The Best Medicine for Quarantine: Interview with Chase Gilroy

By Maryann Hayatian

With the recent trend of drive in movie theaters making a comeback, the pandemic has also affected an all too important method for up and coming bands to gain exposure: live local performances.

With bars, clubs, and restaurants struggling to remain open, many have resorted to takeout options to sell their product. However, for the many artists who rely on these spaces to perform together and in front of new fans, the future has looked bleak. Chase Gilroy, an online creator with more than 600k YouTube subscribers who’s amassed over a million views. A budding musician himself who got his start as many do in high school through band and jazz class where he rocked awesome trumpet solos, Chase saw a need for the many musicians who depended on the city’s thriving bar and club scene for opportunities to play.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

“My name is Chase Gilroy and I’m a creator online with over 600k subscribers on YouTube with millions of views on the stuff I post. I love family, being goofy and having fun always. I believe in keeping a positive mindset no matter what life throws at me.”

Music has been part of you for a long time, when did you notice that was important to you?

“I fell in love with music at an early age. In high school I was in band, played trumpet for marching band, jazz band, and I was the dude they always gave the solos too. It wasn’t until college that I got into guitar and that’s when things got serious for me. Had a band with some friends, called invalid, never really went anywhere with it but it was the closest I ever came to being a rockstar lol music is a staple in my life, whenever I’m feeling any kind of way there’s some sort of music I can listen to that puts me in a good mood.” 

What kind of music inspires you?

“ROCK! I’m a big fan of rock, particularly emo, I’m still emo at heart. One of my all time favorite bands is Mayday Parade.”

What inspired you to create GarageBandsLive? 

“So I have a lot of friends in the music industry, I noticed that there was nothing going on  because of COVID. I happen to have a space at my house where I could build a little studio and I put the two together and created GarageBands Live. I knew that I needed something to do and likewise my friends needed somewhere to play. It was the perfect scenario for the current situation. We could stream a show from the garage and still had the ability to reach the same amount of people that these artists would play too live at a bar. It’s been an amazing experience to have so many bands gravitate towards what we’re doing and every single one has been blown away at the quality we’ve been able to produce.”

What is the purpose?

“Let’s face it, as a creator there’s always the need for evolution. You can’t stay in the same place for long or you will burn out or become irrelevant. Understanding that early in is key to staying active online. It was the perfect time in my career to evolve into something different. A perfect fit honestly as I’ve loved music and I’ve been a creator for years. It was the perfect marriage of the two passions I’ve developed over the years. Not to mention I want to help the music community. I’ve seen musicians struggle to be able to play shows, they’re not playing shows at any reasonable capacity this year so I knew I could help people with this.”

Are there bands you would like to participate with GarageBandsLive and why?

“Not really, I want any band that’s got talent to have the opportunity to play here. It would be awesome to have big name talent come do a show but I can leave anyone out. It’s all about community here.“

How do you feel about your followers on any social platform looking up to you?

“I love it. The fact that people from all over the world relate to me or perhaps I make them laugh, it feels amazing. I’m forever grateful for anyone who follows me and supports what I do, it literally means the world to me. I wouldn’t be where I am without my followers! I owe them everything!”

What is the schedule? Is it free to watch? 

“Currently we do shows for free on twitch.tv/GarageBandslive every Thursday and Friday night at 10pm eastern. It’s free to watch and we always leave a digital tip jar open for anyone who wants to contribute. The bands don’t pay to play and I don’t pay them, so the only way for any of us to earn anything is by the generosity of the viewers. Much like a bartender. “

When the pandemic is done, will you allow viewers to be the real audience at your garage?

“Lol no, the home is a sacred place. Eventually if we can grow this thing it would be awesome to get into a legit space. And then maybe we could put on shows for a live crowd!”

Are there any upcoming events you are organizing like contests, fundraisers, charities or even karaoke? 

“Hahaha not a karaoke type of situation here. We do have a bigger “ticketed” show coming up for a Noise Auction CD release party. But we’re always trying to develop new cool ideas to grow the platform into something bigger. “

Will there be meetups with your viewers when the pandemic is done?

“I’ve always wanted to do a meet up! One day I’m gonna do one at the beach with a bunch of people who would be down.”

It’s cool what you created for your viewers to participate on the light switch and the smoke. You got other projects you want to share with them?

“We’re looking into cool ways to get the audience to interact or influence the show. Choosing the light colors is dope! Looking into other perks they can redeem during the show, like, shotgun a beer, make me play a song, after show streams etc.”

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