Monday, November 16, 2009

Genie Vocalist of Gather

I met Genie from going to shows/ being on tour throughout 2008/09, we've kept in touch and I'm excited to be friends with a person who has so much passion and energy. We never really get to hangout much in person due to always just being at a show, but the ideas and reasons transcend a show, so we've kept in touch. Sometimes you just feel really comfortable with certain people and you feel like communication is just there Genie is one of those people so I decided to ask her some questions about getting in that van.

1. Biggest thing you stress about while you are on tour and why?

I’m going to answer these questions based on my experience singing in Gather since my new band hasn’t done too much touring really.

Losing my voice was the biggest source of stress on tour. I developed vocal cord nodules a little before going to Europe in 2006 and I lost my voice after day two of a month long tour there and have never recovered since. At some shows I made our bassist, Randy, sing for us. Other shows I faked it the whole time and didn’t even sing into the mic, and often I couldn’t talk at all after shows which was really isolating because on tour I love meeting new people and talking to them! It still bums me out to no end that I have such problems when I attempt to sing or even talk now. So now I’m playing guitar, and it’s so much less stressful except for the part about me not knowing shit about guitar.

2. Personal space is limited on tour, being stuck in a van for hours at a time, and then having to be at a venue, housing with the same people for durations of time, what are some situation's that have risen from these constant surroundings and how do you deal with them?

For the MOST part, we’re all very close so we got along on tour and it wasn’t a big problem. But there were definitely times I got annoyed, like when Randy would wear super short shorts with no underwear and try to climb into the loft above me, oblivious that his balls were in my face, having not showered for days… Or when we toured with 7 Generations and Chris (singer of 7G) and my brother (drummer of Gather) almost got into a fist fight over bathroom breaks and Chris yelled at me when I tried to calm them down... Times like that made cringe when I’d count how many days we still had left on tour. But I’d just bust out a book and remind everyone that they couldn’t talk to me because I was trying to save my voice. That gave me a little “alone time.” And of course, each night when we’d play, no matter how many or few people there were, it was always such a great release so each day was like a fresh start.

3. What is/was the most important reason for touring for you personally?

One of the main reasons Gather started was so that we could help keep hardcore radical and spread awareness of things like animal, earth and human liberation, anarchy, and feminism. Touring was the best way for us to do that. We met so many inspirational people by touring too, so it was about learning from others as well. Personally, touring helped me overcome my intense shyness. I think it really helped me not give a fuck about some of my insecurities so that was a bonus.

4. How do you try and stay healthy while you are on tour?

Tour food is the worst--it’s hard to eat healthy on tour. Years later, I still can’t bring myself to eat a Builder Bar (or any food in bar-form really) and that was one of the things I said I could eat for the rest of my life. We didn’t resort to fast food thankfully. We would hit up grocery stores instead. I tried to eat mostly raw on one tour, but I just got gnarly diarrhea from detoxing, so that backfired. Dustin would always bring lots of supplements, but I hated swallowing pills, so that was no good either! I just tried to eat as many fruits and veggies as I could, and drink lots of water and tea after shows. I probably got sick a couple times, but mostly my problems were just with my voice from screaming.

5. What kind of connections and disconnections have you made from touring?

Some of my very best friends I have now I met from touring or bonded with the most from touring so I’ll always be thankful for that. Whenever I’m in one place too long and feel like I’m not meeting any people who challenge or inspire me, I know that touring would cure that. It’s just so nice to know that each night you’ll be in a room with people who are seeking the same thing, who are somewhat like-minded and appreciate that sense of community that the DIY punk and hardcore scene can offer. At the same time, you meet so many acquaintances that sometimes it seems like the bonds you make might be really superficial. But either way, they’re way less superficial than the bonds you make with normies that you meet at work, or at a club or some bullshit.

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