An epic photo commemorating my last night in the UK with Lord Huron. Left to right: Tom (LH guitar), Paul (LH drums), Ben (LH tour manager), me, Ben (LH lead), Tim (my good friend+guitarist), Miguel (LH bass), Karl (LH bass) and Tom (my tour manager). Such a good group of people. Now onto Berlin! (at The Deaf Institute)
I’d like to put it on the record that this has been the funnest tour I’ve ever been on. No offense, America. My nationwide tour was pretty great. The shows were so much fun to play. But I did a lot of things poorly on that last tour that I’ve been careful to not repeat on this one.
For one, I haven’t over-commited. I made too many promises to too many people on the last run. That meant a lot of time in the car working and a lot of disappointing people despite my best efforts. I was just overwhelmed, and I ended up running out of steam pretty early on in the tour. We carried on and put on a good show, but it wasn’t easy. This tour has been lightyears better: I feel far more balanced, far more at peace, far happier in general.
The second big change is the amount of friends I’ve been surrounded by. As soon as I arrived, I was welcomed by an old college mate, Jessica, who graciously let Tim and me crash at her place while we were there. I can’t tell you how great it was to start off the tour in someone’s home rather than a hotel, and getting to see London through her eyes was magical. I couldn’t have hoped for a better time (or better food).
I have really good friends. Tim Wood, my guitarist, is first and foremost an amazing friend. Finding someone to replace Ryan on this tour was a pretty daunting task. Because aside from being a phenomenal guitarist, Ryan was one of my best friends. I’d never been on the road without loved ones, and I really didn’t want to be. The road is hard enough without people who genuinely care about you and who you care about. I knew I wasn’t ready for that.
Ryan couldn’t make it because of family commitments and because he needed to spend some time working on some of his own projects. Oh, also, did I mention that I wasn’t the easiest person to be on the road with on the last tour? Something about doing interviews all the time, and playing shows, and talking to fans, and writing blogs and editing videos can make one quite narcissistic. It’s a struggle for me. When you’re so focused on the show and the tour, it’s easy to forget that there are other people who you should be caring about. That’s not to say that I was a total bitch or anything. I just wasn’t particularly attentive to other people’s needs, and I’d like to think that I’ve been better at it since then.
So yeah. Lesson learned. Friends are the most important. And that’s something I should have been more aware of, especially considering the amount of Harry Potter books I’ve read. Oh Harry…always trying to defeat the Dark Lord all by yourself…silly boy.
So here are some useful tips for you, in conclusion:
-Prioritize the people you love over your work.
-Don’t drive eight hours/day if you can avoid it.
-Don’t make too many promises. It’s important to know your limits.
-Eat lots of good food.
-Stop forgetting your toiletry case in every town you stay in. You need those things.
-Surround yourself with people who build you up.
-Be on time. It matters to someone.
Hope to see you all again soon. And thanks to everyone who’s been supporting me on Patreon and voted for “Long Running Joke” to be on the radio. You guys are the best.
A polaroid from my last trip to Europe…Oh how the years go by. (Amy Grant, anyone?)
A EUROPEAN TOUR
I’m coming to EUROPE!!! Can you believe it?!?!
Yeah. Me neither.
Honestly, I still can’t fathom that I will in the UK in LESS THAN A WEEK - touring across England, Scotland, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and France. I mean…it’s wild. But the album has been getting some great press over there, so this seemed like the next logical step. Despite what you may believe, I’m not only doing this for the food. Sure, croissants and high tea factored into my decision, but it’s mostly about the music. Or at least 49% about the music.
So here’s where I’ll be playing:
5/13 Cambridge, UK - Junction 2 with Lord Huron Buy Tickets
5/14 London, UK - Scala with Lord Huron Buy Tickets
5/15 London, UK - Slaughter Lamb with Lord Huron
5/16 Nottingham, UK - Rescue Rooms Buy Tickets
5/17 Bristol, UK - Thekla Buy Tickets
5/18 Leeds, UK - Brudenell Socail Clu with Lord Huron Buy Tickets
5/20 Birmingham, UK - Hare & Hounds with Lord Huron Buy Tickets
5/21 Newcastle, UK - The Cluny with Lord Huron Buy Tickets
5/22 Glasgow, UK - King Tuts with Lord Huron Buy Tickets
5/23 Manchester, UK - Deaf Institute with Lord Huron Buy Tickets
5/26 Berlin, Germany - Privateclub Buy Tickets
5/27 Hamburg, Germany - Prinzenbar Buy Tickets
5/28 Belgium, Brussels - Botanique Buy Tickets
5/29 Rotterdam, Netherlands - De Unie Buy Tickets
5/30 Paris, France - La Maroquinerie with Josh Rouse Buy Tickets
A REVOLUTIONARY PROJECT
Today Jack released an EP and launched a website designed to help artists and content creators. It’s called Patreon (pronounced Pay-tree-on), and it’s kind of like Kickstarter, but instead of funding one big project, it allows artists to have a constant stream of support, based on how prolific they are.
Jack is giving his EP away for free, but asking that his superfans commit to giving him one dollar per video he releases. So if he makes two videos, they’ll pay two dollars, and if he makes no videos, they pay no dollars. Makes sense, right? Here’s a video we made that explains in more detail how it works. (I’m the one drawing the stick people.)
On my Patreon page, you’ll see that I’m offering my fans demos in exchange for their patronage. Being on the road has inspired me to write more, and I’m looking forward to sharing my new material with whoever wants to hear it. There’s a good chance that many of the songs I’m writing now won’t end up on my next album, so it’s comforting to know that they will be heard by someone. My hope is that sharing these demos will help me be a more prolific and focused writer. That I will be able to finish many of the songs that would have otherwise been forgotten or set aside. And that in the end, I will have a better idea of which songs to include on the album, based on my fans’ insight and constructive feedback.
Thanks again for your support. Here’s to Europe and to all the songs this trip will inspire!
No mug could hide my giddiness over this upcoming tour. I’m working on routing right now. Figuring out which of my childhood friends’ couches I will be crashing on between London and Berlin.
At airport, on my way to LA for shows tonight and tomorrow. Natalydawn.tumblr.com/tour Just had a conversation with an old dude while going through security. Here’s how it went:
“What kind of guitar do you play?”
“I play drums in a band.”
“Oh what kind of band?”
“The Doobie Brothers.”
Just wanted to let you know I’ve got some live shows coming up soon! So if you’re in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, the UK or northern Europe, you will want to check out my TOUR PAGE for ticket links and stuff. TIME TO GET PSYCHED!!!