ØJNE by Eva Bo, kedacore.wordpress.com
Interviews

Coronavirus: Italian artists reveal inside stories and thoughts on the crisis

ØJNE by Eva Bo, kedacore.wordpress.com
With fears of the spread of the coronavirus escalating around the world, most of the artists, labels, promotions and bands have halted their events, tours and other operations for the foreseeable future. The tough situation delivered a serious blow to independent musicians already devastated from the damage brought by the coronovirus, which sadly seems to be on the increase. On the other hand, despite concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, many bands and artists expect the action to go on as planned and come up with smart solutions like livestreams, special offers and fundraisers, and other ideas tapping technology and their creative networks to develop support systems and stay connected with fans. Responding to the spread of coronavirus, we are in close conversation with many independent artists, trying to follow this tough story on a local, regional, national, and worldwide level.

To share this knowledge, we’re putting together a series of articles with inside perspectives of various artists and DIY labels, including facts describing their new reality and closest neughbourhood, their personal take on the current situation and predictions regarding the future of their operations.

Today, we’re giving you the first installment, featuring exclusive insights from Italian bands and labels affected by the coronavirus pandemic, who agreed to share their unique perspective with the world, their thoughts on social distancing, the impact on their independent work, Italian government’s actions, and more.

Joining us today for a special multi-artist interview are: folk punk rocker and Epidemic Records owner Gab De La Vega from Brescia in Lombardy, screamo band SHIZUNE from Lonigo, the province of Vicenza, Veneto, Alessandro Blasi from hardcore band STRENGTH APPROACH (Rome), Screamo act CHIVÀLA from Bari, Apulia, Milano post hardcore / screamo band ØJNE, post rock infused screamo act RADURA, also from Milano, Bolzano, South Tyrol based screamo act Flowers&Shelters, screamo / post hardcore act DECACY (Vicenza, Veneto), emotional post hardcore band AMALIA BLOOM, also from Vicenza, gritty hardcore punks CARNERO from Forli, Emilia-Romagna, Bologna, emoviolence / screamo act IL MARE DI ROSS and melodic hardcore punk band RIFLESSO from Cagliari, Sardinia, screamo band URAGANO from Sanremo, Liguria, melodic hardcore BULL BRIGADE from Torino, Piedmont, and Carmagnola, Piedmont based label Longrail Records.

Facts:

  • Italy became the first European country to go into complete lockdown to protect its citizens from a pandemic attack,
  • The country has been on a lockdown since March 12,
  • People are only allowed to leave their homes for essential activities, like going to the grocery store or pharmacy.
  • As of Thursday March 19th, Italy has become the country with the most coronavirus-related deaths, surpassing China by registering 3,405 dead,
  • Today, March 20th, Italy announced 627 more deaths, the biggest day-to-day increase in the country’s four-week epidemic. The total number of deaths is 4,032, with the number of infections reaching 47,021,
  • Italy has suffered more than other places,
  • The battle against the virus is full of unknowns.

Gab De La Vega’s video commentary:

Thank you for sitting down with us today. The coronavirus situation is changing fast. Things are evolving very rapidly and various countries are tackling the pandemic their own way. Give us a quick overview of how it’s like in your area and how the thing has developed over the last couple of days.

Gab De La Vega, Brescia:

My region Lombardy is the one with most cases of Coronavirus in Italy.

As we speak (March 18th) the situation is as follows: About 26000 people infected, 2500 deceased and 2900 healed. These are official numbers from the Government’s website.

The situation is updated every day at 6pm; as I’m editing this on the 20th, referring to the bulletin released on March 19th, the numbers have increased exponentially to: 33190 infected, 3405 deceased, 4440 healed).

Lots of people are getting infected every day, lots of people are dying every day; we’re talking about +300 deaths per day, almost 400. (427 yesterday, as I edit this on the 20th).

Gab De La Vega by Bradley James Allen

Gab De La Vega by Bradley James Allen

I live in Brescia; Bergamo and Brescia are the two cities with the most cases of Coronavirus in Italy.

The virus is spreading very fast and the government is taking very hard measures to try to contain it. The main problem is that there’s a limited capacity in hospitals, especially in the ICUs.

Everyone is recommended to stay at home. The only public places that are open are the supermarkets and the pharmacies…

Shizune, Lonigo:

The situation is quite serious. All bars, restaurants and venues are closed. Three quarters of the shops are closed as well. Supermarkets, chemists and some other shops that sell vital things are open. People can go out just for necessary stuff like working (who still go to work) or sanitary reasons.

Alessandro, Strength Approach, Rome:

Ciao and thanx for reaching out! Right now the situation ain’t that good in Rome but the worst is going on in the north unfortunately. The whole thing spread out quickly and at first I guess it was underestimated. The whole country is on lockdown and we are not allowed to go out-exception made for work reasons, food shopping and all-and I think this is the real struggle.

Apparently this virus spread easily and can affect the people different ways. As I said the situation in Rome is still ok beside the strict safety rules but I’m afraid it will be just a matter of time until people will start panicking for real and do stupid things. Just trying to stay safe for me and family at the moment and see what the future is holding for us.

Chivàla, Bari:

When TVs and newspapers started giving informations about the Coronavirus spreading in China in January, the threat seemed so distant. It was not the first time we heard about epidemics in other parts of the world: saddening of course, but they did not touch us personally, as they didn’t manage to infect a lot of people throughout different countries.

We were recording a new track in studio when we firstly knew about the virus rapidly spreading in the north of Italy: we were shocked, but still carried on with our lives normally in the days after. Media stated that the cases were under control in the hospitals, but something went wrong and more people than expected were infected in the first days of emergency.

Soon after the Italian Goverment announced that the regions struck by the virus would be put in quarantine, causing a massive exodus of people working and studying in the north, to the south of the peninsula. It all excalated very quickly, and some days after the government announced the closure of all schools, universities, restaurants and pubs, and then published a decree forbidding everyone to leave their house for non-emergency reasons (only for food, medical supplies and work), until the 3rd of April.

A lot of people can’t go to work because their activities have been suspended and everyone is forced to stay home. The first days of quarantine were hard, everyone was left out from friends, love and other important social relations.

CHIVALA live

Chivàla

Social networks are an important source these days, letting everyone keep in touch with other people and receive news from the outside world.

Now the virus is spreading here where we live, and most cases can’t be predicted as many infected are symptomless. Right now the best thing to help ourselves and the others is staying home, respecting the hygenic norms (wash often your hands, don’t touch your eyes, face and mouth and keep one meter distance from the others) and trying to stop the infection.

ØJNE, Milano:

Hey Karol, thanks for reaching out! I am Jacopo, the drummer of the band. I must start by saying I’m not really the best person to answer your questions, as I am currently living in Graz, Austria, but I was the only one who had the time or was in the mental state to answer you. I’m in touch with everyone there, family and friends, so I think I’ll be able to answer.

We are from Lombardy, the area that is the most affected: as of today (writing this on Wednesday evening), only in our region there are almost 20,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and 2,000 of them died after contracting the virus. Numbers keep growing every day, especially those of dead people, a sign that most hospitals have reached full capacity in intensive care units and being able to cure everyone gets harder and harder every day, when not impossible. We are from Milan and the northern suburban areas of Milan, and here the infection is not that spread, especially considering how densely populated our area is, but still there are some thousands of confirmed cases and several deaths.

The most affected provinces are those of Bergamo and Brescia, where the situation is tragic.

But all Italy in general is suffering from this, and the virus has spread to every single region by now. Of course, the numbers of confirmed cases are only a small percentage of the actual numbers of people infected, since they cannot test everyone.

flowers&shelters, Bolzano:

The lockdown initially caused a panic reaction among most of the population and you can really sense how the uncertainty of the situation has taken a toll on the public. We all live in Bolzano, a city near the Austrian border, not that far off the country’s main hotbeds. As things stand the phenomenon in our region is fairly contained and thankfully we’re all safe and pretty numb from laying around.

