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Phantom High: 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. Dead bodies acting like people? Do not be afraid, they might be possessed, but possessed by music. In front of the dead bodies, Queen of Evil, Peril Erinyes, presents Phantom High

Hi! How are you doing during the corona outbreak?
We are doing well thanks!  None of us have been sick. This certainly has not been the year we envisioned, but we have our health.

What have you cancelled/postponed due coronavirus?
We managed to play two of our scheduled live shows this year. The rest were cancelled due to Toronto shutting down all clubs and social gathering events.  We had an amazing opportunity to open for The Birthday Massacre and Julien-K in May and then again in December, but they were both cancelled. Those are two bands that influenced us from the beginning, so that was a hard show to see cancelled.

How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
It’s rough to be in the music industry right now, it was already rough. And that’s everybody from musicians to managers to club owners to the staff who help put on live shows.  We had to shelf plans to tour sections of the US and Europe this year and that really sucked.

 How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
You can’t be stagnant. The paradigm of how to carry momentum has changed, but the need to carry your momentum is still necessary. For example, in the before times, we would use clips and photos from live shows in our social or do a new merch reveal at a show. We could talk directly to our fans after a show and hang out.  It was definitely more personable and intimate. We try to keep that intimate contact online with our fans by doing zoom gatherings and being more active in our DM’s. Since we couldn’t get out on the road this year we decided to release this music video for Black Divine. There were a lot of hoops to jump through with covid regulations and keeping everyone comfortable and safe, but it was well worth it.

 What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
The Toronto rock/metal/punk music scene hasn’t been as active in the last few years as they were back in the day. My hope is when restrictions lift and we are allowed to gather again, there will be a bigger thirst for live music. People have been in isolation here since March if you aren’t an essential worker, so people will want to get out and blow off steam, we know we do! I think the metal scene is going to see a much-needed injection of fresh blood and we are looking forward to that.

Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers, promoters…
We are all suffering, but as a musician, I know we will find a way to bounce back. You have to adapt or die off. Our friends in the industry – stagehands, promoters, techs, live sound engineers, tour managers – they’re all getting hit so hard. We’ve been trying to support them as much as we can with fundraisers.

What is your isolation soundtrack?
Haha, well… Our soundtracks are going to look VERY different, I listen to a lot of stuff outside metal, but in terms of metal, I am always looking for new sounds, but we do like some of the “subjectively to us” classics, Korn, Deftones, along with newer acts like Cane Hill, Loathe, and they will always be mixed into our playlists. Joey listens to everything from reggae, electronic, hip hop to prog/djent metal.

Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
We miss the energy from a live crowd. It’s a magical feeling when you get a great reaction from a crowd. It makes you play harder and give more which increases their response. It’s a lovely circle of adrenaline which ends in exhaustion. If we weren’t exhausted from playing a set, we didn’t do our job.

Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
Oh yes, we still rehearse together. Kudos to bands rehearing over zoom, but we aren’t about that. We are fortunate enough to have a space to call our own which isn’t hindered by our city’s restrictions and we’ve all been really safe/isolating appropriately. As soon as we are able to play in front of a live audience, we will be prepared and be more cohesive than ever.

 Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!

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