Daily Spinn: Vanity Fear Shows Ingenuity in the Face of COVID

A pandemic, partial relocation, and studio upgrades haven’t stopped cinematic rockers Vanity Fear from creating in 2020. Their new album, Optophobia, was released last week, and they’ve documented the process of their wild and unpredictable year in a five-part YouTube series titled, The New Normal.

“We were, like everyone else, collectively attempting to adapt to our new normal and watching how the world was reacting, and it all just came pouring out. That’s when you know what you’re writing is honest and genuine,” said vocalist Matt Hardy. “The writing was so easy; we should have known that nothing else about the process would be. We just finished up the release of our EP, Faith, when the pandemic hit. At that time, four out of five members lived in Columbus, GA, and one (guitarist Jeff Cobb) lived in North Carolina. Then, right after we wrote “Virus,” Brandon and Heather (Diaz) moved north to the Atlanta area, taking the primary studio with them.”

From there, Cobb used his remote recording experience to track the guitars, while Hardy and drummer Kyle Netherland acquired new equipment in order to track independently.

“In the midst of a pandemic and a relocation, we decided to document the process,” Hardy said.

That process included a new, COVID-safe music video for “Virus.” The band recorded in two locations — the Diaz’s new home, which has a panic room, and Hardy’s home, which is currently under renovation — and used strobing LED light strips, a $20 black light, some Halloween contact lenses, and licensed stock footage to put the whole project together.

“Challenged with not only the distance between us, but also the challenge of shooting a COVID-safe music video that still delivered a quality visual experience and didn’t look DIY,” Hardy said. “To execute that, we relied on more conventional methods that we feel made a huge impact visually, while maintaining a relevance to the source material. With a panic room, strobe lights, contacts, and a home under construction, you have everything you need for a post apocalyptic feel.”

Add in about 30 hours of editing, and you have “Virus.” Watch it below as today’s Daily Spinn!

The Daily Spinn is presented by The Quinn Spinn, UMC’s bi-monthly podcast. The Quinn Spinn features conversations with musicians, producers, content creators, and industry professionals, providing insight into what it takes to succeed as a creative entrepreneur in today’s industry. Follow the show and listen to the latest on SpotifyAnchorApple Podcasts, and more!

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