Decacy, Vicenza:

At first we were making a lot of jokes about it, then the situation changed so rapidly it felt like living in a fiction, it’s unreal.

There are now many restrictions.

It is strongly recommended to only move around in case of basic necessities (work, groceries, health issues) and all forms of social gatherings are forbidden. If you’re caught by the police while traveling in another town without a valid reason you’ll be fined.

This is really frustrating, but we must remember everything’s done with the aim of limiting the infection’s spreading.

Amalia Bloom, Vicenza:

Hey, thanks for letting us this space, it means a lot! So, currently Italy is seeing Covid-19 growing very quickly, it has been almost a month since the outbreak here and a lot of things changed. Our region, Veneto, is one of the most affected and we’re dealing with the quarantine and all the other strong measures that our government is taking to tackle the virus spreading.

Carnero, Emilia-Romagna:

We all live in Emilia Romagna, which has been the third region hit by the virus in a pretty consistent way. We are currently on shutdown and it seems like the situation is stabilizing but still, it’s something to be taken seriously.

Il Mare Di Ross, Cagliari, Sardinia:

Hi Karol, thank you so much for your questions. We really need to talk about this tragic situation. As everyone knows the virus started to spread in China a couple of months ago. Many of us (all around the world) didn’t take too seriously the real threat. Also the Italian government talked about the Covid-19 like a flu so no countermeasures have been taken: “wash your hands and everything gonna be alright”. But now we’re in the worst national crisis since World War II with no end in sight. The people dies, the hospitals are collapsing because we were not ready to face this emegency. At the least we’re trying to do our best but we’re very scared.

Uragano, Sanremo:

Luca: Hi Karol! It’s a pleasure to sit down here today and thanks for the interest. In our region, Liguria, the situation is like in the whole north Italy: complete lockdown, almost everything is closed besides food-shops and few other things. A lot of people are working from home and if you want go out, you have to bring with you an self-declaration that you’re doing essential stuffs like going to work, going to buy food or coming back home. Of course some people don’t follow those lines too much, but honestly I think the majority are now getting that being in quarantine is important, since in the early days the virus was also spread because tons of people took it too lightly.

Ometto: I live in London and actually things are going to be as in Italy very soon, knowing perfectly the situation of my loved ones in my country I can see the same things happen every day, and I personally believe that our society is now in a really big moment for our history.

Bull Brigade, Torino:

Hi, thanks a lot for this slot, really appreciate. The situation in Italy is really serious at the moment, one of the first problem is the risk of the collapse of the sanitary system because the high number of infections. We really wish the security measures that are active since more than 10 days will work and they can slow and then stop the infection.

Radura, Milano:

Hi Karol,thanks for the interest. We’re locked down in our homes for a couple of weeks already. Before all of that, the government took some decisions, like small restrictions. A lot of people supposed that it wasn’t so serious, but everything changed so quick considering the alarming statistics that kept rising. So now we just stay home, going out just for work (actually just one of us is still working) or for necessary shopping.

RADURA live

RADURA live

Riflesso, Cagliari:

Thank you for inviting us.Every member of the band lives quite near, but in different towns. So se are living the same situation. Fortunately we live outside of the red zone. Speaking about the virus spreading, the situation dramatically changed from the start. As you know in Italy he have to respect a lockdown and we are allowed to going out only for specific purposes: such as food, work and so on. Some of us are now working from home, like most of the Italians. Streets are empty and silent. If you look outside the window, you can see few people wearing face mask and gloves walking alone. It’s surreal…

Longrail Records, Piedmont:

Thank you very much for this opportunity to talk about these strange days. The situation here (Carmagnola, a small town near Torino, north-west Italy) is pretty much the same since last week: schools are closed, most shops are closed, and people, as it is possible, stay home.

At the moment there are about 2.000 people infected with coronavirus in our region, the amount is still rising but fortunately for now it’s not as serious as in other places in north Italy, for example Lombardia.

Because of the complete shutdown in Italy, are you stuck in your apartment right now? What are you doing for food and other supplies? Is there any concern about basic utilities, communication services, web connection, etc.?

Gab De La Vega, Brescia:

Yeah, I’m staying at home, the Government asked everyone to stay at home and go out only for actual needs, which could be for example: groceries, or you have to go to the pharmacy, or you have to go to work…

The more you go outside, the more you can expose yourself and other people to the virus.

Many people can’t work from home, of course. If your company hasn’t shut down yet, you can go to work but you have to carry a certificate with you, stating that you’re driving, going somewhere else because of work. You can go out to walk your dog, for example, because that’s their basic natural need.

I saw a lot of people hoarding stuff or storming the supermarkets when the announcements were made, because they thought the couldn’t find anything anymore. Please don’t do that: you’re gonna expose yourself to the virus, you’re gonna expose other people to the virus. It’s not a good idea. You’re still gonna be able to find food at the supermarket whenever you have to go there. My suggestion is to go to the supermarket only when you have to, for example once a week. What I’m doing with my family is: we ask each other when we need anything whenever we have to go so we can do the groceries for everyone, which is the smartest thing.

There’s no concern about communication and internet. It’s working perfectly. We can still use the internet to work, to keep in touch with the other people, to get the information we need.

Shizune, Lonigo:

Three of us are stuck and working remotely, as they call it smartwork, two of us are still working in the workplaces. There is no concern because there’s enough food and the supplies are ok, the web connection works good as well. Off course besides work we are stucked at home, but luckily we all live in a small town, country side, and I guess this helps quite a lot.

Alessandro, Strength Approach, Rome:

I’m stuck at home with my family and as I said you are not allowed to go out for social gathering. Walking the dog or doing some sport on your own only is not a big deal but it’s better to be smart especially for the elder people. Same goes with food shopping at the moment. I’ve been able to go out for food shopping and take care of my whole family with no problem at all and honestly I’m more concerned about the bills and taxes coming in while I can’t go to work and make some money.

Chivàla, Bari:

We have been forced to stay home since the 11th of March. The Italian Government assured that all pharmacies and supermarkets would remain open to ensure the basic supplies for everyone. At supermarkets only few persons at a time are allowed to enter: the others must wait outside for their turn. So far all the essential services have been granted and we still keep in touch by the phone or internet.

ØJNE, Milano:

Everyone I know is basically stuck at home and leaves only to go to the supermarket once or twice a week, or to the pharmacy if necessary, or to buy cigarettes. Almost everything else is closed everywhere in Italy, and generally you should not leave the house if you don’t have a valid reason to do so (buying basic utilities, having to help someone, etc.). Of course, many people still have to go to work, some even in the most affected areas I mentioned above, and that is not safe at all. About basic utilities, after a few days of panic and of people going crazy in the supermarkets, the situation seems to have normalized. I do not know of any problems regarding communication services or web connections, everything works fine.

flowers&shelters by Mauro Tiozzo

flowers&shelters by Mauro Tiozzo

flowers&shelters, Bolzano:

Yes, we have all been in self-isolation for about a week now, we’re told to reach the closest supermarkets for food and basic necessities. Some shop huge quantities and others stick to the usual purchases. We study and work from home, but some friends and members of our families are still physically showing up to their jobs. The lockdown is actually being interpreted more than being rigorously followed. People spontaneously sing on their balconies and police cars shout instructions from their megaphones. It’s a big shock for everyone. The biggest concern in Italy right now is the management of our sanitary infrastructures; they’re experiencing one of the biggest crises of the last 20 years.

Decacy, Vicenza:

We are currently stuck at home with our families. We’re not going to school and most of our parents can only work from home.

The situation is tense but luckily everything is still working fine and we still manage to get everything we need without major inconvenients. The main concern applies the sanitary system, because we are lacking space in intensive therapy.

The worse scenario would be being forced to choose who to heal, which is a terrible perspective.

