Days of Rona: Matt Lynch of Snail & Mysterious Mammal Recording

Posted in Features on April 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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

snail matt lynch

Days of Rona: Matt Lynch of Snail & Mysterious Mammal Recording (Los Angeles, California)

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?

So far everyone’s health is good. Mark is convinced that he and his wife had it in late January in Seattle. Of course, this is conjecture but the symptoms matched up. This was before it was even on our radar and no testing but Seattle was the first place it showed up in the States. They are okay now though. I’m in Los Angeles, Mark is in Seattle and Marty is in San Diego, so we don’t play live that often and didn’t have any tour plans yet. We were already in the middle of recording our record and Mark is in the overdub phase up in Seattle so fortunately we are in a good place there. I edit and mix and overdub once Mark is done, so luckily this is something we can continue to do in isolation. I am going to have more time to do this now because I have been laid off from my day job at a travel marketing agency. Not a lot of work going on there, so I’m freed up for mixing and mastering the Snail stuff and finishing Collyn’s Diesel Boots record as well as projects for other artists.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

We are in a shelter-in-place here in Los Angeles. We go out for groceries and to walk our dogs. All non-essential businesses are closed, which means everything except medical, grocery, and media. All the beaches and parks are shut down, including bike and walking paths. They tried to keep them open but there are just too many people here in general and we aren’t great at following rules apparently.

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

Everything is closed except to get groceries. My job is gone, at least for the time being. Gigs are all cancelled. There have been a lot of cool live streams happening with music though, and the time to enjoy them. A lot of people are coming together virtually in my community, sharing information, helping each other with groceries and where to find them, trading food items among neighbors for recipes. People are cooking more again, playing music as a family – a bit of the old ways are creeping back in, which is a nice positive. It seems that musicians, or the musicians I know anyway, are generally into cooking. I think there is a parallel there of putting individual elements together to make a whole that is stronger than its parts that appeals to musicians.

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

I think the most important takeaway from this for me is that this has proven just how fast society can change. We are going to come out on the other side of this to a new normal — it won’t be the same — so now is the time to take stock and decide for yourself what you want that new normal to look like, and work towards making it happen.

https://mysteriousmammal.com/
www.snailhq.com
www.facebook.com/snailhq
https://www.instagram.com/snail_hq/
www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords
http://www.smallstone.bandcamp.com

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Days of Rona: Aaron Wall of Red Beard Wall

Posted in Features on April 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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

red beard wall aaron wall

Days of Rona: Aaron Wall of Red Beard Wall (Plainview, Texas)

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?

It has been a definite shock to the system! We’ve had quite a few amazing shows cancelled, including SXSW. Our rehearsals have been put on indefinite hold, due to the fact that drummer Brent Standifer is located six hours away. We’ve just basically had to adapt to a completely new way of operating. Our mindset basically has gone from a regular band, to more of a focus on being a social media content creator, merch salesman, etc.

The silver lining, I suppose, is we now have the time needed to focus on getting the next album done, and hopefully released much sooner than anticipated. We’re doing our best to be chameleons and adjust and adapt. Constant forward progression, no matter circumstance. That’s the motto. Now and always.

Brent, mine, and our families’ health are good so far. We’re doing our part to slow the curve, so we can get back out there, and bring the people what they want and in turn ourselves as well!

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

I live in a rural, somewhat unpopulated area of West Texas so our rules are pretty lax as of yet, in this immediate area. I and my family are being proactive and sheltering in place. Gotta do my part even though the restrictions aren’t as tight here at this point. Brent lives in the San Antonio area so their restrictions are much stiffer. Such a weird time.

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

Its affected our peers in so many ways! Our promoter buds, our venues, staff, and musician friends are struggling. So many are service industry peeps. Feels like the rug got pulled out from underneath us. We’re all just trying to figure out how to make things work and get by until we can get back to doing what we do. It’s our whole life, it’s who we are at the core, so it’s been extremely difficult. We just have to help each other, in any and all ways possible. Especially now, but ALWAYS!

