Touring Well With Julia Deans
We talked to Julia Deans about her tips for touring on the road!
What do you always do before you go onstage?
i always do some stretching/yoga exercises & gentle vocal warm ups. if i'm playing solo i try & find a few minutes by myself to focus, and if i'm with my band we'll have a little huddle to connect with each other before hitting the stage.
How many days in a row can you perform? - before your voice/body needs a break.
i find 3 or 4 in a row is good, it means you can really get on a roll. but 5 or more is tough. rest is important - not just from singing, but speaking too. venues can be loud environments, and talking/shouting above the noise is incredibly taxing on your voice.
What hacks do you have to make sure you get enough rest?
naps! especially in the van. when we were touring all the time, i got so good at napping in the tour van that hopping into any moving vehicle would make me feel drowsy. planning your touring schedule to avoid super early departures after a late night is a must, where possible. and trying to include a little dinner/downtime between soundcheck and show also helps, but often these things are unavoidable, so you just have to suck it up and nap in the van. also, no parties on "school" nights.
If eating a balanced diet is important to you, how are you able to find healthy options while you are touring?
eating well is essential. touring takes a lot of energy, so you need to be treating your body right. buying fresh fruit, veg & nuts etc to snack on helps, and not just eating junk food and loading up on sugar. in all honesty though, there are sooooo many more options now for quick, healthy & tasty eats than when i first started touring (back in the dark ages). vegetarian options were often chips or a cheese sandwich, and lord help you if you were vegan or gluten intolerant! "vegetarian? oh, but you eat bacon/chicken, right?"
What do you enjoy most about touring?
playing shows, getting to spend quality time with friends - the friendships you form with your band members are unlike any others. i also love meeting new people as we travel, and exploring new places. seeing the world from the insides of cars, bars, and touring vehicles can get monotonous, so i try as much as possible to go for a walk around wherever i'm playing, even if it's just for ten minutes. i've been a touring musician for more than half my life now. it's definitely not always been easy, but it's still the thing i most love to do.
Julia Deans (Fur Patrol Reunion) at Bodega, Wellington 18 June 2016. Photo by Stella Gardiner Photography
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