Amalia Bloom, Vicenza:

At the moment we are allowed to go out solely to buy food or for health reasons but the measures may be harsher in the next days, the government is constantly monitoring the situation and is already discussing further ways to lessen the spreading of the virus. At the very beginning people was so scared that they would rush at the supermarket to stock up on food and other products. But that was the first reaction, now things are quieter, which doesn’t mean that people is not worried obviously but we’re all trying to find our own equilibrium.

Carnero, Emilia-Romagna:

We are all stuck in our houses. Some of us have kids and live together, some can work at home and some don’t work at all because of the shutdown (me!) Supplies are not a major problem, nor is communication. We chat and have video calls everyday, and we can leave our houses briefly to go buy food at the supermarket.

Il Mare Di Ross, Cagliari, Sardinia:

We are lucky because we can stay in quarantine in our apartment but a lot workers can’t stay at home. We can go out only to buy food and supplies. Only few services are open but for now the basic utilities, communication services, web connection etc. are okay. If you want you can order food online by the market. But the situation it’s not so simple for the senior citizens or for the homeless. It’s not easy to change the people’s habits; some citizens refused to take seriously the situation and they’re contributing the spread of the virus. There’re numerous deaths everyday and and it is not possible to celebrate the funerals with dignity. There are few places for therapy in hospitals and also many doctors are getting sick. We don’t have enough medical machinery. The situation changes between the regions of Italy. Here in Sardinia there are few cases compared to Lombardy, however at the same time, the hospitals are not equipped with everything they need.

Uragano, Sanremo:

Luca: I’m yes stuck in my apartment, self-quarantined mostly cause I was in Denmark since few days ago. I decided to come back mostly because I don’t live there and I don’t have a place to stay (beside friends houses). Honestly is that kind of situation where if you don’t have a place to stay you’re fucked.

I finally manage to come back home but of course I need to stay inside for precaution since I spend hours in airports and trains with a lot of people coughing and sneezing all around.

I’m lucky for the food, my aunt she’s going to shop by car once in a while and deliver me some stuff. If I need anything else I can go to the shop (with the self-declariation and facemask and gloves. Not everybody is doing that but I’m a bit hypochondriac so I don’t take it lightly).

Web connection works great but I have to say that some transports are bad. It happens to me the other night while I was trying to come back home, that a bus refuse to stop to let me in.

It literally left me behind in the middle of nowhere. I think the driver was just scared ’cause I had a luggage and I clearly arrived from outside.

Ometto: I’m not in Italy but one of the things I’m seeing are the supermarkets full of people panic buying every pack of pasta or rice, no toilet rolls anywhere, also salt and sugar disappeared. Crazy thing because supermarkets are the only thing that will stay open during the emergency and go there all together at the beginning of it is just a way to spread the virus faster, we have to pay attention to it, every country is doing kind of the same mistake. Apart from that I have my room, I’m kind of safe for now I think, worried for the ones who are not.

Bull Brigade, Torino:

At the moment there not several problem to get food, supermarkets have some restrictions but are open and in activity, also for the web connection there are no problem at the moment… luckly.

Radura, Milano:

Yes we are. for food and important supplies we’re just going out a couple of times a week. At the beginning, people started to empty the supermarkets shelves and we were a bit worried, even about the other basic supplies, but now everything is more under control, like respect the queue before enter the supermarkets and being capable to live with this emergency. So fortunately no concerns about all kind of basic utilities here in Milan.

Riflesso, Cagliari:

Yes, everyone of us is respecting the government lockdown, staying at home with our own families. We are allowed to go grocery shopping, respecting some basic rules and keeping social distance. The are no drastic changes for grocery and pharmacy shops that are also doing home delivery to manage this situation. At this moment the are no restrictions about communication services or web connection.

Longrail Records, Piedmont:

Yes, I’m stuck in my family’s house at the moment. Supermarkets and grocery stores are still open, with some restrictions, and grocery shopping it’s allowed, so there’s no particular concern about food. Also, we have wi-fi at home, so we’re ok from that point of view.

Most of the countries, governments and institutions right now want everyone to understand that the best way to fight this virus is to take precautionary steps. Do you feel the lack of this knowledge and Italian government’s failure to act promptly were one of the main reasons of the country having been hit much harder than other European countries?

Gab De La Vega, Brescia:

I have to be honest, I think that people didn’t really understand the gravity of the situation and even when the Government was implementing mild measures to contain the spreading, people still didn’t think it was important to follow them.

So for example, when Lombardy was announced to become a protected area, lots of people fled and left the city to go back to their hometowns in the south and the center of Italy and that basically brought the virus in areas where it wasn’t yet present.

Shizune, Lonigo:

We still don’t know how the virus will hit other countries, we are just the first. For sure all of us underestimated the danger of the epidemic or better, pandemic, at first it just looked like a strong flu but day after day situation grew worse. The thing that I can’t really stand and that pisses me off is that the various governments of the last 20 / 30 years just cut and cut on the public health system, that’s the real problem, they just cut beds in public hospitals and now we have this emergency. They favoured private health care and spent money on crazy stuff, like the army. All countries also cut money to scientific research which is the only way to stop this: research is not so profitable to them, so they cut the founding leaving all to the damned private sector.

Alessandro, Strength Approach, Rome:

It was quite bad news and as I said before we were all underestimating the problem at first because it was something going on far away in China and so on.Then the bad news came in little by little and thins started running out of hand and still I see people acting dumb and the same goes in other countries in the UE and all. They are falling on their underestimation of a real serious problem and better learn quick that the only way to prevent the problem is staying home and not play the superhero.

OJNE live

OJNE live

ØJNE, Milano:

I think the only problem of Italy was that it was the first place where this happened in Europe. And when it happened, everyone was very unprepared and confused; many were underrating the problem and started going out even more to give a good signal and to fight the general psychosis that had begun. But it turned out that the problem was even worse than people had thought, and that the virus was in Italy since much longer.

So I think other countries are advantaged: they can see what happened in Italy, and they should react quickly.

I know many of them are doing it already, for example here in Austria the numbers are also rising but at the same time they already took several precautions: they closed all schools, and starting from this week all stores, bars and restaurants are closed, and gathering with other people is also forbidden, while taking walks alone is still allowed for now. I think the main problem, though, is making people understand how bad this can get. Even in Italy, many don’t seem to have understood it and keep going out.

flowers&shelters, Bolzano:

Maybe. There surely was a general lack of awareness about the Covid-19 disease but the circumstance could have easily taken place anywhere else. This condition is once again exposing our country’s issues and we all hope that the occurrence of such a peculiar event will help others to not underestimate its consequences.

Decacy, Vicenza:

We are no politicans nor doctors, but we can confirm disinformation is one of the main issues of our time, worldwide.

And it surely affected the COVID massive spreading, but for one time we have to thank our government, which is doing its best to handle this unexpected and bizarre situation effectively.

Amalia Bloom, Vicenza:

Since the infection first outbreak here in Italy, around the end of February, the government immediately took timely measures to face the virus. A massive testing operation was done, and is still on the way, more than in a lot of other countries, which is for the public opinion one of the main reasons why Italy seems to be more affected. The alarm was immediately high after the first signals of the presence of the virus in our territory. Maybe if there were failures, those were in the prevention strategy. We cancelled all the flights from China to Italy so it was then impossible to control the flow of people coming from the Asian focus, because everyone started to make stopover and get to Italy from other different countries. But in our opinion the measures are proportionate to the seriousness of the situation.

Carnero, Emilia-Romagna:

Actually our country wasn’t as shitty as usual at dealing with this pandemic, timing wise…

Anyhow there are undeniably bad sides to this shutdown. Factory workers still have to go to work, which is fucking senseless. Also this quarantine will put a lot of strain on many people’s mental health.

