In Corona Corner, we are asking musicians how the outbreak has effected them, how did they adapt to the situation, what did they learn. Teemu Kautonen, singer and songwriter of Finnish Welkins Boreal, speaks his Quarantine Story.
Hi! How are you doing during corona outbreak?
Hello! I am pretty good. Finland has not been hit by the pandemic as badly as some other countries. Travel is restricted and we’re instructed to wear masks in public transport, but otherwise things are running more or less normally.
What have you cancelled/postponed due coronavirus?
Luckily our musical activities have not been negatively affected by the corona crisis. We almost had to postpone the recordings of our EP when the province where I live was on lock-down, but luckily the embargo was lifted a week before the recordings were due to commence. There is a silver lining in the corona cloud too: there is more time to focus on writing music!
How the global coronavirus pandemic is directly impacting bands?
It depends on the band. Small bands like ours are mostly unaffected, save perhaps for a few gig cancellations, because our livelihoods are not dependent on income from music. Large bands are annoyed because they are disappointing their fans by having to cancel tours, but they are not starving because of the slump in income. It’s the middle-sized bands that take the worst hit: those who are not rich to start with but who do music as their principal professional activity.
How are you keeping your fans during this chaotic period?
Via social and conventional media – by answering to interviews such as this one!
What will metal look like when we re-emerge from isolation?
I don’t think metal is going anywhere as such, but there might be an exacerbation in the divide between big and small bands. The middle-sized bands who have taken the biggest hit may give up doing music fulltime, meaning they won’t book long tours anymore in fear of financial repercussions should something like the corona crisis happen again and leave them without income. This is my general prediction anyhow in the new streaming-led music business: income generation for medium-sized bands is very difficult, so the few big bands will continue but with added investments in touring to generate income, and on the other hand small amateur acts will abound who do music as a hobby without the pressure of income generation. This is a pity though, because the step from a small to a big band is difficult without being able to be a medium-sized band in between those stages. So maybe the global audience will miss out on some high-quality acts because they just drown in the mass of small bands and cannot develop themselves to become full time professionals.
Who will suffer the most after all: musicians, organizers promoters…
Most likely organizers and promoters, as well as the technical staff of bands, suffer even more than the musicians. At least the musicians get some income from royalties whereas the rest will be queuing for the dole (unemployment benefit). Also, promoters and organizers might have to suffer not only lost income from cancelled shows, but they also lose the money they had already invested in planning and setting up those shows, which they cannot recoup in full.
What is your isolation soundtrack?
Mötley Crüe “Shout at the Devil”!
Besides gigs, what/whom do you miss the most?
Travelling and seeing my friends abroad. I will miss it even more when the dark and cold of the Nordic winter sets in and I cannot escape… I usually always spend some weeks in the southern hemisphere during the Finnish winter.
Do you have any rehearsals during quarantine? If yes, how do they look like?
Yes we do but since we mostly rehearse at home and we are not at complete lock-down, the corona has not had an impact on our rehearsals.
Thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!
Thanks very much & stay metal!