New Zealand Music Month is under way with musicians and venues facing massive cuts to income and a future which could be "very different" after Covid-19 reports Mike Tweed
Despite the government's lockdown restrictions, Whanganui musicians have continued to move forward, despite the lack of any live gigs for the foreseeable future.
Whanganui's Michael Franklin-Browne, who plays the drums in prominent New Zealand bands Head Like A Hole and Pluto, said he was "pretty gutted" the Whanganui Walls Festival, where Pluto was scheduled to perform at, had been cancelled.
"Obviously the government did the right thing because events like that would have just been impossible," Franklin-Browne said.
Franklin-Browne said he'd remained "super busy" throughout the level 4 lockdown, offering online drum lessons from his basement studio, and filming Pluto's new music video remotely.
"The band all filmed their separate video parts in their bubbles and sent them off to Milan (Borich, Pluto singer/guitarist) to edit.
"While you can't say anyone is lucky at a time like this, it's good that musicians have the technology available to them to be able to record music and shoot videos completely online.
"If it (Covid-19) had happened in the 80s, for instance, I think a lot of bands could have disappeared off the radar."
John Keating, co-chairman of Whanganui Musician's Club, said he was "champing at the bit", to play live again.
"I've been recording little videos at home, but it isn't the same as being able to make music with other people," Keating said.
"We (The Musicians' Club) need to start hosting events again soon because rates, rent, and power are still there."
Keating said he was unsure what levels 1 and 2 would mean for live music venues.
"If it's a case of having a gathering of under 50 people, then that's something we'd definitely have to go with, but anything less than that and I don't think we could justify holding an event.
"Perhaps we could let 49 people into the venue, in a 'members-only' type of set up."
Covid-19 had been "a hell of a thing" for artists and musicians to deal with, Keating said.
"There's a big question mark hanging over things at the moment, but we have a great venue, and we'll be able to survive at the end of all this."
The Musician's Club had been forced to postpone its annual meeting, but Keating said memberships were due for 2020/21, and people who were interested in joining could register online.
Whanganui rock band Drxnes was "80 per cent done" with new recordings, bass player Liam Robinson said, but they would have to wait till they were all "back together again" to finish the project.
"I guess one of the only good things about lockdown is having a little bit of extra time to practice our instruments and play the songs, so when we do finish all the tracks, we'll have every part the best they can be.
"This time last year we'd just finished a nationwide tour and we were the busiest we'd ever been, now it's the complete opposite."
The band released a music video during level four lockdown for their song 'Zero', and Robinson said it was "really important to keep the momentum going".
"I think it's a rare thing to have five guys who are all on the same page, and all with the same musical goals.
"You've got to keep the fire burning, and we're really hungry to keep things going."
Robinson said the New Zealand music industry "could be completely different" once the Covid-19 threat had subsided.
"Music venues and bars everywhere will be struggling right now, so who knows what will still be open when a tour does eventually get lined up.
"It would be great to be able to help those places that have supported us over the years, even with something like a fundraising gig."
"At the end of the day, we're all in this together."