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Moonshade: 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. From Iberian Peninsula, Porto, Pedro Quelhas (guitarist) and Ricardo Pereira (lead singer) of Moonshade are sharing with us  Portuguese Quarantine Story.

Hi! How are you doing during corona outbreak?
Pedro: Just chilling. Watching a game and having a bud while I reply to your questions.

Ricardo: I’m alright, albeit a bit tired of working from home. At least I got to catch up on my reading.

What have you cancelled/postponed due coronavirus?
Pedro: Unfortunately all our gigs for this year were postponed until next year. We still have a gig booked for October, but it‘s a big question mark.

Ricardo: We got more or less lucky, as none of the shows was actually canceled and now maybe we can use them to present our next release, and since we all have day jobs, we can afford to postpone everything. Unfortunately that was not the case for most bands and artists, especially those who work with music for a living. It’s been a nightmare and also further proof that being a professional artist is not valued by the powers that be, despite the fact that art is an essential part of life. It’s a shame.

How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
Pedro:  If on one hand it completely screwed our live performances, it also helped us have enough free time to get our second album moving. We also saw a small bump in visibility all across our social media pages and streaming services.

How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
Ricardo: We’ve been keeping them updated with content on social media and reminding them of the music we already have out there, while creating hype for our next release. Like Pedro said, we’ve actually gained some new fans in the process. Slowly but surely, our modest family is getting bigger.

What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
Pedro:  Probably with more energy than ever. All this corona situation is just contributing to a lot of pent-up energy and frustration. I have no doubt concerts will be packed after this.

Ricardo: Metal feeds off the negative vibes that these situations generate and gives back a cathartic sense of release. Although many bands, venues and promoters will be in financial stress, I believe the genre itself will easily survive. However, individuals matter, not just the genre as a whole, so if you’re reading this, help out musicians,  technicians or venues in any way you can, so you will not lose them because of this pandemic. An album or merch purchase, a small donation, even social media shares, everything helps.

Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers promoters…
Pedro: I think all will suffer in almost equal measure. I would even go as far as to say that the musicians are the ones suffering less. They still have ways of selling music, and showing their work. As for the organizers, promoters, technicians, venues etc., they all depend on the musicians being able to perform live. As things are now, that’s not something that will happen any time soon. So we wish all the best to them during these troubled times.

What is your isolation soundtrack?
Ricardo: Lately it’s been Ensiferum’s “Thalassic” and Alestorm’s “Curse Of The Crystal Coconut”. Also the latest albums from Katatonia, Paradise Lost, Ulcerate, Code Orange, and a whole lot more!

Pedro: A little bit of everything, including, but not limited to, metal! I always like to browse for recent artists and obscure releases.

Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
Pedro: I miss being with my band mates a lot. I love playing and writing new music with them. Although we never stooped working or making music, there is something about being in the same place doing it that makes it special.

Ricardo: It’s basically that. We do get together as friends, though, and it’s always cool, but playing music together is much more awesome.

Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
Pedro: We were without rehearsals for months now, but we are slowly trying to change that. We try and be as far apart as possible and use masks etc., but it‘s hard.

Ricardo: Things seem to be getting back to normal in Portugal, but it will take its time. For now, we’re basically writing and composing from home. Dropbox is our most efficient band member!

Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!
Pedro: Thanks, you too!

Ricardo: Cheers, be safe!


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