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

What Red Beard Wall wants everyone to know is… Brent and I are here for the community. We are all about love, gratitude, and positivity. We come with hope, good vibes, and anything tangible or helpful we possibly can. We are extremely accessible to ALL. Holla if you need us. We are always willing to lend an ear, or to give words, and actions of encouragement. Be safe! Stay healthy! ALL LOVE. ALL RESPECT. ALL GRATITUDE. ALL HAIL!!!

https://www.facebook.com/redbeardwall/
https://www.instagram.com/redbeardwall/
https://redbeardwall.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/

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Days of Rona: Sébastien Bismuth of Abrahma

Posted in Features on April 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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

abrahma sebastien bismuth

Days of Rona: Sébastien Bismuth of Abrahma (Paris, France)

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?

Excepting the fact that we had lots of rehearsals to do for our coming gigs and festivals, nothing really serious for us as we do not had anything canceled for now. We all work the songs on our side and discusses via SLACK. We hope Hellfest will not be canceled, but nothing really serious has been announced for now.

I personally try to take all this positively, and see this situation as free time to write songs, and do many other projects i had in mind but never had the time to realize. I’m currently recording guitar tracks for our ex-drummer’s Death & Roll Project (Fred Quota), writing new songs from Abrahma and also work on a very personal project i have for years melding music, drawings…

This situation is something we’ve never seen before and can create a lot of anxiety, even more on people suffering of mental disease or depression, and I think it’s important to escape a bit all this anxiety on social media, without forgetting to follow the rules and stay home to end this situation ASAP.

Everybody’s good for now. Nicolas had the virus, but fortunately he does not had the need to go to hospital. We try to have news from him the more we can, but he seems now recovered.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

School, university, and all shops are closed except for food, tobacco. We are asked to say home, except to walk the dog, buy food, or make some exercise. You have one hour free per day and you have to take a special permission paper with you. If you do not have mentioned the correct reason why you are outside, or do not have this permission, you’ve got a fine.

Many other people who cannot work at home must work at their company, by taking trains or car… But we only have 30 percent of every traffic for now. I really give all my compassion to those people and even more to all the people currently working in hospitals, retirement homes. Our government has totally broken our medical system and now the situation is really hard for all nurses, doctors. They are the heroes for now and they do not even have masks. Here, tattooists have given their masks and gloves stocks to hospitals, because our government did not have anything to give them…

We also must have compassion to all those people bringing us food everyday. Cashiers, bakers. They are everyday taking the risk to have this fuckin’ virus to bring us food, and I see many people talking bad to them everyday. Do not forget that they are all working sometimes with fear, to bring you food during your quarantine.

This situation has revealed across the world the real weakness of our leaders. They all seem lost and to run after the clock. I see everyday in magazine, that this is the same bad joke in every country. I’m not into politics at all, but I’m really afraid of what will be going on after COVID-19.Many politicians will have to talk, and stop manipulating us all. This situation could have been a bit less catastrophic, but they all have chosen to work for profits, forgetting the people.

And now here we are. And how fun it is to watch them all trying to justify themselves…

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

I personally work also as graphic designer for many music festivals, and bands. And it has really been hard to see the result of this virus on music industry. Many bands have lost a lot of money in tour cancellations, and many small venues here are afraid of the future. What will follow is gonna be hard for many promoters, small venues, festivals and artists.

And only us will have the power to help. Culture will need our help after this COVID-19, situation. We will have to support them all. I really hope it gonna ends soon, ’cause many festivals, labels and promoters already discusses of maybe ending here!

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

To keep calm. There’s a lot of anxiety and bad vibrations here. But stay focused on what is the more important for now! You and the ones you love.

We all want this to end really fast, but we also have to be patient and save life by respecting what scientists tell us to do, to stop this virus expansion ASAP.

Isolation can also be really hard for depressed people and even more if you stay alone beside your tablet, reading all those terrific news. So keep away from what puts you into negativity, and do not hesitate to call or Skype with good friends, or family. Take time for what you do not had the time before. Create, Sing, Play, Draw and think about you and yours.

Stay Safe and we’ll all see each other soon in many festivals!!

All the best!

www.abrahmamusic.net
www.facebook.com/ABRAHMAMUSIC
www.instagram.com/abrahmaofficial/
http://www.smallstone.com
http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords
https://smallstone.bandcamp.com

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Days of Rona: Igor Sidorenko of Stoned Jesus

Posted in Features on April 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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

stoned jesus igor sidorenko

Days of Rona: Igor Sidorenko from Stoned Jesus (Kyiv, Ukraine)

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?

