In Corona Corner, we are asking musicians how the outbreak has effected them, how did they adapt to the situation, what did they learn. If I had to characterize him in one sentence based on a five-minute fan conversation back in 2007 in Belgrade, I would say: a man who lives on the stage and for the fans. One and only, Blaze Bayley!
Hi! How are you doing during corona outbreak?
I’m doing very well. I had 3 difficult weeks of quarantine in March after my Burrfest show in London but things have got better now. I’m working on new songs for my album release in 2021. I’m very lucky that I have so many wonderful fans that support me and send me nice messages. I have my physical health and mentally I have been able cope because I have family and friends and fans.
What have you cancelled/postponed due coronavirus?
Almost every gig I had booked in Europe was postponed till 2021. I have some gigs booked in the UK in November. I hope that will be the beginning of my live shows and if things continue to go well we will just keep going.
How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
I don’t know how other bands are coping. There are no gigs. I am totally independent. My fans have supported me by buying merch from my online store and holding on to the tickets they have for shows that are postponed. I imagine that small bands who are signed to record companies are in a very challenging situation.
How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
I’m very lucky. My fans have stayed with me. Before things stopped I did a free meet and greet at every one of my concerts. I’m closer to my fans than many other artists.
What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
Metal exists on many levels. Small shows where new bands start out playing to 10 people and huge festivals of 100,000 people. Metal did not die when Grunge came. It has survived as a fellowship of metal heads. It will take much more than a virus to stop the spirit of metal.
Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers promoters…
Independent venues will suffer the most. It has always been challenging to run a venue. Small independent venues struggled all the time before the virus. Now many will not recover. There will be nowhere for small new bands to play. Everyone will suffer to some degree. That’s how life is. Life is not fair or kind or easy for most people but those of us who love metal music have our favorite songs to help us through our darkest hours.
What is your isolation soundtrack?
In this unusual time I have used my old favorites to help me stay on my feet and face the storm of doubt and anxiety. Dio, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Manowar, Sabaton. A lot of my favorite movie soundtracks including the Magnificent 7, the Wicker Man, A Few Dollars More.
Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
Besides gigs I miss my fans and my friends and riding my motorcycle. I can ride my motorcycle sometimes now the restrictions are lifting. That’s a nice feeling but there are many places I am not allowed to ride to.
Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
There are no rehearsals but we Facetime and Skype about our song ideas for the new album due out in 2021.
Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!
I wish everyone good health and the strength they need to get through these difficult days.