Isolation Drills: Geremiah Giampa (Brother Starling)

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.

Giampa: 2020 has lived a pretty hard life: bushfires in Australia, impeachment, worldwide quarantine, economic crisis, Kim Jong Un died/April Fools and murder hornets. Seriously, though, murder hornets? What’s a name that we can use to freak out the already freaked out? How about “murder hornets?” Sold! 

I’ve been trying to stay positive during the quarantine and to be thankful. I’m lucky enough to be home with my pregnant wife and three pets. We are all healthy, we have modern conveniences, delivery of food or whatever random item we can find off of the internet, and my wife and I still have our jobs, unlike so many others. I am always trying to keep that in perspective. Also, I’m basically wearing the same clothes for three to four days at a time just because. 

Music-wise, quarantine sucks. If our band (Brother Starling) was quarantined together (with recording gear), it would probably be a fun time for us. It’s tough because we just released an album that took us a year to make, we were booking shows for spring throughout summer and fall to promote it, rehearsing a lot, and then the world stopped. Even when things open up, packing people into music venues is not going to happen for awhile after that. Like many musicians around the globe, we’re going to be in a holding pattern for shows indefinitely. That is definitely disappointing.

We tried getting together virtually to bounce ideas back and forth, but with the latency, it was like all five of us had delay pedals on. It was not pretty at all, but we had a good laugh about it. What we’re doing now is one of us will start an idea in Garageband, send it to the cloud, then another person adds a layer, and so on. It’s good to keep the juices flowing, but it definitely can’t replace being all together in the same room. The closest we get to being together is that our drummer Tom has been been a mad scientist in his basement brewing different beers. He’s our personal Santa Claus and leaves six packs on our porches in the night for us to try.

My heart goes out to all of the families and businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. It’s a weird world we’re living in, but we will get through it together. We always do.