Isolation Drills: Trevor Leonard (TEOA)

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.

I’m Trevor Leonard of the Philly folk/rock trio TEOA (The End Of America). Life on lockdown has been a challenge for us, like many bands, because we aren’t quarantined under the same roof, or in the same neighborhood. While I love being home to spend more time with my wife, our two-and-a-half-year-old son and our chug (chihuahua/pug pup), I really miss playing live shows with my TEOA brothers. There’s something about the energy and excitement from a crowd of people in a moment in time, all in the same room, that’s been difficult to replicate. 

An important component to the TEOA sound is our three-part-harmony. Since we can’t harmonize in real time over the internet, we’ve been recording our individual performances in our studios and with video, tracking each other’s parts over top to splice into a virtual set. That has actually worked pretty well and we’ve been broadcasting the performances to our fans through a weekly Facebook Live stream that we do every Thursday at 8:30pm EST. We get online and banter, field some questions and then broadcast our set or a new video.

In addition to the weekly livestreams, which are helping fill some of the lost income from cancelled shows, we’ve all been posting solo video performances and playing our own live Zoom concerts when we can. As for me, I’ve managed to keep working as a mix engineer, since many of my clients record themselves at home and send me their tracks. I mixed our new single, “Not The End,” at my home studio and have been keeping up with mixing and mastering for other bands through this. I’m hopeful that artists will keep making music and keep needing another set of ears to bring their songs to life. I’ve certainly been writing and demoing a lot myself. We even did a TEOA co-writing session over Zoom the other night. There’s lots of material to record and mix, and the writing for sure isn’t going to stop. The workers on the front line are truly the brave heroes in this saga. As artists, we’ve got to write our way through this pandemic, and hopefully bring some positivity and perspective along with the songs.