Being In A Band During The COVID-19 Pandemic Catching Up With California's 'The Iron Maidens' May 28th, 2020 • Pandemic Band Interview #14
Metal Pulp And Paper: Hello Courtney. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it. So, 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?
Courtney Cox: Unfortunately, I had multiple tours booked that would have had our band busy on the road in the states and in other countries from mid-March through August/September. All have been postponed and our agents are doing their best to reschedule every show the best they can with the dates they have available. Who knows if they will stick or again be rescheduled, it is the waiting game at the moment. I don’t think anyone knows when live music will be back. In regards to toilet paper, I have what I need for my house… no hoarding here, haha.
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?
Courtney: I’m a musician and my sole purpose is to be play music and be an entertainer, that is it. It is not my position to comment on anyone else’s views or opinions as they have a right to them. For me, I just want everyone to be safe. Fans, venue staff, crew and band members all deserve the same respect. I’m willing to wait until we all can attend on safe ground. Whenever that will be.
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?
Courtney: The funny thing about this is that those rules already exist in most venues: no moshing, stage diving, crowd surfing, etc. You have these types of rules along with their consequences of being ejected from the show, and people still don’t abide by them. Fans are going to be fans. Let us see how it pans out! It will be a challenge for bands to even keep distance on stage from other band members!
Courtney: 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?
Courtney: I’ve been using the time to write original material, learn new tracks for the Maidens, practice and have been enjoying my relationship. It is very strange to have this time off. I’m not used to it at all. Managing this break to recharge and set the bar higher in everything I do. The band is learning new sets for our return and have been preparing to release our latest album. We have also been setting up some live streams which will be aired soon on social media.
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?
Courtney: Unfortunately, I think some bands will be in trouble. A lot of bands live tour to tour and it is not easy to keep your head above water when all of your income has been taken from you. Bands that have been proactive to keep their connections with the fans via social media and other platforms I think are the ones in the best position to survive and move forward. I hope we all can pull through. Your dreams can momentarily be put on hold, but they cannot be erased. Keep your head high and we will conquer these times.
MPAP: Other than not being able to play live music and go out on tour, how else has the coronavirus affected you?
Courtney: Shows being cancelled was the main problem for me. I’m not upset about much else as I want to remain safe and want everyone else to be safe. I have my own opinions on restrictions being lifted and allowing people to return to this 'new normal', but I keep those to myself.
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, Courtney, 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?