Arts & Entertainment

Tunnel Songs Singer Dom Martin Talks About Being Quarantined and Adapting the Band’s Plans

Zack Miller | The Phoenix

Another Tuesday night, another Production Night Session — The Phoenix’s new live-stream series featuring Chicago artists performing and answering questions from reporters.

The guest for May 26 was Dom Martin, singer and guitarist of the Cleveland-based rock trio Tunnel Songs.

During the stream, Martin talked about being placed under quarantine by their area’s health department as well as how their band has adapted its plans in the face of the pandemic.

While the pandemic has forced many people to stay at home, Martin — who uses they/them pronouns — was also stuck at home due to their being placed under quarantine after being exposed to the novel coronavirus. 

Both their parents — who they live with — tested positive for COVID-19.

“It was over a month of just staying inside my room all hours of the day,” Martin, 19, said. “It was really hard because I’m a very social person. … The health department contacted me and said I have to be inside and social distance and I had to have someone bring groceries here.”

For fourteen days Martin was required to record their temperature every morning and night for the health department. In addition to this, they elected to voluntarily quarantine for another fourteen days “just to make sure everything was cool.”

“It was very surreal, it was something out of a movie,” Martin said. “It was scary at first but by the last day I was like, ‘whatever.’”

While their parents all made a full recovery, the pandemic has still derailed some of Martin’s plans for their band Tunnel Songs.

Despite not being able to see each other in person, the group has continued to write, with both Eric Heald and Jake Stephens writing parts that Martin described as “Microwave-ish.” Microwave is another band that had to cancel tour dates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Phoenix reported.

Social distancing orders have barred live shows from happening, so Martin said their focus is now on releasing new music. Martin’s first two songs of the stream, “Sleep Song” and “Mount Prospect,” are both unreleased tracks as of publication. 

“Now we’re going to have to focus on releasing music,” Martin said. “Playing it by ear is a huge thing right now, we don’t really have a choice. … We are just planning as if everything is going to be okay eventually. If [our plans] get canceled we aren’t going to be that mad about … nothing’s given.”

As for Tunnel Songs’ canceled live shows, the future is uncertain. The group was set to play a show with California-based artists Graduating Life and King of Heck at Mahall’s, a venue near Cleveland. 

“It really put a dent in tons of stuff we wanted to do over the summer,” Martin said. “We had to cancel a few tours and shows. … It all got canceled but everybody is getting canceled.”

While Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine has lifted the state’s stay-at-home order, he said during a May 24 interview with Meet The Press that the state is “certainly not there yet” in regards to mass gatherings. The Ohio Department of Health has continued to keep concert and music halls closed indefinitely.

Martin closed out the set with their song “You Only Use Me For My Car,” a song off their first extended play. 

The next Production Night Session will be June 2 at 6 p.m. CST on the Loyola Phoenix Instagram page @loyolaphoenix.

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