Il Mare Di Ross, Cagliari, Sardinia:

The problems underlying the contagion in Italy were basically two: firstly, the perception of COVID as a distant problem, restricted to the Chinese area; secondly, the seriousness of the disease was heavily underestimated, until a few weeks ago it was considered little more than a flu which could only be fatal for the elderly. Italy’s problem was that it was the first country in Europe, so it had no examples to rely on, not among western countries. The Italian political class has never been characterized by a great foresight, and it is not surprising that the plans aimed at fighting what turned out to be a pandemic have changed from time to time, based above all on the moods of the people: initially to avoid the economic repercussion efforts have been made to encourage people to go outside rather than to be prudent in the face of what turned out to be the COVID, that is a virus capable of putting the entire healthcare system of the eighth largest economy in the world on its knees.

The current restrictive measures are as drastic as necessary, but unfortunately other countries have made the same mistakes as Italy despite having seen what had happened here, and they’re going to face the same problems.

URAGANO by larryarrows

URAGANO by @larryarrows

Uragano, Sanremo:

Luca: Mmh honestly I don’t blame too much the government for this (whoa it’s the first time ahah). I mean, I can blame them cause our sanitary system is not good at all and now we’re seeing that. My cousin works in a hospital and it’s clear that they couldn’t face the emergency from the beginning.

The lack of knowledge was a big part, but also the irresponsibility of many citizens: for example when they declared Lombardia red zone (the first region involved), a lot of people just travel to other cities to not get stucked home with the result of spreading the virus way more.

Ometto: The big mistake of every country is delaying the stop of their economic system as more as they can, and not just the Italian government is acting like this, this enemy can’t be seen, is something we still don’t know even how to fight, this should let us think a bit less about our money and a bit more about how we can help each other in this crisis, I hope that in the other countries will not hit as hard as in Italy for sure, but we still have to see what will happen.

Bull Brigade, Torino:

Italy has been the first European country affected by the virus, so the first country to take renstricton and security measures, there some facts that made italy a vulnerable place as the high average age of the people for example. So the italian experience has been an example for the other countries in terms of security.

Radura, Milano:

It’s hard to say if the Italian government acted right or not, and it’s not our place to say it, honestly. There was a lack of information and precautions around the world, and we see it in other countries as well, but we think that no one could have seen this type of emergency coming.

Longrail Records, Piedmont:

This is a good question. I think that during the first phases of the epidemic there has been a lot of confusion (almost understandably, I would say), I myself, as many, have understimated the disease. Surely mistakes has been made, and as always, mainstream media did not help to make the situation clear; but I don’t think that Italy have been hit harder than other countries because of that. We are talking about a new disease we know a very little about, I think it’s too early to make such considerations safely.

Is there anything more you’d like to see from your local and national government that could directly help your community?

Gab De La Vega, Brescia:

If I have to find a flaw in the Government’s measures is that lots of people are still working, especially in Lombardy, which is one one hand one of the biggest production areas and on the other is the region with the most cases of infection, which leads me to think that the two things are correlated, because people go to work and expose themselves to other people. Lots of people, lots of workers are still exposed to the risk and I would like to see the Governments, regional, local or national take harder measures to ensure the safety of people in their workplaces.

Shizune, Lonigo:

Yes, next time, think in the long term and support scientific research, universities and scholars. Give money to the public school system to spread information about good practices against the spreading of diseases. We are lucky in a certain way because in Italy health is a constitutional right, but much more can be done. For instance, I think it is crazy and really unrespectful that a high number of workers must still go to work and work in precarious conditions, with no or just few protections. That’s profit before health.

The government should take care of this situation and help these workers, close temporarily unnecessary production sites where the disease could spread easily.

And yes, it is scary, jobs are important and people are scared to lose their jobs, but there’s other people making great profits behind that, in my opinion.

Alessandro, Strength Approach, Rome:

I had a long talk with my dad today because of all the taxes, bills and mortgages coming in while I’m stuck at home with no chance to work and make money. I’d like to see a different approach but the solution ain’t that easy when it comes to the banks and money so I really don’t know what’s gonna happen in the future.Sure thing is the worldwide economy will be in recession and we’ll all pay our dues.

Strength Approach live

Strength Approach live

Chivàla, Bari:

We don’t know what really happened. Everything seemed under control and the government knew that the infection would spread eventually. A series of unfortunate circumstances and the fact that this virus is new and unpredictable led to the difficult situation we are living these days.

We think that the government acted promptly and with courage against the emergency, following the Chinese example, and preventing many more people being infected by the virus.

The government is trying to help everyone who can’t work by suspending some payments and creating a mutual fund to support companies. All universities have started making online lessons, trying to not stop the teaching.

If the virus will stop eventually rests greatly on people’s responsibility: everyone has to avoid contact with others during these days of emergency. Sad but true, it’s the only way to prevent the infection spreading.

ØJNE, Milano:

It’s hard to say, but surely the fact that so many people still have to go to work even in the most affected areas must be solved in some way. At the moment, though, I feel like the main problem is the irresponsibility of people. So many of them seem not to care at all about this.

flowers&shelters, Bolzano:

They should hold the ones who need the biggest help in high regard. We are talking about the people who don’t have a home or shelter, the ones who are forced to work in unsafe conditions and those who are immunosuppressed or sick. Essentially, they should avoid the political instrumentalization of such a serious health problem that is being cured by very brave doctors and nurses.

Decacy, Vicenza:

I think we are at a good point, but we can improve: it is fundamental that everyone cooperates: if not, our efforts will be worthless. When walking alone around my desert town (of course always safely, I’m not an outlaw yet), I often see pictures drawn by children hanging from the windows, portraying rainbowns and happy families, with the slogan “andrà tutto bene” (“it’ll be ok”).

One of the positive effects of this situation is that communities feel more united

For one time, we all are aiming for the same thing, regardless of our beliefs, and it feels good.

Amalia Bloom, Vicenza:

Our government is doing a lot to help, we were not prepared for a similar crisis, but objectively no countries were ready to face this dramatic moment.

Here our local government is taking the situation very seriously and at the same time is trying to express its worries to the community. Maybe new restrictions would help to see the light as soon as possible. There’s still people who is unaware of how serious is this moment we are living. We all need to be willing to make a sacrifice for the community, and if necessary we’ll accept stronger decisions. Regarding the central government, all the parties should set aside their rivalry and contribute more to the needs of our country, which is already itself a rather slow country because of the constant controversy in the political scenario.

CARNERO by Collettivo Periferici-min

CARNERO by Collettivo Periferici

Carnero, Emilia-Romagna:

I actually don’t know man. A lot of people working in music are losing money because of this, me as well. But I feel like asking the government for money would be stupid, and I would feel ashamed about doing it. What the government is doing right now is necessary, and no less is expected. It won’t make us all forget about all the rotten, wrong and nasty shit that italian politics are known for.

Il Mare Di Ross, Cagliari, Sardinia:

What is happening in this period has no precedents, it is not known in which direction we are going and we clearly perceive an atmosphere of enormous uncertainty. Shopkeepers do not know when they will be able to reopen, workers do not know when they will be able to return to their workplace, students do not know how they will have to take the exams: in short:

There is widespread uncertainty throughout the whole population.

It is necessary to propose forward-looking measures, because Italy is a country characterized by very low economic growth and now more than ever it is necessary to support the local economy, which has been suffering from the times of the 2008 crisis and is struggling to recover. Now we are about to hit the bottom, what will be done in these months will determine whether we will rise again or not.

Uragano, Sanremo:

Luca: I’d like to see a little bit of financial helps for all the people (included me) who literally can’t work because of the situation and they don’t really know how to pay bills and stuff. Actually today they started doing few stuff but it’s ridiculously nothing compared to the financial struggle

Ometto: Unfortunately, I’ve lost all my hopes in the institutions may years ago, I’m more the kind of romantic that believes that the solution to this emergency will come out by the people itself because we finally have something big to fight together, and ii’s time to do it.

Bull Brigade, Torino:

We think the sanitary system is correctly using all the possible procedures to contain this contagion, doctors and nurses are working very hard. We are really worried for the social and econimical situation that will be after the emergency. We hope for the help measure for families and worker with economical problems.

