MUSIC FEATURE: Standing By The Scene – Doing Your Bit To Support Music Through COVID-19 (Part One)
Everything’s a bit weird right now isn’t? We at Bring The Noise UK hope you’re all being safe and looking after each other. Speaking of looking after people, now’s the time we could really look after the bands we love. Touring is a lifeline for all our favourite bands and it’s been taken away from them in a way that no one could ever have prepared for.
So how can we all help the artists whose music has helped us through our hard times and been a soundtrack to the best night of our lives, now that they need us? A lot of them are trying to adapt, and use technology to help raise funds, and keep their music in your mind while you’re stuck inside. And since you are stuck inside, why not tune into some of these innovative live streams? Here’s some ways you can help…
PART ONE – LIVE STREAMING
With this new virus running rampant, the live music industry has effectively grinded to a halt, like a high-speed train that’s been derailed. Luckily, we live in modern times, where technology can help alleviate the sudden emptiness left behind by attending gigs and festivals. How, you might ask? Let us introduce you to the wonderful world of live streaming.
With the advent of live streaming platforms such as Twitch, Mixer, and even (most) social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, why not Skype too, you get the jist – it has never been easier as an artist to reach out to your fans in uncertain times such as these. Whether it be streaming past concerts in full, doing acoustic renditions of songs on the spot, collaborations with other artists, or even instrument lessons, there’s a platform to be had for everyone. Here are some highlights you’ll be able to catch on the internet.
Metal giants Metallica have started a new series, #MetallicaMondays, in which the band will stream past shows in their entirety, mixed and mastered by the team behind their last album, 2016’s Hardwired… To Self-Destruct. New York hardcore-punk act CRO-MAGS have also recorded a full concert, The Quarantine Show, to make up for their show with Body Count being cancelled – it’s available now on YouTube, for your lockdown viewing pleasure.
For those who also enjoy something other than heavy riffage, the American DJ Diplo has got you covered, with five different, themed sets each week, with all artists whose music ends up featured being eligible for the royalties garnered by his streams – a class move, if you ask us. On the other side of the spectrum, Trivium singer and guitarist Matt Heafy is already well-known for his Twitch streams, having started over two years ago. Streaming twice a day – yes, twice – with anything from full Trivium album playthroughs and guitar/vocal clinics, to video games, and even what he calls Kiichi Chaos Karaoke. Devin Townsend has just started streaming on Twitch, too, sharing his mixing and mastering process on his new Quarantine Project. If lessons are your thing, you’ve got your fair share of choices, too! Sertraline guitarist Tom Wilson will be offering free Skype lessons (contact him here: TWGuitarLessons@Gmail.com), Megadeth bassist David Ellefson is offering free music lessons to children displaced by the virus through his David Ellefson Youth Music Foundation, and Imonolith drummer Ryan Van Poederooyen as well as Haken guitarist Rich Henshall can be contacted for some drum and guitar lessons, respectively.
In the end, while this global pandemic sure has put a damper on live music concerts and festivals, we are lucky to be able to keep up with our favourite artists’ newest releases and live streams. Until we can all return to jumping around at the next festival, stay safe, remain indoors, and wash your hands!
We also asked some of those who have been affected how you can help the music industry right now…
Jerry Horton, Papa Roach
“We were really disappointed to learn our European tour had to be cut short, and our US tour would have to be postponed. Touring is our main source of income, but also part of the reason we love what we do. During this time of “shelter in place” the best thing people can do to support Papa Roach is stream and more importantly, share our music. If there’s a song you’re listening to that resonates with what you’re feeling let people know.”
Check out Papa Roach‘s merch store HERE.
“As a relatively small touring band in this day and age our only real income is the money we make from playing shows and from selling merch, and you only really sell merch at shows, so having so many show cancellations and venue closings means we basically have no income. Money isn’t the real reason any band makes and plays music, but without it sadly bands can’t continue – at some point food has to be bought and rent has to be paid. The real damage the Coronavirus does to bands isn’t so much the negating of what little money they do make already, but the momentum that touring and releasing music generates, with that loss of momentum comes the loss of motivation and can be disheartening. Fortunately, we do live in age where the internet is a great source of content, and bands can stay relevant and on the radar even in this difficult time. We can all still play our instruments at home and make little videos, or reach out and connect with fans and other musicians through the myriad of different platforms available to us, but even that is minor compared to just touring.
