Metal Anarchy’s Music In The Age Of COVID-19 Series: Interview With Sour Times

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 Ben Reigle and Joe Izayea of Sour Times.

METAL ANARCHY: How have you been holding up during the coronavirus pandemic?

SOUR TIMES: Ben: As an immunocompromised individual, it has been difficult. Having suffered 2 strokes the year leading up to this taught me a lot of valuable life lessons on how to navigate difficult situations. I acted responsibly for myself, my family, and humankind and hunkered down. I have all of the things that make for a horrible outcome if I got sick, so I am truly relieved to be vaccinated.

Joe: I’m a Mental Health Worker in Massachusetts, so I never stopped working. Some small outbreaks happened throughout my workplace and resulted in having at times up to 35% of the staff at my work placed on quarantine for two weeks at a time. I was never put on quarantine luckily, but it wound up equating to a tremendous amount of overtime, continuing still today. All I do is work, sleep, and fit in my musical endeavors in any spare time I can rustle up.

METAL ANARCHY: Have you been using your downtime to work on new music?

SOUR TIMES: Ben: That is a large portion of what I do on the daily. I have a daily routine I adhere to starting at 4:30/5 am and exercise, yoga, meditation journaling, and writing music are all parts of it. It is a process I developed during my recovery, and it has unlocked a thriving state of joy in my life that propels me to live every moment with purpose. Sour Times has 4 records before our current release, it was all instrumental and all me, like many of the bands I have, it is an emotional release for a certain part of my brain. During quarantine, I wrote albums for the 5 bands I currently write music for, Brain Vacuum, Eat Shit And Die, The Empty Frames, Tooth, and Sour Times. Each of these is me on every instrument, collaborating with a vocalist (all besides Brain Vaccum, that is). I released 9 albums last year between all these bands. My brain, thankfully, never stops working.

METAL ANARCHY: What was the last show you played or attended before the shutdown?

SOUR TIMES: Ben: Sour Times has yet to play a show, as this iteration of it is new. The last for me was in Feb. 2019 when Brain Vacuum played with Death Threat at The Shea Theater, Turners Falls Ma.

Joe: Last show I played was in the summer of 2019 with my last band, City of Homes. Last show I attended was in the Winter of 2019/2020 where I saw Disciples of Verity.

METAL ANARCHY: Are you planning to play any livestream concerts during this time?

SOUR TIMES: Ben: I’ve done a few, just me playing guitar to each of those bands’ material, but have taken hiatus from doing so as of late.

Joe: No plans to do any live streaming now that restrictions are being lifted.

METAL ANARCHY: Do you think the live entertainment industry will ever recover?

SOUR TIMES: Ben: I do if people can act responsibly with humankind’s best interest at heart and just wait a little bit longer.

Joe: Difficult to say. For heavy bands like us, there was already a growing problem with venues closing down. Everything still seems up in the air to me at this point.

METAL ANARCHY: Lastly, is there anything fans can do to help your band or others that may be struggling during this time?

SOUR TIMES: Ben: Bandcamp is a direct line to bands, and often they wave their fees on Fridays, so 100% of profit goes to bands. That and buying merch are very helpful.

Joe: Gonna have to second Ben on this one. Wider reaching, I’d say to just support the folks you know however you can. Everyone’s got a side hustle or a small business or a band or whatever and it’s important now more than ever to support those folks in every way possible. Thanks.

Metal Anarchy’s Music In The Age Of COVID-19 Series: Interview With Bison Face

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.

Metal Anarchy’s Music In The Age Of COVID-19 Series: Interview With Random Ties

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 Random Ties.

METAL ANARCHY: How have you been holding up during the coronavirus pandemic?

RANDOM TIES: Hey everyone Random Ties here, a rock band from the DMV area in the US. You have myself Yous [Vocals/Guitar] Ron [Bass] & Jack [Drums]. We decided pretty early on when the pandemic started that as a band we are going to work on our craft & become better individual musicians since we could not jam together & the second thing was to write new songs.

METAL ANARCHY: Have you been using your downtime to work on new music?

RANDOM TIES: The downtime is less today with venues opening up, but like I said we worked on quite a few songs this year & have released 7 singles so far with a few more coming before the end of the year.

METAL ANARCHY: What was the last show you played or attended before the shutdown?

RANDOM TIES: Last show we played before the shutdown was at the Diesel in Michigan & we opened for Otherwise a great band out of Las Vegas.