Radura:

Almost everyone is doing their best to help each other, so we feel a big sense of community these days, the government is trying to prevent a major crisis and has blocked all laid-off for the time being, which is a good thing, and a lot of people are donating a lot of money to hospitals around the country.

Riflesso, Cagliari:

At the Moment we are living an historical period that had never happened before, so it’s hard to define what is the best to do. However if italian government would have properly support public health, now the situation could be better.

Longrail Records, Piedmont:

At this point, almost everyone has understood how serious the situation is; responsibility is required by everyone. What I’d like to see is the same sense of responsibility by the government, towards everyone. We are rightly asked to stay home, but many people still have to go to work. I’m not only talking about those who works in essential services: a lot of factory workers are forced to work even outside food or healthcare industries. The government had also better assist the most exposed social categories, for example by providing subsidies for people in difficult situations, providing means of protection for those who work, blocking rents until the end of the emergency.

In general, what I would like to see is the closure of all non-essential activities (public and private), however, weighing not on the social classes that are normally more in difficulty, but rather on owners and on uppers classes. People before profit, that’s what I’d like to see.

Many people think media nad governments are blowing this out of proportion and creating some sort of hysteria. What’s your take on that? Do you think social distancing is essential for you guys in Italy and the rest of the world?

Gab De La Vega, Brescia:

I don’t think the media or the government are blowing this out of proportion to create some mass hysteria for whatever reason. I can’t stress this enough: do not underestimate the problem, the problem is real. If your Country is still in the early stages of the outbreak, make sure to follow the instructions. I read and heard of people in the other Countries saying that this is an “ordinary flu”, that this is nothing to worry about, that this is just an overreaction. It’s not. You have to see the ICUs, especially in my region, you have to see the number of people dying… and bear in mind that this does not only affect the elderly or the weak, it can’t be just an ordinary flu.

Social distancing is essential to avoid the spreading, so put yourself in self isolation if you can.

If you can work from home, please do that, if you can take any other measures to avoid contact with other people and expose them to the risk, please do that, it’s no just for yourself, it’s also for the other people, so be responsible.

Shizune, Lonigo:

Social distancing is good but scary at the same time. We don’t like the situation, but scientists say it’s the only way (now, of course) to deal with this. What is not good are some mass media, TV and newspapers, that are creating hysteria and spreading fake news. If everyone follows the recommendations based on the most recent scientific studies and tries to stay calm and observe critically the news we receive, we’ll be through this, sooner or later.

I can also tell, I’ve been in Japan for some time and people there were used to wear masks when feeling sick, as a courtesy to block any sneezes on landing on others and I guess this helped a lot in containing the spread, because it’s something already ingrained in their culture, a culture of respect and prevention.

SHIZUNE live

SHIZUNE live

Alessandro, Strength Approach, Rome:

I got mixed up feelings about this topic but at the same time-hysteria or not – I think social distancing is the only thing we can do at the moment and of course I’d rather being proven wrong on those mixed up feelings at the end of the day more than suffer a loss.

Chivàla, Bari:

In the first days, with the infection spreading throughout Italy, there was a lot of confusion. Images of medics with surgical masks filled the news and obviously the panic.

In the first days, as a consequence, supplies of surgical masks and alcoholic gels to wash hands rapidly run out of stock.
The government tried to reassure everyone by broadcasting spots, calmly inviting people to respect the basic hygenic norms to prevent the infection. Many tv programs invited and still invite doctors and virologists to explain plainly the emergency and what everyone should do.

Today is the ninth day of quarantine and everyone just got used to the situation: we know what to do. Many people now take seriously the government measures and go out only for emergencies. There are still some “heroes” who ignore the quarantine, but fortunately police controls have become more strict.

ØJNE, Milano:

I think the media in particular has created a terrible atmosphere: first by creating hysteria and psychosis, then by diminishing all of it, and then by creating hysteria again. This had terrible effects both on people’s mixed behaviors both on the mental health of everyone in the past month. It has been really stressful to check the news daily over the past 25 days or so.

To be fair, the first few days I also believed that things were blown out of proportion, and that it was “a bit worse than a flu”, and I can see why some people would think of it this way outside of Italy. But everything that happened after made me change my mind completely.

Think of it this way: the flu alone kills several thousands of people every year; what can something that is indeed more than a flu, and for which there’s no vaccine available, do? I would not worry if there was one guaranteed hospital bed for every person on earth, but things are not like that.

The health system of Lombardy is one of the best in whole Europe, and it collapsed because of coronavirus.

I can’t even imagine what could happen elsewhere without the right precautions. Social distancing proved to be effective both in Wuhan and in the area of Codogno, in Italy, where everything started and where they shut down almost a month ago already. So let’s go with it.

flowers&shelters, Bolzano:

Certainly, handling human fears is a very delicate task and we feel like the press isn’t sensitizing the public in a proper way: sadly nowadays the quantity of worthless and contextless information is prioritized over qualitative and valuable knowledge. While under normal circumstances this might not be that evident in times such as these it contributes to an excessive overreaction. Being stripped of the freedom of movement certainly feels surreal and there’s a part in all of us that wants to escape this enforcement but you have to understand and accept the fact that this is a decision that preserves safety.

Decacy, Vicenza:

At first, we weren’t concerned at all, we hanged out with our friends regularly without problems.

Then, in a matter of days, all events were canceled, schools all over the country were closed, a larger amount of people got sick, some of our friends got quarantined, and now all of us are stuck. It was very bizzare.

It all happened really fast and a lot of people freaked out, escaping the so-called “red zones” and raiding supermarkets.

Fear and tension are palpable.

We all should act responsibly, acknowledging that this is something serious, we MUST follow the rules act like a civilized country, but we don’t have to panic. Distancing and avoiding contact is essential, please don’t underestimate this.

Amalia Bloom, Vicenza:

The media pressure is high, it is how communication system works but we think that It was predictable. That being said we believe that the situation is really complicated, especially because we must prevent our sanity system from crashing, so we’re trying to follow the rules and social distancing is a really powerful tool to get out from this situation. We need everyone to be aware of the importance of this little behaviours.

Carnero, Emilia-Romagna:

It is all just as bad as everyone is depicting it. We know people, friends and relatives working in hospitals and healthcare facilities who are struggling to keep up with the chaos that comes from this situation. Staying home sucks, but it’s all it takes to make it better.

Il Mare Di Ross, Cagliari, Sardinia:

The state of affairs in hospitals in Italy and China clearly shows how contagious and dangerous COVID is. The simplest and most direct way to combat pandemics is to avoid contact between healthy and infected people, even if it means a temporary shutdown of ordinary life. It’s a big sacrifice, but it’s the best choice: is it better to risk millions of lives just to continue living by pretending that nothing is happening?

Uragano, Sanremo:

Luca: Well, they surely pumped the mass hysteria in the beginning, expecially in Italy. But I honestly think the situation is pretty serious now and we have to stay strong and yes, avoid any physical contacts. It’s well proved that the virus is mostly spreading that way. It could be frustrating, but the internet helps a lot for stay in touch with people. Could you imagine something like that without it? I would die ahah

Ometto: Still haven’t felt the sensation of the quarantine here, but I hope for the best, I always loved the quiet life at home, I’m mostly worried as I was saying before about everyone who is going to have problems with their homes cause of the lockdown or the ones who already does not have a place.

Bull Brigade, Torino:

At the begin everyone has understimate the situation meanwhile the media created fear and stress in people, as they are used to do. Now more than ever we are understanding the importance and the consequences of the system inforomation on the society, anyway we think the security measures are fundamentals to come back to our normal lives.

Radura, Milano:

It can be tiresome to always read and listen about the situation, and there are some medias that are trying to take advantage of the situation, but it’s not hysteria. We lived the develop of the situation on our skin, and at first we thought that the virus wasn’t so serious, but right now we see how much damage it has done, how many lives are claimed and will be claimed by this, so social distancing should be the priority, because it seems the only way right now to slow down the spreading.

