Tell us about your tour vehicle. Any notable breakdown stories?
We’re in a recent transition, but here’s a brief history. I started touring in a Mazda Protege hatchback when there were just two of us, then moved to a Ford Windstar Minivan when we could tour as a 4 piece band. It frequently needed repairs on the front end due to rust. Luckily, we only got stranded once (dead battery). The biggest problem was that we couldn’t fit everything we really needed for proper touring. I couldn’t even bring a suitcase with me, just a small backpack. No back-up guitars or extra merch.
After a lot of searching, I recently found us a 12 passenger Ford Transit. The day we got it home, I went to move the old minivan to a different parking spot and it wouldn’t start.
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
It’s hard. I’m a big snacker. We try to keep things like nuts, veggies and hummus, and hard boiled eggs in a small cooler, and eat one bigger meal for dinner. Sometimes we flip-flop that, and have a big breakfast, which is my favorite meal! I’m also prone to getting “hangry” so I keep protein bars in my purse at all times, especially if we can’t eat dinner until after the show.
How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?
I used to have a guitar that broke a lot of strings. Now it’s pretty rare. None broken yet this year. I have a D’addario sponsorship, so that’s a good string hookup. The biggest deal is making sure they’re changed regularly.
Where do you rehearse?
Our main rehearsal space is a 12×15 room in my house that gets great natural light. It’s permanently packed with guitars, amps, a drumset, records, and recording equipment. When we were working on songs for the new album, being able to record our rehearsals played a big part in the pre-production. We once had the cops called on us for being too loud.
What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?
I probably should’ve kept some of those early songs, but I don’t remember them anymore and they were never recorded. I think I was around 13 when I wrote my first one.
Describe your first gig.
It was on an excursion to the local donut shop when I was 14. The owner was showing off a new piano she acquired, and told us if anyone could play for 30 minutes, she’d give them a free box of donuts. I rolled up my sleeves and sat down at the piano. Played for 30 minutes, then ate way too many donuts.
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
I was a nanny for a long time before transitioning into music. I’ll pick up random gigs from time to time when we’re not on tour, but mostly I’m able to focus on playing music for my job, and how to keep doing that. Favorite day job ever? Delivering pizzas.
How has your music-related income changed over the past 5-10 years? What do you expect it to look like 5-10 years from now?
The first time I ever sold a record online was so validating. Every year, things are steadily growing. Sometimes the growth is a lot slower than I’d like. I have to decide, do I stick with it or is it time to get a day job again? But we’re playing better shows, better venues, and getting out on the road more and more. I see a lot of potential for the future, and I’m really enjoying the work right now. It’s a fine line to walk; to be able to grow music income without experiencing burnout.
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
How important it is to not compare yourself to others.