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Dirty Shirt: 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. Mihai Tivadar, keyboards & guitars (band’s leader, main composer) shares his Corona experience with us today.

Hi! How are you doing during corona outbreak?
We are fine, we survived :). More seriously, I think that we grew up in this period and realized what things are important in our lives, including music. Unfortunately, now a new crisis emerged in our neighboring country, Ukraine…

What have you cancelled/postponed due coronavirus?
On average, we have about 40 shows each year. In 2020, we had only one show, with strong limitations due to the pandemic, but a very important concert for us, as we were celebrating 25 years. It was a very special and strong moment, for us, and also for the fans that could reach the event. In 2021, it was better, with 12 summer events, mostly in Romania, but we had the luck to play at a major European event, Pol’and’Rock, in Poland.

All the rest were postponed, including several important European festivals (Hellfest, Reload, Dong Open Air, Plane’r Fest…), a European tour with Orphaned Land, and many shows in our home country, Romania. Finally, on the 1st of April, we will start the first real tour in two years, to release our new album “Get Your Dose Now”.

How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
First, is the fact that for two years, the bands could not play (or only in special occasions). For us, concerts are the main reason why are we doing music. It is a moment of sharing with other people, and I think that many musicians in the world suffered because of this. Also, the concerts represent the main financial input for a band (including the merch sold after the shows). Despite a strong increase in digital activity, the impact on the band activity is severe.

How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
We couldn’t stop making music and keep the link with our fans. We needed to be in contact with them, to know that they are ok, and to try to improve their morals (and also our). So in the first lockdown, we produced an (almost) weekly web show, named #Stayathome with Dirty Shirt, where we released new music & videos, but also covers, remakes, unpublished tour reports, sketches, etc. As the show was more successful as we expected, we released another web show in 2021, named Dirty Shirt’s Pandemic Special, including a series of mini-documentaries about different important moments in the band’s history.

What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
It is difficult to predict. A part of the fans probably is very excited to go again to
concerts, but another part could remain more circumspect. Many venues and agencies bankrupted these two years. I think that we will need some time to get back to normal, but it will arrive, I am optimistic.

Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers promoters…
All of them. I don’t think that there is a branch of this sector that didn’t suffer because of Coronavirus crisis, especially in countries where they didn’t get any help from the State.

What is your isolation soundtrack?
For me there are two: our pandemic metal remix of The Prodigy – Resonate and New Boy in Town, the instrumental opening song of our new album.

Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
To be on tour together is more than just playing gigs, so miss the time spent together on touring, living strong emotions…

Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
There was a period when it was even impossible to make rehearsals or recordings. So we worked a lot online, using digital tools, for recording & filming the material we needed for the web shows.

Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!

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