Riflesso, Cagliari:

At first, media could have handled communication better. But now it’s important that everyone Is aware of how following the policy matters. We think social distance it’s the first thing to do to avoid this virus to spread.

Longrail Records, Piedmont:

I think social distancing is essential right now. Not only for us, but above all to protect our parents, our grandparents and all those around us. It is important to take care of everyone, avoiding the spread of the disease as much as possible, and weighing as little as possible on the national health system, which is already in great difficulty.

How has the whole situation affected your music related operations? What are your short term adjustments? What costs have you incurred when experiencing this stage?

Gab De La Vega, Brescia:

This is a tough one. Of course lots of shows and tours have been canceled. I’ve just released a record in January, it’s called “Beyond Space And Time”.

I got to play a few shows to promote the new record. Of course at some point all the shows got canceled and I was supposed to keep touring throughout March, April and May, and at the moment everything has been shut down until April 3rd here in Italy, but I’m pretty sure it’s gonna go beyond that date, because the situation is very hard at the moment, which means that I’m not playing any shows, I can’t plan any shows, I was trying to finalize some tours and minitours, both full band and acoustic, but at the moment I can’t really tell, especially because most of them were outside of Italy and the situation is changing rapidly even in the other Countries.

I have no short term adjustments, because there’s no predictability of what is going to happen in the future, so I think it’s gonna be impossible to resume my touring activities in the nearest future. Of course canceling tours costs money, because there’s a lot of work behind that, lots of planning and every musician invests money in their music.

I think this affects every musician and in my specific case, I don’t rely 100% on music, luckily for me, I have other sources of income, but I have to be honest, I’m also struggling on those sides because of the situation. So if you want to help me out, you can find my music, records and merch following this link and hopefully I’ll be able to ship out records and merch soon in the future.

Shizune, Lonigo:

This situation sucks and affected bad our music operations, of course. No rehearsals, no shows, that’s really annoying. We were writing the new LP and now, well, we stopped.

We considered trying a video chat stuff, to communicate and write new riffs and so, but it would lack the personal warmth and enthusiasm that normally characterize our rehearsals sessions. Maybe in the end we’ll try that cause we miss being together and play, who knows.

Alessandro, Strength Approach, Rome:

I keep myself busy at home writing music and finally I started writing the ‘Roma Hardcore State Of Mind’ book for good. On the other hand I miss the feeling of being on stage and have a good time but it is what it is for now and I truly wish it’s gonna end up soon.

Chivàla, Bari:

We cancelled all the shows we booked for the next months.

In late February we recorded a track, “Avrà i tuoi occhi”, for a future split with Reste from Chicago. Waiting to make a record out of it, we shared the song just these days.

Fortunately music is for us a secondary activity, it’s our passion and we don’t make a living out of it. Our thoughts are directed towards everyone who has music as a primary activity. Stay strong, we know it’s very difficult at the moment.

ØJNE, Milano:

We are not that much affected for now, and not affected at all on a financial level, luckily. Before this started, we were recording vocal demos for a few songs we have, and of course this has to be postponed. We are planning a tour overseas in the summer, we are confirmed to play at the amazing New Friends Fest in Toronto in August, with Dangers, Elle and more, but it’s really hard now to know what the situation will be then. I guess we will figure it out in a couple of months. Also, we were thinking of playing a show in Milan in May, but this seems more and more unlikely day by day. But well, we will see!

flowers&shelters, Bolzano:

We had to cancel the shows that were scheduled together with Maremarcio for the release of our latest self titled EP (“S.T. / Omonimo”). Moreover, the media manufacturing company also postponed the delivery of physical copies that would have been sold during the gigs. Thus we decided to publish the new material digitally on Bandcamp and YouTube; by doing so we wanted our listeners to find a positive outlook on things despite being affected by everyday struggles: the timing felt perfect as the message of the EP coincidentally corresponded to our motto for these troubled times. We generally aren’t able to take part in many shows for study and work reasons, therefore cancelling the concerts felt really bad. Especially because all the wonderful people involved in the setup were hit even harder than us financially. We’ll try to balance out the costs of recording, and printing with digital sales and merch pre-orders.

Decacy, Vicenza:

You struck a nerve. We were supposed to play a lot of gigs this fall, following the release of our debut ep. We were really excited to play live shows, meet new friends and hug the old ones again, but remember the 1 meter rule? Right.

It hurts to say, but we could have no opportunity to play live for the next months. It is depressing

Especially because we were all looking forward to it, but for now all we can do is to exercise by ourselves, write a ton of new music, dig new records and have fun via long video-hangouts online, listening to music, playing videogames and joking togheter as always.

Amalia Bloom, Vicenza:

We were forced to stop our rehearsal, to cancel a bunch of shows and shift our recording process which was on the way. It’s weird because we really see the band as sharing moment with each other, writing and playing music together ecc, but now all that we can do is trying to improve in our own things at home. It surely is a switch of perspective, and from a positive point of view maybe it will help us out in the future as individual and as musicians.

Carnero, Emilia-Romagna:

Right now we as a band are on hiatus, so no shows were cancelled or anything. Both Enrico and Damiano from CARNERO though play together in the Oi!core/MetalPunk band REBELDE, and they got shows cancelled because of this, as well as a massive delay in recording their new album (which will be great btw!)

I had some theater projects cancelled, and being the only sources of income I had, I felt… bummed to say the least.

Il Mare Di Ross, Cagliari, Sardinia:

In this case, we fortunately came from a period of inactivy (we played at the last Strikdown Fest after four years) and at the moment we have not taken any countermeasures but all the bands we know had to cancel (rightly) all their tours and you know how important it is to play live for a DIY band but all the musicians have understood that health is the most important thing now. Many bands are receiving support via the internet (selling records, merch etc.). Before being musicians we are human beings.

IL MARE DI ROSS at Strikedown Festival 2020, by Emanuela Giurano

IL MARE DI ROSS at Strikedown Festival 2020, by Emanuela Giurano

Uragano, Sanremo:

Luca: I played in several projects and my whole life is around music so yes, I’m struggling a lot.

Luckily not too much with uragano: we’re writing the next album but at the moment we’re in 2 different countries and not ables to work on that. All the plans for releases and live are postponed to 2021. But we hadn’t too much planned anyway, so no big cancelations.

I also play in Hexis and this is affecting a lot: we’re having some shows canceled or postponed and everything is so unsure and Instable at the moment. Without those tours and shows we’re afraid to not raise enough money to afford the studio we planned to go to record our next album at the end of this year. Plus we already spent so much money to book flight tickets in advance for festivals etc so it’s gonna be a big money loss (mostly because we don’t really have other cool jobs to cover those losses) In general, everything is paralized and unsure at the moment and honestly I don’t know how to face it. I’m trying to be positive but sometimes is really difficult.

Ometto: The luck of being an artist is that what you do is in your head, a difficult moment like this can just inspire us to make new songs, drawings, lyrics. Fortunately, we were not planning any tour soon. Sure everything we were planning apart is delayed but that will not stop us, it’s just the moment to take a pause, rest, write new songs in your room and hope to bring it out soon.

Bull Brigade, Torino:

This emergency coincides with our break from live activity, so fortunately is not a big problem for the band. We are very close to all the bands, the booking agencies and all the people who work hard for the music scene, who have had to cancel the events. Best wishes that they can return stronger than before.

Radura, Milano:

As a band, we’d say this situation affected us lightly, we already took indefinite time to work on our new LP, avoiding concerts. The quarantine interrupted our recordings, but we can still work on lyrics and vocals by talking about it online, to be more prepared to finish the recordings when the everything will be more easy. Anyway, it’s very sad to see a lot of bands, concerts and festivals slowly changing their plannings. We just hope everything will be postponed or deleted with less serious consequences as possible.

Riflesso, Cagliari:

Starting from this interview, we are doing a videocall to answering your questions. We had to stop our weekly reharsals, but the main thing Is that we had to cancel our eu tour with our friends Sputa, and some gigs here in Sardinia.

