'I’m blown away': Saskatoon guitar player connects amateur musicians from across the globe for virtual band
SASKATOON -- Every morning, Dan Kiersted takes a seat in front of his computer and checks his Facebook, anxious to see the latest music videos posted to his group
“It’s great to open up Facebook at times and see there are 15-20 people waiting to have their videos put up for everybody to see,” Kiersted said from his home in Saskatoon.
“I looked this morning and we’re sitting at 1,100 (members) which is amazing to me.”
In 2018, Kiersted created the group Amateur Musicians to bring together local amateur musicians and provide a space to share music.
While the group began with close friends and online friends, Kiersted said since the pandemic hit, Amateur Musicians grew.
“I never imagined it would become a global thing,” he said. “But I now have members from anywhere from Afghanistan, Austria, Australia, Ireland, Scotland, India, USA, Czech Republic, New Zealand. It’s people that without this group I would have never known.”
Videos from across the world are posted and shared daily in the private group, Kiersted said.
In Perth, Australia, Paul Lucas joined the group when there were around 250 members. While he’s mostly shy when it comes to performing for others, the online audience through Amateur Musicians has helped him breakthrough his stagefright.
“To be brutally honest they are so much fun and once again it’s with people we’ve never set foot in a living room with,” he said. “You don’t have to be a Bruce Springsteen or a Madonna, or a Justin Bieber.”
Kiersted said a member pitched the idea of the group coming together to perform together as a band and recording music videos for the page.
The only thing left was what to call themselves -- Kiersted suggested Perfect Strangers and it stuck.
“It’s been an interesting experience having six to eight people in different countries, who have never met in person, be able to perform together,” Kiersted said.
“It’s amazing. I’m blown away by how it took off and what it has become in the short time it’s been going.”
After a day of posting and monitoring activity on the page, once Kiersted goes to sleep, Lucas takes over, and like Keasted, it’s the best way to start his morning.
“There’s never a dull moment and there’s always someone posting something and it’s always worthwhile to stop to have a cup of coffee and listen to the great music.”