Loyola-based band adapts to a ‘new normal’


Cosma Dog performs a live show at Gasa Gasa. The band has been struggling since the outbreak of COVID-19. Courtesy of Kate Fenasci.

Gabby Barre

As the city remains under COVID-19 restrictions and music venues remain closed, local musicians are facing uncertainty about the state of their industry.

At the rise of the COVID-19 outbreak in March, Loyola students and local band members of Cosma Dog, Allison Krusche-Bruck, Isaac Derr, Katy Fenasci and band manager Grace Hawkins experienced first-hand the impacts of the pandemic. Their scheduled live performances, tours and shows were canceled overnight and into the foreseeable future.

“We were supposed to play at Tipitina’s before everything got shut down,” Krusche-Bruck, music industry senior, said. “The plan was to do a spring tour covering four states: Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas for two weeks.”

Krusche-Bruck, the bass player, enjoyed performing around New Orleans in local dive bars and venues. Like her fellow bandmates, Krusche-Bruck had no idea that they would be separated after their last performance for such a prolonged period.

“I have been trying to pass the time by writing music, but I miss my bandmates,” Krusche-Bruck said. “It’s been hard to practice together with everything going on.”

“It’s been difficult with members from all different places, in all different physical locations trying to coordinate practices,” Hawkins said.

Even though many artists have been using Zoom and schools have been incorporating this platform as a way to mitigate the impacts of social isolation, Hawkins explained that audio lags on the virtual app have made it a difficult medium to practice and record music on.

Krusche-Bruck, Hawkins and Fenasci not only have felt the swift changes brought by COVID-19 in their musical careers, but also while facing the start of their senior year this fall.

Fenasci, native New Orleanian and the band’s drummer, explained her thoughts on the upcoming semester, saying, “I was disappointed for a long time, but now I’m in a space that I’m excited. “It’s a super unique senior year and an opportunity to face a new challenge.”

For the Cosma Dogs, this historic moment has been a reminder of their name, a launch into the unknown with hope that they will be able to overcome this newfound reality and adapt to social isolation.

“Even though shows are not happening and you can’t go into the studio, the music itself is always going to be there,” Hawkins said. “Music is something that we need now more than ever because in times of hardship, music and other forms of art can be cathodic and healing.”

Despite this uncertainty and the impact of COVID-19 on the music industry’s future, the band Cosma Dog knows one thing will always be certain in their life: music.

“This is a great opportunity to reflect on why we all got into music and why it will never go away,” Hawkins said.