We all have been traumatized, more or less, by the pandemic – and it’s OK not to feel OK, as I pointed out in my editorial. Follow our new series „Fuck 2020“ – incl. video interviews – and find out how the art world, namely musicians and bands have been dealing with it. Now it’s time for the Swiss Death Metaller Tom Kuzmic (Disparaged):
What made 2020 most difficult for you, personally and for the whole band – what sucked the most in your opinion?
In 2020, we were probably most annoyed by all the gig cancellations and of course that everything got so damn complicated. All the postponements and the pain of realizing that we can’t even come close to Covid-compliant conditions with our small rehearsal room… and thus we actually had to put the whole band on ice. On a personal level, it was the homeschooling that bugged me the most. Helping the kids after work, having to cook every day and no rest ever … it was like a 20h job… that was the biggest challenge.
The worst thing for us was that we had a really cool new album out -“For Those Enslaved” – but no possibility to present it… no concerts, no sales, not even of the new merchandise… just very unfortunate timing… so the output unfortunately did not receive much attention. What a pity. We are really proud of the new record (great new tracks and two great bonus tracks, Priest and Slayer covers!)
How did you deal with the 2020 stress & challenges?
I think as a group we handled the situation and the stress very honorably… we all followed the guidelines… and with a heavy heart put our sessions on hold.. we looked for new opportunities and found them. Everyone in the band continued to practise on their instruments. Work-wise, fortunately, we were not so badly affected. We never ran out of work (sometimes even the opposite) and we didn’t have financial losses unlike, for example, many of our buddies who work at the theater or in the restaurant business. On a private level, I think I’ve also managed quite well to keep everything under control. Unfortunately, many things could not be influenced. The psychological strain certainly left its mark, but everyone made the best of it.
What changes did you have to make in / with the band in 2020, besides a lot of cancellations?
Besides the concert cancellations, we also had to adjust other things. The rehearsals were, as already mentioned, one of the biggest changes. But we used the time in a different way. For example, we finally created a new banner and of course (like probably most other bands) focused on the creative process. So we have collected a lot of new songs or riff ideas already and will work on them together as soon as possible. Which means that we will soon be able to present a successor to our current album.
Did you see 2020 also as a chance to try something else to continue as musicians, e.g. Live-streaming, “Zoom-sessions”, music videos? Can you tell us something about this experience, e.g. fan reaction?
New for us were for example group video chats… but they were no live rehearsals, we only discussed certain things, like what to change in the video clip, which was also a novelty for us. It is the first video we put out and this special year interfered here too. Because of safety reasons we had to shoot everything ourselves. This part was taken over by our drummer Heinz and his wife. Snakehill Productions were so kind to provide equipment so that we were able to shoot the video. The whole thing was a great and a special experience and we would like to thank Rob Mo for the great rough edits. Of course we made a lot of blunders because we had zero experience, but the result is still worth watching. There are no reactions yet because we are just about to finish the clip.
What are the plans for 2021, what are you looking forward to? Your message to your fans?
First we will soon release the video clip and otherwise we just keep our fingers crossed that the new confirmed shows can actually be played. And recording the new songs is also on our schedule for 2021. Therefore, dear fans, take care, Disparaged will have something for you. Stay healthy and stay heavy!
Thanks for the interview and all the best!