Days of Rona: Igor Sidorenko of Stoned Jesus

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

stoned jesus igor sidorenko

Days of Rona: Igor Sidorenko from Stoned Jesus (Kyiv, Ukraine)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

Hey, Igor’s here! Thanks, we’re all in good health for now. The main problem logistics-wise is that our drummer Dima lives in Kharkiv, which is like 400 miles away from Kyiv, where the rest of the band is located (me and Sergii). We haven’t seen each other in person for months. So basically I’m sending new-song ideas to the guys and then we discuss those online -– long live the internet, amirite? We’ve already lost some money on the postponed March tour flights and other stuff. We should’ve had FIVE more legs of our Xth Anniversary Tour this year — including US and Canada for the first time ever and South America for the first time in three years. Then there was studio time booked for fifth LP’s recording sessions… now we’re splitting this money to make it at least till summer. What’s next –- no one knows.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Not strict enough, unfortunately. I mean, thankfully the authorities closed all public places like cinemas and cafes, ordered to close most businesses and set some limitations for food stores and public transportation, but the main problem is the regular people. I’m watching them from my window just hanging around like nothing is wrong, and this is driving me mad. For them quarantine means extra vacation, that’s it. STAY INDOORS YOU HACKS!

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

Well, literally 90 percent of everyone I know are in music industry in one way or another, so yeah, every social media feed I follow is filled with people talking about losing their jobs/not being able to rehearse/not being able to tour, etc. Honestly, I think when this thing is over like two-thirds of artists/bands we all know and love won’t be able to bounce back from it. No one understands yet what kind of job a former musician/roadie/tour manager will be able to find in this new terrifying post-covid-19 world, but one thing is certain –- at the end of the day we all need bread on the table. If this means putting your music project on hold in order to concentrate on your day job, so be it. And I’m afraid this is the future for many of us.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

Glad you asked! I’m starting my Patreon channel – – to help StJ survive. As far as I’m concerned this thing [Patreon] is not very popular within doom/stoner/psych-community but this is literally the only way for us to get through this all. Of course I understand there are billions of way more essential things money could buy, and money will be tight for all of us this year. But hey, if you feel like helping –- please join! Also don’t forget to wash your hands and please stay home!!!

(Photo above by Yuri Milchak)

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