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The A.X.E. Project: 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. 
Bulgarian unique Sympho/Gothic/Progressive metal The A.X.E. Project released “Future.Imperfect” album on March 20, 2020, via Art Gates Records. Ross G (guitar), Georgi Georgiev (bass, vocals), Martin Emilov (guitar) and Tsveti Kirilova (vocals) are delivering very interesting Quarantine Story. 

Hi! How are you doing during corona outbreak?
Georgi: Hi, we are in good mood and health! As for the rest – I don’t think it’s much different in handling the situation as for the other bands.

What have you cancelled/postponed due coronavirus?
Ross: We were forced to cancel our new album promo show as well as the whole support mini-tour dates due to government closure of all venues. I can’t say that we are happy with it, we spend some money for merch and other expenses.
Georgi: We still hope that we will be able to resume our concerts in September 2020, we rescheduled the promotion date to September 12th, fingers crossed!

How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
Georgi: It’s not big amount of cash we lost but for us selling CDs on shows is a major part of the business, online physical sales are laughable! So not be able to sell merch on live shows is a big downside for small bands. As you know small bands or supporting acts get very small percentage of tickets if at all. So the financial situation with the band is not very good.
Martin: Touring has become too risky or even impossible for the most bands during the pandemic. Social media is an alternative to explore.
Ross G: We tried some home online shows with mixed results. It’s almost the same as some TV appearances we had in the past: it works on some levels, but you cannot feel the audience energy proper and that greatly affects the stage performance.

How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
Tsveti: Mainly through social media. We released a new video in April during the first weeks of the lockdown and it was very well received by the fans. We had the luck to finish its production right before the pandemic, so yeah!
Georgi: We’re updating our Facebook page very often to keep our fans engaged. After the album’s release on March 20th there were a bunch of reviews, we post all of them no matter good or bad. We also had several interviews and radio airings, all published there also.

What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
Martin: There will be metal even after a zombie apocalypse!
Georgi: Agree! As you may know our new album’s title is “Future.Imperfect” which we decided more than year ago somehow expecting for such future to happen! My only regret is that we don’t have a pandemic-themed song! Maybe next time! 😉
Tsveti: The metal should never change, it’s a state of mind! The pandemic just can fuel even
more great songs about metal’s favorite themes: isolation, death, war and so on!
Ross G: I think that live metal shows will find their way to be, even in the most desperate times people need this kind of music to exist!

Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers promoters…
Martin: It is extremely difficult nowadays for young musicians even to begin their new projects. The fear of a failure stops a lot of really talented teenagers to pursue a professional career and it is obvious that the fans will suffer the most.
Georgi: If we are talking big names here I’ll say promoters, but in the end the fans will suffer
the most despite the fact that some bands used their quarantine time to record new music. It
will take a while to return to normal if ever!

What is your isolation soundtrack?
Georgi: For me that’s easily “The Atlantic” by Evergrey which also influenced a bit the sound of our own “Future.Imperfect” album.

Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
Martin: The freedom in general. Maybe it sounds too abstract, but the idea that due to the coronavirus there are some things that we are not allowed to do is too severe.

Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
Georgi: Yes, we had some rehearsals to prepare for the online shows, but the lockdown found us in different cities so only the half of the band participated (it was forbidden to travel between cities for almost 2 months!). The rehearsals happened at my house and the rehearsal
room also served as an improvised “stage” for the online streams, very cheap and convenient!

Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!
Georgi: It was our pleasure! Stay safe and stay metal too!

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