Being In A Band During The COVID-19 Pandemic Catching Up With North Africa's 'Myrath' July 9th, 2020 • Pandemic Band Interview #28
Metal Pulp And Paper: Hello. 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?
Myrath: First of all, thanks very much for this interview. Well, we had some hard times. Covid hit us in the middle of our European tour. Just after our gig in Leipzig, the last before the whole tour cancelation, we needed to pack all our gear as fast as possible to get a chance to go home. Some of the members were able to come back, some couldn't. Malek and Zaher were stuck at my place for two month and a half. Anis lives in Georgia, but is not Georgian citizen. Georgian government didn't allow him to come back home. He just came home yesterday.We took the lockdown opportunity to compose songs and keep the maximum of money left to buy some food.
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?
Myrath: Ah ah, yeah, it was a shitty year. Well, we planned lot of stuff for the band. We were actually working on a new concept show, with more magic, more dance and more fire on stage. New clothes, new music. We started to write some script about our new video clips, booked festivals. But obviously covid-19 froze lot of our projects.
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?
Myrath: He is totally right. People get used to stay home and things are changing. Waiting 12-18 more months to start to play live again will destroy live industry. Within 12 month, people will get used to stay home and will prefer seeing DVD or live streaming rather to take a bus or a car so see a real live show.
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?
Myrath: Well, safety first. A metal show without moshing is not a metal show, but I can understand the point. Covid-19 is brand new, so nobody knows what is the good thing to do. The world is actually writing history with this virus. Within one or two years we might say, 'that was the right thing to do,' or, 'that was ridiculous.'
MPAP: Do you think the fans will even follow those rules?
Myrath: I think so. Fans are like you or me. Their first aim is to see their favorite band playing live. Things will be less fun of course, but I think that many people would prefer following those rules instead of nothing.
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?
Myrath: Like most of the bands of our size, find a temporary job to get money so the band can survive!
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?
Myrath: Of course! 99% of bands are facing 0€ revenues at the moment. The more it will continue this way the more the bands will die, one after one.
MPAP: Other than not being able to play live music and go out on tour, how else has the coronavirus affected you?
Myrath: It affected financially of course, but also personally. We couldn't see our friends and families for month. Anis couldn't see his wife and child for more than four months and a half. This has been really difficult.
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 for doing this interview.
Myrath: Thanks again very much for this interview.
MPAP: 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?
Myrath: Ah ah, yeah, for the moment in France and Tunisia we only face the flies. Millions of flies at home lol.