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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Abrams Premiere “That Part of Me” from Modern Ways

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

abrams

Denver four-piece Abrams will release their new album, Modern Ways, on May 1 through Sailor Records and Atypeek Music. Though the semi-revamped outfit — founding guitarist/vocalist Zachary Amster and bassist/vocalist Taylor Iversen here welcome guitarist Patrick Alberts and drummer Ryan Dewitt to the fold — continue to maintain an edge of modern progressive metal à la the MastoBarodonness set, songs like “Joshua Tree,” the subsequent “That Part of Me,” and the later “Silver Lake” push the envelope of a Torchean pop sensibility to new and ultra-accessible ground. As with their two prior long-players, 2017’s Morning (review here) and 2015’s Lust. Love. Loss. (review here), Abrams create this blend of capital-‘h’ Heavy and more aggro metal elements — wait, “heavy” and “metal?” — in a collection of varied but mostly catchy, tightly written, energetically performed works of pointed, well-directed songcraft.

Their purposes in that regard are clear from the opening title-track, which seems to lyrically disavow modern ways even as the clarity of Dave Otero‘s production (he also mixed and mastered) highlights them in the band’s sound, onward into the grander-swinging of “Poison Bullets,” which introduces some more crunch in the double-guitar/bass combinationabrams modern ways to follow-up on the finish of the opener, the screams of which will also later find complement on the three-minute “Silence,” even as that track rounds out in earliest-Queens of the Stone Age start-stop bounce (thinking “Mexicola” particularly). In between, one finds “Find a Way” cleanly executed and “My War” shifting to more of a linear build structure from its still-voluminous beginning, dropping to quiet for its verse and gaining steam through its chorus surges as it goes, both tracks coming ahead of the five-minute “Silver Lake,” which coats its isolation in a dream-toned airy guitar figure and is perhaps a complement either conscious or not to “Joshua Tree,” the vocals reminding a bit of Mos Generator but holding fast in the midsection to the edge that comes forward in the second half that follows, that last push capped with a flourish via a return to the softer progression that started off; something of a head-spinner, but an enjoyable trip just the same.

It cedes ground to “Silence,” which clears the air ahead of the closing duo “Pale Moonlight” and “Marionette,” which are the only two songs on the 10-track Modern Ways to run over six minutes apiece. “Pale Moonlight” is the longer of the two and holds an initial tension in its drums despite starting off quiet, shoving ahead into more intense fare and a highlight guitar solo as it works through its instrumental back end, while “Marionette” brings where-the-hell-have-these-been-hiding vocal harmonies and finds a heavier footing in the undertone for some of the more floating guitar, finishing clean with a symmetry of bass that underscores the notion of just how much of what Abrams does and what makes their work to this point in their tenure so effective is based around songwriting. Their pieces successfully feed into an overarching flow across Modern Ways‘ 43 minutes, but it is abundantly clear they were composed one way or the other as individual songs, and they function accordingly well either in the full context of their surrounding tracks or standing on their own.

To that end, you’ll find the clearheaded four-minute push of “That Part of Me” premiering on the player below, followed by a brief quote from Amster about the track and of course the requisite album preorder link. For what it’s worth, it takes you right to Abrams‘ Bandcamp, and I know it’s always important to support bands directly, but given current events it feels all the more crucial. I’m not trying to sell you anything (ever; that ain’t my thing), I’m just pointing out what’s there.

Enjoy the song:

Zachary Amster on “That Part of Me”:

“‘That Part of Me’ was the first song we wrote for this record. It really set the tone for the type of sound we wanted to create en masse. Dynamically heavy rock and roll with hooks.”

Pre-orders: http://abramsrock.bandcamp.com/album/modern-ways

Modern Ways will be available on vinyl and streaming services via Sailor Records on May 1st, 2020. Pre-orders are available HERE. Mixed, Mastered and Produced by Dave Otero at Flatline Audio in Westminster, CO.

