Touring Well with Mike Hall
What do you always do before you go onstage?
I always get very nervous when there's about an hour a half to go before the show. This used to freak me out - I'd want to go home and go to bed. But understanding this helps me get to 30 minutes before showtime, when I'm keen to get up and share the tunes with an audience.
I have tuning/warm up routines sometimes, but I really just enjoy the band camaraderie before a performance. I try to hang out with the band in this time and be present. Sounds cheesy, but I try to notice how lucky I am to be doing what I love.
How many days in a row can you perform? - before your voice/body needs a break.
I would play every night if I could, but it kind of depends more on travel between each show/ whether you're flying over datelines etc. Most recently touring Europe and NZ, 5 or 6 days in a row with a day off seems to be the norm and really a great way to try and enjoy at least one new city in every 6.
What hacks do you have to make sure you get enough rest?
I really enjoy running, so even if it's just 10-15 minutes that I have, if I can get out, it means a better quality sleep and just a less grumpy person in the van. I like to try to have a run as soon as I land if flying.
I also have learnt to sleep on planes better, but sudoku is a go to of mine too...to do something and then sleep. I like maths.
If eating a balanced diet is important to you, how are you able to find healthy options while you are touring?
Clinkage (rider leftovers). Make sure the rider is good, take those silver lined shopping bags and some freezer blocks and load them up after the show. Take all the fruit. Drink water, eat less lollies. These are my challenges.
Sometimes the dietary stuff is dictated by time or per diems, but if the clinkage from the night before doesn't have the healthier stuff, there'll be a supermarket.
What do you enjoy most about touring?
I love playing music with different people; and learning about it in an environment where there's an opportunity to get better quickly, which is what happens by default playing every night.
The team vibe on tour is really cool. Being a bass player, I think the idea of being like a team brings out the best in a lot of musical projects.
I love sharing music with an audience, the immediate response from that audience, and trying to do a great song justice.
When I'm on tour the places you get to visit are great, but there's often not much time to sightsee. So the coolest thing is playing regularly, sharing the stage with good friends and meeting awesome people from all over the world.