Betty X Talks New Music, Industry, Covid
Photo Credit: Bandcamp
“I had been paying attention to the videos that were released on Twitter from China, so I knew something could hit our shores back in January, but I was trying to be optimistic,” she said.
“But by March, I knew SXSW would be canceled, I heard rumors beforehand. I know many were hopeful that the pandemic would be contained by the time May hit for the South American tour, but I wasn’t so sure. I really had my doubts. I was excited to see my friends again, but it wasn’t meant to happen.”
And by May COVID cases were skyrocketing and lockdowns were in place across the country.
Betty’s personal musical projects haven’t been as severely affected because she records in her home studio. And without tours or live shows to perform, she says she has had more time to hyper-focus on writing and recording.
“I even managed to record a few guest vox in other projects that I wouldn’t normally have had time for otherwise,” she mentioned, referring to backing vocals for a Mary’s Window song titled, “Third Rail Rhyme” with Matthew Clark (The Joy Thieves) and Ania Tarnowska of I Ya Toyah.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, Betty also provided backing vocals and growls for Deathline International’s “Troops of Tomorrow” (of which, all proceeds are going to ACLU) with Christian Petke, Jello Biafra, and Christopher Hall of Stabbing Westward.
“Now is the time to focus on writing/recording vs live shows/touring,” Betty said, who stays connected to fans via Patreon, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Although she has expressed that social media can be toxic, she says being online in itself is not an issue, it’s how you chose to use this medium/platform.
“Using it to tear down others, by trolling or harassing them, is not acceptable. To connect with others, Livestream shows, share music and new videos are what social media was intended for; connection, not division,” she said.
”I think people can take this time to reach deep into the creative process and focus on collaborations as well as their own art. I know this has been hard on a lot of music venues and musicians, and some may not survive it — but once the dust settles, more venues will open up again and the music will go on.”
Some artists like many others are struggling under the weight of stress from our current events and find it hard to be productive right now. Betty said that since the pandemic removed distractions, it has helped her focus on the recording process. Although she said some days, the constant barrage of negativity from the news and the incessant bickering online, and the endless barrage of people spewing racist and misogynistic rhetoric can make a person lose faith in humankind and put a damper on creativity.
“But that’s when it’s important to connect to other creative individuals that want to improve society, not just be a drain on it,” she added. “It’s extremely important to have a support group of friends, and other artists/musicians.”
The entertainment industry was the first to take a hit by the pandemic and will likely be the last to recover, and Betty X says she has seen musicians become unhinged because they are unable to perform. She has also witnessed some trying to take advantage of musicians during the pandemic saying, “There’ve been a lot of predatory venues demanding that musicians perform for free during this pandemic, which is an all-new twist on playing for EXPOSURE!”
“The ones that are thriving are using this time to collaborate and record new music,” She added. “Especially music for charity, like Christian Petke of Deathline International with his new song “Troops of Tomorrow”. I was honored that he asked me to join his all-star line-up for an uplifting revolutionary song, addressing the Black Lives Matter movement.”
“I think it is important for musicians to acknowledge that we are all in this together, perhaps six feet apart, but still in this together,” Betty expressed.
Photo Credit: Bandcamp