In this Preshow Rituals segment, the singer-songwriter, James Kennedy, reveals what he does before taking the stage.

James Kennedy

In this Preshow Rituals segment, the singer-songwriter, James Kennedy, reveals what he does before taking the stage. You can check out the story, after the break.

When Kyshera would head out to a show, it was more like we were going off to war. Three Spartans en route to the battlefield in a rickety old van, fully loaded with musical weapons of mass destruction. Our pre-show rituals would begin in the van. For a start, it was essential that only the most tragic 80’s cock rock could be blasted on board, accompanied by a reckless consumption of awful service station food (except for Matt, who only ate PROTEEEEEEEIN!) and politically incorrect banter & wind-ups. Booze and smokes? Forget it. That’s for rock bands – WE were going to war – and you can’t fight a war when you’re pissed. Hell, even our intro music was from the ‘Zulu’ movie.
Fully hyped up, psyched up & sugared-up upon arrival – we assess the terrain, weigh up the opposition (which is everyone – the other bands, the audience, innocent bystanders), plot our battle tactics, and mark out our trenches. After soundcheck, in unspoken formation, we each disappear into our own, individual zen-like pre-battle ritual. For Matt, that involves the physical – focused stretching, lunging, lifting & working up a sweat before limbering up on the fretboard & selecting the appropriate wristbands & thrash T-shirt for the night. For me, I go into my silent place. Don’t try to strike a convo with me before a show, I’m not listening. If I’m not warming up my vocals, I’m pacing, frowning, checking stuff, tweaking stuff, preparing stuff & working myself up like a fight dog on a chain (a dog that wears guyliner). And in contrast to mine & Matt’s eagle-eyed centered-ness, Glyn takes the hyper route. Bashing things with drum sticks, singing, roaming, joking around, bouncing off the walls, taking a thousand pictures, making a hundred new mates, and keeping us all fully stocked with the excitable, optimistic faith one must have before one goes into battle.
We didn’t have trinkets, a special drink, a group hug, or a God we prayed to – and we saved the rocking and rolling for the stage and the afterparty. Nope, we didn’t need good luck, all we needed was the unspoken knowledge that we were a well prepared, well-oiled juggernaut with one collective purpose – to smash as many skulls as possible & take no fucking prisoners.

Purchase a copy of James’ book “Noise Damage: My Life as a Rock & Roll Underdog” on Amazon.

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