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Manuel Barbra: Quarantine Story

by Metal Jacket

In Corona Corner, we are asking musicians how the outbreak has effected them, how did they adapt to the situation, what did they learn. Today, Manuel Barbra shares his Quarantine Story with Metal Jacket Magazine.

Hi! How are you doing during corona outbreak?
You know, I can’t say I’m enjoying the situation, but I have it better than most. Got a roof over my head and plenty of time and money to invest in my art.

What have you cancelled/postponed due coronavirus?
The pandemic hit me at a pretty weird time. I was about to graduate college in May anyway and I wasn’t sure how life was going to look like after that. A few shows got cancelled and a few plans got changed, but I don’t think I’ll ever know what would have happened if everything hadn’t shut down.

How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
Anything I can say is pretty much just going to be repeating what everyone else has to say on the subject. With touring gone, it’s much harder for bands, especially smaller ones, to make a living. I do think the psychological impact of the situation is also something to keep in mind. Although it seems to be squashing some people’s creativity while pushing others to crank out content like their lives depend on it.

How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
I’m in an interesting situation since this project only became a public thing during the pandemic. Social media has been the main avenue for getting the music out to people, but I’m more interested to see what happens with this when the current chaos ends.

What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
I think Metal has 2 things going for it. First, it has always had a pretty resilient spirit. I think bands and fans will find ways to rebuild scenes and keep the music going after this. Second, Metal has been pretty closely tied to technology for a long time. I think having to go online for a while hasn’t really been as huge a problem for the style as it has been for others.

Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers promoters…
It’s tempting to say that the musicians will have it the roughest, but I think it might be more complicated than that. In the end, I think the local scenes will be hardest hit. With all the small venues shutting down it will be much harder for the smaller musicians to do their thing which in turn is going to put a lot of honest organizers, promoters, and sound people out of work.

What is your isolation soundtrack?
Not much different than my usual soundtrack, honestly. Been enjoying a lot of Monuments, The Dear Hunter, and Toru Takemitsu these days.

Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
If I had to pick one thing, it would be going to the pub with my friends for an evening.

Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
Haven’t had a rehearsal since March 2020. Honestly, I almost miss it more than the concerts.

Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!

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