“The best thing fans can do to help bands at this time is honestly sharing or interacting with posts, streams, sharing their music, videos, photos…literally anything that can keep the band out there and still on people’s radars. It doesn’t take long to be forgotten, but having those constant little reminders helps keep that momentum that some bands have been working at to achieve for years. Of course you can always buy merch they are selling, those sales make a massive difference to keep bands out there and creating music.
“THANK YOU TO THOSE THAT STACK, DELIVER, TREAT, CLEAN, PROTECT AND KEEP THIS WORLD SPINNING. WASH YOUR HANDS, STAY THE FUCK AT HOME.”
Check out Allusinlove‘s merch store HERE.
Jack Clothier, Alcopop! Records
“I’m not going to lie. It’s been REALLY hectic. It’s been a simultaneously positive and negative time, crushing months of intricate planning and shows with one over-sized unstoppable fist, but at the same time realising we can elongate campaigns and make the most of some albums we’re working with that are packed full of bangers!
“Dream Nails, for instance, may have had their entire tour cancelled and lead single somewhat overwhelmed by all of this, but there’s so many great tracks on their forthcoming album, and they’ve got a LOT to say…so we’re just going to run with that! More singles, more content. More Dream Nails! I tell you what though. It’s vital to have understanding PR and radio people in these uncertain times. Everyone’s going to have to pull together, take a bit of a hit and make campaigns work whatever we’re dealing with.
“I think something of real importance though is to make sure that you and yours are OK, and not feeling pressured into ‘being creative’ or ‘making the most of it’ just because you have lots of time on your hands…Everyone’s dealing with this in their own way, and we all need to respect that. Having three weeks of no work doesn’t necessarily mean you can just write that novel you’ve always dreamt of. The lack of everyday pressure that we’re used to is putting people under whole NEW pressures (if that makes sense), and I think that applies in a LOT of fields, not just music.”
Check out the Alcopop! Records store HERE.
Harry Acreman, Sun Arcana
“Yeah it’s a bit of a crazy one isn’t it?! We (like many artists and bands) had quite a few big plans that we were in the process of confirming. Unfortunately that’s all on hold for the time being until there’s a bit more clarity around the current situation which is a real hard pill to swallow for us personally, because we have just finished our biggest tour yet supporting The Maine and built up a really good following and great bit of a momentum. So it’s going to be a lot of hard work to keep that momentum up until we are in a position to play live shows and release music again.
“We are up for the challenge though! We are writing our best music at the moment and it just keeps piling up so, if anything, it’s allowed us that time to smash out a tonne of song ideas!
“It’s really lovely to see everyone in the music industry rally behind and help each other. Everyone is in the same boat so it’s great to see people reaching out and working together. I think from fans all we can really ask is for their continued support to just keep streaming, listening, and engaging with artists and bands! There is going to be a big surge in live shows once this is over so they best be prepared for the best gigs they’ll ever go to.”
Check out Sun Arcana‘s merch store HERE.
“Covid-19 has had a massive impact on everyone and everything in the music industry. For us, we’re looking at everything from a very positive point of view and, in some ways, acknowledging how fortunate we have been with the timing of the virus and our plans surrounding the release of our album.
“For example, we had confirmed UK and EU tour dates starting immediately after the release of our album to support its release. This virus has put a halt on that side of things, but the only real negative for us is that we can’t support the release of the album with playing the songs live. Frustrating, but a small set back in the grand scheme of things!
“Of course none of us are alone in facing this. The whole industry is unified in our experience of this, and we need to find ways to adapt and use time wisely. There have already been so many creative examples of bands finding ways to overcome the restrictions of social distancing, to continue to bring their music to new and existing fans.
“The concept for our forthcoming album, The Cataclysm, is strong. It’s dark, heavy and – despite the fact that the concept was decided before the outbreak of COVID-19 – echos current times. We now have an added six months or so to perfect the concept and theatrics we have planned for our live show. We can produce content and really build on a narrative in support of the concept.
“Right now, all we want to do is to continue with the plan of announcing pre-orders, further details of the album concept and release music. For us, it’s all about the art – that comes first foremost.
“How will this impact on the industry in the long run? For us, it’s the rescheduling of shows for the bigger bands. Where will we fit in 2020? The options are limited. Bands our size are either going to get the scraps of what’s left in terms of venue and guarantees, or get lucky with a handful of shows. Potentially waiting until 2021 to properly play shows is both a frustrating and worrying thought, but we stress – we’re staying nothing but positive in these times, and we hope you can all do the same.”
Pre-order Coldbones‘ new album The Cataclysm HERE.
