In Corona Corner, we are asking musicians how the outbreak has effected them, how did they adapt to the situation, what did they learn. Stoner/doom metallers from Ontario, Sub Below, share their Quarantine Story with us today.
Hi! How are you doing during corona outbreak?
Hey! Jay here from Sun Below, doing well!
What have you cancelled/postponed due coronavirus?
We had a couple of gigs in Oshawa and in Toronto cancelled very early in the pandemic, back in April – May 2020. More recently, even with things opening back up, there have been some gigs cancelled or postponed as a result of vaccination issues and ever changing rules.
How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
Of course at the outbreak, pretty much all touring and gigs came to a screeching halt. I think early on, there were alot of bands trying to make the best out of the situation by going into writing phases and working on new material, which is what we certainly did in composing most of our upcoming self titled album. I think over time, the repeated lockdowns have made it increasingly difficult for bands to rehearse at all, and the lost gig opportunities took more of a toll as things dragged on. Fortunately, things are starting to open up a bit here in the GTA.
How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
We have been working hard at writing new music and recording our full length album, which drops everywhere November 19. We have some upcoming gigs in the works, so we are looking forward to playing our new songs live for the first time! We also did a quarantine Q and A video early in the pandemic to try and keep some fan engagement.
What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
I think you are starting to see now the slow re-emergence happening now, with capacity, seated shows and proof of vaccine requirements. It is not going to be the live music scene we remember exactly, but we will get back to full on mosh pits and heavy metal mayhem soon enough. The restrictions continue to change and adjust so fingers crossed we are on the right path.
Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers promoters…
It is tough to say who has it worse, but surely everyone has suffered to a degree. Musicians at least can continue to write and release music, although they are losing a major promotional vehicle by not being able to tour behind their new music. I think the promoters and venues may have it even worse because without live music they have no way to sustain their livelihood. I am grateful for those who have been able to hold on this long and hopefully we can bring the heavy music scene back to life here shortly.
What is your isolation soundtrack?
To be honest I do not think my soundtrack has changed much since the pandemic. I still listen to alot of Sabbath, Sleep, Electric Wizard, The Sword and Red Fang. There have been some great releases in the last year or so from Pallbearer, Elder and Bongzilla that have kept me going!
Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
I miss the camaraderie in the metal community honestly. Not that it has truly gone anywhere but without being able to connect in person it feels a bit distant right now. Even if not everyone you met always saw eye to eye on tastes in sub-genres or whatever, it was always a very inclusive community and we look forward to geting back out into it.
Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
We were very careful over the summer of 2020 and rehearsed throughout. We were able to spend a significant amount of time on writing sessions to complete music for our full length album. We took a bit of a break after recording concluded and another lockdown went into effect in early 2021, but have been rehearsing again regularly with a new lineup since the spring.
Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!