In Corona Corner, we are asking musicians how the outbreak has effected them, how did they adapt to the situation, what did they learn. Theigns and Thralls shares his Corona experience with us today. Kevin Ridley (vocals, guitar and mandola) and Dave Briggs (guitar, tin whistle and vocals) are answering the questions.
Hi! How are you doing during corona outbreak?
KR: I think the first lockdown period was difficult because nobody was used to that situation, and we all had to adjust. For me, it meant getting into writing and recording songs at home to give me something to focus on. So it was, in fact, a productive time for me. Though the longer it went on the more frustrating it became, in terms of seeing family and friends or visiting places and so on. But finally, I think we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.
DB: Good, I’ve been keeping busy and using the time to be as productive as possible.
What have you cancelled/postponed due coronavirus?
KR: Everything to do with music. All the gigs we had planned had to be cancelled or postponed. Hopefully, we will get to some of these in 2022.
DB: Basically, all Waylander gigs were either cancelled or postponed indefinitely.
How is the global coronavirus pandemic directly impacting bands?
KR: It affects them directly because they cannot play any gigs, or very few under very restricted circumstances. This may be an important source of income for many and so they might have to do other jobs to make ends meet until the pandemic is over. They might not even be able to rehearse, and some could just give up.
DB: I think that the isolation caused by the pandemic will be the death of a lot of bands, particularly smaller bands, without any gigs to play I think a lot of bands will basically fade out. Without goals to focus on it can be difficult to maintain a passion, and people can get used to not having band practice sessions and not going to or playing gigs.
How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
KR: Social media is really the only outlet for communicating with fans during these times, and we use several platforms to do this. People have tried Q&A sessions, play-throughs and online interviews etc., anything that can help maintain contact.
DB: Social media is our friend during times like these, we can let the fans know that we are still here and still working.
What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
KR: Fortunately, a lot of metal is ‘underground’ and independent. It has always had a very strong grassroots tradition and so I think it will recover okay. Even if it takes some time, promoters and clubs will get back into business because will still want to see live music.
DB: As I said before, I think a lot of bands might not make it through long-term isolation. That being said, I think there could very well be a wave of new bands that have been formed as a direct result of the isolation. Much like Theigns & Thralls.
True musicians will never stop being musicians, we can’t, it’s in our blood. Even if it’s just sitting in a bedroom with a laptop and guitar, we are making music, and with communication technology the way it is now, worldwide musical collaborations have never been easier!
Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers promoters…
DB: I think the live music industry as a whole will suffer. Even when it’s safe for gigs to happen like they used to, it will be hard to get people used to it again.
KR: I agree. We are all in this together, we all need each other, and it will take time to get things back to anything like they were.
What is your isolation soundtrack?
KR: I have been listening to a few metal playlists on Spotify (best of 2021 etc., as well as recommendations from friends online (which aren’t always metal).
DB: I mostly listen to audiobooks while I’m working, mainly science fiction and fantasy. Although I did listen to Rob Halford’s autobiography
Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
KR: I have family in the UK. So, I missed spending time with them, for holidays, birthdays, and celebrations and so on. Even with our immediate family here in Spain, everything had to be changed. So, all the usual celebrations and holidays were very limited.
DB: I missed just hanging out and going to restaurants with my friends and bandmates.
Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, what did they look like?
KR: I couldn’t do anything at all for two years. But Theigns & Thralls started to rehearse again recently, under restrictions. I took my own microphone, hand gel, face masks all that sort of thing.
DB: Waylander spent a lot of the quarantine writing new music and when local restrictions allowed, we started to meet to work on it together, at first with just a couple of members but eventually with the full band.
Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!