Being In A Band During The COVID-19 Pandemic Catching Up With Arizona's 'Soulfly' June 2nd, 2020 • Pandemic Band Interview #15
Metal Pulp And Paper: Hello Max. 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?
Max Cavalera: Watching protests and writing riffs!
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?
Max: We had a lot of touring booked. I was really excited for the Return to Prophecy tour. Soulfly did the last tour that was completed and they also headlined the last festival, Hell and Heaven, in Mexico City.
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?
Max: It is important to keep the fans safe, no matter how long it takes.
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?
Max: It is a small sacrifice to make, if you want live shows to start again. Eventually we will get back to normal.
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?
Max: I have been creative. I have been painting, writing riffs, making cameos, and enjoying my time at home.
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?
Max: It is a tough situation. Yes, many bands may break up, but new ideas will be born too.
MPAP: Other than not being able to play live music and go out on tour, how else has the coronavirus affected you?
Max: Washing food, wearing masks, and gloves, hunting for hand sanitizer, many details to stay healthy.
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, Max, for doing this interview, and big thank you to your wife Gloria for setting this up. 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?
Max: I am expecting them! Our yard is quite different from most Arizona homes. We have our own eco system which attracts wild rabbits, a squirrel family, a wandering raccoon, visiting coyotes, wild Lovebirds, a yellow jacket wasp condo, and recently dragonflies moved in!