Home SceneInterviewsCorona Corner NeoNera: Quarantine Story

NeoNera: 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. Three-piece hard rock group from Ottawa, Canada, NeoNera, and their guitarist and lead vocalist Dylan Gunnell speaks for Metal Jacket Magazine today.

Hi! How are you doing during corona outbreak?
It’s been difficult working from home with the kids there all the time. I’ve had to stop a few teleconferences to keep them from killing each other. The great thing is that there is so much more time. Instead of sitting in traffic, I wake up before anyone else and play the guitar, write music for two hours and then start working. I’ve had the chance to really work on my singing and my guitar playing. I’ve really taken the opportunity to work on improving my craft.

What have you cancelled/postponed due to coronavirus?
We have had to postpone the release show for our music video “Saviour” and the mini-tour we planned.

How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
Obviously, there haven’t been any live shows since March. Venues are only just starting to open now. We find that it’s a lot harder to sell merch online than at a show. People are just more likely to buy your merch if they’ve seen you kill it at a show. I feel bad for musicians who rely almost entirely on merch and ticket sales for their income.

How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
We are trying to release music consistently. We’ve just released “Saviour”, but we’ve started recording our next single, and we’ll shoot another video for that single. Now that we’ve released “Saviour” we are really going to work on fostering a community and giving our fans an idea of who we are as a band.

What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
In Ottawa, we can already see what it looks like. Merch sales are all pre-show. There is no moshing. Everyone has to sit at tables, and there are plastic barriers in front of the bands. Promoters are offering live streams. Ticket sales are very limited too.

Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers promoters…
We can already see venues closing. Musicians have been able to rely on the CERB here in Canada, but a lot of venues have really been struggling. There’s been a lot of crowdfunding for them.

What is your isolation soundtrack?
Mostly the sound of my kids fighting.

Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
Hanging out with people at shows. Just the normalcy of it all, seeing a mosh pit, interacting with a band on stage instead of sitting at a table.

Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
We tried using Zoom, Skype, Facebook. Jam Kazam. There was always too much latency. We could never really get it to work, so we just focused on writing and improving ourselves as musicians (taking lessons, spending practice time to learn new techniques)

Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!

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