Editor’s Note: Welcome to Quarantainment, Vanyaland’s new series on what to watch, what to hear, and how to deal as the world engages in social distancing to combat the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19. We’re all at home, we’re all online, and we’re all in this together. #StayTheFHome
While most people are at home in relative isolation attempting to curb the spread of coronavirus, Alex Garcia-Rivera is practicing a different type of social distancing. The American Nightmare drummer is driving across the country, a bee-line from Los Angeles to Boston, with his expansive gear all packed up, trying to get home to his wife and kids after the band’s tour was cancelled due to the pandemic.
As he races through ghost land cities and America’s heartland, banging out marathon drives over the past several days, his solo instrumental project Chrome Over Brass today (March 17) releases a cruising new single called “Beyond The Nile.” Listen to it below on either Bandcamp or Spotify.
“I wanted to cut myself loose from doing heavy songs and do something more in line with what I listen to,” Garcia-Rivera tells Vanyaland earlier today, straight from a truck stop in Ohio. “I had been listening to a lot of Nile Rogers productions and really dissecting the sound and instrumentation. I wanted to do something cleaner sounding, with no distortion. On top of that, there’s my lifelong love with The Cure and Robert Smith. If I step back and listen objectively, I think what came out is something like one of the pop-ier Cure songs, but with a refined technicality of Rush’s later work… but then filtered through the lens of a lifelong hardcore-punk drummer with limited experience on non-drum instruments.”
In a true sign of these times of isolation, Garcia-Rivera not only plays every instrument himself, but also built the custom drum kit utilized on “Beyond The Nile” and recorded, mixed and mastered the track himself at his Mystic Valley Studio, which he owns, built, and operates.
“I had to buy a trumpet and learn how to use it and if you make it past the bridge, you’ll hear that. This is a totally DIY effort, in the truest sense. Maybe this song can showcase what you can do by yourself on COVID-19 self-quarantine,” he says with a laugh.