The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the music industry hard – tours have been postponed, festivals cancelled, and so on. We recently spoke to Trivium frontman Matt Heafy about his response to the situation. Here’s what he had to say:
“As far as the US goes, we’re obviously a month or six weeks or eight weeks behind these kinds of preparations we’re under now, social distancing, and all that stuff. Our CDC was cut by $1.2 billion last year. [Note: the decision to cut $1.2 billion from the CDC’s budget has since been reversed, as The Hill reports.] The team that is supposed to be about pandemic control was dismantled within the last year as well. So we’re playing catch up immensely – our first batches of coronavirus testing was faulty, as well.
“With the border shutdown – I don’t know if it was a good or a bad idea. But doing it all at once is now creating massive influxes of everyone being at the airport at the same time, with the TSA from what I’m reading, not doing the proper screenings anyway. The US is not prepared. I don’t know how it is over there.
“I think some countries are prepared and are doing it correctly. I mean, from the studies that I’ve been reading, as long as the virus doesn’t have a chance to spread, then it doesn’t spread. And hopefully then the rate of new cases starts to drop off. But it’s also so confusing now, that we live in an age where disinformation is as overly abundant as correct information. And people generally don’t really check sources. So I encourage people to keep checking credible sources.
“I don’t feel like this is the end of the world. And I also don’t feel like this is something that should be brushed off. I’ve seen a lot of the arguments such as “well, everyone gets the flu and many more people have died from the flu’, or ‘the mortality rate of the flu is only 0.1 per cent’. But the mortality rate right now in Italy, I believe, is as high as 6 per cent. So that should cause some alarm.
“We’ve got to find that balance of not panicking and ransacking the grocery stores for our own family, but instead allowing everyone to hopefully take the proper precautions so we can all make it out of this. And yes, it’s older people that are in trouble. But we are seeing in France now it’s people below 60 that are in the ICU, which is disconcerting. So people need to be smart. Don’t go kissing strangers, don’t go to super packed places.
“I think the idea that concerts are being postponed is a very good idea. It sucks. Trivium is losing a ton of money getting our Asia tour cancelled, but health, family and the planet as a whole are more important than the money Trivium would have got for four more shows. That’s the way I look at it. The betterment of the whole is much more important than the betterment of one.”
Stay tuned to Guitar.com for our full interviews with both Matt Heafy and his Trivium co-guitarist Corey Beaulieu about their new record, What the Dead Men Say.