Touring Well With Israel Starr
We talk to Israel Starr about his touring tips for on the road.
What do you always do before you go onstage?
Before I go on stage we always have a prayer with whoever is on the road with us including the sound tech, road manger and other artists & DJ's. This give us purpose and reminds us why we do what we do. Right before I go on I will pace around the green room singing to warm my voice up, have a little dance. If after that my voice feels a little rough I will sip a little cough syrup, honey or throat lozenge.
How many days in a row can you perform? - before your voice/body needs a break.
My voice is normally not too bad doing consecutive days in a row. I think the most I've done is 6 day/nights in a row. You shouldn't have problems with your voice unless you are using it incorrectly on stage. But for me it's sleep. After even the second show going onto the third I can already start feeling my rest levels are not right and I need a good 8 hours sleep.
What hacks do you have to make sure you get enough rest?
This is a hard one for me personally. I either need 5 solid hours sleep to function or anything over 8. I find that if it's anything in between I'm struggling the day after. The only real hack I have for getting a good rest is to go straight to bed after the show and don't go out partying which is hard for a lot of us. Normally the shows finish about 1 or 2am then there's debrief and pack down which won't finish until 2.30-3am which means you won't get back to bed until after 3am. Then you have to wake up at 9am to check out at 10 and then repeat this all over again the next night. So if you want to get enough rest, save the big party to the last night of tours and try to get back to your accommodation asap to get to bed.
If eating a balanced diet is important to you, how are you able to find healthy options while you are touring?
Being on the road can be hard if you are not disciplined. A lot of times you are stopping off at gas stations and bakeries because you don't have time for a proper breakfast or lunch. But it all comes down to choice. You can choose to get a pie at the gas station or a banana and protein bar. But in saying that if the promoter is responsible for feeding you the whole time you are on the road then they will want to save as much money as possible and if you have a large touring group then fish and chips is the most cost effective, quickest and most filling option. On the Runtingz tour we have a Rastaman 'DJ Messenjah' who is completely vegan so we stop off at a super market as soon as we land. He is very disciplined so sometimes I follow him and buy fruits and snacks for the road.
What do you enjoy most about touring?
As stressful as touring can be it's always a pleasure just hanging out with my muso brothers and sisters on tour. A lot of the time it can feel like an awesome road trip that non musician folk only do in the summer time... but we do all year round. Also travelling to different countries and seeing the sights of that city, town or country. One of my main goals when I first started music was to try make music pay for me to travel around the world and it's done just that.
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