Isolation Drills: Sean Byrne (Lazy Salon, Camino Sound)

Like the majority of you, all of us in the Philadelphia area are staying at home, learning to adapt to our “new normal.” MAGNET is checking in with local musicians to see how and what they’re doing during this unprecedented time. Photos by Chris Sikich.

Byrne: It’s all a bit surreal, isn’t it? The pandemic has put many of us into a collective weirdness and an unprecedented change in daily life that really doesn’t have any roadmap to follow. Everyone seems to be trying to figure out how to make it work in their own way, and it has been inspiring to see so many people choosing to make positive actions, both large and small, in spite of what sometimes feels like an aimless drift.

There seems to be such a divide between the realities of those on the front lines of this situation and those who are just “riding it out.” It can seem very inconsequential to be concerned with a creative endeavor like music or art while people are putting their lives at risk everyday to help pull our society through such turmoil. I don’t say that as a way of placing any guilt on those who are simply stuck at home, only to keep from losing sight of the staggering work going on outside of our limited views.

I’m lucky and grateful to be home with my wife and children; we’re finding our way through this together and hitting our own groove of a daily routine. I think of family and friends who are navigating this by themselves and what that must feel like after five or six weeks. We do our best to reach out, engage, keep in touch and let them know they are loved and missed.

I’ve seen some discussion about whether it is appropriate to keep creating during a time when much tougher challenges require our energies. I think it’s a fair argument, though I lean toward the side of the conversation that says “keep creating, keeping doing, keep engaged” because there are benefits (known and unknown) to putting some light out there into the darkness. Everyone could benefit from a bit more light these these days.

Sean Byrne has been releasing solo music as Lazy Salon since 2014, with a new album out May 15. He’s now also playing drums with instrumental rock trio Camino Sound, whose debut, Western Excuses, is out now. Previously, Byrne was a songwriter in the Twin Atlas, and drummer in Lenola, Mazarin, BC Camplight and others.