Bandlife during Covid-19 – Part 1
The past days have been intense for everyone. Due to the Pandemic emergency, everyone’s activities met a stop sign. This is for the safety of everyone and we understand that.
I chatted with a couple of bands whose tour and gigs or other music-related activities have been cancelled due to this worldwide state of emergency. For small bands, gigs and tours are the most significant sources of income so I ask you to show your support if you can: like their pages, subscribe to their newsletter, buy some music or merch, drop them a message. Anything can help.
Here is the first batch. Here are their stories.
Imaginary dreamers are a Heavy / Grunge trio based in London. We are friends and we shared stages several times. I knew they were excited about their European weekender tour planned for the end of March. After reading that it has been cancelled, I’ve contacted them and here is their story.
“Imaginary Dreamers was supposed to play a long weekend of shows in the Netherlands and Belgium in the last weekend of March 2020.
As the virus started spreading over multiple countries, the band was keeping a close eye on the latest news and developments in not the Netherlands, Belgium and the U.K.
But when the Coronavirus reached the European continent, the band found themselves in an uncertain position and when the Netherlands and Belgium went into isolation and travel restrictions were put into place, the shows got into troubled water.
Not long after that, the first show cancellation in Wormerveer (NL) got confirmed.
Putting extra thought into the current worldwide situation, the band acted quickly on cancelling the other 2 shows to reschedule them to a later time this year. One day after the cancellation, both the Netherlands and Belgium announced forced the closing of all bars and restaurants.
Having spent a big amount of money on the ferry crossing from Harwich (UK) to Hoek van Holland (NL) the band wasn’t sure if they would be allowed a refund. A few days ago the band received confirmation from the ferry company that the band is allowed rescheduling, but only once, free of charge.
A new date has been confirmed for the show in Wormerveer on 25th September. The other 2 venues are being contacted, and hopefully, they can be booked for the same weekend.
These are difficult times for all performers, but in the end, the health and well-being of humanity is priority number 1. The band has currently gone into writing mode.
When the situation improves, Imaginary Dreamers will be ready to bring new material to the stage”.
Grave Next Door
The Doom/Sludge Band from Grand Rapid, Michigan started their tour in Texas on the 13th of March. As the days went on and the emergency grew, they found them playing in empty venues, which means no merch sales. Also, one of their unofficial SXSW festivals was cancelled.
You can read their tour diary on http://www.alternativecontrolct.com/
Buy their music and merc on Bandcamp: https://gravenextdoor.bandcamp.com/
Guerd from Psyclops – a rock/metal act based out of Portland, Oregon reports that the recent cancellations of events due to Coronavirus have been pretty devastating for their band. He’s what it says:
“Our story is that we have spent the last 6 months to record, polish, promote, and schedule events for our debut record titled ‘Amalgam’ (planned release on April 4th, 2020) and, as a result of all that is going on, have not only had to cancel the release show that we spent a ton of time and energy into planning but also a mini-tour we were planning to help promote.
This record is very personal to us because it represents a major milestone in our journey together as musicians and having our plans fall apart like this means we’re not only suffering from a financial impact but feeling pretty low and could use all the help we can get.
We want to treat our fans and help lift spirits by releasing our record early THIS FRIDAY (March 20th) exclusively on Bandcamp (https://www.psyclopspdx.bandcamp.com) as pay what you want”
Bass player Joe from the Flint, Michigan based melodic groove metal band Torn away, wrote to me to tell me what’s happening there.
“The scene in Flint is kind of small, but we are very supportive of each other. There are about 5 places to play here that will allow heavy, original music. As of now. 4 of them are closed down. The governor has put our county into a state of emergency and also banned gatherings of more than 250 people. We are hoping we can play then. When times are tough, people need music more than ever!
We are actually in the process of recording our debut album, so if we could have people go to our Facebook page and connect with us, that would be great. It’s located at http://www.facebook.com/tornawayofficial”
The Stone Eye
Stephen from The Philadelphia based band Stone Eye reports: “Just today (16th of March) we had to cancel the remainder of our March tour which was in support of our latest record, Ventura, which had been released only two weeks prior”