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Infrared: Quarantine Story

by Ivona Bogner

Ottawa’s Infrared are a blast from the past with their genuine 80’s sound. They first hit the Canadian metal scene in 1986 with their demo, but shortly after, went on a very long hiatus. In 2014, they reformed and since then have put out two full-lengths and an EP with another full-length “From the Black Swamp” on the horizon for this autumn. We are pleased to hear their Quarantine Story.

Hi! How are you doing during corona outbreak?
This has been a difficult period because we have not been able to get out and play to crowds which is part of our life’s blood when it comes to the band. But silver linings everywhere. We were able to spend more time on our 3rd full-length album, From the Black Swamp, which is our most ambitious and mature offering yet.

What have you cancelled/postponed due coronavirus?
We were supposed to do a date and potentially several dates on the Chris Holmes and the Madmen Canadian Tour. We also missed out on playing a metal fest in eastern Ontario called Farm Fest.

How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
It is definitely impacting live performances. That, in turn, impacts the band’s relationships with its fans, and of course, revenue streams dry up. So now that things seemed to be slowly opening, it’s like we are starting over financially. But that is nothing compared to the hit the venues have taken. Fingers crossed, everyone can start living their best lives again soon.

How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
Just through social media engagement. It did slow down for a bit. We even put out a fun parody cover song and video to show that we are still around. Now that we are putting out new material, the engagement has picked up and we are actually scheduled to play a headlining show in our hometown Nov 27th 2021.

What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
In one word? Fierce! I think people and bands will be so pent up that this will be an amazing release for everyone and bands and fans will leave it all on the stage and floor.

Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers promoters…
Good question. For many bands, it is not their only source of income, so they will likely make due. I think it is the bar and club venues that will suffer the most as they have major expenses, rent, stock, employees. We really feel for the businesses that provide the venues for bands to play. It’s a sad time and many have closed.

What is your isolation soundtrack?
Our latest album of course. It’s angry enough to capture how we feel about being locked away from the world.

Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
To be honest, just being out and meeting people. In the early phases when things were unknown, it was really hard not seeing family and friends. We can only imagine how hard it must have been for those living alone.

Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
When restrictions were lifted, we definitely practiced and wrote music. Because we were all so well isolated and our city was not overrun with the virus, we were able to just be 4 normal guys in jam space playing music together.

Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!

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