The Cars' Elliot Easton On COVID Pandemic: 'I'm Not Going To Die Of Stupid'


The Cars' Elliot Easton says his friends and family have so far been spared the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn't mean he's making plans to tempt fate.

In a recent conversation with Q104.3 New York's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke, Elliot explained that his band The Empty Hearts — featuring Blondie's Clem Burke, The Romantics' Wally Palmar and The Chesterfield Kings' Andy Babiuk — was conceived with live performing in mind.

Live shows not being an option has taken the wind out of the sails of the band's Second Album LP, but Elliot says there's no point in fighting the imperative for social distancing or looking for a work-around. There's too much to lose.

"I'm optimistic. You know, my feeling about the whole this is I'm not gonna die of stupid. You know what I mean?" Elliot says. "All these people just kicking against the stable door and trying to argue with a virus and, like, protest a germ, it seems so idiotic to me. We're just staying in. We listen to the doctors and the scientists and our own hearts and brains and do what's within our comfort level. That's what everybody does. Our comfort level right now is to stay in and be safe and make music as best we can."

Elliot and Burke formed The Empty Hearts around the idea that the band be a joyous musical detour and a fresh start for all the members involved. They would get together and celebrate their earliest influences from the '50s and '60s and not worry so much about the business side of the music.

"I thought that was a great concept, just kind of play the stuff we love and that we grew up on and share all of our common influences," he recalled. "From there it just kind of went the way bands go; you start sharing ideas...and then all of the sudden you're sort of writing together. And we get together and play and hammer out these song ideas and polish them off into songs."

When the pandemic subsides, Elliot says the Empty Hearts will find some time to play live again.

"The goal was always to just get out there and have a ball playing, so it's kind of ironic I guess that we have this new record out that some people seem to like quite a bit and we're very proud of. We'd love to get back out there and play in front of people, but we can't right now."

Watch the full, wide-ranging conversation in the video player above!

Listen to The Second Album here. Connect with The Empty Hearts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Listen to The Empty Hearts' "If I Could Change Your Mind" via the player below!