Time for the next edition of Metal Anarchy’s “Music In The Age Of COVID-19” series, the feature where I discuss the ongoing pandemic with various musicians. This time I have an interview with Hybrid Spirits.
METAL ANARCHY: How have you been holding up during the coronavirus pandemic?
HYBRID SPIRITS: It has affected us in different ways, from the financial impact to the lack of routine, normality and social contact. The first lockdown in England in March 2020 was very difficult. The second lockdown began on 2 November and hasn’t been so difficult as people are still allowed to go into work where necessary. Voodoo Jade became disabled in 2012 and has got used to being fairly isolated over the years. As she is placed on the clinically vulnerable list by the government, she received free food parcels for a while as she was unable to get shopping. However, other people in England were forced to wait for hours in long queues to get into supermarkets, and struggled to get groceries delivered when ordering online. We’re sure that we’re not the only people who found social media and internet a huge help during the lockdowns. Although it’s not the same as being in the same room with people, it has certainly been better than nothing!
METAL ANARCHY: Have you been using your downtime to work on new music?
HYBRID SPIRITS: In a way, the first lockdown was great regarding music because no one had to go to work and so we had time to write and record new music. We managed to get our latest EP “Mirage” mixed and ready for release on Halloween. We are lucky in that we all work on music individually and remotely, and we don’t play live at the moment, so we could keep on making music. Our hearts went out to other bands who we know all over the world who were no longer able to get into the studio or play live. We wrote the music for a new song called “Rain or Shine” a few days before lockdown, and the lyrics hadn’t yet been written. We thought that lockdown would be a perfect opportunity to write a song which reflected the mood and the situation, addressing feelings of solidarity and giving hope to people. A lot of people were fundraising in England at the time to help with Covid-19 related causes, and we decided to release the song as a charity single so that we could play our part too. The money which the single has raised so far is helping people across the world who have been affected by Covid-19, and we will continue to raise funds until the end of April 2021. Let’s face it, it doesn’t look as though the pandemic will disappear overnight unfortunately.
METAL ANARCHY: What was the last show you played or attended before the shutdown?
HYBRID SPIRITS: As previously stated, we don’t play live at the moment. However, a few days before lockdown, Voodoo Jade and Nigel saw The Mission on tour in Birmingham UK. They were about to leave the UK to tour Europe, which sadly had to be cancelled. We felt sorry for The Mission and other bands regarding loss of income, merchandise sales etc.
METAL ANARCHY: Are you planning to play any livestream concerts during this time?
HYBRID SPIRITS: No were aren’t sorry! It’s really difficult as we don’t live close to each other, and Voodoo Jade is disabled, making it difficult for her to travel.
METAL ANARCHY: Do you think the live entertainment industry will ever recover?
HYBRID SPIRITS: We’d love to think that the entertainment industry will recover, but will it? Will things ever be the same again? We have heard of local music (and theatre etc.) venues struggling, forced to close due to lack of income. Will there ever be a time when people can go to a gig as normal again? Will people have to be socially distanced in the future and how can that be managed? There seems to be more questions and issues than solutions. However, other indie musicians who we know are now allowed to play small, socially-distanced venues again, so maybe life and gigs as we know it will return to normal one day.
METAL ANARCHY: Lastly, is there anything fans can do to help your band or others that may be struggling during this time?
HYBRID SPIRITS: As far as we know, all bands have taken a hit in one way or another. It would be great if people could please support artists by purchasing their music directly. Our music can be bought at Bandcamp. The income which bands get from streaming is minimal, but it all helps. Even if it helps get up those algorithms so music is played on other playlists, it all helps, so a big thank you to everyone who can help! Our music can be found on most music streaming services. Just look for our songs “Fear” or “Mirage” and you’ll find us! We usually fund the costs for mixing and mastering ourselves, but even this is difficult at the moment, as we’ve also taken a hit in personal income. Due to the first lockdown when people were first furloughed from work, we’re still recovering financially, and we won’t be the only musicians who say this!