Being In A Band During The COVID-19 Pandemic Catching Up With Australia's 'Hellz' June 3rd, 2020 • Pandemic Band Interview #17
Metal Pulp And Paper: Hello Lisa. 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?
Lisa Perry: Quite well actually, the first few weeks I got a little cabin fever, but the lockdown encouraged me to become more creative by thinking outside of the usual ways of music promotion. I feel I excel at finding positive opportunities to grow in these kinds of situations. It forces you to look for the potential ways to use it to your advantage. I have had so much free time to record.
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?
Lisa: Well, let me tell you I was planning to take over the world with my new music, haha. This year has been bitter sweet for me. I have had to cancel my own tour in the USA. Including a great show in New York alongside members of Whitesnake! I have had to cancel plans to meet Alice Cooper in person at one of his shows in Pittsburgh on June 26! I was actually supposed to be flying out from Australia in the next week or two! On the positive side, 2020 has brought me a number 1 on the rock music charts in South Africa with my song "Fire To The Sky." I signed a record deal with R.I.N.D Records. I have also connected with some very well-known songwriters in the music industry and have been working extremely hard on my career. I have released three songs this year and my next release “Bitch Ran Away” is out on June 5th, I love this song!
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?
Lisa: I was studying my nursing degree when things took off for me with Hellz and I have deferred for now. With the knowledge I learned during my study, I believe we need to be sure this invisible enemy is beat before we put massive amounts of people in one room. I'm not interested in my fans becoming ill to see me live in concert. I would love to tour right now, but I respect and love my fans and their family's too much to ever put them at risk.
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?
Lisa: Experts have always warned about moshing and crowd surfing... mehhh, it will damage your neck... mehhh, you could injure yourself... hahah. I was kicked out of a few concerts for crowd surfing, haha. Bottom line is, mosh pits are here to stay!
MPAP: Do you think the fans will even follow those rules?
Lisa: Not a chance, haha. In fact I'll still be jumping off the stage into the crowd, haha!
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?
Lisa: We have been busy building a brand! We have been using this time to grow the Hellz name in households. Lots and lots of writing has been taking place at the House of Hellz! It has never been a better time to write an award-winning album, or three!
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?
Lisa: I feel bands that have a lot of creative energy thrive in situations like this. It comes down to how much work you take on yourself and how much you pay others to do for you. I feel I thrive as I do pretty much everything myself. The band Hellz is capable of producing our own music, creating our own digital promotion, creating our music videos and all photography, makeup... we're a super talented bunch of grapes here at Hellz!
MPAP: Other than not being able to play live music and go out on tour, how else has the coronavirus affected you?
Lisa: It has helped me grow as a human. I think every battle we face is for a reason and if we choose to grow and use the positive. That will happen. Negativity and being somber will push your dreams further away.
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, Lisa, 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?
Lisa: Oh, I'm in Australia... everything bites here hahaha murder everything...