Cancelled shows, postponed album recordings and piles of unsold merch, but also hope for the future and time to make more music. This is how the corona virus affects some of our beloved bands.
PowerMetal.no wanted to know how the Corona virus affects the bands and how they take advantage of the situation. This is what they answered.
Nanowar Of Steel:
We were affected in the sense that we have already canceled all of our shows until May and probably we’ll be forced to cancel them until June, however, we were lucky enough to be able to complete the first leg of the Ladder To Valhalla tour.
We’re writing a lot of new songs and working on side projects (always Nanowar-related, a card game, a comic book and so on). So that’s something we wouldn’t be doing otherwise. But I guess the negative side by and large outweighs the positive one, as for pretty much every band out there…
Thomas Youngblood (Kamelot):
We might have to postpone some shows. Financially we will suffer a bit, but it pales in comparison to so many others that have lost their jobs and other band’s that have lost a lot of money from current tours. So far our album release date has not changed.
My family has had more dinners together in 2 weeks than we ever had before. We are also working on the new album and the extra time is great. We will all get through this in time, long or short. Maybe we will all appreciate the alone time and also the freedom to be in public again. Let’s hope the world is more prepared for the next pandemic, because this will not be the last. See you in 2021!
Maybe we will all appreciate the alone time and also the freedom to be in public again. -Thomas Youngblood
Michael Ehré (The Unity):
Here in Germany the crisis started to get really serious on the day we released our new album Pride. Though we entered the German Album Charts at #65 I´m sure it affected our sales as all the record stores are closed at the moment here in Germany. Unfortunately, we also had to cancel our tour with Freedom Call and postpone our two CD-Release-Shows in Nordenham, too. The shows in Nordenham were postponed to August 28th and 29th.
I can’t find any advantage of this situation for the band so far. Everybody has to stay home, we can’t meet for rehearsals or anything else. The only positive thing for me personally is that after months of pure stress finally I find time to relax now…but I really hope that this mess is over as soon as possible!
Nikolas Fritz (Mob Rules):
As a band that doesn’t have to live from music alone, we are lucky that everyone in the band still has a regular job and the basic income is relatively secure for the time being.
For many of our friendly bands and small artists, promoters, technicians and clubs this situation is devastating and a real catastrophe whose end is not foreseeable.
Until further notice we had to cancel all live dates / shows, postpone them to autumn or even move them to next year. Of course this means that we will lose steady income from shows and merch sales, which we will have to absorb again somehow.
What is rather worrying is this uncertain future and if there are still the clubs we like to play in.
And the question whether all the people we have worked with in the live business, like promoters, technicians, back liners and merchants, will keep their heads above water or will they lose their livelihood.
At the moment we try to solve everything via video conference, so we make our band meetings and discuss all the issues and plan the future, if it is possible.
We are now using the situation to be productive, gathering ideas for the upcoming album and trying to write songs in the distance until we can meet again.
You just have to use the time for yourself, to practice, plan, keep fit so that we are well prepared when this crisis returns to normal.
I would just ask everyone who is reading this to support their favorite club in town, musician friends, bands, technicians or ask if they need help, which of course also applies to every small business in your town, because this is where the crisis hits hardest.
I would just ask everyone who is reading this to support their favorite club in town, musician friends, bands, technicians or ask if they need help, which of course also applies to every small business in your town, because this is where the crisis hits hardest. -Nikolas Fritz
David DeFeis (Virgin Steele):
Since we have been in the studio we have not had to cancel any tours per se, but we were planning on doing some local gigs and meet and greets to launch a series of videos that we are completing. We will launch the video clips shortly, but the planned gigs and meet and greets will have to wait obviously. At this moment I am finalizing the editing for a kind of «Behind The Music» segment about our Visions Of Eden album, because we just did two more videos from that album («God Above God» and «The Hidden God»), to coincide with the vinyl version’s release. In addition to that we also completed several video clips for the Gothic Voodoo Anthems album. We had some downtime from the recording studio due to some needed renovations, so rather than do nothing we went straight into filming mode. It was a great way to keep our friendship and our energy going. And now since the video segments are pretty much wrapped up, we are back to working on what will be the next new Epic-Barbaric-Romantic Virgin Steele album. It’s probably about 70% done now….
For us this has always been a way of life more than a career trajectory, therefore we do what we have always done; keep creative and document each moment in our lives that we find interesting in sound and vision. Yes I think something positive can come from this; the pace of life and this Wall Street striving for the bottom line mentality will hopefully relax, and people will engage with something larger. More meaningful and outside their usual mindset and perhaps this will usher in a more egalitarian age. We shall see. For me personally I have always been quite enamored of the 19th Century; candlelight, the Powerful, Expressive Romantic Music of Chopin, Liszt, Wagner, Verdi, and the Poets Byron, Shelly, Baudelaire etc. The Bohemian Life…and well…now it seems like that age has caught up with me and I am now actually living in the 19th Century….
For me personally I have always been quite enamored of the 19th Century…now it seems like that age has caught up with me… -David DeFeis
Beast In Black:
Haven’t change anything to us so Far. We are making a new album at the moment. If this goes on longer then it Will cancel the festivals too. But nothing is cancelled yet.
