Being In A Band During The COVID-19 Pandemic Catching Up With California's 'Iva Toric' June 10th, 2020 • Pandemic Band Interview #21
Metal Pulp And Paper: Hello Iva. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it.
Iva Toric: Thank you for the opportunity.
MPAP: So, how have you been holding up during this global pandemic and lockdown?
Iva: Life has certainly been different and my heart is breaking for all the lost lives. I try to take it one day at a time.
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. 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?
Iva: I love this question. 2020 is the debut year for Iva Toric. I released my first three singles and videos – "Dark Side Of Me," "Actions Speak Louder," and "Finally Today." I was in the planning stages for my next full-production music video when the California lockdown orders were issued. That video has been postponed and it has been difficult to plan for the rest of my single releases and ultimately the album release because I don’t know what the future will look like. Will I be able to tour? Play local shows? Play online somehow? I just don’t know yet but I’m trying hard to figure it all out.
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?
Iva: No. I know we are suffering right now with unprecedented unemployment, but we need to be listening to epidemiologists and doctors to best fight this public health crisis. Music is constantly adapting to a changing world. While I don’t know what the future holds specifically, I do know it will include us uniting somehow through music.
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 even follow those rules?
Iva: I know moshing and crowd surfing contribute to the energy of a metal show, but there are a lot metal fans who because of a disability, age, or personal preference cannot or choose not to participate in those activities, but still attend and enjoy metal shows. Because of this pandemic, we will need to make changes in many aspects of our lives, and our expressions of joy and camaraderie at concerts may need to be temporarily modified as well. The important thing is that we stay mindful of who we are as a metal community and focus on what we can do together with this music that we all love.
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?
Iva: I’m a new artist, so I’m just getting started. Thankfully I already had my album recorded and some visual content already produced. While I wait eagerly to begin planning my next projects, I’ve been practicing and writing new music while focusing on my own mental and physical health.
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?
Iva: I think it’s going to depend on each individual band and their financial or personal circumstances. I certainly hope we don’t see a mass exodus of bands due to this pandemic because we need music now more than ever.
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, Iva, for doing this interview. One last question before we bring this to a close. Are you prepared for the murder hornets that have now entered the US? Geez, we are only halfway through the year, so far, can only imagine what’s next, right?
Iva: I could have done without the murder hornet plot twist. If I was editing 2020, I’d take that out. Be well and thank you for the opportunity to do this interview. All the best to you!