METAL ANARCHY: Are you planning to play any livestream concerts during this time?

RANDOM TIES: We’re in the middle of an East Coast tour this summer so not much down time but we will definitely get back to livestreaming once we are back.

METAL ANARCHY: Do you think the live entertainment industry will ever recover?

RANDOM TIES: I believe it’s on the right track now with preventive measures taken, now will things ever go back to normal that remains to be seen, some people just don’t feel safe being in large gatherings yet.

METAL ANARCHY: Lastly, is there anything fans can do to help your band or others that may be struggling during this time?

RANDOM TIES: We just released our latest single “They Don’t Care.” The song is inspired by the on-going conflict in Palestine & abuse of power in South America. We wanted this song to raise the volume on social injustice. Following our band on any streaming platform helps us out.

Metal Anarchy’s Music In The Age Of COVID-19 Series: Interview With Kade Storm

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 Kade Storm.

METAL ANARCHY: How have you been holding up during the coronavirus pandemic?

KADE STORM: Unfortunately, I had my own personal issues, which kind of made the pandemic itself a backdrop. Still, I got a Blackened Doom Metal album finished, titled “Ascension,” with Narcoleptica Productions managing a physical CD release for the album.

METAL ANARCHY: Have you been using your downtime to work on new music?

KADE STORM: Yes, though it depends on circumstances and inspiration.

METAL ANARCHY: What was the last show you played or attended before the shutdown?

KADE STORM: I haven’t considered doing live work with this solo project. Also, due to a host of reasons, I haven’t managed to attend any live shows in recent years.

METAL ANARCHY: Are you planning to play any livestream concerts during this time?

KADE STORM: Not as of the current state of this project.

METAL ANARCHY: Do you think the live entertainment industry will ever recover?

KADE STORM: I don’t see why it wouldn’t. At least in terms of Rock, Metal and Extreme Metal, creators and fans always find a way to adapt and keep the central process going.

METAL ANARCHY: Lastly, is there anything fans can do to help your band or others that may be struggling during this time?

KADE STORM: Thanks. If they’re into heavy, atmospheric music of the Doom or Black Metal variety, give my latest release, “Ascension,” a listen. All of it can be accessed via the links below. Goes without saying, but when it comes to Metal, the fans bring a distinct type of commitment, so, keep that support going.

Kade Storm – Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kadestormmusic
Kade Storm – Bandcamp: https://kadestorm.bandcamp.com/
Narcoleptica Productions – Bandcamp: https://narcolepticaprod.bandcamp.com/album/ascension

Metal Anarchy’s Music In The Age Of COVID-19 Series: Interview With Trumbiten

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 Trumbiten.

METAL ANARCHY: How have you been holding up during the coronavirus pandemic?

TRUMBITEN: Yeah, it has been tough and yet, looking back, I realize that we have been creative and productive the last 1.5 years (working in our small studio). The pandemic has opened new opportunities for online collaborations globally (not dependent on meeting f2f) and advances in tech and gig-platforms open up new opportunities for influences, new contacts and new music.

METAL ANARCHY: Have you been using your downtime to work on new music?

TRUMBITEN: Yes, that is right! I feel that the pandemic (despite all the bad it has caused) also been a source for new song ideas and with restrictions related to social interactions, public gatherings, etc. has freed up time for music and songwriting.

Also, advances in communication tech and different online platforms might create new ways to jam, collaborations online, co-creation of music and maybe even VR concerts, etc. Who knows what the future will bring 😊.

METAL ANARCHY: What was the last show you played or attended before the shutdown?

TRUMBITEN: We are a new band and have not yet played live. As we started just for fun in 2018, I would say that our music has been formed during the Pandemic.

METAL ANARCHY: Are you planning to play any livestream concerts during this time?

TRUMBITEN: No! Not yet!

METAL ANARCHY: Do you think the live entertainment industry will ever recover?

TRUMBITEN: Yes, I believe so! Also, I think new arenas/scenes will arise for example in the virtual space. Who knows what the advances in tech and communication will bring to the future.

METAL ANARCHY: Lastly, is there anything fans can do to help your band or others that may be struggling during this time?

TRUMBITEN: Listen to us even if we can’t meet (yet).

Metal Anarchy’s Music In The Age Of COVID-19 Series: Interview With Shanghai Treason

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 Shanghai Treason.

