Interview with Ben Glover of The Orphan Brigade

With COVID-19 affecting both sides of the Atlantic, we caught up with Irish songwriter Ben Glover of The Orphan Brigade who is now based in Nashville, USA.

With the COVID19 pandemic taking hold across the globe, Folk and Tumble took time out to speak to the musicians and promoters who though no fault of their own have found themselves out of work and facing uncertain futures. This time around, we catch up with songwriter and member of The Orphan Brigade, Ben Glover.

FT: Like many musicians at the minute, you are sitting at home having had your main source of income taken away from you through no fault of your own. How does that sudden loss affect you financially and mentally?

BG: I am very disappointed that our Orphan Brigade tour had to be cancelled. We were really looking forward to the shows. It’s a little unnerving right now. There is a great deal of uncertainty for everyone and we just have to keep looking forward to the day when we are on the other side of this. I’m in the US right now and as there are so many travel restrictions in place I’m not sure when I’ll get home next. That feeling of being cut off is not a pleasant one.

FT: The Orphan Brigade was due to go out on tour in The Netherlands and Ireland in March and April. Are you busy trying to reschedule?

BG: We were supposed to be kicking off the tour in The Netherlands this week and instead we’re locked inside the house in Nashville. It’s always very tough when a tour is pulled as so much planning with agents and promoting the shows has gone on for months prior. We are in contact with promoters to reschedule the shows and hope they can happen later in the year or early 2021.

FT: As a self-employed musician are you able avail of any support measures for loss of income?

BG: There are several organizations here in Nashville who are offering support. Being in a city that is built around the music industry I’m reminded how many people are now without income. Aside from the artists and players, you have to consider the bus drivers, the sound crews, the booking agents, managers… You name it and they are without a way to make a living right now.

FT: The Orphan Brigade has a long-standing association with Italy. Have you heard from friends and colleagues over there about how they are coping?

BG: Yes, we are keeping in touch with our friends over there. Several of them talked about how it’s affected them and it’s such a sad situation. We talk a lot about the economy and the change in our way of lives but also the genuine fear about the potential loss of loved ones and the emotional state of living through what they have experienced.

FT: What can people do to support musicians like yourself through this difficult time?

BG: Any way that people can buy merch, albums, streams our records and add us to playlists is greatly appreciated.

FT: Thanks for your time, stay safe and I hope to see you on the other side before too long.

BG: Cheers. Take care everyone and see you all down the road when this all passes.