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Black Phantom: Quarantine Story

by Ivona Bogner

In Corona Corner, we are asking musicians how the outbreak has effected them, how did they adapt to the situation, what did they learn. Milan based Black Phantom released their second album, “Zero Hour Is Now”, on March 20, 2020 via Punishment 18 Records. Andrea Tito, bass guitar player, an eminent musical mastermind with over than 20 years of experience behind, speaks his Quarantine Story.

Hi! How are you doing during corona outbreak?
Hi there, and thanks a million for asking us! You know, these are really strange times, as basically we somehow changed the perspective about what is important and what less! Let’s just say that we are doing fine, as nobody of Black Phantom, and of our families, relatives of friends has taken the Virus, even if we live in one of the European areas that have been hit the most (North of Italy)… So we consider ourselves very lucky!

What have you cancelled/postponed due coronavirus?
We got a big impact because of the Virus: just consider that our new album “Zero Hour is Now” got released by our label Punishment 18 Records exactly at the beginning of the Lockdown here in Italy. Because of that, we had to cancel all the already arranged gigs of the tour, and we’re talking about 9 dates in the North of Italy. That’s been a real disaster. I think that if we had to determine a moment when you really don’t want something like this to happen, is exactly when you have your album released after many months of hard work!

How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
Well, if you think that nowadays almost all the income of bands comes from concerts (and the related album & merch sales) you can easily understand how every band, big or small, got financially hit by the pandemic, being unable to play live at all. Let’s just hope that no band will hit so hard not to be able to get back on their feet.

How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
We tried to keep our contact alive even during these months, by taking care of our social networks (Facebook & Instagram) with lots of information, specially regarding the new album, posting about all the wonderful reviews and interviews that we got since the release. We cannot play our new songs live, but at the same time we can share what is happening to Black Phantom with all our friends!

What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
I expect that music-wise it will come back just like before: I think that Metal is really a out-of-time music genre, that goes beyond fashions and trends. It’s immortal, you really cannot keep it down, and the faithful fans will always be there!

Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers, promoters…?
I think that everybody, more or less, are suffering just the same. When things freeze, they do it for everybody. The only thing that we can do, being stuck, is take the most advantage out of this situation, using this free time to prepare better for the moment when things will get back to normal: musicians, by working on their skills and being creative; venues, by improving their services; promoters, by thinking about new chances to offer more quality shows to the public; etc. Let’s just transform these difficult times in a chance to improve and get better!

What is your isolation soundtrack?
Well, the usual as before. We’re personally into Traditional Heavy Metal: that’s the music we play, the one we’ve been born and raised with, so our tastes haven’t changed at all. As we listen to music to feel better and enjoy, let’s go on with the things that we love!

Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
Slowly things are getting back to normal, or the new-normal, as they call it… So a lot of the stuff we were used to do before, are now almost possible… Of course wearing a mask and keeping the distance! Frankly speaking, it’s not just the gigs that I’m missing, but the overall chances to listen to music together with friends, especially now that we have a new album out (which we think is really strong, by the way!) it’s a real pain not to have the possibility to share it properly! Virtual & Cosials are not even close to do it in reality, and get the REAL feedback in the eyes of people!

Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
Actually during the first month pf Lockdown we hadn’t any, as we were not allowed to exit our houses and see friends. So, what we did was concentrating on writing new material, and we have done MORE than the normal, as we prepared 20 new songs for our future releases! Because, you know, when you write new material, you come up with a few songs… This time we did 20… That’s a big number! Starting rehearsals (and we’ve been doing it since top of June now) has been a pleasure, but also a relief, because there’s nothing better than put your creations into reality with finished songs! As of now, we’ve closed 6 of them, and our intention is to take advantage of all the time we’ll be not around for gigs (so, I guess until the end of the year, at least) to finish all twenty of them… So BLACK PHANTOM will get back with a bang!!

Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!

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