‘I’m like a plant without water’: why metal bands are suffering during coronavirus

For many in underground metal, performance is an outlet for personal trauma and hardship. How are bands coping?

To some outsiders, metal appears chaotic, violent and devoid of emotional value, but inside the message is one of solidarity. Nothing exemplifies this better than the pit. Moshing could be considered dancing, and like any dance, there are rules. If someone falls down, everyone must get that person back on their feet, dust them off and shove them back into the chaos.

For many in underground metal, life is a moshpit and Covid-19 has knocked them down. Many artists have continued to play from home or experiment with ticketed livestreams, but in a world where bands rely on raw decibels, this often isn’t an option. The music is too loud for anything but expensive professional equipment, and the physical heaviness one feels in the chest – and soul – is a vital component of the experience. The musicians, meanwhile, rely on their art as an outlet for personal trauma and hardship.

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