David Draiman Says Music Industry ‘Lost Two-Thirds of Workforce’ Due To Pandemic

David Draiman Photo by Per Ole Hagen/Redferns (via Getty Images)
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It goes without saying, but the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on many people’s lives. Due to the pandemic, the live music industry came to a screeching halt; bands/artists found themselves canceling tours and were unaware as to when they’d be able to hit the road again. Because of this, many artists suffered both financially and mentally.

During a recent conversation with Audacy’s 99.9 KISW‘s Taryn Daly, Disturbed singer David Draiman reflected on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our lives (and also spoke to how it hurt the music industry). Speaking to people having been “robbed of normalcy” and live music taking place once again, Draiman shared the following (as transcribed by Blabbermouth):

“We were robbed of normalcy for so long [due to the COVID-19 pandemic]. To feel like things are normalizing once again and to get back to doing what we are really meant to be doing in this life — all of us; not just us [in the band] — is an incredible thing.

“But now to be able to experience the celebration known as live performance and to feel that circle of symbiotic kind of relationship that you end up having and that energy surge in a whole new way, because it was taken for so long, it’s sweeter now. And I think people are even more passionate. They’re so pent up. They’re ready. And we are too.”

Draiman went on to talk in more detail about the impact the pandemic has had on people, such as the psychological and financial struggles that many have had to endure. He also speaks about how “two-thirds” of the music industry workforce is “gone.”

“I think that the human body and human spirit are both incredibly resilient. I think we are traumatized. There’s no doubt about it. From every walk of life and every age range imaginable. I think the kids got hit the hardest during all this.

“When you are stripped of the things that keep you engaged, that keep you communicating, that keep you challenged, it can do long-term damage sometimes. I think that people are gonna take — it may take the rest of their lifetimes to sometimes get back to where they were after, not only what this whole experience did to us psychologically, but what it did to some people fiscally, what it did to them financially.

“It destroyed families, it destroyed jobs, it destroyed worlds. I mean, the effects were more than just the lives that were taken by the virus. Terrible. So it’s weird. I feel very, very fortunate that we’re still one of the ones that are in a position to go back out there and to do what we do and to keep doing what we love.

“The music industry as a whole, we lost two-thirds of our workforce. They’re gone. They went to do other things, because live events couldn’t happen for two to three years. So they had to put food on the table. There are bands like us who did everything that they could for their crew, and we’d do it again, but there are a lot of bands that couldn’t.

“And people had to make a living. And so now, you have a few people left. Now costs are through the roof, now everybody’s struggling, and we’re still chomping at the bit to get out there. I think the challenge makes it better.”

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