Last year, the German/Norwegian group the Whitest Boy Alive reunited following their break-up in 2014. In March, they put out a new song called “Serious” and they were scheduled to play a handful of festivals this year. Obviously that is no longer happening, but before the pandemic caused shutdowns worldwide, the band’s members landed in Mexico to start preparing for a performance at the Tecate Pa’l Norte festival that was supposed to happen at the end of March.
As they all gathered there, they got word that their festival appearances would be cancelled. As part of their arrangements, they had been given four days worth of free studio time at the Hotel El Ganzo in San Jose del Cabo. Travel restrictions made it so that only Whitest Boy Alive leader Erlend Øye and drummer Sebastian Maschat were actually able to make it to the studio, and there they recorded a new album together called Quarantine At El Ganzo, which they put out last week.
Check out the album and Øye’s explanation of how it all came together below.
All the members of Whitest Boy Alive had arrived in Mexico. Myself on March 3rd from Norway. Daniel and Marcin on March 13th from Germany and Italy. Sebastian on March 16th from Costa Rica where he had been the whole winter. The day before we got the news that both festivals were definitely cancelled.
The only thing that wasn’t cancelled was the four days of free studio time we had been given by Hotel El Ganzo in San Jose del Cabo in the remote state of Baja California Sur.
Intent to make the most of it, we were very disappointed when they informed us that the same state of Baja California Sur had just issued new Covid restrictions, so newly arrived Europeans could not enter unless they had been 14 days in Mexico already.
So we were forced to separate. And me and Sebastian Maschat and our booking agent Jorge travelled to San Jose de Cabo and Daniel and Marcin remained in Mexico City.
They couldn’t even travel home directly because most flights had been cancelled.
First we tried to collaborate remotely but it was of course pretty complicated since our band is so much based on live interaction between the 4 of us.
Quarantine At El Ganzo is out now.