LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe says that he is not sure what a post-pandemic world will look like for the touring industry.
Concerts around the world have been canceled and postponed in efforts to contain the novel coronavirus, with no clear date as to when they might resume.
In early April, Dr. Ezekiel "Zeke" Emanuel, one of the key architects of the Affordable Care Act and a special adviser to the director general of the World Health Organization, told The New York Times that he doesn't anticipate it to be safe to return to concerts, sporting events and other mass public gatherings for another 18 months.
During a recent appearance on "Vox&Hops", the podcast hosted by Matt McGachy, frontman of extreme metal band CRYPTOPSY, Blythe seemingly agreed that live performances will be the last thing allowed after coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
"As far as how shows will be in the future, I don't know if there will be shows until we can have shows normally — in general, for anyone," he said (hear audio below). "Because I don't think — let's be realistic; let's be 100 percent realistic — I don't think a bunch of metalheads or punk rock kids or hardcore kids, when they all go to a show, if there's gonna be social distancing, any band starts playing, that social distancing shit's gonna go out the window. It's, like, 'It's time to mosh, motherfucker.' You know what I mean? That's not gonna work for us, bro — that's just not gonna work.
"Can you imagine how weird it would be?" he continued. "I remember seeing TESTAMENT and SLAYER in, like, fuck, maybe '90, I think it was — '90 or '91; they were on tour together. And they played this venue in Richmond called The Mosque, and it was all seated. It's this beautiful theater and it's all seated. And I was, like, 'This is not gonna work, man.' And sure enough… They had security guards going up in the aisles and trying to keep it calm. But, nah, man — chairs got fucked up. That's not how you do it. And what am I gonna say to the audience? 'Everybody, stand really still. Don't touch anyone. This next song is called 'Walk With Me In Hell'. Two meters, please.' It's not gonna work for LAMB OF GOD, bro. So it's, like, holy fuck.
"I think it would be a mistake to try and have a fucking metal show and space restrictions," he added. "What the fuck, man? That just wouldn't do — wouldn't do at all.
"Another thing that fans need to remember is this isn't our decision [as to when we can go back on the road]. And it varies state to state, province to province, municipality to municipality. Local governments have different rules. Everybody thinks that, well, we can just go on tour, and this is how we're gonna do it. No, man. We have to be granted a license to play a show."
According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities.
Public health experts have repeatedly expressed their concern that Americans are underestimating how long the coronavirus pandemic will disrupt everyday life in the country.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the the head of the National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases and part of the White House's coronavirus task force, has said a vaccine may be 12-18 months away, but other experts said it could take even longer.
As the coronavirus disease continues to spread, live event organizers have been canceling or postponing large gatherings, including concerts and festivals.
Entertainers, crew and other workers in the industry have already lost billions of dollars as a result of COVID-19-related cancelations, representing only a small fraction of the financial devastation that will be experienced by workers in the sector as cancelations continue to roll in.