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 Ernie Hill of Bison Face.
METAL ANARCHY: How have you been holding up during the coronavirus pandemic?
HILL: It’s been ok, we’re fortunate that we’ve kept jobs and been stable in that regard, and I’ve had extra time to focus on writing music and making art. But mentally, it’s been the worst time of my life. A load of crap stuff happened, especially the last couple of months and it almost broke me.
METAL ANARCHY: Have you been using your downtime to work on new music?
HILL: I’ve been writing the entire time so we’ve got a lot of new material to work through. I’ve been doing some art and writing outside of that, but music is my main outlet, so having the time to focus on that has been nice. Although at this point, it’s more like necessary therapy. I rewrote our debut EP, did a few new singles and pretty much finished a couple of new records so we’re going to start working through those and recording. The new single ‘Private Joke Party’ was only written about a month ago.
METAL ANARCHY: What was the last show you played or attended before the shutdown?
HILL: The last show we played was opening for Fangclub in October ’19, it was us and El Moono supporting and we had an amazing time, it was a great show; Both bands are lovely guys and incredible.
I think the last show I attended was Cage The Elephant at Alexandra Palace, and that was just a couple of weeks before lockdown. At the point the whole Covid pandemic was still being massively downplayed.
METAL ANARCHY: Are you planning to play any livestream concerts during this time?
HILL: No, we haven’t really, we toyed with the idea but ultimately it never came to fruition. I’d still be up for doing a live session online or something, but our main focus has been preparing for live shows to return or writing.
METAL ANARCHY: Do you think the live entertainment industry will ever recover?
HILL: I think it easily can, but the smaller venues need the support of the government to keep running properly. There’s no shortage of artists and punters, but if the business rates and all that jazz keep increasing then there’s no way that the grassroots scenes can continue. Even without the pandemic making things nightmarish.
METAL ANARCHY: Lastly, is there anything fans can do to help your band or others that may be struggling during this time?
HILL: I think continue to support bands, artists and venues! Go to shows where you can, listen to the music, buy the merch, get yourself some art and engage with posts online. It’s a real boost to see interest growing and it’s been a tough time for all. But everyone is in the same boat, and people have persevered through the hardest part, so now we can all go out and let loose.