It's fall of 2012 during our first bus tour, and I will not vomit at the radio promo event in Birmingham. Oh, the parade of double whiskies last night sure seemed like a good idea and that 4am burrito tasted suspect, but I’m a professional goddammit, a veteran of gastro-intestinal discomfort brought on by imbecilic food choices and I WILL NOT VOMIT AT THE RADIO PROMO EVENT IN BIRMINGHAM.
And I don't, but I sure feel like death. At least I’m not being interviewed: our singer's barely hanging on, his eyes as shiny and glazed as a freshly zambonied hockey rink. In between songs, I duck out into the hallway just in case All Things Must Go and catch my reflection in a framed Maroon 5 poster. I’m wearing a cardigan. I shouldn't be around people.
We play “Sleep.” I’m tasked with half of the call-and-response in the bridge, which Allen Stone Band fans know well. Count sheep! Drink whiskaaaaaay! I sound less thespian and more brain-starved zombie. The station folks are professional to a fault, heaping upon us unwarranted praise while we’re hoping our breath doesn’t smell too horrifically like a frat party.
There’s a time in every touring musician’s career when the candle comes to life and says ok, no more of this burning at both ends bullshit. It's usually not a rock bottom thing, more so a wake up call, and here I am, sitting on the street corner, head in my hands, aware this can’t happen again.
And it hasn't. These days, on the road, I'm the wake up early and do yoga guy. I ride my bike and tour art galleries and shit. I'm that douche. Save for a celebratory tequila shot before we head out on stage, I don't drink on tour. I know, right?! Snoozeville. I don't admit these things to Big Country.
As artists, we define ourselves by our otherness. Sometimes, the most satisfyingly contrarian f-you's being the bright and chipper asshole with a green juice.