METAL ANARCHY: How have you been holding up during the coronavirus pandemic?

SHANGHAI TREASON: Hey Metal Anarchy, cheers for having us again. We’re good thank you, been hanging in there, it’s been great to get out there and see some live music recently, albeit with social distancing in place, let’s hope things can reopen at full capacity soon, we’re itching to get back out there and play live..

METAL ANARCHY: Have you been using your downtime to work on new music?

SHANGHAI TREASON: We have yes, we’ve actually recorded our debut album during lockdown, it’s nearly finished, we just decided recently to add some now songs and we’re back in the studio in July to record them, We’re aiming to release in January to coincide with our UK tour with The Rumjacks.

METAL ANARCHY: What was the last show you played or attended before the shutdown?

SHANGHAI TREASON: I put on a Rumjacks gig at Sheffield Corporation 2 weeks before the first lockdown so that was the last gig I was at and not a performer, it was a blinding night, great support as well from Mick O’Toole and Gallowgate Murders. The week before lockdown Shanghai Treason we’re actually on tour ourselves, we played in London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh, people were just beginning to talk about a little something called coronavirus, everyone was sure it would all blow over haha. Looking back I feel really fortunate that we got to do that actually, we had 4 cracking shows just before it all got shut down.

METAL ANARCHY: Are you planning to play any livestream concerts during this time?

SHANGHAI TREASON: We had planned to do one to coincide with the release of our debut album but now with reopening in sight (hopefully) we’ve decided to hold out and save ourselves for out UK tour, it’s going to be so much fun, we’ve got a killer set and can’t wait to get out there and play all the songs from our new record.

METAL ANARCHY: Do you think the live entertainment industry will ever recover?

SHANGHAI TREASON: Sadly some won’t , some great venues out there didn’t receive government support and it was heart-breaking to see, everything crossed for a full recovery, the industry is thrifty though, it would go underground if needed, however I’m positive things will pick back up and quick when given the green light to reopen.

METAL ANARCHY: Lastly, is there anything fans can do to help your band or others that may be struggling during this time?

SHANGHAI TREASON: Buy some merch or concert tickets, that’s a great way to quickly support you’re favourite artists, tell a friend and help spread the word, music is better when shared with friends for sure!

Metal Anarchy’s Music In The Age Of COVID-19 Series: Interview With Trash Heads

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 Trash Heads.

METAL ANARCHY: How have you been holding up during the coronavirus pandemic?

TRASH HEADS: We’ve all been working from home in our day jobs, luckily – it’s been hard not being able to get together and rehearse or record for most of the last year, but thanks to the wonders of modern tech we’ve been able to write, record and share new material with each other so there’s been some outlet.

METAL ANARCHY: Have you been using your downtime to work on new music?

TRASH HEADS: Definitely – we’ve already written a third album but we’re still trying to finish mixing our second!

METAL ANARCHY: What was the last show you played or attended before the shutdown?

TRASH HEADS: We played at Penny Theatre Gravesend about 4 months being the first lockdown – our last with our previous drummer, so were getting rehearsed and ready to play live again with our new (returning original) drummer Mike when everything shut down.

METAL ANARCHY: Are you planning to play any livestream concerts during this time?

TRASH HEADS: No really – it doesn’t feel the same to us as being in a room/field with other people but we wouldn’t be against it if an opportunity came up.

METAL ANARCHY: Do you think the live entertainment industry will ever recover?

TRASH HEADS: We hope so! It’s been so hard for people relying on the live industry for their livelihoods, so hopefully things can get back to some kind of normality soon.

METAL ANARCHY: Lastly, is there anything fans can do to help your band or others that may be struggling during this time?

TRASH HEADS: Reach out direct to bands/artists websites or Bandcamp pages so they get as much of the profits from their music and merch as possible – the problem with streaming on Spotify, etc. is the bands aren’t getting enough to survive off their music anymore so going direct really supports them.

Metal Anarchy’s Music In The Age Of COVID-19 Series: Interview With Stonebrother

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 Stonebrother.

METAL ANARCHY: How have you been holding up during the coronavirus pandemic?

STONEBROTHER: Zach: It’s been tough for sure, but we’ve been using the time as best we can by writing new songs and planning what we’ll do once we’re able to play again.

METAL ANARCHY: Have you been using your downtime to work on new music?

