In Corona Corner, we are asking musicians how the outbreak has effected them, how did they adapt to the situation, what did they learn. Evgeniy Zayarny, vocalist of Canadian Red Cain, shares his thoughts with us today.
Hi! How are you doing during corona outbreak?
Very positive. It is a challenge like every other challenge, though on a larger scale and, regrettably, with a considerable impact on many people’s lives. But you can do nothing more than be smart about your approach and persevere. I look at it as an opportunity to catch up on elements of my lifestyle that otherwise roll under the radar – and in that sense, it has been fantastic.
What have you cancelled/postponed due coronavirus?
Obviously, all our live appearances have gone for now. We had a Canadian mini-tour planned that is likely now moved to 2021, and were looking into European dates to support our recent release of our album “Kindred”: ACT I with Sliptrick Records. Practices have also been cancelled, as well as our usual band activities – but we’ve focused on studio work. “Kindred: ACT II”, our next album, was well underway when the pandemic hit, so with a bit of adjustment to home studios, we’ve actually continued to make great progress. It’s a challenge, but a welcome one in some ways.
How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
This is an interesting question. I think bands have been forced to rely much more on non-live content, of course – and this has affected some bands more than others, especially those who rely on the traditional model of interacting with fans and selling merch during live shows. That model is already not enough to sustain success in this day and age, in my opinion, so the change is again a welcome one, as it forces bands to diversify and operate as a business with multiple revenue streams and multiple ways to engage their fanbase. We’ve also seen other, more progressive bands, attempt things like streaming quarantine shows, etc. That’s an interesting approach, but I think only temporary – it’s not the same to see a band playing in an empty room, though it’s still much appreciated that the effort is there.
How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
From our POV, we’ve focused on visual content, releasing a music video for our track “Juliet”, and having more on the way. I think with society on pause in many ways – even now, with the pandemic dying down – consumers and fans of music can be a bit more introspective in the way they listen to our work. So we want to give them multiple ways to approach a track – audio, visual, some lore perhaps, merch. The merch sales have been surprisingly good, so that’s a bonus. We aim to continue this multiple-pronged approach with our releases to support the upcoming Kindred: ACT II album, and give our fans a more multi-faceted view into Red Cain music and lore.
What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
Metal is resilient. I don’t think it will be any different. I don’t doubt that there will be some gimmicky Corona-type content, as in any genre, but I would think that metal musicians, generally being thoughtful and introspective about their work, will likely have taken the isolation time to improve and be more creative about their material. So I’m actually expecting some great content, and an influx of creativity and great new work from both new and established bands. Now, in a practical sense… That’s a different story.
Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers promoters…
To the point above, there is some tangible practical impact coming for sure. Venues will suffer the most. We are already seeing it in Calgary, our home city. Small business owners like those owning many of the local venues we play in will be hurting, and unfortunately many will go down due to the many months without revenue and many more months with lower revenues than they are used to. It is extremely important that we as musicians and fans, rally to support these venues when the quarantine is lifted. I know that we, as a band, owe any success we have to small venues that welcomed us and gave us a place to play throughout our career. So I urge anyone reading this to not let your local venues die – give them your support like they’ve done for you before.
What is your isolation soundtrack?
Well, we’re in the middle of tracking our album, so many, many versions of half-finished Red Cain songs! Other than that, I’ve gone back to my roots and have been listening to bands that defined my musical approach, like Roy Khan-era Kamelot, early Symphony X, Gojira, Russian legends Aria. Rediscovering my musical inspirations has been very cool.
Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
Human contact, of course. My friends and I talk daily, but it’s not the same as sharing a drink or ten in close proximity. Also sports, definitely miss sports.
Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
We haven’t actively rehearsed, which is fine as we’re tracking an album that we are all ready for – but we have exchanged a few videos and have done a few video sessions playing through our tracks. Counting on that changing soon, though!