In Corona Corner, we are asking musicians how the outbreak has effected them, how did they adapt to the situation, what did they learn. Seventh Station shares his Corona experience with us today.
Hi! How are you doing during the corona outbreak?
Vidi: Hi! At this moment we’re okay, things are looking good in terms of Covid here in Israel, but the other guys are in Slovenia and Turkey / US right now so maybe their experience is a bit different. Over here live shows are back for a year now, the big concerts are back and the audience seems to be craving for culture. Since December 2021 we see more and more international artists returning to perform here. The future seems bright but we’re still struggling with some bottlenecks when it comes to the international industry, tours, vinyl production, shipping and festivals. It’s an adapt or die situation and the industry doesn’t feel very adaptive at the moment, so! DIY values are more important than ever, at least until the industry bottleneck will puke out everything that is blocking the way of new coming projects to emerge OR until musicians adapt new ways that do not lean on the current industry.
Dmitri: The corona hit me at the same time I got my first panic attack, so personally for me, I got it bad. I had two years to get back my confidence and get stronger so I can march Seventh Station on to our next steps. That’s also the reason we had a delay in releasing new materials that were lying on the shelf for over a year already.
What have you canceled / postponed due to coronavirus?
Vidi: Pretty much everything, in fact, our brand new single ‘All Hail the Moustache’ which was just released from our upcoming album, was waiting on the shelf for more than a year now, waiting for the right moment to be published but the right moment seemed to be everchanging under the influence of the pandemic. So we decided to take things into our own hands rather than keep on waiting, it’s not so healthy for artists to not be able to move on towards their next endeavor or get stuck in one place, sooner or later it becomes some sort of a volcano or a pimple you really have to explode. it’s not a pretty sight.
As for tours – we’re all playing with different bands all over the world, I have had three full European tours that are still in this cancellation/ postponement Loop, so I am extremely grateful that at least in Israel I can perform.
How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
Vidi: Not to get too deep, I’ll try to give some examples: I think by now everyone already understands that as long as regulations change in different countries and sometimes different regions, it’s extremely hard to book a long tour and keep all the regulations / quarantines etc. of each and every country. Also because some venues cannot always facilitate the standards of their state’s regulations, they have to cut down the capacity, meaning cutting down the amount of tickets and not earning enough, meaning they have to carefully choose the events they are hosting. So if you’re a small band doing pub gigs – you’re kind of safe. If you are a very very big band – you’re kind of safe (but experiencing losses) but if you are anything in the middle and trying to climb your way up… you’re going to have a problem. On the other hand, if you are truly dedicated you can always remember that “Chaos is a Ladder” right?
Another interesting thing that is happening at the moment is that vinyl manufacturers cannot keep up with the amount of orders from them – when all the tours got canceled in 2020 for the first time, many bands were about to tour in order to promote new music, but the record labels froze the manufacturing to not lose money on a print without tour that guarantees certain income into their investment. At the same time the world started ordering much more online orders and shipments all over the world couldn’t keep up with all the people sitting at home, which made shipping vinyls to customers / bands shipping vinyls to their audience even harder. Nowadays in order to print a vinyl you need to wait at least six months and it’s a worldwide problem. So all the releases being postponed from 2020 into the future and a lot of the music which was supposed to be released in 2021 – just got factories / tours / festivals piled up and now we’re already experiencing an inflation of culture and a larger competition in the market for tour dates, festival slots and press attention. The bands that will survive this, along with the rest of industry players, will be people with positive mindsets and the ability to look for opportunities / advantages in the current situation. You really have to believe in yourself more than ever right now – but this applies to everything, not just music. Accept crisis as a part of life and more than anything having the curiosity of what comes next and how can you affect it/how far are you willing to push through.
Jure: Losing of shows is always a killer for bands / orchestras. The rehearsals, even when possible, become meaningless without scheduled gigs.
