In this Preshow Rituals segment, the indie pop band, Arkells, reveals what they do before taking the stage. You can check out the story, after the break.
I have more of a daily routine when we’re on tour than when I’m at home. There’s more structure to the day, which is nice.
I typically don’t eat anywhere before 3-4 hours before the show. We’re a pretty active band and it isn’t as enjoyable if it feels like you just had a big meal before we hit the stage.
If I’ve been up early doing press, I usually require a 20-30 nap around 5 or 6 pm after soundcheck. One of the greatest luxuries of touring on a bus is having that quiet space in your bunk when you need it. I am an expert at knocking out a 20-minute nap. Champion napper.
If you’re in a van it’s much harder time to find those moments of reprieve.
Before the show, I warm up my voice. I used to wander around the neighbourhood with my headphones on listening to a guided vocal warm-up from my teacher, which was really helpful. But more recently we’ve been doing communal warm-ups in the dressing room. We’ll have the acoustic guitar back there and sing along to Beatles songs, and any other classic tune we know the lyrics to. It’s a great way to feel connected to the group and loosen up.
Nick does some pretty intense stretching throughout the day – he’s had some back and neck issues so it’s important he stays limber. Tim has a warm-up pad that he starts drumming on about 45 minutes before the show to get him loose. Tony also stretches.
Right before we hit the stage we always do a hands-in. I gather the gang, and then ask Mike “what we’re doing tonight.” The cheer is always different and is usually relevant to the city we’re in, or something topical happening in the news. I wish we had a list of all of our cheers because I doubt we’d be able to remember the meaning behind 90% of them.
Then we hit the stage and have a good time.
If we’re lucky, there’s hot pizza waiting in the dressing room when we come off the stage.
(photo credit: Nathan Nash)