Being In A Band During The COVID-19 Pandemic Catching Up With California's 'Sunflower Dead' May 24th, 2020 • Pandemic Band Interview #5
Metal Pulp And Paper: Hello Michael. 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?
Michael Del Pizzo: SFD is holding up well. A little stir crazy at first from the quarantine but we kind of got lucky because we had put aside this time to write our fourth album anyways, so we are focused on that.
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?
Michael: Realistically, we try not to get caught up in a lot of the bullshit. Sticking to the facts of things and using common sense is the only way to go in our opinion. As far as our year, we had just gotten off tour with Sons Of Texas when this lockdown got started. We, like everyone else had lot of touring cancelled, but like I said before, we knew we had a new record to write, so we are using the time for that.
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?
Michael: I won’t comment on what Sammy said because I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion. Again, I think the facts plus common sense is the way to go. Everyone wants concerts back and the moment they are safe for all involved, SFD is ready.
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?
Michael: For me, I don’t care what people do at a concert. They paid the money; they should safely do what they want, be it mosh, or shoot video with their cell phone. For the metal bands that insight moshing from their fans, I don’t believe that there will be a way to stop that. For a band like SFD, we aren’t one of those bands that needs to have moshing, so either way, it doesn’t bother me.
MPAP: Do you think the fans even follow those rules?
Michael: Fans will most definitely not follow those rules.
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?
Michael: Luckily, we are not a band that relies on just music for income, so life goes on for us as usual.
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?
Michael: Anything is possible. I think when all I said and done; the people that need to do music will find a way to do music. That will never change. It is just like when downloading music crushed the industry, everybody cried the death of bands, but even though it got harder and there were many casualties; the artists that need to do music will always find a way.
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, Michael, 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?
Michael: Haha, murder hornets, we are prepared for whatever comes our way. Bring it! Stay Safe everyone!