Sky Valley Mistress
“All we really want from your readers is to just take some time out and listen to our debut album Faithless Rituals, we have confidence in it and, as all bands who have brought albums out know, it’s a difficult process and has obstacles at every stage and this is just another. Bringing the album out on the 20th March, literally the day the pandemic started to get serious, was the first trail and then having a UK tour not even announced simply written off was also another tough blow, then all the album promotional activities simply shelved…We were well on with album two, so we will be remotely working on that and then we think there’ll be a lull in group gatherings when the lockdown is lifted, so we’ll sit tight and hopefully our friends at Bring The Noise will have recommended us to enough of their readers they’ll be queuing round the block…We also intend to sit down and watch Searching For Sugarman just to kill the time.”
Russell: “There’s tonnes of ways people can help bands, but lets face it they may not themselves have jobs in four months so they won’t spend money if they don’t need to and who’d blame them if they have family…just stop panic buying cause you’re being a prick.”
Kayley: “We actually saw it coming when we had an out of body experience in the desert, which is exactly why we waited so long to release the record with a board game inside to save all households the world over from another game of bloody Monopoly.”
“All the links of where to buy and listen to Faithless Rituals are on our website.”
Purchase Sky Valley Mistress’ debut album Faithless Rituals HERE.
“For the first time ever, I think I’m glad that we aren’t full time touring musicians (yet). Luckily, although I (Pete) lost my job for the foreseeable future, Bex, Jack, and Con can still work full time and survive, so I suppose I’ll just ask them all for money. Ha! Although we’ve had all of our shows cancelled, we weren’t financially relying on them to survive, so we are in a luckier position than many of our contemporaries!
“I’ve been thinking about how fans can help musicians a lot. You know, cos now I don’t have a job I just sit around pondering all day…dangerous, I know. Anyway. I have an answer for this. And its more than just ‘watch their live stream’. I think the best thing we can all do, in a period where there’s no live music WHATSOEVER, is to just build up that thirst. Remind yourself why you fell in love with it, and come back hungry and rabid and ready to go all over again! I mean that for fans and artists. Now is a great time to reflect on everything you are doing. You can finally sit down and ask ‘why?’. So many people don’t get the chance to just…stop for a bit. And you end up down an alley that you don’t recognise. Now’s the time to listen, to anticipate, to discover, to ponder. Why do I like music? What is it to me? Why do I dedicate myself to screaming endlessly into the cold void? All good questions.
“I’m not GREAT on social media. I struggle with the idea of ‘over-sharing’, and the sheer amount of info blasted at you constantly makes it all seem a bit pointless doesn’t it. I don’t mean just music, I mean everything. Just so much info all the time…so I haven’t done any live streaming yet, although we are talking about ways to do it creatively at the moment. The best thing to do if you are interested is sign up to our mailing list (HERE). I’ve been sort of going ‘behind the scenes’ of songs and sharing early bedroom demos and lyrics and shit. I think there’s probably other bands doing that too, so find those mailing lists.
“One last thing: take some time away from the news. Of course we all need a bit of it, but be wary. Equal parts news and real world. This will be okay! Always think of those who have lost loved ones during this crisis, or who are working their arses off to stop your loved ones from dying, before posting insensitive or callous things online. This isn’t just a holiday for some people. Be kind if you can.”
Lizzie Parry, Sertraline
“Obviously we’re deeply affected by the loss of live shows – it’s the best way to connect with both new and existing fans and also the best way to earn money. That’s definitely the hardest part. However we’re all positive people so we’re focusing on other areas! Our new EP is dropping in May and our Kickstarter campaign has just reached its funding goal! (Pre-orders via Kickstarter are still live until the end of April). The best way to support bands right now is to buy merch (if you can) and keep streaming/downloading the music!”
Pre-order Sertraline‘s new EP Clouded Minds & Silver Lines HERE.
“It’s affected us big time, mainly by cutting our UK tour with our pals Gaffa Tape Sandy in half which sucked! But was definitely the right thing to do. We had festivals we were really looking forward to as well. I think the main way fans could help us bands right now is to be engaged with content we’re putting out, maybe buying the odd bit of merch (although right now with money being tight for most, that might be harder), carry on streaming, and basically just enjoy and appreciate the bands trying to find new and fun creative ways to interact with their fans right now.
“Like lots of folks we’ve done a few live streams and gear run downs so far, and we had a load of fun taking over our label Alcopop! Records’ Instagram stories this week. We just made a load of weird silly videos, and I’m sure we’ll be doing more in that vein, as well as maybe some odd little covers here and there.
