Being In A Band During The COVID-19 Pandemic Catching Up With Vancouver, B.C.'s 'The Fallaways' May 26th, 2020 • Pandemic Band Interview #9
Metal Pulp And Paper: Hello Jason. 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?
Jason Koster: We've definitely made good use of the time at home, writing a lot of new material, finalizing unfinished songs and just taking some time to breathe. We were pretty lucky in the sense that we still had a bunch of unreleased songs to keep ourselves relevant with. The last show we played before lockdown we had professionally recorded and filmed so we've also been able to keep our fans engaged and 'Re-living the moments' with some live videos.
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 wordwide 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?
Jason: Our EP Sunset Ave was set to come out, which is still coming, we just delayed the process a bit due to the chaos. There were also some touring and festival dates planned in support of the EP which have of course been cancelled, but we figure in a crazy time like this, people could really use some new music to keep them sane.
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?
Jason: I think most industries 'can’t wait' for the vaccine if their business is affected by the pandemic, but the reality is they have no choice. We're gonna have to get creative with things for the next year until things are safe again. Drive-in concerts and streaming online performances seem to provide some potential hope to carry over the live music industry until this all shakes out. It's also a great time to do Instagram live and connect with your fans and listeners.
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?
Jason: When shows are a go, so is whatever usually happens at them. I think it would be cute if 'they' tried to stop every crowd-surfer at a show. People are gonna have fun.
MPAP: Do you think the fans will even follow those rules?
Jason: I think that's a hard no.
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?
Jason: We've dragged out our releases a little more, giving a little more time in between singles then we had originally attended. We've released some Live videos from our last show before the lockdown. We've done a few Instagram live streams to chat with some of our friends in the music industry and keep the fans engaged and updated about what's happening.
MPAP: Lzzy Hale, frontwoman for the 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?
Jason: Financially, I think bands are going to have a lot of struggle getting back to where they were in terms of a business, but I also think the fans realize this and will do more to help artists push things like streaming numbers, merch sales and obviously concert tickets once they're back. Thankfully, the financial struggle is nothing new to most musicians and we always seem to find a way to re-adapt. I mean, wouldn't you?
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, Jason, for doing this interview. One last question before we bring this to a close. Are you prepared for the murder hornets? Geez, we are only halfway through the year, so far, can only imagine what's next, right?
Jason: 2020, year of Covid 19 and murder hornets... sounds about right. I say, bring it.