Article in Blues Matters Magazine 'HOW THE PANDEMIC IS AFFECTING MUSICIANS'Coronavirus And The Impact On Musicians by Marketing-PR | Mar 24, 2020 | News
HOW THE PANDEMIC IS AFFECTING MUSICIANS
With loads of musicians losing huge incomes from cancelled tours and gigs, Blues Matters contacted several well-known names from the world of blues to assess the impact of this awful virus on their livelihoods. We also asked them what steps they had taken to continue promoting their music and engaging with their fans. Some told us about their favourite activities, piece of music, or books, that keep their spirits up during the period of isolation.
ZOE SCHWARZ BLUE COMMOTION: Award-Winning British Blues Band
It’s a very weird and strange feeling having played full time since February 1984! The first point is that our income has evaporated pretty much overnight. We do earn some money through PRS, MCPS, downloads, as well as on-line CD sales. One positive we can take from this period is to use the time to improve our skills in using Spotify, YouTube and all social media.
We may also look at live streaming in the upcoming days/weeks, but I guess that is going to be flooded. By far the biggest percentage of our income comes through live performance. We don’t actually have a plan to deal with this situation as it is totally unprecedented. Our skill is playing music which of course is suspended for the foreseeable future. We had planned a whole series of concert dates and festivals to coincide with the release of our new album Chameleon; that is a lot of work that has just evaporated.
My personal approach (Guitarist Rob Koral) is to use this period of time to refresh, take stock, and whilst remaining mentally busy, slow down a little. I certainly miss gigging. I must say it is a very odd feeling where each day has the same value and same feel. The old cliche of the Monday to Friday routine, although never particularly applying to me, doesn’t exist for most people now.
All us musicians, being a creative breed, are not good at reading the “small print” when it comes to getting to the bottom of, and utilising, the new government legislation to help with the financial crisis of losing our livelihood; but we are just going to have to get on with it. Ugh!
Quite honestly my inspiration is totally unaffected and is the same as always. I am enjoying practising hard and working on new ideas. This part of being a musician involves disappearing into one’s secluded world and headspace anyway. Who knows, we may write a song or two for that wonderful day when we are back in front of audiences.
Interestingly, there is a whole breed of guitar players whose sole means of expression is through the Internet (YouTube and Instagram). There are several that I follow, and they have been around for a long time. Ironically enough I have always sneered at them for not playing live! Like a cricketer playing in the nets all the time and never playing a game!
More Info at – Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion
- Words by: David Scott