Being In A Band During The COVID-19 Pandemic Catching Up With Colorado's 'Sharone' June 10th, 2020 • Pandemic Band Interview #20
Metal Pulp And Paper: Hello Sharone. 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?
Sharone Borik: I’ve been staying busy as much as I can. Writing new music, getting all the exercise I can, and planning for the future.
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?
Sharone: 2020 has definitely been a whirlwind. I had planned to go on tour in March to promote my new album Reflection, and just days before the start of the tour, I had to cancel it. There was been talk of rescheduling the majority of the dates, but of course everything is still up in the air.
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?
Sharone: I understand where he’s coming from. I miss shows and performing every single day. However, the number one priority should be safety. If the CDC feels that large gatherings of people will put more of us at risk, then despite how much it may hurt us, we should hold off until we’re able to prevent this from spreading as rapidly as it has been.
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?
Sharone: Connecting with your audience as a performer, and with the people around you as a concert attendee, is a huge part of the experience of live music. Fans likely won’t want to follow these rules and mosh and crowd surf regardless. If moshing and crowd surfing are a concern right now, that probably means that these 'experts' are not ready for concerts to start up again quite yet.
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?
Sharone: This pandemic has hit me pretty hard as well. It canceled my tour, postponed my recording sessions, and altogether rocked my schedule and musical plans for the entire year. I’ve been doing everything I can to stay positive. Recording from home, writing a new album, doing live-streams, and even released a cover of the new Evanescence song.
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?
Sharone: Bands are able to sell music and merchandise online. Despite not being able to play shows for the time being, there’s a lot more backing a band that can help them get through this time. If you can, support your friends’ bands. Download their music, but their shirts and CDs, promote their content. Every little bit helps. Bands going out of business is a possibility, but a musician can never stop making music.
MPAP: Other than not being able to play live music and go out on tour, how else has the coronavirus affected you?
Sharone: I still keep a day job separate from music to help pay bills. I was laid off from that job at the start of the pandemic. I’ve struggled paying rent and other bills the same way that so many of us have been.
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, Sharone, 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?
Sharone: I’m ready to kick some murder hornet ass.