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 Lucas Di Mascio of Malacoda.
METAL ANARCHY: How have you been holding up during the coronavirus pandemic?
LUCAS DI MASCIO: We’ve been holding up okay I think. Nobody’s gotten sick- I think we’ve all had a point where we’ve gone: “shit, am I sick?” but it was just a false alarm. Business for me has been hit or miss- lulls with some action here and there. Mostly I’m just trying to stay sane I think. I’ve worked on a surprising amount of music for clients and some side projects here and there which has helped a bit, but I miss gigging. I miss the momentum.
METAL ANARCHY: Have you been using your downtime to work on new music?
LUCAS DI MASCIO: Kind of, yeah. Malacoda had 3 EP’s worth of material written and mostly recorded long before the pandemic, so it was just a matter of polishing it up. Sending files to each other, mixing it and stuff like that. I’ve worked on some clients’ music as a mixing engineer and as a keyboardist, which has been fun, and I even released a goth rock recording project for fun with my buddy Michael Farina called Secondhand Depression. That was a really cool release, we didn’t put anything behind it and just treated it like a testing ground for how we could record stuff remotely. I think my girlfriend likes it more than my main band to be honest haha! We talked about doing more one day, maybe doing a covers album or something where we take some songs we dig and make them really gothic- I think we’re going to plan some stuff in the next few weeks for that actually.
METAL ANARCHY: What was the last show you played or attended before the shutdown?
LUCAS DI MASCIO: I can’t remember what the last show I attended was- it was a bit of a blur. I was going to a ton of concerts around that time. Maybe it was Kamelot in Toronto? I know I had tickets to Bloodbath but that gig got cancelled because of Covid. Last gig we played was at the Rockpile in Toronto, it was a fun show. Happened right around Halloween which is my favourite time of the year.
METAL ANARCHY: Are you planning to play any livestream concerts during this time?
LUCAS DI MASCIO: We’ve been offered to be a part of some livestream festival thing in April, but I have to see if logistically we can make it happen. We all live in different cities and have different schedules. As much as I love playing live, the whole livestream thing is just not scratching that itch for me as a performer. I’d rather just keep working on new music, you know?
METAL ANARCHY: Do you think the live entertainment industry will ever recover?
LUCAS DI MASCIO: I’ve worked out of commercial studios for a while before Covid hit and I’ve had conversations with major label players in the past, guys who work for Live Nation and even Spotify and like… dude, a lot of crap was hitting the fan long before Covid hit – and this is across all aspects of the music industry. Either way… the bands, the engineers and the venues and their staff suffer the most because they don’t get paid enough for the work they do or for their art. I honestly think the way things are going is really DIY. I’d really have to think about what a label has to offer me before signing another contract, because you can really do a lot yourself these days as far as distribution, touring and press goes. Funding it yourself gives you all the control, which means you can keep things going in line with your goals, not some label’s or some sketchy agent’s. I don’t think the industry as we know it will come through this unscathed, but I don’t see the current global behemoths going anywhere soon.
METAL ANARCHY: Lastly, is there anything fans can do to help your band or others that may be struggling during this time?
LUCAS DI MASCIO: The best thing to do is to visit our social media sites and our websites and buy some merch, and just stream the shit out of our music on the streaming services. If other musicians want to hire me as a producer, engineer, session keyboardist I’ll definitely give them a discount on my services during all this. Just support the bands you like, but especially the little guys. If you have any friends or family in a band, just buy a shirt or CD from them. It’ll mean a lot that you are supporting their craft. You can visit Malacoda sites here: malacodametal.com, Spotify, Bandcamp, Facebook, and Instagram.