Isolation Drills: Fire In The Radio

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.

Hey everyone, my name is Rich Carbone, and I sing and play guitar in Fire In The Radio. When we were planning to release our new record, Monuments (Wednesday), we could not have predicted we would be doing so in the middle of a global pandemic. And while this has caused use to cancel record-release tours and a performance at Montreal’s Pouzza Fest, those things seem small when placed against the backdrop of friends and family who have been lost and the people who are risking their lives each day to help us get through this. 

It took us a minute to decide that making music at a time like this was even appropriate. What we concluded is that with self-isolation, finding ways to communicate and stay connected is now more important than ever. We are reminded music provides a sense of community and hope. By engaging with others (even remotely), we are doing something to help people find comfort. As a result, we’re more strongly embracing our friends by offering livestreams, unreleased demos and videos to stay in touch. Each member of the band has dedicated a space in their home to write, record and stream online, allowing us to be more interactive and responsive. We’ve also set up the Fire In The Radio Friendship Society. It’s certainly not the same as being together in a live setting, but it’s a way to stay connected in the interim, and we look forward to doing more in this direction in the coming weeks and months.

My wife and I continue to work through this pandemic, but it’s clear how the line is being further divided between the haves and have nots. The gaps we have in resources, information and overall stability is staggering. Social distancing still remains an important preventative measure, but there are many ways we can still help our communities. Non-profits have been hit incredibly hard by the reduction in donations, and I encourage folks, if possible, to please consider supporting the local non-profits in your community that are making a difference.  While not directly related to COVID response, one charity that’s important to us is the Ronald McDonald House. They provide meals, housing and support for families who have children with serious illnesses and must be away from home for long periods. Also, please consider supporting your local restaurants and cafes that have had to reduce or close operations. You can donate to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation.

We look forward to seeing everyone on the other side of this thing.