Add some more miles to the spedometer, more bags under the eyes, more laudry to the pile, more songs to the set, more friends in our hearts, and more broken strings, sticks, and hair-ties than we care to count.
And you know what? We wouldn’t have it any other way.
There really is something special about being on the road, whether it’s doing months and months of arenas all around the world (which we know nothing about), or doing a week of small bars, chauffered in a van that defies all logic by actually starting (which we DO). It’s a road trip with your closest friends, your oldest family, and your most dedicated co-workers. It’s a journey of not one destination, but a thousand, and at each one, you put your passion, your soul, and your dreams on trial. There never really is a gig that “doesn’t count” (anyone who says otherwise is lying: to you, and worse, to themselves). If you love to play or sing or perform or all of the above, and you get a chance to do that for even one person, why take that for granted?
Since we had spent so long in the studio in 2016 to write and record our new, upcoming EP, we gave up most of our chances to spend any extended time playing shows. It was frustrating, but paid off in a record we could be fully satisfied and proud of, and we can’t wait to tour it. We don’t regret locking ourselves away, as being in a rock band can be a study of extremes. You must be as extroverted as a preacher, and as introverted as a monk. Have every card in the pack, but keep ’em all up your sleeve, ready to call, “GIN!”.
This last jaunt wasn’t our longest, just a zig-zag around Western Canada, and over to Vancouver Island, but it certainly was one of our most fun and satisfying. When we’re not in the studio or on the road, we’re rehearsing…CONSTANTLY (just ask our family, friends, and significant others!), so when we hit the road with a touch of tour rust, anxious to shake it off, it’s incredibly gratifying to see and hear the band consistently tighter, the riffs/fills/vocals easier to manage, and more muscle memory taking the place of strained concentration. It can be a struggle at times, but when the playing/performance payoffs finally come, the stress melts away, the band gets more relaxed, and it’s FUN again! Not to say it wasn’t before, but, to quote Malcolm Young, “When the band’s really cookin’, those are the moments that are the real magic.” Even with more responisibilies, worries, and considerations offstage, being ONSTAGE has never felt so gosh-darn free…
Ahhh…sorry, I’m drifting.
Of course, a good band can only make the show so good. You need a great crowd, great sound, a great room, and great bands with which to share the stage. Fortunately, this last tour had all four in spades. Honestly, we’ve been a pretty lucky bunch of longhairs to have been working with so many great bands, promoters, rooms, sound techs, radio stations, and crowds to play in front of, that it’s a disservice to place them in those different groups. It’s much more accurate to just say we’ve been blessed with a lot of wonderful friends. However, if you spend enough time away, locked in recording booths, there’s always the nervous feeling they’ll feel hurt by your disappearance, and forget. Even if there’s no good reason for the feeling and it’s only the metaphysical size of an atom, it’s there.
Not our friends, though. I can’t fully convey the feeling it gives us when we see the loving faces of our friends, just excited to see us again, in all the towns we make our rock n’ roll pilgrimages (you people are beautful, I’m not just saying that, you REALLY ARE). Add to that all the new faces and friends we met, and you have rooms full of energy, love, and music, enough to convince you not only that Rock will never die, but also to beg the question, “What kind of idiot would even say that in the first place?”
Yea, maybe the road is a hard place. We knew that when we started, I think everyone does. It costs money, takes years, adds wrinkles, and does a number on everyone’s hearts, minds, and bodies.
And you know what? We can’t wait to do it again.