Hurt’s J. Loren Tells Us How to Prevent ‘Gig Ass’ and More!
Touring is a dirty, dirty business, but it’s also necessary for a band to survive. Hitting a different city every night can be a lot of fun, obviously, as band members take in local culture, meet and make new friends and plant the seeds for their career in that particular market. But it’s also tough to be away from friends and family, so most bands bring along some creature comforts of home. It’s also an easy place to get sick, making survival difficult. That’s why Noisecreep polled Hurt frontman J. Loren on what he absolutely must bring along while on the road.
“The life of a touring musician is a strange one that over the years has forced me to adopt an even more utilitarian approach to my already stringent ‘no frills’ direction in life,” Loren told Noisecreep. “The necessity and practicality of this zealous minimalism has seen me actually downgrade from living out of a suitcase to living out of a backpack for months on end. There will be no cute answers like teddy bears or any of that crap that some musician would say to be entertaining but I will happily share the things that were hard learned, labeled as essential and that I, or any serious musician, MUST bring on tour.”
Aspiring musicians and experienced band dudes, take note, since Loren offers some sage-like wisdom and advice:
Hurt’s sixth studio album, The Crux, is out May 1 on Carved Records, so be sure and check that out, too!
1. Rechargeable razor: Remington makes a good one. There is also a decent small, black model that can be purchased for 15 dollars. Don’t waste your time with the disposable battery versions. Buy the chord chargeable ones. I carry two. Why? Because if you are doing a festival in the middle of a field, powered only by large generators, you are not going to find an AC outlet. Why not just bring straight razors? Good question. Straight and disposable razors are more expensive over time, get you searched by airport security, get bent and rusty (which makes for a bad, bloody and painful shave), require running water or shave dry gel to be used…
2. Vitamins: If you are a singer, you maintain small abrasions in your throat which makes you susceptible to getting the many nasty bugs from the many nice people who love your band enough to make it off their deathbed so that you all could breath the same unventilated air for two hours. And if your show does not prominently display the words ‘Unplugged’ or ‘Special acoustic event,’ you are going to breathe deeply, my friend! Strong alcohol (not beer) does have antiseptic and astringent properties which helps momentarily ward off the ick, but ultimately leaves your immune system weakened. If you smoke as well as drink, you are depleting your body of vitamin C which is pretty much a great way to guarantee you will be hacking up green goo in no time. I like gummy vitamins because I don’t forget to take them since they taste good.
3. Travel sewing kit: “I wonder what those guys from Hurt are doing right now?” Yes, I sew. It’s not just for grannies and stop being sexist! I only sew when I can’t crochet. Ok, you move around, your clothes wear out. You move in odd ways for the sake of your craft (or partial insanity). Pants don’t like “odd ways.” Do you want to stop after your 14-hour minimum day of morning radio, load in, show, meet and greet, then load out and make your entire team wait while you try to find good looking clothes at 4 AM? Gee, I wonder where your going to get clothes at 4 AM. People don’t like their icons to wear the perfectly good and rollback affordable clothes. What’s worse is I have split my pants on stage in front of 20,000-plus people. You’ve gotta suck it up (or in some cases) and finish the show, but for God’s sake! Don’t contemplate going on that way again just because you were too lazy (or proud) to Google “how to sew.”
Watch Hurt’s “How We End Up Alone” Video
4. Hand Sanitizer: I respect my fans and nothing shows respect like a good, firm handshake. It is also horrifically unsanitary and the most contagious practice we have adopted since the spittoon! If the contagions my built-up immune system has (over the many years and sicknesses) learned to suppress were introduced to a small island (like Samoa!) It would, in fact, look like the postcard because there would be no one left alive. I use hand san for your sake, my sake and out of good interest for my crew. Once somebody gets sick on tour the long hours, lack of showers and close quarters will ensure that it truly is the gift that keeps on giving and you don’t know pain until you try to sing your magnum opus with walking double pneumonia.
5. Personal Wipes: Products like Wet Ones, Wet Wipes and similar are an absolute necessity. I’m not going to go into vivid detail about their multi-use emergency roadside stop capability but as for the not so obvious: If you’ve read all this, you are starting to get the gist about how absolutely filthy you stay on the road. It is conceivable to go five days with no shower when you are seeking one. You sweat profusely and it accumulates into something not quite yet sentient that is quaintly known in the industry as “gig ass.” You don’t want that. Use the wipes and make some attempt to be considerate to the poor bastards who have to sit next to you on your 1000-mile trip to the next sweatfest and make sure to love what you do because the only way to make yourself a small fortune in the music industry is to invest a large one.
Pre-order up Hurt’s The Crux at this link.