In Corona Corner, we are asking musicians how the outbreak has effected them, how did they adapt to the situation, what did they learn. Jacopo “Jack” Meille, known as Damn Freaks and Tygers of Pan Tang singer, today speaks in front of Damn Freaks about his plans, time spent in Florence under the lockdown and a lot more…
Hi! How are you doing during corona outbreak?
Well we are lucky enough to have “just” finished the recording and mixing of our new album just before the lock down started… We sent all the songs to Harry Hess – Harem Scarem singer and a great mastering engineer – in Toronto, Canada to be mastered while we had to stay at home.
What have you cancelled/postponed due coronavirus?
We it did have a dramatic impact on me as I was supposed to be touring with Tygers of Pan Tang – I’m the lead singer since 2004 – but the whole European tour has been cancelled/rescheduled in November. I was really looking forward to playing in Mexico and Madrid two for two big festival along side with Def Leppard, The Dead Daisies and many more… hopefully we will be able to attend them in 2021.
How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
Bands cannot play. For me this is crucial. I’m old fashioned. I am not a studio freak, if you know what I mean, I like to play live and tour. Music is about sharing both with the audience and the members of the band. So the whole lock down experience was tough for me.
How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
Well that’s when technology comes to really give a hand. Thanks to social media you are able to stay connected with your fans and even with the other members of the band. We Damn Freaks have been working on videos to promote the singles of the new album which will be about in October for example.
What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
I guess metal fans will be even more eager to listen to heavy metal live… So let’s keep the fingers crossed and hope that this coming Autumn and Winter there will be a lot sold-out gigs for everybody!
Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers promoters…
The whole system has gone burst. The only one who will survive are the big bands and rock stars, who can afford not to play for one year; yet they are very concerned about their whole staff and entourage who physically put them in the position to play and do their fantastic tours and productions. This all pandemic situation is effecting everybody, and it will be hard to get back on track.
What is your isolation soundtrack?
I have a huge collection of CDs and vinyls at home. I took the opportunity going through my entire collection and putting it back in order. I was surprised of how may records I forgot to have. It was incredible. I have been listening to very different albums and genres: from Miles Davis, to Duran Duran, the latest album from The Church of Cosmic Skull, along with The White Buffalo. It was great fun also rediscover Cheap Trick and Kiss albums from the ’80 as well as Dokken’s “Lock & Key”… And I can continue for hours and hours, so I better stop!
Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
Thankfully here in Florence, Italy things are getting back to normal. During the lock down I missed not going to my favorite record stores as well as hanging out to my local pub for a couple of beers and good company and laughs.
Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
No. I did online lessons, being also a singing teacher. It was challenging and I have to say my students proved to be very willing to try this completely different way of teaching. It turned out really good and I’m really proud of my students and myself.
Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!