Wetaskiwin band, Punch Drunk Cabaret was preparing for their busiest summer season yet when the coronavirus pandemic arrived.
With plans for releasing and promoting their new album this summer, the local band has been getting creative in the past months to get their music out to their audience in a social distance format.
While many musicians are performing via live stream amid the pandemic, Punch Drunk Cabaret manager and performer, Randy Bailer says that format “wasn’t something that suited our style.”
The band’s live shows are typically very interactive with their audience, so Bailer says that they were looking a format that would reflect their music better than live stream and allow them to collaborate with their audience.
This collaboration came through in the form of submitted selfies from friends and fans for their April music video for their original song The Beautiful and Decadent. The song is about self-acceptance and the music video was individually shot between band members in their homes as they practiced social distancing.
In the first 24 hours of The Beautiful and Decadent going online it had over 1,000 views, and two days later it was receiving international attention from the German Webzine, UnArt.
Punch Drunk Cabaret has plans to release a new music video every month. Their June music video Bad Crush on Goth Girls was shot locally at the Manluk Theatre in February before the pandemic. Both Wetaskiwin and area locals and fans from across the province make cameos in the video.
The band’s fifth studio album, Vampire Anthems, will be available to stream and download in June. Their first single from the album, We Are All In For It Now, was released last Friday.
“We’ve always been a live band first,” says Bailer. Bailer says if you come to see a Punch Drunk Cabaret live performance, “prepare to be involved.”
However, with COVID-19 performance methods have had to change, and Punch Drunk Cabaret is trying to adapt to the current situation. Involving their fans in their videos is the band’s way of staying connected and interactive with them.
In the near future the band will be putting out a call for submissions to be part of their music video planned for July.
In addition to participating in the band’s call for submissions, Bailer says the best way to interact with the band and show support is commenting on and sharing their work on social media.
Bailer says that this social media support is what helps the band the most. “It lets you know you’re not playing for an empty room,” he says.