Longrail Records, Piedmont:

As Longrail Records, we had some house shows scheduled for these months, which we obviously had to cancel. As a band, not being able to rehearse clearly compromises all plans for the near future. Anyway, none of us is a professional musician or organizer, so fortunately this forced interruption does not affect, from the economic point of view, as seriously as it does for the others.

In a long run, how do you see the coronavirus affecting independent music and arts community?

Gab De La Vega, Brescia:

The situation is a disaster, especially for independent music.

Especially because music relies on something very important, which is planning and at the moment we don’t know when we’ll be able to go back on the road.

Shizune, Lonigo:

That’s a difficult question…during this lockdown-time many people are rediscovering good music from the past or finding awesome bands online. But the real community, the shows and releases, will suffer because of this lockdown, and it’s bad; we are all part of this scene, from bands to people attending to shows so we really hope that after this, there will be a lot of enthusiasm and many bands will be on the road to play, so we can move on from this bad time.

Alessandro, Strength Approach, Rome:

The economy as well as the independent music will be affect by this whole situation but once again I’m damn sure we’ll start rebuilding everything from zero again and things will be alright hopefully sooner than later.

Chivàla, Bari:

It’s difficult to predict what will happen in the next months. While the infection is still spreading (according to virologists between March and April there will be the peak of Coronavirus cases) it is almost impossible to go out and see a punk live show, where there’s a lot of contact and passion between people and bands.

ØJNE, Milano:

Honestly, I’m not thinking that much about it these days. Of course, it’s a terrible situation for everyone, but, at least for someone coming from Lombardy, it’s not one of my first worries at the moment. When it will be, that will mean the worst part is behind us.

flowers&shelters, Bolzano:

Paradoxically, the coronavirus pandemic has raised awareness for the challenges the majority of independent artists have to face.

We never know if we’ll be able to keep up with the expenses, and the opportunities we have to do so are often overshadowed by more important matters. Even though nobody is totally immune against this kind of events, we think the that the long term impact will mostly affect the professionals working behind the scenes: the ones who usually create opportunities for people to come together, and make shows or records happen.

Decacy, Vicenza:

We all can’t play, attend or book concerts until further notice.

We’re all on the same ship. So we all try to stay positive and keep ourselves busy. That means that everyone writes new music and makes art to pass the time.

It is an interesting phenomena, how a lot of our “creative” friends share the same feelings.

A lot of us made compilations and shared tons of music to help everyone cope with quarantine’s boredom.

I guess this won’t stop any of us, instead I think we’ll have stronger motivation.

Imagine having the opportunity to play live after months of quarantine: how cool is that? A real blessing! Would you ever miss that.

Amalia Bloom, Vicenza:

The results of this shutdown are already tangible. From an economic point of view and from a social point of view. Let’s see the arts community as something not only made by artists. They represent the top of the iceberg, which is supported by a whole community and environment that has been deeply affected by these measures and still we don’t know how things will be in the future. Then as all the underground bands we are really affected by what is going on, it is hard to book shows and plan new things within this scenario. At the same time it is good to perceive how people is really craving for connection now, maybe when we will get out we’ll need more than ever to share moments of sociality which could mean going to shows, seeing an exhibition, staying together and rebuild.

Carnero, Emilia-Romagna:

I hope the awareness that this situation is rising will last even after these dark times are gone (hopefully soon…) Because independent music faces tough times every day, and people often forget about it. Especially the government and administrations, they don’t give a shit about us. And if they do, they hate us haha.

Il Mare Di Ross, Cagliari, Sardinia:

It will be a difficult situation but everyone (bands, labels, live clubs etc.) slowly will return to be an active community. That’s for sure!

Uragano, Sanremo:

Luca: Unfortunately I can easily imagine that the whole music world will be really damaged by this.

But honestly the independent music community is responding quite good and I can see a lot of mutual help and solidarity. Where there’s not tons of money involved but feeling instead, I can see people working to get through this shit. Hopefully we’re gonna survive and became much stronger after that, I’m positive about it.

Ometto: I always saw the independent scene well tied and warm, the only thing can happen to it is just being warmer and warmer with the time, we cannot tour around, see our friends and everything, but when the problem will be over there will be a lot of time to come back in the venues to taste again that thing missed.

Bull Brigade, Torino:

The independent music field is in costantly crisis, especially in Italy. Therefore we think so many DIY realities won’t start again in a easily way..all the best to them!

Radura, Milano:

Arts and music are things that bring people together, with the internet everything can exists anyway, but a close contact is always needed. We want to stay positive and wait until underground concerts and all kind of artistic events begins to live again, welcoming as many people as possible.

Riflesso, Cagliari:

It’s difficult to predict the future of indipent music. We Hope that at the end of this situation, we will enjoy even more our local music scene. In the meantime save money for future gigs :)

Longrail Records, Piedmont:

Surely, it will be very hard for venues and for all those who works in the independent music scene. Trying to see some positive sides, web keeps us pretty close anyway, and this quarantine can also mean more time to work on your own music or art.

Are you worried? Eventually, how do you see the coronavirus epidemic playing out?

Gab De La Vega, Brescia:

I’m very concerned, I think this is going to last longer than we expect.

Gab de La Vega, by Sere

Gab de La Vega, by Sere

Shizune, Lonigo:

Not that much now, we know what to do to protect from the infection, and well, we should trust scientists. That’s it. And of course distrust people who talk shit.

Enrico: I can tell you that this is not the best situation having my partner 8 months pregnant: not because we are afraid or worried, but because you can’t live this period how it should be, enjoying all the small things. You can imagine all clinical visits have been delayed or canceled, hospitals are full of sick people, at the moment dads cannot assist birth nor visit the new born within the dismissal from the hospital and knowing that she’s going to give birth in the middle of this it’s kinda frustrating.

Alessandro, Strength Approach, Rome:

I’m just worried for my family and for what the future will bring especially if some kind of martial law will be applied. Until then I’ll keep doing my thing and take care of my loved ones.

Chivàla, Bari:

We are a bit worried. If not for us, for the people we care the most and our families, especially for the old people. For this reason is our responsibility to respect the indications that doctors and virologists give us to slow down the contagion. If we hold firm, stand united and, most importantly, respect the hygenic norms, everything will be fine. China gave us a great lesson on how to stop this virus.

ØJNE, Milano:

Well, I am worried. I am worried about my family and friends in Italy, I am worried about the fact that I don’t know when I’ll be able to get back there (that is, without risking to bring the virus with me), I am worried about summer plans, about band plans, about touring, I am worried about when will we go back to a normal life and what will “normal” mean, I am worried about the possibility of the the virus coming back in autumn with no vaccine ready and this whole thing happening over and over again. It’s a lot of worries that come and go, I don’t know how and when this whole situation will end, but sooner or later it will, and one of the things that matter the most now is making good use of the time spent in quarantine, not to waste it away but to come out of this more inspired than ever.

flowers&shelters, Bolzano:

Some of us are more concerned than others, we’re patiently waiting for the waters to calm down. With sacrifice comes reward so we’re pretty optimistic about our chances of getting out of it and returning to our daily routines and struggles pretty soon. The only essential thing that matters is to protect each other, everything else can wait. Finally, we hope that the lesson everyone has learned is that in facing these kind of situations we’re all the same, and certainly this also holds for many other aspects of life.

Decacy, Vicenza:

We are worried for our relatives and friend’s health, as well as with the integrity of our country.

We’re paranoid and catastrophist individuals, therefore we obviously picture ourselves surviving (and hopefully playing screamo tunes) in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future, like the ones often portrayed in b-movies.

We are concerned, but have faith in a resolution.

Amalia Bloom, Vicenza:

Yes, we are. Everyone is worried. This certainly is a new thing that we don’t know how to manage. It is creating kinda of a distance with each other, it will take time to fill this gap. As human beings we need relationship, contact, that is how we create social context and that is how we build our identity as individuals. So going back to social distancing , people is aware of the fact that eventually It will help, but being told to keep that one-meter safety distance with each other It likely will impact the way we socialize in the foreseeable future.

