Days of Rona: Zach Wheeler of Howling Giant

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

howling giant zach wheeler

Days of Rona: Zach Wheeler of Howling Giant (Nashville, Tennessee)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

Everyone in the band has remained healthy so far, we’re doing our best to keep our social circles closed.

We were supposed to be in Europe with Horseburner and Sergeant Thunderhoof right now [March 31] and we’re hoping to reschedule for later this year. Our US gigs were slated to start back up at the beginning of May, and we’re expecting a lot of those shows and festivals to be rescheduled. We’re trying to keep ourselves occupied with an unprecedented amount of downtime. We’ve hunkered down for now and have started work on some new music. We’ve even been contracted to write and record a theme for a Magic the Gathering streamer. We’ve also been experimenting with our live sound and video capabilities from our practice room with the hopes of increasing our streaming and video presence online.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Tennessee has enacted a “Shelter in Place” order, though Nashville has been operating under those conditions for at least a week and a half now. Tom, Seabass, and I all bartend, so we’ve been out of work since March 15th.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

Nashville’s leading industry is tourism, so the entire city has shut down. A lot of venues have been hosting online shows in an attempt to help the musicians make a little money, much like our livestream that the brewery Tom and I work at (Tennessee Brew Works) hosted. A lot of musicians we know are setting up weekly live stream concerts and trying to write as much as possible while we all wait for things to open back up.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

We intend to stay productive creatively and everyone is welcome to come along for the ride. Expect more live streams and riff-heavy content.

The Wizard Lives.

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