Drummer Donald Tardy of Florida death metal veterans OBITUARY spoke to Australia's Riff Crew about how he is dealing with the coronavirus crisis and what the touring circuit might look like post-pandemic. He said (hear audio below): "I'm basically staying away from everybody — even the band. The band has not been together [since the pandemic started]. Everyone has children — there's a lot of children involved in this band. So we're kind of just staying away from each other at this point. Ken's [Andrews, guitar] over in Orlando, which is a hundred miles away. Trevor [Peres, guitar] lives about an hour away from the studio. So we're basically just writing riffs on our own and recording them and tucking them away, and we're gonna begin the process of writing songs together over the Internet."
He continued: "We've never done that before; we've always been a band to write riffs and come up with ideas and talk to each other on the phone and stuff, but we're realizing that we've gotta do this. There's no sense to be getting together every day or every other day when we don't if and when one of us catches this thing. So we're trying our best to be super safe. So what I'm doing is I'm writing. Trevor and I are going over stuff — he's sending me riffs, I'm sending him drum beats and we're kind of compiling some new stuff for the OBITUARY album. I'm also writing new TARDY BROTHERS stuff. And to keep myself busy, when I'm at the studio, I'm filming with my GoPro [camera], just some of my performances, and when I get back to my place, I'm doing a lot of editing and spending a lot of time on some TARDY BROTHERS videos that I'm doing now. Because we did an album a long time ago — a decade ago — and I've had new songs that I had not recorded yet. So I'm really diving into that as well. I'm just keeping myself with music, because that's really all I know. I take care of my house, my girl, my colonies of cats, and after that, it's on to playing drums and writing riffs and coming up with new music."
Tardy went on to say that he and his bandmates are faced with a sobering reality that live concerts may not be possible until well into 2021.
"Sadly, even though it's going on four months now, I don't think it's really dawned on us how long we're about to sit home as a band and as a touring group, because until venues are allowed to do shows and promoters are booking shows and we're feeling safe to go do something, we're gonna be home," he said. "And from the looks of it, and from what my agents are saying, we very well might be home for a year before we get to play one note of one show. So, what a scary reality. We're trying to stay positive; we're trying not to panic. Besides the finance part of it, and we don't really know what's gonna happen if we are having to sit home for a year, what we're gonna try and do is we are gonna try and write a monster of a new OBITUARY album. And that's kind of what our goal is. No matter what happens with us financially, we're still gonna try and find a way to get music started, because when you write a song or a part of a song, if you can tuck it away for a week or two and then you come back and listen to it, any songwriter knows, you always come up with a better idea and you say, 'You know what? We need this part. Something here is needed.' So we're really gonna just focus on getting an album done, getting it written, getting it recorded, and being ready for 2021. And that's really the only thing we can do. Our only job at this point is gonna be getting prepared for 2021, when the gate opens and we're allowed to go unleash the mayhem again."
OBITUARY's latest, self-titled studio album was released in 2017 via Relapse.
Riff Crew is a new media outlet servicing music lovers across the globe. It was launched by Australian metal radio veteran and ex-Triple J radio host Andrew Haug, along with videographer Steven Mitchell. The outlet will feature in-depth interviews, commentary and exclusive live multi-cam footage of some of the finest metal, punk, hardcore and rock bands in the world.