Days of Rona: Taylor D. Waring of Merlock

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

merlock Taylor D Waring

Days of Rona: Taylor D. Waring of Merlock (Spokane, Washington)

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?

Luckily, most of our jobs are essential or we already work from home, but one of our members works in the service industry, so that’s been tough. Luckily, his brewery figured out how to make sanitizer and distribute it to the community, so he got to work on that rad project.

Physically, we’re all healthy, but we definitely took some major hits as a band. We’ve had to cancel shows with bands like Wizzerd, Hippie Death Cult, and Grim Earth. We were in the planning stages of a West Coast tour when this started, so that’s all up in the air — even when places are able to start opening, who knows who will all survive? Lots of places that support heavy music are already just scraping by…

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

We’re in Washington, so we were one of the first places to shut down. Our service industry shut down first, like 3-4 weeks ago already. We were actually at band practice when that was announced, so we made it out to our favorite watering hole for one last bevvy. A week or so after that, we received the order to stay at home. Basically, essential businesses are still open (grocery stores, gas stations, marijuana stores, etc…).

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

One of the recommended things to do is to go outside and get some exercise in, so I’ve been going out on some walks. Between that and the grocery store, everyone is on edge — it’s pretty eerie, to be honest.

Obviously, the music community took a huge hit. Like I mentioned above, lots of shows were canceled and things are uncertain for everyone now. Lots of bands aren’t practicing right now, but quite a few are too. That’s just a call you have to make for yourself.

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

Things are tough and frustrating for bands right now. That initial, magical bubble of “this could be kind of cool, here’s all the cool things we can do on the internet” is popping right now and dread is setting in. Especially with the order that we’ll be working through this for at least another month.

I think the most important thing to remember is that this lifestyle has always been tough and frustrating, so, while we’re facing setbacks, it was always an uphill battle. Use this time to focus on your craft, innovate, and figure out how to come back stronger — that’s what we’re doing.

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