Way of the Road

Life isn't always easy when you're on the road. Oneshot inspired by "Happy Home" by Hedegaard

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Life isn't always easy when you're on the road. The endless hours stuck on the highway, your manager yelling at you to get up because you have load-in, making it back to the venue in time for soundcheck. And then the best part of the day: Playing the show. But that was followed by a hoard of demanding fans, that sometimes seemed unstaisfiable. Add little sleep and a horrible diet into the mixture, and you have the tough life called touring.

I can't help it most of the time. I know Eli and JP are having the time of their lives in the front lounge with a couple of members from the other bands and few random people. Because that's the rock'n'roll way of the road. But my nerves get the best of me. It's no fun to have me snarling at the guests, my nails relentlessly scratching my palms. It's better to just stay in the back and hide away for a while.To be honest, social anxiaty isn't the best thing to deal with, when you live on a bus with 16 other people.

Sure these boys, JP, Eli, Dalton and Jake, are my brothers. I don't know where I'd be without them. But the constant precense takes it's toll. It's hard to get any privacy at all.

 

I might be staring out the window, but my laptop is still open on the table, the Skype page evident of a recently ended video conversation. I had talked to my best friend back home for the first time in weeks. She'd told me about Gaffa's shit review of our recent festival appearance. I had frowned but otherwise just brushed it off. That magazine never had anything good to say about our genre of metal, and certainly didn't have any journalists that had any proper knowledge of it.

A magazine would never understand what we've build. I feel like we as a band have build an empire. It's strange to think it all started with the brick of a though, sparked by an emotion. That's what it all boils down to. An emotion. We wanted to portrait feelings and stories through music. As outcasted teenagers, we surely had a lot of rebellion and anger we needed an outlet for. The band became just that to us. I wrote about how people had betrayed me, backstabbed me. Eli wrote about the loneliness and depression, that had pleagued him growing up. JP tended to write a lot about dreams, which was suitble considering he was the most positive out of all of us. And Dalton and Jake wrote about bullying and heartbreak and everything else that comes with being a teenager. We wrote out stories in lyrics and the music levitated the entirety to a whole other level.

Song for song, brick for brick, we builded what we have today. Apperently we weren't the only ones feeling this way. With time our fan base slowly grew, and it turned out a lot of fans could relate to our music. As the years has passed by, I've seen many tattoos inspired by our work, heard countless stories of how our music helped people. We've build an empire and I'm blessed to witness it every night.

Being on stage, playing a show, is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I always get a little nervous before shows, because let's be honest, it's nervewrecking. But I know JP is always there, ready give me his reassuring smile and pat on the back. That's just what he does. Considering the year's we've been playing music together, he has learned it works on me. Also we both know that the nerves are completely out the window as soon as we step on stage. It's always Jake first, he has to get behind his drums. But then it's JP, Dalton and I. The yelling from the crowd starts as soon as the lights go down. But the roar of the fans first really hit you once you go out there in front of them. It's like breaking through a wall of sound and all those nerves are left behind it. Instead it's replaced with a fire in your heart. The warmth of a spark and a stronge surge of electricity. Sometimes I have to stop and just stare over the crowd. All these people came to see us, to hear our music and scream our songs back at us. It's mindblowing. I will admit I've shred a tear or two on stage once or twice. This is the magnitude of the empire we've build.

So screw what magazines say. Screw what the haters say. They don't know what we're about. They don't know us and they don't know the life we lead.

They don't know how tough it is. This is a risky industry and the pressure that comes with it, is draining. I'm sitting here in the back of a bus, I haven't been home or seen my family and friends in almost two months, I don't know when I can fix laundry again, and I don't know when I'm going to get a moment of complete silence and isolation. It all seems unbelivebly far away right now. Maybe it's my anxiaty getting the best of me. But try this, try travelling from city to city, living out of a suitcase for the majority of the year. It's hard.

Of course it has it's perks. The fans, the shows, the music, the travelling. But.. Life isn't the same once you start touring.

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