QUARANTINED: Scott Hannay
Scott Hannay took the time to Mirth Films about life in Plattsburgh, the latest and greatest with Scott Hannay Plays Video Games, life while having to social distance and much more. Check out his Quarantined interview below!
How are things going since the impact of the COVID-19?
About as well as can be, given the circumstances. It’s a scary time for a lot of reasons, but I am doing what I can to keep myself happy and healthy. Caitlin has to work from home and I have elected not to drive for Uber during this time, so we’ve been spending more time than ever together!
How’s life in Plattsburgh? Any favorite places to get take out at?
It’s been really nice up here since it warmed up. There are a lot of really great places for us to take walks with the dog and hang out by the lake and river in the sun, although we have noticed a number of people that lack social distancing awareness. A number of our favorite restaurants have actually closed down recently, including Irises, which had a big closing-for-now event the other day. It was probably my favorite dinner and drinks I’ve ever had delivered. Gotta find a silver lining somewhere in these times, and that was martini delivery. Thankfully, we can still get margs from The Pepper!
What things have you been doing to keep yourself busy?
Calling unemployment, learning entire classic video game soundtracks, calling unemployment, playing the new Animal Crossing, calling unemployment, taking long walks daily to keep ourselves active, calling unemployment, performing weekly Sunday afternoon live streams, calling unemployment, and getting acclimated to my streaming setup to be able to control everything just a little bit better each time.
How has corona’s impact on the live music/entertainment industry affected you?
It has affected me greatly in a number of ways. Of course not being able to go out there and perform in front of an audience has been very different, but this time has also inspired me to learn a lot more about how to better live-stream my performances, and to keep trying to provide new content for each one. I’m beginning to find a whole new audience I didn’t know I had.
Do you have any advice for musicians struggling?
Take the extra time, if you’re one of the ones right now that has that, to spend catching up on the things you have felt like you’ve struggled with. I’ve always felt like the development of my left hand on keys has been way behind my right. It still is, but now it just is a little bit less. Gives you something else to focus on when you’re not playing shows.
What’s new with Scott Hannay Plays Video Games?
Well, I’ve begun doing what I hope to be weekly livestreams of myself playing the soundtrack to the game Jeff Bujak is playing, in real-time. Last week we did Super Mario Bros. 3, one of the greatest games of all time. This Friday, we’re doing Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! which requires lightning precision on the player’s part. It’s a great soundtrack too, very memorable. Also, I just began recording a video game cover album that I intend to be properly released to digital markets!
How’s the engaged life treating you?
Very well! We’ve had so many great times and adventures since the engagement, and most recently, our first time in Chicago together! I mentioned before that we’ve been spending more time together than ever due to the quarantine, and it’s been wonderful getting to see each other so much! I can’t imagine being holed up like this with anyone else in the world. We also had a lovely engagement party that essentially marked the end of social functions and the beginning of this new distant time, so it was great to be able to see so many of our good friends before having to close our doors.
What was coming up for you in the coming months prior to the impact of COVID-19?
Leading up to this, I had some of my most jam-packed musical times ever. My friend Marcus Rezak had recruited me for a pair of gigs in Brooklyn, both with completely different song lists, and then a few days later we flew to the PNW to play full sets of Zappa tunes with Ike Willis, who was an integral part of Zappa’s band for the better part of a decade. It was pretty wild being out there on the road with a living musical legend! Following that, we flew to Chicago, where Caitlin came and met up with me for a show there and some more sets at a hotel festival in Illinois. Then, we came home to see the whole country beginning to shut down.
What things do you miss the most with having to social distance?
Concerts. Hugs. I miss being able to hug my friends when I see them, instead of waving to them from 6-plus feet away. Even hugging the occasional stranger that just needed to hug it out after a set. I’m still not sure how to handle going to the laundromat, but I’m gonna have to figure it out really soon or else I’m gonna miss having clean clothes, too!
What music has been getting you through these stressful times?
The sound of what I’m practicing, the sounds of my friends’ live streams piping through a Bluetooth speaker, and whatever is coming from the video game I’m playing usually does pretty well, as I choose not to play games with bad soundtracks. Marc Rebillet’s live streams have provided some awesome content for these crazy times. I’m pretty sure we witnessed him having a total breakdown on his fourth day of completely improvised live streams, and that was honestly pretty inspiring. You can really get in your own head and start to feel like all your ideas are just getting worse and worse, but someone else out there listening could be finding the magic in it. Keep at it.
When going out and about, what precautions are you taking with social distancing?
My main precaution is to not go “out and about”. Caitlin and I take walks around our neighborhood often, and always give more than enough room for everyone to pass each other. It’s important to still say hi though, as I think many people seem to be more scared to be the first to say hi these days. We have also gone to a couple of convenience/liquor stores, but always with a clear plan in mind. We don’t touch what we’re not buying. Get in, keep 6ft distance, get out, disinfect everything on the porch before bringing it inside the apartment. There’s been a lot of teamwork involved, and I’m lucky to have such an incredible teammate!
How can fans support bands during these hard times?
Watch and interact with their live streams, buy their merch, tip them if you dig what they’re doing if you are able. Try to support artists as much as you normally would without driving your car, and remember, nobody will ever have to know that you wore the band’s shirt to their live stream!