Outside Infinity holds a band meeting every week at a studio they built in Taylorsville. I called them in the middle of one, the movement of a drum set clanging in the background. Bassist Gary Galvan has a newfound appreciation for these get togethers since the pandemic. “I get to hang out with my friends. Play some music. Get loud. It’s been nice,” he says.
The members of Outside Infinity have played the local scene in various metal and rock outfits for 30 years. They’re frank about who they are: family men with “a very time consuming, expensive hobby” and in it for the love of the music. Lead vocalist Strong lists a spectrum of influences from ’90s grunge to country and funk. Just about the only genre he eschews is pop. “We have always appreciated music where somebody’s talking about something real.” They released their album, Full Bloom, early in the pandemic. (Available on Amazon, Apple Music and Spotify)
“Everything just kind of stopped for a lot of musicians,” says lead guitarist Paul Christensen. “It’s not their fault because a lot of clubs stopped booking, but we had some music that we wanted people to hear, so we kept going.”
Outside Infinity has had a steady stream of shows, playing a gig about once a month in 2020. Rhythm guitarist Derek Walker started to notice a tonal shift in some of the local clubs. “I don’t think they realized how important a local band is to them, you know what I mean? Until now.”
A symbiotic relationship exists between venue and band. Each needs the other to survive. Pre-pandemic, clubs would bring in local bands to open for a touring headliner. Now, clubs must rely solely on those local acts to entice patrons.
“We’re trying our best whenever we have the opportunity,” says Galvan. “If these clubs go out of business—if they don’t make it because of the pandemic—it takes the local scene out from underneath us.” COVID-era restrictions have meant smaller crowds without packed-in bodies pressed against the stage, but performing through one of the worst crises in modern history requires a sense of duty. “Especially at a time like this, you want to give people something,” says lead vocalist Hyrum Strong. “You can listen to music online all you want. There’s something about a live show that touches you.”
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