Dmitri: It’s impacting them greatly. Because we are so happy to finally release our new single, we almost forgot what terrible 2 years we’ve been through. I guess it impacted everyone so greatly that now music has become like an inflation. Everyone is releasing new albums that have been stuck and not released in 2020 and it’s affecting everyone in the industry, especially the small bands.
How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
Dmitri: We try to be active and keep in touch with our fans through social media. It is a really hard time but thanks to the internet it is possible to keep in touch with everyone.
What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
Vidi: I don’t know but I’m hoping that we’ll get to hear much more from the underground and I think the aesthetics of productions will come back more raw and a little bit more old school, given more people are practicing and passing their time in their home studios, having the freedom to create whatever art they want and get better at it. I hope it will be able to express all of the struggles of the era, yet at the same time I hope not all of the albums will be about the plague 😉
While hoping for some authentic music, I’m a little scared of materials that sounds like a form without meaningful content, because technology is so advanced and with all the plugins going around everyone can sound like that same trendy band, which sounds great, but I can’t hear the personality of the artists through the sound, so I hope all the kids sitting at home will look more towards their inside rather than the outside.
I think we are futured to experience another wave of local sounds, because local shows are rising again since all of the cancellations etc. just like there was the Florida, or Gothenburg or Seattle sound, it will just come from new areas of the world. shoutout to my city Haifa that has the best Grindcore scene in the world right now – Check out Atameo, Kluvim, Nur, Bygones and Barren Hope.
Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers, promoters…
Vidi: The people who will suffer the most will be the people who refuse to adapt to the new situation and keep on working as if we’re living in a world three years ago. What we need right now is innovation, mental flexibility, endless positivity and a will to experiment.
One thing that is really important I think, is the understanding of the audience- they need to be adaptive as well. Here in Israel for example, happened something marvelous- because there were no international acts flying in, it was an opportunity for local bands to show the local listeners what they got and suddenly more and more people started showing up to local gigs; suddenly local bands have more money to take risks, raise the production costs and eventually become ready made for the international scene. It’s all about feeding each other, helping each other, growing as a community and facing challenges together.
Jure: All in the event organization business. There are so many indirect consequences, it’s crazy.
What is your isolation soundtrack?
Vidi: To be honest, most of my time right listening to music is working on the new Subterranean masquerade album, but if I can I’d love to share with you five songs that I really really love, in no particular order: Ennio morriconne, Daniel Beretta – Un Ami (featured in the OSTs revolver and Inglorious bastards, also known as ‘Shoshana’s Death Scene’ – you can bury me with this one in the background), Scott Walker – Mathilde (an english translation of jack Brell’s genius song), Kissin’ Dynamite – Six Feet Under (amazing German band featured on Peacemaker OST), Shuli Rand – Perach ve’od perach (a new hebrew song I can’t stop listening to, translated to english ‘A flower and another flower’), Morbid Angel – He Who Sleeps ( just to have some metal over here – this is one of the best death metal songs ever),
Jure: Joe Cocker – Isolation (by John Lennon),
Dmitri: I was mostly working on finishing our new record but I also hosted three online Jam Sessions with over 50 players all around the world and it was not a simple production but very satisfying, especially when you have so many great musicians and friends helping you to make it.
Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
Vidi: I miss meeting new people.
Jure: Afterparties, with everyone there.
Dmitri: I guess what I missed the most is some sort of social life and meeting people.
Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
Vidi: Generally in Seventh Station we only meet before recordings or shows, since we live in three different continents most of the time. I think Dima, Grega and Jure are working together every two or three weeks for a weekend on the eastern borders of Slovenia, in a town called Brezice, 15 minutes away from Croatia and its capital Zagreb. Last time I got there was to record the vocals for Seventh Station’s new album, at the very moment of emergency in Europe when they started shutting all the borders, I couldn’t get back to Israel and so I was traveling through three different countries until I found a flight back home, sense all flights were being constantly canceled. Looking back at it, it was a great adventure.
Jure: We tried, but it has become just an excuse to change the daily monotony and they are totally unproductive in a musical sense.
Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!
Vidi: Thank you guys for the platform and time! All Hail the Moustache!