Based out of Denver, Abrams was founded in 2013 as a trio. Abrams debut EP, February was released in May 2014 on No List Records. The supporting tour for this release saw the band hit the West Coast, before heading immediately into the studio to record their first full length. Lust. Love. Loss was released independently in June 2015. The remainder of the year saw Abrams tour West, East, and West again. Their follow up, Morning, came out on Sailor Records in June of 2017, which was supported by three nationwide tours for much of the remaining year.

Abrams is:
Patrick Alberts: Guitar
Zachary Amster: Guitar & Vox
Ryan Dewitt: Drums
Taylor Iversen: Bass & Vox

Abrams website

Abrams on Instagram

Abrams on Thee Facebooks

Abrams on Bandcamp

Sailor Records website

Sailor Records on Bandcamp

Sailor Records on Thee Facebooks

Atypeek Music on Thee Facebooks

Atypeek Music on Bandcamp

Atypeek Music website

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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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Days of Rona: Jon Davis of Conan

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

conan jon davis

Days of Rona: Jon Davis of Conan, Ungraven, Black Bow Records & Blackskull Services (Merseyside, UK)

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?

Conan and Ungraven cannot rehearse currently, but we communicate often. Approximately two weeks before all this hit, we signed up to a lease on a 24/7 rehearsal room, which was the worst timing EVER. It’s almost like divine intervention, but in a bad way. Our health is good, I don’t believe any of us has or has had this virus, so I guess we’re good. I’m just excited to tour again, I miss it.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

I’m in the UK so we have a stay at home request on us, and often there is a line to get into the supermarket. I’m allowed to walk the dog obviously, and I’m really lucky because I am 100 yards from the waterfront and have a lot of open space to enjoy. I work from home, so I’m not inconvenienced really. I can’t go see my folks for a few weeks because my Mum is in one of those people classed as ‘vulnerable’ because she has some minor health problems. The worst thing is that my wife is waiting for her UK entry visa (she is from New Zealand) so we have a nervy wait to see if there are any flights available when she is ready to come here.

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

The community here seems okay. I’ve been here almost a year, so have yet to really get to know a lot of people. The local pub, which I just started to frequent, is now closed because of the government lockdown, and that is a big loss. In terms of music, of course there have been a lot of shows cancelled and that has hurt a lot of promoters and bands. Most of my contact with those guys is online and most of us are doing okay, if maybe a little stressed.

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

I personally am more creative when faced with a challenge or when I am dealing with some sort of life event. Conan was born from such circumstances and I’ve been writing some cool stuff as well as hatching some interesting ideas while we’re all under these restrictions. It’s not fun, but it affects us all so I’d rather keep myself busy than allow frustration to set in.

http://www.hailconan.com/
https://www.facebook.com/hailconan/
https://www.instagram.com/hailconan/
https://conan-conan.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ungraven/
https://www.instagram.com/thisisungraven/
https://ungraven.bigcartel.com/
https://ungraven.bandcamp.com/
https://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://blackbowrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Black-Bow-Records-565275456841866/
https://www.weareblackskull.com/

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Days of Rona: Scott Harrington of Salt of the Earth Records & New England Stoner and Doom Fest

Posted in Features on April 6th, 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

SCOTT HARRINGTON SALT OF THE EARTH

Days of Rona: Scott Harrington of Salt of the Earth Records (Colchester, Connecticut)

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

I own Salt Of The Earth Records & 313 INC Artist Management, and I am a co-conspirator of The New England Stoner and Doom Festival.

The label side of things we have been busy because we do a good amount of mailorder, and people have been buying music and other things to help entertain themselves while staying in… We just had the new Thunderbird Divine EP, The Hand of Man, come out this week, and we have been using our YouTube channel to promote the release and hopefully give fans an entertaining look behind the scenes. Something visual to go along with the music side.

As far as the crisis having an impact on plans, it definitely has. Today we had to announce that New England Stoner and Doom Festival is being postponed till next year (May 14-16, 2021). The good news is that it appears all of the bands are on board.

