The pandemic has changed the way that many people go about their everyday lives. In the wake of concert arenas and other live music venues slowly starting to reopen, Turlock’s local metal band, Perfect Nightmares, shares their experience of being a band during the pandemic.
The most important components to any band's success rely heavily on efficient communication between band members, countless hours of practice with one another, and a shared common goal that each band member is collectively striving for. However, some may wonder as to how this can be done effectively during a quarantine.
During the beginning of quarantine, renting a place to practice simply wasn’t an option due to most places being forced to close, which forced the band to try new methods.
“So we even tried to do Zoom practices and Skype, and it was so hard because you get lags here and there and so nothing seemed to line up together,” explains Lead Guitarist Stephanie Vershay.
During this time, the band’s friends would support them by offering them space within their own homes to practice. The band would do so while implementing social distancing precautions such as staying 6 feet apart and wearing masks.
The process of booking gigs and performing was something that was better left postponed until live venues were available for the band. This was partially due to how Zoom concerts would not capture the same experience as a live performance would.
Metal music concerts and the surrounding environment consist of the dedicated fans in the crowd and the sensation of feeling the music blare out in front of you makes for a very surreal and exhilarating experience. When music venues switched to an online platform, Perfect Nightmare was adamant that if they were to perform, it would be in a way which gave their fans the complete Perfect Nightmare experience.
“I would say that we kind of used this pandemic as an opportunity to tighten things up and not have to worry about shows- we’re just trying to get our material written and make sure everything is ready for when we hit the studio and then once we have all that done, we would like to start some shows,” elaborates Lead Vocalist Mari Anguis.
As the band is eagerly anticipating hitting the recording studio to record their own original content, that is to be released sometime this summer, they are also very excited to see the current rate at which vaccines are being distributed to the public.
“I think as things start opening back up and people start getting their vaccines, opportunities will be coming,” states Vershay.
Since establishments have been reopening within the past couple months, the band currently rents a room to practice from Valley Music Institute (VMI) in Modesto twice a week. However, that is not to say that practicing has gone back to the way it was before quarantine. Just as grocery stores have not fully gone back to normal, other establishments have also put in measures to ensure the safety of their customers.
“It's not like it was before- because now it's harder to get into practice. There’s sanitation that has to go on and you have to let everyone clear out of the room before you could go in,” describes Vershay.
VMI is actually a very special place to the band due to how it was there where most of the members met one another. Anguis and Vershay had met 8 years ago while being part of a program in which they also met their band’s drummer, Chandler Miller. Guitarist Luis Cevantes, like Vershay, went on to join Stan State’s music program which was where they had met and thus the band was born.
Though practice has changed, the band has dedicated their time at VMI to focus on their songwriting and making sure their sound is perfected. As a band that has gone through the struggles of the pandemic, the advice they'd give to other bands would be to focus on their sound, work on playing music with one another, and to view one another as friends first rather than bandmates.
“As a band, we’re here to support each other,” declares Cevantes.
If you are interested in supporting Perfect Nightmare and hearing their upcoming music this summer, you can do so by following them on their social media accounts below. Also, if you are a bass player that has experience in playing metal, they are currently looking for applicants. If you are interested, their contact info can be found on their Facebook page.