Canadian folk punk artist Greg Rekus is proud to reveal his YouTube channel, titled Far From Gregular.
On this new project, Greg comments: “March 15th 2020: The day I cancelled my tour.
Like so many other people, the whole Covid thing took me by surprise. Living through SARS, H1N1, and any other viruses that proved to have more bark then bite, I kinda assumed it would be another one of those issues where you hear about it. But it doesn’t seem to affect you or anyone you really know. Boy was I wrong! I was about 2 weeks into a 3-month tour when shit hit the fan. Tim Holehouse and I were travelling from Winnipeg to Montreal via 17 shows in the USA. After that, we were supposed to meet my partner, Katie, in Montreal and fly to Paris for a few French shows before doing 2 weeks in the UK. And then a whole bunch in mainland Europe. I even had dates planned in Greece.
In early March, attendance at shows was steadily dropping. It became obvious that even if we wanted to risk it and keep going, no one was even going to come out to see us. I ended up dropping Tim off at a friend’s place in Connecticut who would play one more show with him before taking Tim to the airport so he could catch a flight home. I drove back to Canada and sheltered for two weeks in Ontario.
That was when I started doing videos from my van. I was still kinda in shock, and a routine helped me get through the days. The first week of my quarantine was spent at a hotel. And every day at 5pm, I would drive to a parking lot to record. The hotel wasn’t very sound-proof and I doubted everyone wanted to hear me yell and scream on the daily. I filmed the next week of videos from my partner’s driveway. I was shocked that the first video had gotten over 1000 views pretty much overnight. That didn’t last, however, and after a few posts it was more around the 100 mark per video. Not that 100 people isn’t awesome! Everyone was very supportive. I don’t know how I would have made it through those 2 weeks without that.
It wasn’t a bunch of fun to play alone in my van. Over the next month or so, I continued to film the van videos, and even did a few live streams. It’s kinda neat to see people tune in and post comments, but again, I’m basically just playing to my phone and hoping that people are watching. It was hardly the reason I started playing music.I can only assume that at some point, Covid will go away. I mean, in ten years time there is no way we will still not be able to travel, right? Five years? Probably not? Three years…? However, it has become apparent that this is definitely going to be a lot longer of a ride before I can tour again.
Online seems to be the only option for putting out content to try and stay relevant. And as much as I appreciate people tuning into my live streams, it’s not quite enough to satisfy my taste to entertain. I’m a big fan of YouTube, especially semi-educational stuff such as Vsauce and Kurzgesagt. I’m kinda a closet nerd and love to learn. I always wanted to do my own videos, but never really had the time. All of a sudden, I now find myself with nothing but time. I wanted to try to keep somewhat of a presence in the world so people won’t forget about me by the time I’m able to tour again. Putting out videos of me playing was starting to get stale pretty quickly. I wanted to make something a bit more fresh. I started doing some research on the Gibson SG and then tried to put a script together.
I built a DIY teleprompter and took my iPhone out to the van to start recording myself. It was actually kind of fun! Using an online video editing program, I cut a quick video together. I mean, it wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough to decide that I would give being a YouTuber a shot as a way to get me through this pandemic. I upgraded my computer and wrote another 8 scripts. The last two months have been nothing but recording and editing my videos. Finally, this past weekend I posted and off I went! My goal is to try to get 100 subscribers. I’m already almost at 40. If I reach my goal, then maybe I’ll try for 1000.
This isn’t my first choice in terms of what I wanna do with my life. But I’m sure a lot of people feel like that right now. If I’m stuck in Winnipeg for the next 3 years or so, I’m going to make the best of it and hopefully learn something and make some new friends along the way.”