In Corona Corner, we are asking musicians how the outbreak has effected them, how did they adapt to the situation, what did they learn. Today, our Quarantine Story comes from Saskatchewan and Before & Apace.
Hi! How are you doing during corona outbreak?
Doing ok. I’m a fairly extreme introvert, so the isolation kind of agrees with me. That said, there are still a whole bunch of extra challenges that life in a pandemic has revealed, and so I’m looking forward to a return to some sort of normalcy.
How are you doing? (Seriously, though. I feel it’s important to ask that question lots these days).
What have you cancelled/postponed due coronavirus?
While on one hand, the pandemic has allowed me to focus on releasing this album that has actually been completed for years and has just needed the final push, I’m also in another band whose recording has been stalled. I’m definitely looking forward to resuming it, but for now, the gathering restrictions in my city don’t allow for my bandmates to come over and lay tracks.
How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
The live music scene has been hit the hardest. It’s like a giant muzzle that is silencing entire swaths of music and performance. It would be nice to think that everyone has extra time and that we will emerge with a glut of amazing new music from artists having hunkered down and spent their time creating – but I’m not sure everyone has the extra time that the present situation would suggest, nor that there is an abundance of people with healthy enough mental wellness to be productive.
But I do take solace in the fact that artists may be the best suited to bring us all out of this with the perspective, insight, empathy, and humour that we will need when the time comes.
How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
Well, Before & Apace is very much a project in its infancy. We are just releasing our debut album, so it’s not like we have an extensive fanbase at the moment. So it’s not so much about keeping fans. Instead, we’re actually trying to build something of a following in this environment – and that’s been strange, to say the least.
If there’s one thing going for us, it’s that if people do have extra time on their hands, maybe they’ll be more willing to sit through one of our songs in its entirety. Lol! The song lengths range from 10 – 20 minutes each.
What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
Wow, great question and I don’t have a fucking clue! Lol!
Maybe it will be darker? (though metal has never really needed a global pandemic for this) Maybe some common themes emerge: life in isolation, depression, backlash against the establishment (e.g. anti-vaxxers, etc), maybe even support for the establishment???!? (e.g. pro-vaccination folks) Maybe we’ll see some new genres come out of it? I really don’t know.
Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers promoters…
I worry most about the venues. There had already been a trend pre-pandemic that the number of live venues was shrinking, at least in Saskatoon. And of the ones that were still around, I don’t know if it was a very lucrative industry even pre-pandemic. I worry that some of the few live venues we have left may not open their doors again, even when it becomes safe and permissible to do so.
What is your isolation soundtrack?
It varies. I’m still loving Devin Townsend’s Empath. I’ve recently revisited The Ruiner by Made Out of Babies. But sometimes I’ll just change gears and put on the Under the Skin soundtrack or Kishi Bashi.
Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
In normal times, most of my social life revolves around rehearsing or recording with my bandmates. Unfortunately, we’ve been in lockdown for much of the last 6 months, to the point that we can’t even invite guests into our homes. I’m definitely looking forward to that restriction being lifted.
That would also allow me to nerd out and play Magic: the Gathering in the same room as actual people, which I’m very much looking forward to.
Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
I’m very eager to start rehearse-testing some new material though!
Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!