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Maitreya: Quarantine Story

by Metal Jacket

In Corona Corner, we are asking musicians how the outbreak has effected them, how did they adapt to the situation, what did they learn. Mark Wylie (guitar), Lyam Morrison (bass) and Matt Cutrara (vocals) of Maitreya are answering our nine Corona questions today.

Hi! How are you doing during the corona outbreak?
Matt C.:
The initial outbreak was a massive depressive state for me being an extrovert with a large meaningful social circle, I was looking forward to throwing a bunch of parties in the summer but those plans were scrapped. After the summer ended, my mood normalized and I was able to take advantage of all my free time to Focus on optimizing your relationship with yourself. Everyone is really lonely in the pandemic and the way I overcame that was to focus on my relationship with myself. Optimize my diet, exercise, creative output, (virtual) social life, sleep cycles, sunlight, entertainment, and learning. These are all things that you can do without any other people and the pandemic has offered an opportunity for getting to know yourself deeply. I’m happy to say that I’ve taken this opportunity and it definitely benefited me, and I encourage everyone to seize the same opportunity to the best of their ability!

Mark: I’m definitely on the opposite side of the personality spectrum than Matt, so initially the lockdown measurements as an introvert were kind of nice. Less commuting to work, more time spending working on projects at home. Being in quarantine also basically justified my seclusion-tendencies of locking myself in my studio for hours on end!

Lyam: Im pretty well in between Mark and Matt when it comes to intro/extrovertedness, it’s been hard living in greater solitude without a choice but I’m looking forward to how much sweeter it’s going to be once everything comes out of hibernation.

What have you cancelled/postponed due coronavirus?
Matt C.:
All the parties, the Kindo concert that was cancelled at the beginning of the quarantine, all of the shows we as a band had planned. We’re trying to film a music video for our upcoming release but the stay-at-home order has been halting our progress to a large extent so that’s super frustrating.

Mark: We had a big hometown show booked the same week the first wave of heavy lockdowns hit, so that show never happened. That venue also unfortunately closed down since, but has since moved locations and will be a pretty rad venue once things get around to reopening.

How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
Matt C.:
The pandemic is impacting the music scene by funnelling all activity to online mediums via virtual concerts and digital album releases. The stage presence and live performance factor have all but disappeared, save for a few virtual shows here and there. Bands must now focus a lot more heavily on virtual marketing and creating consistent virtual content to keep their fans engaged. It’s positive in the sense that bands can buckle down and focus on writing/recording content. It’s negative in the sense that the entire live music scene is dead until the vaccine comes out. God, I miss a live audience.

How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
Matt C.:
As previously mentioned, We’re focused on building up a repository of content to release on a regular basis to our fans. Content such as music videos, playthroughs, visualizers, video updates, and social media interaction in order to directly engage with our community of fans.

Lyam: With some of our more engaged fans and friends we started a “Maitreya Posting” group, where we share some band content early and we share memes and music we’ve been into. The response has been good and there’s a solid amount of activity on there posted by members other than us. The community vibe has been encouraging and fun.

What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
I like to think it will look similar if not better than before COVID. I’m optimistic there will be like a renaissance of live music after the drought the industry has experienced.

Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers promoters…
I think venue owners have taken the biggest hit. It’s sad to see some of our favorite venues being closed down. Fingers crossed those spaces remain dedicated to the arts and can reopen with new ownership – instead of being bought up and renovated by international investors to make overpriced condominium apartments.

What is your isolation soundtrack?
Matt C.:
Atm I’ve had JackLndn’s Thoughts album on repeat, along with other 11/10 albums such as Altered State, Clairvoyant, Songs in the Age of Vibe, Happily However After, and Premiers Emois.

Lyam: I’ve been really into Fela Kuti recently, it’s so groovy and dancey without being repetitive and I really love jammy funk in general, Funkadelic is always in my loop. Lots of older favourites that never leave my playlist too. Polaris, Where Owls Know My Name, Sound of Silver, literally any album from Revocation, BTBAM, Pink Floyd, King Crimson and the Contortionist. Huge amounts of Gojira too.

Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
Matt C.:
I miss being able to host social gatherings such as Pirates of the Caribbean marathons, Dumpling rolling sessions, Bob Ross Paint alongs, karaoke nights, or just inviting a couple of people over to play croquet. Also jams, just in the general sense. I really miss being able to play music both with the band, and with my friends.

Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
All our weekly rehearsals have been cancelled. Two of our members, Matt & Steve, have young children at home so it’s been good to give them time and space with them. The time has been replaced with demo writing sessions for our third album.

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