“Stay home, enjoy the arts online and on TV, be safe, make new food, remember to catch up with friends online, and we’ll all be back to make music in your face at a sweaty venue before you know it.”
Check out Beach Riot‘s merch store HERE.
“We’ve had several shows cancelled. We’d planned them to line up with our release schedule, so it’s all gone out of the window a bit. We had a big show with Circa Waves planned and our own headline show in Liverpool that was going to be the launch party for our next single.
“Buying music and march will provide instant financial relief – so many bands will be losing income from cancelled shows and the like, and although a lot of shows are getting rescheduled, bands are still going to feel the loss of revenue from the merch they may have sold at the original shows, so if you can, order the record or buy a t-shirt from any bands/artists you were planning on seeing.
“We’ve still got a bunch of songs to release that we are going to go ahead with. We were unsure what to do for the best, whether or not to hold them back until normal service resumes and we can tie in the releases with our live shows, but we decided it was actually a really good time to release music with everyone being indoors and hopefully spending more time listening to new stuff.”
Check out HAARM on Spotify HERE.
“COVID-19 has affected us as greatly as a band. We were meant to be playing several gigs and festivals and they’ve all been cancelled. We can’t practice any more either, of course. We love playing hard rock music together in the practice room and we do it once a week usually. We were also meant to be filming some stuff for a music video but that’s also been cancelled, so we’re crowd-sourcing fan videos for it. We’re adapting! This virus hasn’t dampened our spirits. We fully understand the seriousness of it and are trying to focus on using this time we have to be peaceful, write new music, be creative and just be. There are some positives to be found in this very heavy and disorientating time.
“Music fans could help musicians during the pandemic by listening to new bands and albums that you might’ve been putting off because you were too busy? Learn the words, practise your mosh pit and dancefloor moves for when this is all over. Maybe buy some band merch, but only if you’ve got disposable income and fancy treating yourself. Your money could be donated elsewhere and make more of a positive impact – we don’t feel musicians are somehow entitled to special financial support from the public.
“If you’re just chilling at home then you should get involved in our new music video! We want fans (or just bored people at home) to send us some clips for our new music video. All the info is HERE. Your submission doesn’t have to be the whole three minutes and don’t worry if you’re not feeling too ‘wacky’ or creative, it can be whatever you want it to be! Plus, you’ll be immortalised in a music video forever. Why not, ey? Send submissions to: email@example.com.
“You are everything you will ever need. You are better than nobody and nobody is better than you.”
Check out WACO‘s BandCamp HERE.
“We were supposed to be on tour with grandson in Canada over the last two weeks, and were set to begin recording our debut LP this week. Obviously
that’s all been postponed, and so we are at home working on songs and itching to get back to work.
“I think interacting with bands in any way is a good way to keep their morale up. As a musician, when you aren’t keeping busy, that never-ending
imposter syndrome starts to seep in. So connecting with your audience and seeing that they are still interested is a really valuable feeling in a time like this.
“We are writing some awesome songs, and I assure you that we will be emerging from this with an incomparable drive to make up for lost time.”
Check out cleopatrick‘s latest music HERE.
“We’ve been affected in pretty much every single way possible! None of us live together, so we can’t live stream a set and it’s not particularly easy to write songs together via Zoom either. It’s had a massive effect on us in terms of live shows and festivals this summer – we can’t get out there and play shows or get to a recording studio.
“All the obvious things will help bands during this crisis – stream music, buy merch, watch live streams! Support your favourite artists in absolutely any way you can, there are plenty of ways that don’t include spending money in these tough times.
“Stay active, wake up early, and learn something new whilst you’re getting paid to stay at home.”
Check out DITZ‘ BandCamp HERE.
Alex Canion, Voyager
“Coming from the most isolated capital city in the world, the sheer distance from touring hot-spots like the UK, Europe and USA is normally the biggest logistical hurdle we face as a band. However, COVID-19 is a nightmare everyone across the globe is desperate to wake up from. While we certainly aren’t a unique case study, it’s safe to say that this horrible virus has royally fucked up our plans for what now appears to be the entire year! We’ve all been personally affected by the necessary closures, but we in Voyager remain confident that in due time we’ll take our thoroughly santized hands, grab life by the balls and continue our quest for world domination…when it becomes safe to do so, of course.”
Stream or purchase Voyager‘s latest album Colours in the Sun HERE.
Check out our Lockdown Spotify Playlist below!
Thank you to the bands and labels that contributed towards this feature.
Written by: Calum McMillan and Florin Petrut