The impacts of Covid-19 have hit the music industry hard: venues closing, tours cancelled, album releases postponed. We caught up with bassist, William Simister, from South Yorkshire based band, Crossfire Eagles to see how lockdown has impacted the groups plans.
What have you guys been up to for the past few months?
We’ve had a couple of gigs cancelled which has really affected us because we’re bringing out a new EP. We don’t have a name for it yet but we’ve got all the tracks ready. We’ve got two singles out already and one coming out on 4th September.
Can you tell us more about the new single?
It’s called ‘Sweet Talker’ and it’s about a girl who’s been playing around and has broken your heart but you’re in love with the way she sweet talks you. So the lyrics go “sweet talker, sweet walker, so many things that I should have taught her.”
Are there any more songs for the EP?
After ‘Sweet Talker’ we’ve got two more songs coming out which might be singles or just EP tracks, we’ll see how it goes. We have one called ‘Strawberry Fields’ which is about looking up to your idols as our lead singer’s favourite band of all time is The Beatles. Then we’ve got one called ‘Moonstruck’ which is about taking too many drugs and how getting really fucked up is not good for you.
Is there a date for the EP release?
It’s been delayed at this point. We can’t really bring it out under the current climate. For small artists like us, a lot of promotion comes from the live music so if we can’t gig that album, nobody will really listen to it.
How do you think Sheffield’s live music scene will be affected by Covid-19?
I know a lot of places that have closed down. I’m from Barnsley myself and the main music venue in Barnsley has shut down. We’ve played some of our best gigs there. Before lockdown, we were affected by one of the best venues in Sheffield, Cafe Totem, closing down and I can only see it spiralling from here.
Some venues can only have about ten people in them with social distancing so any gigs we put on will be at a loss. So the live music scene for us is pretty much dead. We had about ten gigs lined up just for the summer and the main one was at the Cabin Club in Liverpool. We were really excited about it but it got rescheduled for October but we’re still a bit dubious about whether it will go ahead.
How have the cancelled gigs affected the band?
We’re really lucky that we’ve got a bit of money behind us so that we can record these EP’s and things. Without playing live we’re all having to work our normal jobs which we were hoping to leave. We were looking at having an agent try to find a label for us but that’s probably not gonna happen now. Who’s gonna sign an artist now when there’s no live music?
Well hopefully things work out in the future for you guys!
In the future, yeah. I can see in the next year or two, live music is not really gonna be a thing!
In the meantime, what can people do to support upcoming artists?
Buy merch! We’re not making any money from tours and from Spotify we make about 0.004p per stream but from merch we’ll take like £10. So buy physical old albums and merch. We’ve also got some tarot cards for each of the singles on the upcoming EP that people can buy.
Finally, how did you guys all meet?
Funny story actually. Somebody looking for a bassist saw me on their ‘people you may know’ page on Facebook with my profile picture of me playing the bass. So I went to our first practice with the band and everyone was sound with me, except this guy who messaged me as he had really high standards and I wasn’t too confident with the songs. About a week before our first actual gig, he left all the group chats and said he was leaving the band! So he got all the band together, then left! None of us knew each other before that and now they’re some of my best friends.
‘Sweet Talker’ is out on all streaming platforms from 4th September.
Image Credit: Crossfire Eagles