Home SceneInterviewsCorona Corner Thirteen Goats: QUARANTINE STORY


by Vjeran

In Corona Corner, we are asking musicians how the outbreak has effected them, how did they adapt to the situation, what did they learn. Graham K. Miles (lead vocals, guitars) shares his Corona experience with us today.

Hi! How are you doing during corona outbreak?
Not too bad. I got COVID on New Year’s Eve, so 2022 has really only gotten better for me. And I have three different vaccines (AZ, Moderna, and Pfizer) all racing around in my bloodstream, so I probably won’t get COVID again but there is a chance I might get superpowers. I’d really like laser eyes.

What have you cancelled/postponed due coronavirus?
We had to cancel a few gigs over the past year or two, but it seems like live music is really coming back now. We’ve been playing for audiences again over the past month or two, and it feels really good.

How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
Obviously, concerts and music festivals have been hit really hard. And I think the artists suffer most because it means more people are just streaming songs instead of going to shows and directly supporting bands by purchasing physical albums or merch. We all know how streaming services gouge the creators who they rely on for their “content”, so I won’t waste time bemoaning that. Suffice it to say: thank Baphomet for Bandcamp.

How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
We’re staying really active on social media and pouring a lot of energy into producing our videos. We made three for our first album, two of which are out already. Check out Return to Ruin on the Thirteen Goats YouTube channel and you’ll see what we mean—we hired an animator to create these really detailed, comic-book-inspired visuals and they support the song perfectly. Hopefully, stuff like that will tide people over until we’re in a position to travel to them and they can see us live.

What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
Look, metal’s never going to die. The people who love it are way too intense to ever let that happen. We’re already seeing that at the few live shows we have been able to play recently—fans are coming back hungry for the live music they’ve missed so much, and it’s deeply inspiring. I also hope that as live music comes back, we see more metalheads coming out to party and fewer metalheads getting into pointless arguments on the internet, because frankly, the scene doesn’t need any more gatekeepers.

Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers promoters…
It’s always going to be the artists who suffer most because everyone else is making their money off the shit we produce. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the work that labels or publicists or promoters do because it’s incredibly important—we’ve certainly had some great breaks because of people in those positions who believed in us and helped us get noticed at critical moments. But when you’re a musician—especially an independent one—you’re the first and last person to believe in your work. You’re the one who has to sink copious amounts of time and energy and money into it before any of those other people will even start to take you seriously—and in times like these, where the whole industry is becoming more risk-averse, that means you need to make even more sacrifices to get your foot in the door.

The margins have always been so thin, especially for music like this, but it’s approaching a place where it’s becoming unsustainable. I think that’s why you’ve recently started to see so many artists doing things like pulling their catalogues from Spotify and other platforms—because we’re starting to realize that the industry we love doesn’t necessarily love us back. Fortunately, without us, they don’t exist. So there will have to be concessions made at some point. I just hope it trickles down to small bands and doesn’t only benefit the big-ticket artists who are beyond needing that support.

What is your isolation soundtrack?
A soundscape that includes my cat screaming at me, my inbox filling up with spam emails, and my therapist asking me to stop self-medicating. Also, The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails.

Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
I actually miss the earliest days of the pandemic, when people were gathering to drink tall boys in public parks and taking public health guidelines seriously. It actually felt like we might have a collective opportunity to fundamentally change systems and institutions that had demonstrably failed us and return to a place of grassroots community building—but then, of course, all the austerity and hysteria and compassion fatigue set in, and now we’re all just basically being asked by our jobs and elected representatives to grind harder while we ignore the fact that there’s still a global health crisis taking place. I want the silver lining days back.

Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
We’re getting together and playing again. We’ve all had our shots, and we love our art too much to put it on hold any longer.

Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!

You too. Stay metal.

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