Checking In: ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Jason Reece Navigating Uncharted Territory

Trail of Dead co-engine decries music’s “shoddy substitute” for shows

Tenth LP in 25 years, “X: The Godless Void and Other Stories achieves full circle career transcendence behind core co-leaders Conrad Keely and Jason Reece,” opined Alejandra Ramirez back in only February. Revealed the latter ...Trail of Dead driver at the time: “At first, it was going to be called something like Into the American Void.” Has a ring to it now.

Conrad Keely and Jason Reece (r) leading ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead at the Far Out Lounge on January 14 (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Austin Chronicle: Where are you sheltering and under what circumstances? Who else is there and how’s that going?

Jason Reece: I am in Austin right now and I am lucky enough to own a moderate sized house with a backyard. I’m with my two sons and my wife. We are doing alright: drinking a bit more, bored, trying to get in some workouts. I am trying to homeschool my kids and it’s been pretty frustrating.

AC: At what point did C-19 shut down operations for you, and what went down with the ship, so to speak, both personally & professionally?

JR: Around March 12, the band flew back from London, barely escaping the European shut down. Trail of Dead had a tour starting mid April, but we definitely had a feeling that the situation was not going to get better but worse. We started to think about postponing the tour.

“Music burns you in one moment and embraces you in another. It’s been therapeutic and brutal all at the same time.”

We put that into action. As a musician, touring is what we do and how we reach people. It feels strange that it happened so quickly.

AC: As a global culture, people employ music for every purpose imaginable, obviously spanning religion to entertainment and everything in between. What happens to communities like ours when people can no longer access it in person?

JR: Uncharted territory. My guess is that we’ll find this virtual version of playing shows a shoddy substitute for the real thing. Maybe, we need to submit to living our best virtual life. HA!

AC: Everyone’s had to shift or drastically alter their work situation. What does that look like for you?

JR: It definitely messed this year up for me and our band. We had an album come out in February. Our plan was to tour hard and really make it a priority. Now... who knows? Like everyone I know, we’re doing what we can to keep it alive.

AC: What’s your soundtrack for the apocalypse and what role does music play for you as a fan and scholar of it in times of hardship?

JR: I have been really getting into the Murder Capital, a moody dark punk band from Dublin. They’re in their 20s. It’s great to hear young folks banging out noise on guitars. Their lyrics are really moving. Council flat rock.

Music burns you in one moment and embraces you in another. It's been therapeutic and brutal all at the same time. Let’s hope that we can get it back to a live setting again.

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