keep it that way.
"The thing with music used to be that it was something that I would do because it got me out of my world, right? It was sacred. It was only mine. Then you get to the point where it's your career — and you're very very lucky, you're very fortunate, and it's really amazing. It's a gift," John relates. "But it couples itself with — now you have to perform. You have to show up. You have to always be 'on.' And it kinda loses its sacredness, a little bit.
"Now, painting for me ... I'm only doing it just because I want to, and I don't have to be great at it," he adds.
But although John is modest about his painting skills, his Mick Jagger portrait shows some serious artistic talent, and stars including Randy Houser, Dierks Bentley and Hailey Whitters all chimed in in the comments section to say how impressed they were by the painting. TJ jokingly objects to all the compliments directed towards his brother, adding that anyone who's a fan of John's painting abilities would be even more impressed if they got a front-row seat to his own quarantine hobby.
"Well, wait 'til you see me online game," he adds drily. "It's pretty impressive."
Listen to the Brothers Osborne's Interview on ToC Nights:
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