Hey, Igor’s here! Thanks, we’re all in good health for now. The main problem logistics-wise is that our drummer Dima lives in Kharkiv, which is like 400 miles away from Kyiv, where the rest of the band is located (me and Sergii). We haven’t seen each other in person for months. So basically I’m sending new-song ideas to the guys and then we discuss those online -– long live the internet, amirite? We’ve already lost some money on the postponed March tour flights and other stuff. We should’ve had FIVE more legs of our Xth Anniversary Tour this year — including US and Canada for the first time ever and South America for the first time in three years. Then there was studio time booked for fifth LP’s recording sessions… now we’re splitting this money to make it at least till summer. What’s next –- no one knows.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Not strict enough, unfortunately. I mean, thankfully the authorities closed all public places like cinemas and cafes, ordered to close most businesses and set some limitations for food stores and public transportation, but the main problem is the regular people. I’m watching them from my window just hanging around like nothing is wrong, and this is driving me mad. For them quarantine means extra vacation, that’s it. STAY INDOORS YOU HACKS!

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

Well, literally 90 percent of everyone I know are in music industry in one way or another, so yeah, every social media feed I follow is filled with people talking about losing their jobs/not being able to rehearse/not being able to tour, etc. Honestly, I think when this thing is over like two-thirds of artists/bands we all know and love won’t be able to bounce back from it. No one understands yet what kind of job a former musician/roadie/tour manager will be able to find in this new terrifying post-covid-19 world, but one thing is certain –- at the end of the day we all need bread on the table. If this means putting your music project on hold in order to concentrate on your day job, so be it. And I’m afraid this is the future for many of us.

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

Glad you asked! I’m starting my Patreon channel – https://www.patreon.com/igorfromstj – to help StJ survive. As far as I’m concerned this thing [Patreon] is not very popular within doom/stoner/psych-community but this is literally the only way for us to get through this all. Of course I understand there are billions of way more essential things money could buy, and money will be tight for all of us this year. But hey, if you feel like helping –- please join! Also don’t forget to wash your hands and please stay home!!!

(Photo above by Yuri Milchak)

https://www.facebook.com/stonedjesusband
https://www.instagram.com/stonedjesusband/
www.napalmrecords.com
www.facebook.com/napalmrecords

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Days of Rona: Nicholas Burks of War Cloud

Posted in Features on April 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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

war cloud nicholas burks (Photo by Bambi Guthrie Photography)

Days of Rona: Nick Burks of War Cloud, Stonecutters & Cryptic Hymn (Ft. Wayne, Indiana)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band?

Honestly, War Cloud has been staying really busy despite the pandemic. We have a new album coming out on May 22nd through Ripple Music. It’s been tricky to promote when the world has shut down. Plus, you see more and more bigger bands pushing back their releases indefinitely. Our logic is that we want to give everyone new music during this time. Who knows? It would make my day to hear someone get inspired by this new release, so why wait?

All the members of War Cloud live in different parts of the US so we have been checking in on each other. The quarantine has gotten us writing and recording songs. It’s a weird time to be creative but I guess there’s no “on/off” switch for inspiration. NO, we are not writing a song about the pandemic. I’ve been listening to a ton of Judas Priest. Their music always gets me stoked to kick some ass and I want War Cloud’s new music to honor the metal gods.

Have you had to rework plans at all?

It’s hard to say. War Cloud was supposed to tour this April and play the Hell’s Heroes pre-party, but that has been canceled unfortunately. We would love to play Hell’s Heroes pre-party 2021!

I was so stoked to play with Helstar at Hell’s Heroes. Their album, Nosferatu, is a guitar bible. Our appearance at Legions of Metal is currently being rescheduled. A lot of things are up in the air. We have a European tour in May through June but once again, it’s tough to predict when this will all be over. The entire world is suffering.

How is everyone’s health so far?

So far, everyone is in good health. Taking a ton of vitamins and drinking a lot of water. It’s kind of funny. Stonecutters ended their tour with Lich King and Toxic Ruin due to COVID-19. Our last show was Thursday, March 12th in Worcester, Massachusetts. Then we live streamed our show the next night from Sonic Titan Studios. Stonecutters are from Kentucky; Lich King is from Massachusetts; Toxic Ruin is from Wisconsin; so you had three bands from different states traveling the US together, and I think a lot of us were trying not to cough so no one would get nervous.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Currently, I live in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The state of Indiana has all music venues, bars/restaurants, churches, and every other non-essential business closed. Gas is $1.57 per gallon. Grocery stores are insane. All the frozen pizzas, toilet paper, and canned goods are always out of stock.

