Being In A Band During The COVID-19 Pandemic Catching Up With New Jersey's 'Disciples Of Verity' June 11th, 2020 • Pandemic Band Interview #23
Metal Pulp And Paper: Hello George. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it. So, how have you been holding up during this global pandemic and lockdown?
George Pond: I have had a few stints of feeling depressed not knowing what the future holds, but for the most part I have been just trying to stay busy to make the clock move faster.
MPAP: 2020, the year when almost every concert or music festival has been postponed or canceled until 2021. And 2020 was supposed to be the year of some big reunions. Everyone was excited to see the Rage Against The Machine and the My Chemical Romance tours. So, let’s back up and go over the first five months of 2020, the beginning of a new decade. There was the possibility of World War III happening. There were deadly bushfires in Australia. Then we had the acquittals in the Trump impeachment trials. Prince Harry and Meghan decided to step away from the royal family, and NBA legend Kobe Bryant, and his daughter, along with seven others, unfortunately, died in a helicopter crash in California. The deadly worldwide COVID-19 virus. And then, get this, we even had the Pentagon officially releasing UFO videos. So, what did you have planned for the year before all this madness began? Before all the toilet paper hoarding?
George: Well we had a ton of plans this year releasing our debut Pragmatic Sanction, touring on it, releasing a few Videos, and really just getting out on the road. We will still be doing most of these things, and we are still all very hopeful that we get out on the road before the year is up.
MPAP: This coronavirus has been devastating to everyone around the globe. By mid-March, the coronavirus pandemic had brought the multibillion-dollar concert industry to a screeching halt. Now two months later, Sammy Hagar, from The Circle, ex Van Halen, says concerts can’t wait for a COVID-19 vaccine. Of course, every band wants their fans to be safe, but when your only source of a major income is concerts, it hurts when you have to postpone or cancel a tour. A vaccine could take 12 to 18 months. Do you think he’s right for saying concerts can’t wait any longer?
George: I do think he is right, concerts are a lot of things to a lot of people. Escape, entertainment, enjoyment, income. If you breakdown the amount of people hurt by not having concerts, I am sure the amount is greater than the amount of people affected in the world due to COVID-19. Not that I am downplaying the virus at all, don’t get me wrong. I believe we could get back to what we were doing, we just have to be more careful about it. It’s not going to be easy, but it can be done and it can be done safe. We all need to get back to living. I may not agree with a vaccine, as a matter a fact I don’t agree at all about them until many years of research have been done on them. I do however think that once they know how to treat it and the hospitals are not over run by it, then we will be able to get back to normal.
MPAP: The experts warn there will be no moshing or crowd surfing when concerts finally return. (Laughing) Who are these experts, and obviously they have never attended a metal music show, right? They say moshing and crowd surfing are violations of social distancing and must be absolutely prohibited during this pandemic. What are your thoughts? Can you have a metal show with no moshing and crowd surfing? Do you think the fans will even follow those rules?
George: Well of course we don’t want any rules at all, and we would like everyone to stay as safe as possible. That being said, I think that people will follow the rules for the most part. Most people have been following the rules for the stay at home order and the masks, so I really don’t see that changing for a little while, but... I am sure there will be a select few that will push the boundaries.
MPAP: With the exception of a megaband like Metallica, or even Iron Maiden, the coronavirus is hitting most musicians pretty hard, what have you or your band been doing to get through this crisis?
George: We have been keeping busy writing and creating videos and planning for when they give us all the green light to get back to the music. I think there will be a ton of great music written from this. Most bands are trying to take advantage of the downtime.
MPAP: Lzzy Hale, frontwoman for the American rock band Halestorm, recently posted on her social media, saying, 'most bands won’t make it out of this.' Do you agree with this? Do you think some bands will go out of business like a lot of restaurants are during this pandemic?
George: Unfortunately, I think that the music will stop for a lot of bands. Let’s face it, a lot of bands pay their bills on the road. Without the road most of their revenue is gone. We also have to think about what we will do coming back if the rooms can only be 50 percent capacity. That is a ton of lost money across the board for all.
MPAP: Other than not being able to play live music and go out on tour, how else has the coronavirus affected you?
George: I don’t think it would really be fair of me to complain too much. I am not suffering as many others have. I have been healthy and most of the people close to me are healthy as well. I am sure I can complain about the many inconveniences I have due to the pandemic, but they fail miserably in comparison to others that have lost everything. For the most part, I am one of the lucky ones.
MPAP: Well, that wraps things up. We hope this all ends soon, and we can all get back to a venue and watch some good live music while having an overpriced beer. We hope you stay safe and stay healthy. On behalf of myself, and Metal Pulp And Paper, thank you, George, for doing this interview. One last question before we bring this to a close. Are you prepared for the murder hornets that have recently entered the U.S.? Geez, we are only halfway through the year, so far, can only imagine what’s next, right?
George: Is a 12-gauge overkill? Haha, this is a crazy, crazy world right now