Hopefully, music will be our own way to deal with this new feeling.

AMALIA BLOOM live

AMALIA BLOOM live

Carnero, Emilia-Romagna:

I’m pretty worried but trying not to get too wound up in this shit, cause otherwise I’d kill myself. I miss my friends a lot. I miss seeing them in real life, going to shows, have a drink together, have a coffee or whatever… Life has changed in the last week and a half, and now I’m just more conscious about how much I love certain people, how much I care about my distant friends’ health both in Europe and overseas and how much our relative freedom is to be cherished as it’s not something to be ever taken for granted.

Il Mare Di Ross, Cagliari, Sardinia:

Of course. Knowing that ordinary actions like shaking hands with a person can put our health and that of our loved ones at risk is difficult. The arrival of the virus in Italy and the evolution of the situation also seemed unreal. Luckily, Sardinia, where we are based, currently has just over a hundred infections, but Lombardy and Veneto, the richest regions in Italy, live a very difficult, tragic reality. It will hardly be resolved in a short time, despite the drastic measures taken by the government, but at least more serious damage is avoided. However, we hope that the coronavirus won’t lead to economic or political crises: the pandemic has been fueled by a hyper-linked world, maybe now we will see these connections with new eyes, just as we are living in a different way the virtual relationships between us and the world outside the walls within which we are confined.

Uragano, Sanremo:

Luca: I am worried, indeed. I think this is one of the most serious thing happened to the world since I was born. I feel it like a world war, with an abstract entity as the enemy.

Ometto: I like to see a bright future, this virus can teach us that we are all the same, no difference between us can last to an enemy like this one, will be something interesting for sure.

Bull Brigade, Torino:

We are not afraid by the virus in the health way, but we are really afraid to the compromisation of the sanity system. We have to be responsable to help all that weaker categories as aged people that risk more because of the virus.

Radura, Milano:

Kind of, of course we’re worried about relatives and people around us, but for the time being the only thing we can do is to stay in our houses, and wait until everything will start to seem normal again.

Riflesso, Cagliari:

Of course we are worried. We hope that the collaboration among states will help to reduce the spreading.

Longrail Records, Piedmont:

I’m trying to stay positive. Staying home by yourself can be very stressful, but I’m trying to take this as an opportunity: every now and then slowing things down and spending more time with yourself can also be good. About the epidemic, to be honest, I don’t really know how it will ends. Let’s hope for the best!

What’s your message to your local community, Italy, and the world?

Gab De La Vega, Brescia:

We have to do our part, everyone has to be responsible, we have to avoid the spreading, follow the guidelines, do not underestimate the problem, self isolate yourself and all the other generic guidelines, such as: wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your mouth, your nose, your eyes, practice social distancing, it’s very important and it’s the only way to prevent the spreading.

I really hope that this was useful for you guys, I know that in some countries they are not taking very hard measures or that it’s still in an early stage, but trust me: you don’t want it to get ugly, so start doing something now.

I want to say that this is a global problem, everyone is going to be affected, if you haven’t been affected yet; we have to do something and we have to do it together. That’s the only

Shizune, Lonigo:

Don’t give up on your social life, try to stay in contact with friends and family, read books.

Don’t waste your time with stupid things, learn something new, maybe a language, wash your hands if you go out and if you really want to wear a mask, make it be the best version of you.

Alessandro, Strength Approach, Rome:

I know it’s not easy to deal with this situation. Social distance, solitude and fear are not good company in these times of struggle but it doesn’t take much to respect some simple rules and overcome this plague. Stay safe and take care of each other.

Chivàla, Bari:

Stay home and stay safe.

These are hard days, but if we are patient and strong we’ll leave all of this behind.

ØJNE, Milano:

Simply, stay home if you can. That is the only thing you can do to prevent this. Since any of us could be infected yet asymptomatic, every time we go out we might infect and potentially kill someone. So stay home, listen to records, write records, read books, write books, watch movies, play games, make a fanzine, call your friends and family. Wash your hands. Don’t look at the news too much, but don’t underrate this situation at all. If you are still not impressed, and if you still think things have been blown out of proportion, just watch this video of military trucks bringing dead bodies from Bergamo to other cities of Italy because there’s no more space and time to cremate all of them at the city crematorium. See you when it’s over.

flowers&shelters, Bolzano:

Have hope and stay safe!

It is important to reflect and use our heads, learn from mistakes and take care of others, if we really don’t want to take care of ourselves. We learn from mistakes and always try to be a better person than we were yesterday.

Decacy, Vicenza:

Please. Stay safe. Don’t underestimate this. Be clean. Follow the rules, have faith in scientists. Stay at home, avoid contact.

This is a weird and uncertain time we’ll remember afterwards. But we are in this together!

The human race survived worse plagues, after all.

Keep in touch with your friends, try to avoid get lazy, keep your mind active and focused.

This is the right time to learn a new skill, enjoy all the books and movies you didn’t have time for before, and in the meantime, you can still check our new ep “Non Cambierà” which came out a month ago, along with a lot of other rad records as well.

Amalia Bloom, Vicenza:

Stay safe, stay at home! Being distant from everything you we’re used to do eventually will help you understand what are the most important things for you. Dedicate yourself to learning something new, to be better, let’s see this moment of crisis as a possibility. And yeah, meanwhile listen to Amalia Bloom!

Carnero, Emilia-Romagna:

Wash your goddamn hands and stay home. <3

Thank you for asking us Karol, I hope you and your family are doing well right now. Take care of yourselves! Love from Forlì!

Il Mare Di Ross, Cagliari, Sardinia:

The human is a strange animal, capable of giving the best and the worst of himself in the most difficult moments.

If we stay united and we are committed to making the most of this tragedy it will be possible to see the world with new eyes, and appreciate even more the little things that once seemed ordinary to us and that are now forbidden: a coffee with friends, a walk, a hug. Stay safe, stay home.

Uragano, Sanremo:

Luca: Well, stay strong. Stay home. Don’t underestimate this, take your precautions when you go out (if you have to). Try to stay together with your beloved, also in a non-physical way: if you can’t go to your family/partner, call them. Stay isolate but keep yourself connected using phones and internet. And, most important, try to create your own new routine and doing something during the days. Of course some days you’re just gonna feel useless and staring at some screen, but try also to do stuff. Simple stuff. Read more book, create more art if you can, try to cook. This whole situation is gonna end at some point and we just have to be strong in the meantime. Take care.

Ometto: Money is made out of paper, people are made out of flesh, the paper burns, the flesh dies, let’s just be humans for this time.

Bull Brigade, Torino:

Everyone must to do his part to get of from this crisis. Just follow the directives, we know it’s strange for us allways used to rejecting what is imposed us from above …but we have to do it for the weakest. We must to do it for all the people that every day face all this in the hospitals with brave and devotion.

Radura, Milano:

The only thing we can say is to stay at home, and be safe. We really hope to see everyone at the end of this situation, hug each other again and continue our life with every thing new inside us all we learned during this crisis.

Riflesso, Cagliari:

Our suggestion Is to stay safe. We know that keeping social distance is not easy for everyone. However It doesn’t mean emotional distance. We can handle this together. Stay strong and stay positive.

Longrail Records, Piedmont:

We are all together in this situation.

This means taking care of everyone, fighting for everyone’s safety and health, being supportive and empathetic. Once again, trying to see positive sides, I hope this experience can help us understand what is really important in a society: are we really willing to give up the health of many for the profit of a few?

As for the independent music community: may this remind us once again how punk has always been and will always be more than just music.

Punk is all that we are missing right now: aggregation, sociality, to give value to what unites rather us than what divides us.

Let’s remember this when everything will ends. We’ll make it! Thank you again!

Coronavirus: Italian artists reveal inside stories and thoughts on the crisis
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