I'm sorry that my "end of tour" blog is a few days late. The second I got home I slept the entire day, only waking up at 8 p.m. to eat some pho soup at my favorite cafe. Then I went back to sleep till noon the next day. I didn't realize how exhausted I was until the machine of tour stopped, and I could reflect, and put my tooth brush out on my bathroom vanity.
You accumulate a lot of stuff on tour. You pack a small bag at the beginning, and at the end, you ship 4 large boxes to your house since it's cheaper than putting them on a plane.
I flew around a lot this tour. I hate air planes. I hate the air on air planes. I hate that you can't move your arms or lean forward at all.
(I apologize in advance for the scrambled way this blog has already begun, and for how it will proceed. My head is still somewhat in a clustercuss, and this blog has no specific purpose. It's merely a document of how I am now, and how tour was, looking back.
I've been on a lot of punk rock tours in my day. I started touring when I was 17.
(Yes, yes...I know, I know. This is where the few cynical douche bag teens get outraged and fly to their twitter formats and say, "She should not have been on The Voice. She was famous! She had experience!" All I can say to them is, maybe if you came into Crumbs cupcakes a year ago in New York, and came up to the counter and said to me, "Yeah, I'll have a mocha, skim milk, no whip cream." Well, maybe you wouldn't be singing the same tune. Yes, I was on MTV for 20 seconds while "The Hills" credits were playing. So that must mean, like, I'm like, rich and famous right? You'd be surprised how bands do financially. But hey, that's another story. But YES, I had and have "experience." Although, to me, the word "Experience" doesn't make me think that I know how to work a crowd of 500, because I'm still learning. To me, "experience" means that I put aside my entire life, gave up countless relationships, did 2 years of school in one so that I could tour early, left my family, gave up on college, put my money into buying my first microphone....Yes, I have "experience." I suppose if you think somebody...maybe a 18 year old person who works at a Dentist's office and just...well...loved to sing and decided to try out for "The Voice," deserves it more than someone who slept in a car when she was 17, traveling the US, playing in bars and houses and garages and parks and anywhere that would listen, deserves it more because that person is "inexperienced," well, touche.
I'm sorry I went off on a tangent. The last thing I ever want to do is come off as a bitter person who is super defensive. It's just bothersome, especially lately, watching other people on the show get grief for "having experience." And I don't want to play the -who deserves it more - game either. Music is beautiful and freeing. I don't care if a girl who's 15 and has never performed anywhere makes it to the big time. If she loves music and cares about her art, she deserves it just as much as the band who's been touring and trying to "make it" for the past 20 years.
Anyway, back to tour. First off, and I'm going to keep this short, I want to truly thank Blake Shelton for taking me and the band on tour. His support went beyond a reality TV show. He is one of the most genuine people I know. Watching him perform (and his wife, Miranda, who would perform at some dates when she came out to visit), was an incredible experience. They're both so good with a crowd, so passionate about performing and singing and telling stories through song. I am truly lucky and grateful that I got to know them and spend time with them. I will always be forever thankful to them.
(Blake & I on stage after performing "I will," or duet).
Anyway, yes, I have been on a lot of punk rock tours. This was my first country tour.
(Jonathan (bass player) and I getting ready for sound check).
I've never had more doors opened for me than on this tour. I heard this a lot, "Ladies first." It's kind of sad how surprised I was when I heard that, until a week in I got used to it. Most of the people on tour and in the bands are married. They spent their time jamming music and going to the gym and jogging and playing basketball when the weather was nice outside. There were no weird girls around back stage. It was a very classy environment. Something that is not easily come by. I've been on tours where the slimy guitar player from the band we were opening for was doing some chick not less than 2 feet away from me. The only thing keeping me "away" from all that was the tiny covering of my sleeping bag. Did he care or know that I was sleeping in the bus....well, no and yes. He was horny and she was a naive groupie and I was just some band mate that unfortunately had to be sleeping in "his terrority" that night, even though, I would like to think, my bunk should be ...well, my territory, right? So as you can see, there were a lot of times on tour where you feel anything but a lady.
And back then I was too shy and "too cool" to say anything. I didn't want to be the lame tight-wod (I don't think that's a real word) on the bus with all the bands, the person who ruins people's fun, and is like their parents. I was supposed to be cool...and one with "the dudes". I was supposed to drink more whiskey than they could, even though I couldn't at all and didn't like the taste. I didn't want THEM to disapprove of ME, did I? How ironic is that? That Dia is long ago though. If that ever happened again, I think a simple,
"Could you please go have sex with that scandalous broad out by the dumpsters of the venue BEHIND the bus, please, where you belong? Thanks," would do. Hopefully that would embarrass the girl enough that she might think a chance of herpes with her God-like guitar player could wait until she was of legal age.
BUT it seems like I was too afraid and embarrassed to offend HIM...so I kept silent like the shy, soft-spoken wimp that I was. Isn't life funny sometimes?
Anyway, I'm going off again. Needless to say, my first country tour was full of respectful men and women, (I met some awesome girl friends!) and full of musicians just wanting to share music and basketball skills.
I met Kory, Justin Moore's amazing and very young piano player. He just started writing string arrangements and piano for movies. He has the most adorable country accent. (He's from Kentucky). Once I finish some songs, I'm going to send them over and he's going to put piano and strings to them. I cannot wait! He is so incredibly talented. He also gave me his leather jacket when it was cold outside and I was walking to my bus. :) Rare.
