Former MACHINE HEAD and current VIO-LENCE guitarist Phil Demmel has told Ultimate Guitar in a new interview that he is concerned about the touring industry in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with some estimates indicating that live shows and big sporting events won't return until at least 2021.
"Yeah, you know, it's really tough," he said. "[With] VIO-LENCE, we had so many cool things lined up for this year, and I had some other stuff — really cool appearances, so it's super-disappointing; really kind of concerning.
"If I listen to [VIO-LENCE] lead singer Sean Killian — he's not worried that we'll be back pretty soon, so I'd like to take his optimism and think that things would be back to normal, but I'm also kinda realistic about thinking that they're not gonna let sweaty bodies climb all over each other — probably the last thing they'll let do, so yeah, it's concerning.
"Me and the wife own a bar at home [The Back Lounge in Dublin, California], so our business has been closed for six weeks now and that's really concerning. We're just hoping for the best, not trying to dwell and worry too much and stress out.
"We have saved, we're the most prepared we could have been for the situation, so just hoping that people stay healthy and we can get things back to normal as soon as possible."
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.
The novel coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person to person — between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet), and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released last week showed that only 27% of those questioned would go to a concert, movie theater or live theater performance when venues reopen. Thirty-two percent said they would wait for a vaccine before going back to the movies, theater or concerts. In all, 55% of Americans said those events should not resume before a vaccine is available.