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

It’s a weird vibe. If you go on a walk, the residents that normally wouldn’t talk to you, now will give you a wave and a smile, and maybe even start some small talk. I think it helps. The grocery store is a war zone. It seems like everyone is on edge and has a short temper. The pandemic has flipped the music community on its head. My death metal band, Cryptic Hymn, has had to cancel shows. War Cloud has had to cancel shows. Stonecutters has had to cancel shows. EVERY band has lost something in this. It can be a real downer when you spend January and February booking the entire year with your bands and then everything in the music world has been postponed or rescheduled.

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

I want to thank the people that work in grocery stores and hospitals the most. They are putting themselves out there everyday and a lot times it is thankless job. The music community is suffering. Everyone is suffering. Be excellent to each other, and when this is all over, let’s get back to the rock ‘n’ roll.

http://facebook.com/WarCloudisComing
http://warcloudiscoming.bandcamp.com/
http://warcloud.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ripple-Music/369610860064
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/
https://stonecuttersmusic.bandcamp.com/music
https://cryptichymn.bandcamp.com/

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Days of Rona: Mark Kitchens and William “Dub” Irvin of Stone Machine Electric

Posted in Features on April 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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

stone machine electric mark kitchens

Days of Rona: Mark Kitchens & William “Dub” Irvin of Stone Machine Electric (Hurst, Texas)

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?

Fortunately, neither of us have been exposed to Covid-19. Our last show was on March 13, which was when things started getting shut down, and more tours were getting cancelled. Dallas/Fort Worth is a spot bands hit going to/from SXSW, so the following week would have had a very busy week and a time to see and make new band friends.

For us, we have not rehearsed or anything since the 13th. Should I mention that was a Friday the 13th? We were planning to relearn a few tunes for upcoming shows. We still will, but may be a while before we sit face-to-face and run through them.

Our 7” released on March 27th, but it felt weird to push really hard to further promote it. We make just enough from merch and shows just to cover the costs of the band, so we’re not living off of it like the few that do.

Dub has used the “opportunity” to learn how to work on and repair his own amps, and they needed it. Hopefully he doesn’t burn down his house. Kitchens has been recording some stuff for his Slow Draw project and taking care of his Mrs. who had a surgery just as this started going down — so he’s extra-concerned about getting or bringing Covid-19 home.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

We are under “stay at home” orders but can go out and get groceries and food. Kitchens is fortunate enough to be able to work from home. He’s an architect that does 99 percent healthcare work, but currently isn’t allowed to go on site for anything. Dub is considered “essential” since he works in construction but has no work since projects have been put on hold.

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

Locally, and we imagine in a lot of other areas, people who rely on music for income or who supplement it working at bars have been doing live streams with virtual tip jars. We’ve also seen a few venues live stream bands playing to an empty venue.

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

Do what you can virtually if possible. Stay home and help everyone get through this. If you have the funds, help out those bands that tour for a living by ordering their merch. Throw something in their virtual tip jar if you see them live streaming. Support local small businesses because they’ll be the ones to suffer financially more than most. But for the most part, love one another and don’t blow this off and think it’s no big deal.

https://www.facebook.com/StoneMachineElectric/
https://www.instagram.com/stonemachineelectric/
http://stonemachineelectric.bandcamp.com/
http://www.stonemachineelectric.net/

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Days of Rona: Stefanie Zaenker of Caustic Casanova

Posted in Features on April 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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

caustic casanova stefanie zaenker

Days of Rona: Stefanie Zaenker of Caustic Casanova & 9:30 Club (Washington, D.C.)

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?

