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 Dan Fenton and Chase Arocha of Voltagehawk.
METAL ANARCHY: How have you been holding up during the coronavirus pandemic?
DAN FENTON: Well in spite of our best efforts to follow CDC guidelines, quarantine and such, 3 out of 4 of the band members have had it and come through it mostly unscathed. It has been our strangest year yet but we have been maintaining creativity through out.
CHASE AROCHA: There have been many ups and downs from it. It’s been great to spend time with my fiancé and daughter, doing lots of puzzles and watching every great show we have wanted to watch. Not being on the road or playing shows for a long time definitely had some feelings of how do we call ourselves musicians if we aren’t personally giving people a moment of entertainment and peace during these times of chaos.
METAL ANARCHY: Have you been using your downtime to work on new music?
DAN FENTON: 100%. We have a 13 song space epic called “Electric Thunder” in the can already. Recorded at Electric Thunder Studios in Berry Hill with our producer Geoff Pillar and mastered at Magic Garden Mastering in LA by Grammy award winner Brian Lucey. Set for release early next year. We have also accumulated about 36 work tapes of even newer material since March.
CHASE AROCHA: Always! We are always writing and most of us have little studios at home. So we are always sending tracks back and forth to each other even before the pandemic, but it certainly increased after.
METAL ANARCHY: What was the last show you played or attended before the shutdown?
DAN FENTON: I believe it was the Exit/In with the Pink Spiders. It was a great send off for the strangest fucking year ever.
METAL ANARCHY: Are you planning to play any livestream concerts during this time?
CHASE AROCHA: I believe so, we are doing our best to adapt and keep moving forward with shows in any way we can!
METAL ANARCHY: Do you think the live entertainment industry will ever recover?
DAN FENTON: Art, sound all of it began well before any of us were even in existence and it has stood the test of time through pandemics, wars, genocide and the slow destruction of the earth. Art will always recover and truly grow, monetizing the art is not what makes it valuable. We will find a way to share what we create as man has since he drew on caves. We don’t worry about those behind the scenes who line their pockets as part of a broken industry that tells people what music they like. If you want to survive, you will.
CHASE AROCHA: I believe so. The amount of outside shows and drive-in shows people are setting up now has made me see that we will always find a way to play and that people need it. We need music and not just playing in our homes but to experience something together. We will find a way to make it work, I just really hope it’s sooner rather than later.
METAL ANARCHY: Lastly, is there anything fans can do to help your band or others that may be struggling during this time?
DAN FENTON: Buy merch, share our music with your friends. DM us on socials and tell us you’re doing okay, we’ll talk to you. We’re gonna be fine through all this, but we want you to listen and share our songs, share empathy with your neighbor, give to local organizations like food banks and shelters. It’s snowing today and a lot of people are hungry and cold. Find someone like Gideon’s Army in Nashville who are fighting for social justice and to aid and protect those who are in need. Play our music while you hand out food.
CHASE AROCHA: Check out all our social medias for things we are doing! We are starting a Twitch channel sharing some studio stuff, along with getting ready to release another album. The sky is the limit and luckily with the power of the Internet we can send our content out to the world. With enough work/luck I think we will be ok. I just hope for us to end this pandemic in a safe healthy way for people, not just ignoring that it exists and going back to normal. We’ve lost too many people already.