STONEBROTHER: Ethan: Absolutely yes we have. Despite not being able to practice in person, we’ve probably been busier these past couple months than ever before in the history of this band, with a bunch of new songs, and plans for a couple music videos in the near future.

METAL ANARCHY: What was the last show you played or attended before the shutdown?

STONEBROTHER: Leo: I’m pretty sure it was a small acoustic show at the Salmon River inn. Small room, real personal, lots of fun to play at every once in a while.

METAL ANARCHY: Are you planning to play any livestream concerts during this time?

STONEBROTHER: Zach: We’ve done a few Facebook Live shows, and we’ll probably do some more when we’re able.

METAL ANARCHY: Do you think the live entertainment industry will ever recover?

STONEBROTHER: Ethan: The industry will probably recover, but it’ll take a while. The best thing for the live music industry right now is for everyone reading this to take this advice; once you can go see live music while being safe, be you vaccinated or distanced, go. See your local bands. Support local music. These next couple months are pivotal for the future of the music industry as a whole, and the way forward is supporting bands more than ever.

METAL ANARCHY: Lastly, is there anything fans can do to help your band or others that may be struggling during this time?

STONEBROTHER: Leo: Keep supporting local artists, listen to their music, buy their merchandise, and let them know what you want to see from them!

Metal Anarchy’s Music In The Age Of COVID-19 Series: Interview With Ohmwork

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 Ohmwork bassist Helge Nyrud.

METAL ANARCHY: How have you been holding up during the coronavirus pandemic?

NYRUD: For me personally very good. Just followed governments advice, and it has worked out quite well. Working as normal. The hard part with the lockdown is the concerts one has missed out on. I really miss the sights, the sounds and the smells… But now things are slowly opening up again here, so I guess during this summer/fall one can finally go out and see bands again.

METAL ANARCHY: Have you been using your downtime to work on new music?

NYRUD: Yes, absolutely. During this year we have written new material for a new album. We met up last fall to record the new album but did it separately because of the pandemic. We are going to meet up to rehearse in July for the first time since January 2020.

METAL ANARCHY: What was the last show you played or attended before the shutdown?

NYRUD: That was in January 2020. The last gig we did before the lockdown.

METAL ANARCHY: Are you planning to play any livestream concerts during this time?

NYRUD: No, we haven’t planned anything like that. But it would be nice to have done that. Our guitar player did a couple of acoustic songs on a livestream show in the middle of the pandemic. That’s the nearest thing we did a livestream.

METAL ANARCHY: Do you think the live entertainment industry will ever recover?

NYRUD: Yes, I think it will. It may take some time, but people is now starving to be entertained. So, I have a good feel it will recover.

METAL ANARCHY: Lastly, is there anything fans can do to help your band or others that may be struggling during this time?

NYRUD: Show your support by meet up at shows. Download, buy our records and spread the word.

Metal Anarchy’s Music In The Age Of COVID-19 Series: Interview With Skraeckoedlan

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 Skraeckoedlan.

METAL ANARCHY: How have you been holding up during the coronavirus pandemic?

SKRAECKOEDLAN: We have been doing reasonably well. We are missing playing live like crazy, but fortunately we all have other income, so we have all just been working away at jobs and university studies.

METAL ANARCHY: Have you been using your downtime to work on new music?

SKRAECKOEDLAN: Yes! We are slowly progressing on our next album. Our workstyle when writing is centered around us working at home and sending parts back and forth, so the lockdown has not been in the way at all.

METAL ANARCHY: What was the last show you played or attended before the shutdown?

SKRAECKOEDLAN: We played a show the last weekend before (13th of March 2020) the lockdown started here in Sweden. A great evening at Mejeriet in Lund together with Vokonis and Deville.

METAL ANARCHY: Are you planning to play any livestream concerts during this time?

SKRAECKOEDLAN: Not any new ones, we did one the 18th of April last year in Studio Gröndahl with Rockpodden. Great fun!

METAL ANARCHY: Do you think the live entertainment industry will ever recover?

SKRAECKOEDLAN: Yes, definitely. But probably a lot of the people and businesses will be changed by this, which is sad. People, including our selves, like going to gigs and I don’t think that will have changed by around one and a half years pause from live music.

METAL ANARCHY: Lastly, is there anything fans can do to help your band or others that may be struggling during this time?

SKRAECKOEDLAN: Same as every other band, check out merch stores, keep listening to the music and interact on social media to keep spirits up.