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Death Perception: Quarantine Story

by Ivona Bogner

In Corona Corner, we are asking musicians how the outbreak has effected them, how did they adapt to the situation, what did they learn.  Nathan Fraser, drummer of Canadian death/thrash/groove metal band Death Perception, speaks about his Corona days.

Hi! How are you doing during corona outbreak?
All of us at Death Perception have been patiently waiting out the pandemic. We were in the middle of recording our new album when this thing started around the world. It took significantly longer than expected to go through the process, including filming the music videos and promoting the album properly.    

What have you cancelled/postponed due to coronavirus?
I had to record my drum tracks and then didn’t have the opportunity to attend editing or any other sessions due to covid. When the album was complete, we were supposed to tour behind the album. There were already loose plans in place for where we would go on tour and what bands were coming with us. Instead, we played only one show in 2020 and had our CD release party almost one year after the album recording was completed.

How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
In our local scene, the concert halls and pubs are all barely making it through. They are not allowed to hold events, or only have minimum attendance. They still have to pay full rent on their properties though. Now, the bands have nowhere to play or don’t even have a place to hang out. There was someone from a local band trying to hold private shows and they got fined by the city’s bylaw officers.

How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
The lack of shows has made the desire to attend events greater for most people. Our three shows of 2021 had really enthusiastic audiences. We were able to meet a lot of people and make new friends. Also, people are still busy online, and they are still picking up band merch. As a band, you still have to stay busy networking, playing wherever you can, and keeping that content going. We made a lot of merch this year and people are always interested in something new. Keep giving them something to enjoy.

What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
I’m excited to learn about new bands. Everyone in the local scene had a lot of time to get the projects going and form new groups. I’m hoping for a pleasant surprise and be amazed by the new talent. Fingers crossed for a metal renaissance.

Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers promoters…
Usually, the people who suffer the most are already at the lowest financial baseline. If you’re wealthy you can weather the storm, but when you can’t afford to live, you can’t afford to play in a band. The group directly above the bands are the venues. All small businesses have already suffered tremendously. Venues that were barely surviving before the pandemic are long gone. Actually, independent music has been treated like it has no worth. The giant corporations don’t care about integrity. They keep the millionaires at the top. This includes the pop stars and the dinosaur bands too.

What is your isolation soundtrack?
I love Obscura, the new Carcass, Decapitated Anticult, Iommi solo CDs, Zwan, Incubus Science, the first three Finger 11’s, Gordon Lightfoot Greatest Hits, and a local band called Bathed in Blood. And don’t forget Opeth Roundhouse Tapes.

Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
I want to travel with the band. It’s always a gamble trying to figure out what to do or when to do it. We played in Winnipeg in August and their province had a lot of Covid rules. We all had to sit at different tables in the restaurant, etc. So it turns out Friday night at midnight the rules got removed. We didn’t know until after we got to the province. We played on Saturday so it worked out in our favor.

Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
We took a full year off from jamming. Some other bands wrote entire albums at the time. We just wanted to follow the rules and not get in trouble. After we were allowed to hang out again, it seemed silly that we took so much time off. Everyone got paranoid at the beginning when there were only 100 cases in our city, but then when there were 10x the amount of cases everyone was getting complacent, and that’s when the government said we could hang out again. So it doesn’t always make sense from that perspective. We were lucky enough to avoid the illness and have been safe so far. Everything is back to normal for our jams. Now that our album has been released we have started writing music again and have been busy with new songs instead of rehearsing the album songs.

Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!



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