I find it hard to believe that this crisis hasn’t affected every single working band, at least in some way. We are very fortunate to have not had any tours or shows to cancel. We basically toured non-stop from last summer until Thanksgiving on our newest Magnetic Eye Records release, God How I Envy the Deaf (Oct 2019), so luckily we had some time to get out there and put it into people’s hands. I truly feel for the bands who’ve put out new releases early in 2020 and can’t tour on them now. It’s doubly sad that bands (ourselves included) can’t really know when to plan a tour this year because of the uncertainty surrounding COVID’s timeline. Healthwise we are all doing well, thankfully. All of us understand the gravity of this crisis and the need for social distancing and a dramatic reworking of personal habits. Francis and I have spent a lot of this extra free time working on new music together, doing some double drumming in our practice space (maybe you’ve seen some of the videos!), and trying to keep up with CC social media daily.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Right now the DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia) is lagging behind some of the hotspot states in terms of cases and deaths, but the numbers are expected to grow substantially in the next couple weeks. Governors Larry Hogan (MD) and Ralph Northam (VA), and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser have all enacted strict restrictions on social gatherings, closed non-essential businesses, and issued stern stay-at-home orders. I think exercising outside alone and going to grocery stores/pharmacies, gas stations, or to get healthcare are the only allowable societal activities. The only human contact I’ve had outside of seeing Francis and his mom are my weekly grocery runs. The last time I went was a week ago and I felt like I was preparing for battle while walking in like, “Okay, do I have my hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes? Don’t touch your face. Stay away from other people. Only touch the things you need. Hurry up!” It was an extremely bizarre feeling while doing something as mundane as grocery shopping.

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

The biggest takeaway for me has been how much of the local, no, global economy relies on the service industry (this includes any service that can be provided at a cost like AirBnB, not just restaurants, bars, and music venues). It has sent the whole world into an economic panic and has obviously put SO many people out of work, myself included. I bartend at a music venue in DC, the 9:30 Club, and we’ve been closed since March 13th. The earliest possible date shows can begin according to DC’s CDC guidelines is April 27th, but I find that highly doubtful and expect something more like May 15th or June 1st. The closure of a music venue impacts so many different people from door staffers and bartenders, to the performers and their crew, local promoters, venue operators, and of course the patrons too. It’s overwhelming to think about how many different people and industries this has affected. At least we’re all in it together. I’ve seen a lot of local restaurants and organizations step up to provide essential services to those in need. I also particularly empathize with all of my friends who are stuck working from home with their kids out of school. Family time is great, but I can’t even imagine what trying to get a full day’s work done while having to school, feed, and entertain your kids is like. Mad props! Regarding the general community I think for the most part people are taking it seriously (evidenced by the fact that everyone seems to be giving me at least six feet every time I pass them on a walk or run). But there are always the dummies hosting 60-plus people at bonfire parties (true story from MD — man got arrested yesterday). Some people are a lost cause and can’t understand the importance of public health or long term consequences vs. short term pleasure. I think the point is mostly that we all need a couple glasses of wine or a nice bath — inside.

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

Caustic Casanova doesn’t rely on the band as a primary source of income — all of us have other jobs (but currently two of us are out of work). We do make a lot of our band income touring and that’s impossible for the foreseeable future so it does actually impact us. That being said, so many bands in our scene at or above our level do rely on touring, merch sales, shows, etc., to survive. Please consider buying the music and merch from your favorite DIY bands, and spreading the word. These are uncertain times. No one knows what the musical landscape will look like two, six, or 12 months from now. I’d love to be able to book a CC tour but there’s no point right now being unsure when shows will resume as normal. Remember live shows?! We do plan to be as active as possible in 2020 so we’ll see how that shapes up! Regarding COVID-19 — Please, please, please do your part to curb transmission and listen to your local authorities. Play more music. Love you guys.

http://causticcasanova.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CausticCasanova
https://www.instagram.com/CausticCasanova/
http://store.merhq.com
http://magneticeyerecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MagneticEyeRecords

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Days of Rona: Douglas Sherman of Gozu

Posted in Features on April 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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

gozu douglas sherman

Days of Rona: Douglas Sherman of Gozu (Boston, Massachusetts)

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 Gozu is doing great considering the unique situation we are in. We were actually in the middle of writing a new album when this all blew up. So now Gaff and I are exchanging ideas daily through text and have accrued an enormous stockpile of riffs. We are also scheduled to go in the studio late summer depending on what happens in the next month or two.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

In Boston we have a stay-at-home advisory in place: all non-essential business are closed and everyone is asked to stay at home unless for an emergency. Practice social distancing!

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

We are in uncharted territory so I see lots of frightened friends. I also see lots of artists trying to focus as much as they can at home on their craft and making efforts to connect with each other through technology. Human interaction is a basic need and can quell fears.

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

We need to breathe, listen and know that in the end we will all get through together. I also think you will see a totally different and more empathetic humanity when this is said and done.

Much love to everyone.

https://www.facebook.com/GOZU666
http://gozu.bandcamp.com
instagram.com/gozu666

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