Pentagon Tales * Trasmissioni dal lockdown
Brad Weber (Pick a Piper/ Caribou)
1. Where are u right now?
2. What’s happening in your country/city at the moment?
Canada has lower Covid cases than a lot of other countries, so we don’t have a strict lockdown like some countries.
Parks are closed and people are encouraged to leave the house as little as possible, only for a short exercise period every time and once a week or less to get groceries.
Are there any restrictions?Are venues/shops/bars opened?
All non-essential services are closed. Restaurants are allowed to do take-out food, but no sitting in. Bars/venues are all closed.
The streets look really empty, it’s a bit eerie!
3. Did u have any tour/gig planned before this Thing started?
Yes, I had 7 weeks of touring with Caribou planned that got cancelled at the last minute.
Our rehearsal sessions were almost perfectly timed so that we finished our rehearsals just in time to play no shows! haha
We likely would have cancelled the remainder of rehearsals had we planned on going longer and likely would have at least played a couple of shows had we finished rehearsals earlier.
Our tour was to go until the beginning of May. Now our summer plans are slowly being cancelled too. I’m not optimistic about playing any shows anytime soon.
4. How this situation is reflecting on your everyday life?
In some respects, it’s a bit similar right to how it usually is. When I’m not on tour, I spend a lot of at time at home making music and recharging.
However, I also go out to a lot of events in the city, see friends play live, make music with others.
Not being able to socialize with anyone else (other than my wife) is a bit strange too! Although we are doing lots of video chats with friends.
5. How the Music Community in your country/city is reacting?
A lot of people are connecting online and collaborating that way. People have been recording and releasing covers of each other’s songs.
Lots of live streams have been happening. I did a DJ set with some friends the other night in a small Zoom session and we just took turns playing tunes.
People have been reaching out to each other in a way that we often didn’t do before and that’s really nice to see.
6. Do u usually have any help from the Government if u’re
a musician in your country?Do musicians get money if they tour?
There are some government programs in place to help musicians with recording, manufacturing and touring costs.
They are often very hard to get and slightly geared towards more popular musicians. I have been the beneficiary a few times with Pick a Piper but haven’t had much luck in recent years.
I am very lucky that our government recently announced a program that will help most unemployed people in the country. Usually being a self-employed musician, I’m not eligible for any unemployment assistance.
This benefit helps those that aren’t eligible otherwise.
7. How the Government reacted?Did they think about the economical loss and disaster the musicans are facing?
The government hasn’t reacted specifically to the arts for the most part. But this emergency benefit they are paying out is helping a lot.
There are some Toronto initiatives, both private and by local governments to give out a small amount of aid to musicians/arts workers in need.
One example is a program to pay musicians $1000 to perform a live streaming concert at home. I applied for that but haven’t heard back yet.
8) What’s the social situation where u live?How people in general are living these days?What’s the percentage of your friends that right now is not working for this reason?
A large percentage of my friends are unemployed and I wish we could all get together and just make music!
It’s a very bizarre situation – everyone you know is unemployed with tons of free time, but no one can get together physically.
But we are trying to rectify that with lots of virtual time and collaborations online.
9. How’s reacting the Society and do u think after this will be over something will change in the everyday life?Do u think people will change anything in their life?
I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but humans aren’t good at learning from their mistakes.
I hope the outcome is that people appreciate everyday life a bit more and don’t take for granted all of the comforts we are so lucky to have.
Maybe people will slow down a bit and pay more attention to others and try to put the interests of their friends and family above their own.
10. Is there anything u would recommend to the people of the music world during these hard times?
So many great livestreams, playlists, one-off releases, DJ mixes, etc are coming out right now. Soak it up!
11. Is there any book/lp/movie u read/listened/watched recently that u would recommend ?
I’ve gone back and watched a lot of Anthony Bordain: Parts Unknown. It’s a nice substitute to actually being able to travel. It’s a show full of amazing human connection, which is much needed right now.
Star Trek: Picard was amazing. Highly recommended