This whole global emergency situation has stopped pretty much everything so of course it has affected some of our plans. In our case, our April tour had been postponed for other reasons a few days before all this broke loose, so basically we weren’t affected that much in the very first phase. But now all plans for the near future are starting to be postponed, like single gigs in the spring that will be moved or canceled and so on. We cannot rehearse at all, so that’s another issue. Basically, we had to stop all activities except what we can do from home. That is why we’ve decided to release the cover version of Iron Maiden. To still be able to stay in touch with our fans and let them know that we are here, struggling, but active.
We don’t think there is such a thing as taking advantage of a situation like this. We were taking a little break from our live activity before the April tour, and now that it has been postponed, we have a little more time to rest and recharge the batteries. This is what we are doing. Soon we will start writing new songs, but it’s not an advantage of the situation. We would have done basically the same things even if maybe scheduled differently. We will never try to gain something from a time like this. All we have to do now is take care of our health and the safety of all, and help who is suffering, if we can. The band is here, and it will be here ready to restart its activities as soon as the emergency will cease.
Ariën van Weesenbeek (Epica):
We’re no exception on postponing planned events, most unfortunately of course. We’re in the middle of recording our album, but now we’re not safe to travel or be in the studio. We have to sit it out, much to our frustration. For now, we also had to postpone some shows in May, but we simply can’t do anything about it.
Well, there’s not so many positive things we can take to our advantage, but we try the best we can to stay on top of things. I myself play drums every day to stay in shape and work on my playing, and maybe there will be some inspiring moments for new music… We have to take each day as it comes and try to plan ahead so we can take action as soon as it’s allowed and safe for everybody.
The virus has forced us to hold writing sessions via video conferencing rather than actual band meetings. It can make things slightly more tedious but it is manageable. Fortunately we hadn’t accepted any bookings live performances from March to September. So we haven’t cancelled any performances.
Our main focus is the next album. One positive to the virus is that we can shut out most distractions and really focus on our writing and arrangements. We are using this time productively. Another positive to the current situation is that it’s made us appreciate when times are good. It’s challenging for everyone at the moment, there’s no bands playing. There’s no socializing with friends. We miss going out. It is important to stay focused and remember that things will return back to normal. We’re really looking forward to that!
Steve Williams (Power Quest):
Well we’ve lost Hammerfest (UK) and Galia Metal Fest (Spain) so far. We are also due in Spain in August and the US in September. So flight money is an issue.
We all have regular jobs though so we don’t rely on the band for income as such.
There is an argument really that all events this year should be postponed until next year. Even if certain countries are virus free….would you really jump on a plane and go to Spain or Italy anytime soon?
Perhaps the responsible approach would be not to travel overseas this year. I’d rather we had no events this year and we remain healthy. There’s always next year for music and sport and so on.
I don’t think we should be talking about taking advantage of a something like this virus. Health is what matters right now.
All events this year should be postponed until next year! -Steve Williams
Indeed we’ve been affected by the virus situation. We had a European tour with Turilli/Lione Rhapsody between April 26th and May May 8th, and it was cancelled. With this tour, we expected to promote our latest album The Anastoria and we now have big stock of unsold CDs and Tshirts.
At the moment, we’re recording a cover song for a Stratovarius tribute album, and shooting individual video to make a split screen video of the song. Honestly, this was scheduled before the virus appeared, and the only positive thing about this tour cancellation is that the cover will be ready sooner. Then we hope we’ll be able to tour later this year, but nothing’s for sure at the moment.
I’m pretty much a recluse who’s always working in my studio, so for me nothing changes! I very rarely play live, and this year I had no concerts planned.
I just released a live DVD/BD/CD/LP and the sales are going great, it’s entering the charts everywhere. I guess this will give people something to watch and listen to when they are in lockdown at home!
Bill Hudson (NorthTale):
We were already deep into writing the new album, so we just went full on into it. It hasn’t affected us that much; no shows were cancelled.
It’s helped us start thinking outside the box. There’s a pretty good chance that whatever happens from this, like people doing more livestream shows, will be here to stay. It might be a while before concerts in person are a thing again so it’s a good opportunity to look forward, not backwards.
It might be a while before concerts in person are a thing again. -Bill Hudson
Mario Lochert (Serious Black):
We were lucky that our tour with Hammerfall was done before the crazy virus was starting coming this way! We use the time right now to work on new stuff and videos, and hope that our headliner tour in autumn will work!
The only positiv thing I can see is that after this stuff people will maybe take more care off everything. And the nature gets a restart!
Brothers Of Metal:
We are not sure yet. Even though we don’t think any of our upcoming festivals for the Summer will become a reality in these troubled times, we haven’t got a real answer yet that any of them will be canceled or postponed. So, we just have to wait and see. Regarding the messages, comments, streams and overall interaction with our fans it’s going great and pretty much goes on like usual. We have no plans to cancel any recordings or songwriting sessions for our upcoming 3rd album.
We have plans, as many other nowadays to do a few live streams but we want it to be really good, both audio and video so it takes some time to plan and arrange. But, as of now our focus lies in making our 3rd album and since we are not that hardcore in touring and playing live (even if we really wanted to) we pray to the gods to protect everyone worthy of wielding a sword, axe or spear and we hope that this all goes away soon.
On behalf of Brothers of Metal, stay strong, stay true and protect and care for your loved ones and yourself. Odin, the All-Father will guide us.
PowerMetal.no urge everyone who has the opportunity to support their favorite band!