There's Roger, Justin Moore's guitar player. I've never seen someone play like him before. Period.
There's Philip, Blake's piano player. Incredible, and the nicest guy ever. He's been married for a year now and gave me relationship advice that I really took to heart. "Timing is everything," he told me one night over my pineapple malibu and his whiskey. "Really, it is. Especially in the music business when you're traveling and working all the time. You've got to wait for the right timing. Then everything falls into place."
There's Gwen, whom some of you saw on "The Voice." Well, Blake took her on to be his back up singer for the tour. She is AMAZING, and I know will not be a back up singer much longer, although her and Blake's voices together sound like honey.
I could go on and on. Rob...what a bass player! Jenee....fiddle....always the sweetest person. Kevin, Blake's tour manager, who always made sure we were fed, had enough shower towels, and water bottles.
Let's just say, there wasn't ONE person on that tour whom I didn't love. What a classy group of people.
Then there's my band. The band I've been with for 6 years. Being with 11 people in one bus for 3 months can get very tiresome. Imagine NO privacy...literally. And it can really get the best of you, or at least it did for me. I'd be doing my vocal warm ups literally in the bathroom, since someone was playing nintendo in the front lounge, and Nick was doing drum pattern warm ups in the green room, and our tour manager was in the back lounge I-chatting with his girlfriend in Japan while printing out set lists and advancing shows. Most of the time the showers were gang showers, which was tiresome and somewhat difficult for my sister and I.
"Hey...anyone out there?" I would call from inside the large shower room with 10 shower heads.
"Well, I'm coming out to get my underwear. Close your eyes or you'll see stuff you don't wanna!"
So I'd run out in the little towel, that sometimes barely covered my bum, and grab my clothes. (There was no dry surface to set clothes in the shower room), and head back in.
But that's when you've got to have a positive attitude about things. (Something, that I admit, I didn't do very well consistently. I have a tendency to let stress and anxiety swallow me up and skew my perspective on things).
That's when I'd turn on all ten shower heads super hot until the room steamed up and start singing songs from "Wicked" really loud. I'd go dancing around in the fog, going from one shower head to the next, soap running into my eyes, and sing, "You can still be with the wizard! You can have all you everrrr wwwannnted!"
Which brings me to another thing I hate about tour. Clothes. I don't mean this in a perverted way at all, but one of the most freeing things about being in your own apartment, is the freedom to walk around and cook eggs and toast in the morning in your underwear. To sleep in your undies. I can't stand sleeping in clothes. My shirt crumples up underneath me, or it tightens in my arm pit as I turn on my side, etc. Yuck. I hate it. I've decided that whoever sleeps IN clothes is weird, and is not to be trusted.
I learned that I've got to chill out a little bit. If we had to go into a radio station in the morning at 8 a.m. I stressed out about it the whole previous day.
It's an 8 a.m. performance...that means I'll have morning voice unless I wake up at 6 a.m. and start warming up...but I don't get to sleep till 2 a.m. usually, so that means I won't get any sleep at all and then I'll have more morning voice. And they want me to sing THAT song...that songs more challenging then others..and it's so early. They're going to think it sounds weird acoustic!
And so on and so forth goes my brain. I hope someday that I can start to care less what others think, and just do my thing. Just be me. I know Blake would be ashamed, if after all that he taught me, I didn't pick up on that! He has such a love of life and people. He doesn't care what people think of him. He said it once, something like, "I've always been who I am...and now that more people are taking notice of me, it's like...some people want me to change, but no, that doesn't make any sense to me. I'm going to stay how I am." (Don't quote me on that! I can't remember exactly how he said it! All I can remember is how it hit me.)
Well, I have to go now, cause I have to take my dog to get her nails trimmed and her teeth brushed. (My mom's dog that is). So, I don't really know how to formally end this weird, random blog. I'm sorry for how unorganized my thoughts are. I think it'll take me a few more weeks to get myself a little bit centered. It's time for me to practice Korean with my mom. Take my dog on daily walks. Start writing songs and short stories again. Re-draft my novel. Get back into shape and into yoga classes. Cook. Catch up on movies and TV series.
I really cannot wait to write a song again though. I really burnt myself out while writing "RED." I feel like my well of creativity was running dry for a long while there. But I'm starting to feel it again.... it's that moment when I realize, "Hey, I have something to say...." that a song starts building up inside of me. I'm not going to take this baby to any big time producers or let another song writer "fix" the chorus and make it bigger. I'm just going to write it for me, on my acoustic guitar, and save it in my journal for when the next record comes along. I'm not going to let anyone touch this one.
Now reading: Ishmael by Daniel Quinn (for the 2nd time)
Last watched: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (I'd give it 4 stars, even though I don't think I could watch it again...it made me feel kind of sick inside).
Last cooked: Korean burdock root, kimchi, lotus root, and seaweed soup
Last called: Jonathan (bass player) to ask him about relationship advice
Last shopped: Yesterday. I got 2 outfits for my twin sisters birthday coming up soon. I also took them to get their brows and lips waxed...it was a ...slightly painful birthday present. But hey, it's never too early to teach good hygiene.
Last craved: Lemon custard from my favorite spot in Utah
Need to do: Clean my room. Do my laundry. Finish my painting of the women on the beach with their umbrellas. (I really like Jack Vettriano paintings so I'm copying one!)
Get a frame for my Tim Burton "Stain boy" poster. Shave my legs. (It's been 3 weeks). Clean my sink and toilet. Buy floss and face wash. Garden my plants!