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.
Kevin McCall (vocals, guitar): What a long, strange trip it’s been. Look at what you’ve done, Corona! Here I am writing 1970s yearbook clichés, quoting theGrateful Dead! Gaaah!
Prior to COVID-19, keeping the band consistent was a bit of a struggle. Work, relationships, personal growth and other musical projects took a priority over Andorra. For a time, our live-event schedule basically revolved around Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s tour route. Dante DiLoreto (guitar) works as the band’s stage-monitor tech. While he’s traveling two-to-three months at a time, we’re planning his next big weekend in town with a show. If booking and carving out time to write and record wasn’t hard enough, this pandemic certainly made it worse. It felt powerless to be in the same city with our bandmates knowing we could be together with instruments in hand, but quarantining was essential to our well-being.
Playing live is our therapy. We need rock ‘n’ roll to survive! It’s what we live and breathe, but its entire industry is suffering. The musical break that was forced upon us was necessary to regroup and relearn how to be a band in 2020. That means lots of acoustic performances, live streaming, Zoom “in the rounds,” DIY drive-in shows and more. It’s easy to resist these newer ideas, but ya gotta change with the times. We have learned to take more risks without risking our safety.
Just recently, we got to the point where we feel comfortable enough to jam. It isn’t without its interruptions, but we’ve been able to participated in BrainFest, 118 North’s Tailgate Takeout, Grape Room’s Window Stage, Joe Werner’s Virtual Vacation and some full-band antics like David Harvey of Primatives’ “Harvey’s House” Twitch Feed. (Really got to blow off some steam there!) Also just being in each other’s company for documentary plans, beach proposals, matching boozehound tattoos and Taco Tuesdays has been much needed for morale.
We’re working through it, though! Longing for the day when we can pack everyone into a little club again. Hoping that day comes sooner than later. Until then, wear yer masks and keep on rockin’ in the free world.
“Soaked in Bud Light and regret,” Andorra is Kevin McCall, Jordan Petrellis, Michael Trycieckyj and Dante DiLoreto. The band formed in 2010, hails from Philadelphia and named itself after the Philly suburb , not the country. Andorra’s newest release, Family Tree, is available to stream now.