We also had a really big European tour that was going to be announced this week, that we have postponed till next February. As well as we had a huge concert event “Friday The 313th Oddities Bazaar” scheduled for March 13, that we canceled to be on the safe side. It was before the quarantine and at the moment when we canceled it, we wondered if we were going overboard, but in hindsight I feel we 100 percent did the right thing.

People need to stay home.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

We are based in Colchester Connecticut, a suburb of Hartford. So we are kind of in the middle of CT.

Our town and surrounding towns are quarantined except for essential workers.

My family has been in self-quarantine since March 12. We are taking this extremely seriously.

My son-in-law works for UPS as a driver. He is an essential worker, and I am proud as all hell of him. He is a major part of bringing some sort of normalcy to a lot of people. And he is extremely careful. Who would have thought a month ago that an Amazon order containing cereal, toothpaste and peanut butter would have made me happier then even a package with some killer records in it? It’s crazy times no doubt.

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

The virus’s effect has been monumentally huge on my local community as well as our global music community. There are so many tattoo shops, record stores, recording studios, venues, bars, merchandise printers, vinyl and CD manufacturers that have been forced to close for who knows how long. It’s a huge petrifying sacrifice on their parts. And I truly thank them with my all of my heart For doing the right thing, even though it’s not easy at all.

I feel like the music community has really come together to support each other and others around us. I see lots of people buying bands music and merch online… PLEASE KEEP DOING THIS! Every single sale can make a big difference.

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

I want each and every person reading this to know all hope is not lost. We are being forced to show our resiliency and we are being reminded of the things that are really important. Family, friends and our health. I’m going to sound like a hippie here, but in my family we have raised (and are still raising) our kids by a simple creed: Be a good human.

If someone needs help, and you can help them… do it.

And Even through this chaos I count myself lucky. I have my wife and my kids and this huge global metal family that I am part of. I really appreciate all of the artists that we have the honor of working with. As well as all of the awesome metal fans we get to bring the heavy to.

Thank you. Each of you.

Please be safe. Please be well.

Be good humans.

https://www.facebook.com/SaltOfTheEarthRec/
www.SaltOfTheEarthRecords.com
http://www.Newenglandstoneranddoomfest.com
https://www.facebook.com/NewEnglandStonerAndDoomFest/

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Days of Rona: Scott O’Dowd of Cortez

Posted in Features on April 6th, 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

cortez scott odowd

Days of Rona: Scott O’Dowd of Cortez (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?

We have been finishing up artwork for our new album that we recorded in the fall with Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios. As far as playing shows, we’ve definitely had to cancel a few, and likely more as this pandemic continues. Cortez as a band has decided to suspend rehearsal for the time being as well, three of the members have children, and it just doesn’t seem like a good idea to risk getting together to rehearse in light of the current situation. Everyone is healthy at the current moment.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

In Massachusetts, the governor issued a stay-at-home advisory for non-essential personnel as well as limiting public gatherings to groups of 10 or less. The have also closed bars/restaurants except for take out. It’s pretty eerie exactly how quiet the city of Boston and surrounding areas have been, compared to normal.

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

As for the community, most people seem to be taking this seriously as expected. Most seem to be following the social distancing guidelines and wearing masks and/or gloves in grocery stores, etc. It has obviously affected the ability to be social but people seem to be finding ways to adapt. Whether through FaceTime, or phone calls, or video chats.

Locally there have been Facebook groups / pages where local musicians have been doing live streams from their homes or rehearsal spaces.

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

We as a band, are approaching this like most folks, waiting it out and trying to stay safe. It’s going to feel really nice to get together in a room and play some music when this is all over! I have a sneaking suspicion that we will have a ton of new albums to listen to once this passes as everyone suddenly has a lot of time on their hands.

http://www.cortezboston.com
http://www.instagram.com/cortezboston
http://www.facebook.com/cortezboston
http://cortezboston.bandcamp.com

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