MUSIC INTERVIEW: Life On The Road With…SHVPES
Next week sees SHVPES embark on their UK tour in support of their debut album PAIN. JOY. ECSTACY. DESPAIR, so we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to chat to frontman Griffin Dickinson about the band’s touring antics.
Favourite thing about touring:
Being able to watch, first hand, the progress your band is making and just being immersed in that journey; turning up in front of a different city/country/set of eyes every night. If you have a shit show, you have every opportunity to reinvent yourself and do better; if you have a great show, you get to relive it all again the next night. The blend of nerves, excitement, anxiety and absolute drive that come over you during the course of the day is unlike anything else I’ve experienced.
Least favourite thing about touring:
Performance anxiety. I’m always trying to find new ways to improve/perfect my singing/screaming technique and vocal stamina…Unfortunately, as soon as a show begins I throw it all out the window and focus on making sure everyone is having a great time. This usually results in me fucking my voice up and spending the entire next day thinking about how much I’m going to suck that night…Which can be a bit of a mood dampner!
Five essentials for the road:
Vocalzones – little ego enhancing tools that make me think I’m Aretha Franklin.
Spare pair of pants – you never know what’s gunna go down… Especially with M1 Cuisine.
Warm up CDs – no one deserves to hear me sing without warming up.
Good touring party – the people you surround yourself with are the people that make the time on the road what it is. We’ve got a really talented crew who we’re happy to call our mates.
Something to get you a little loose in the evening – you can’t just go to sleep after playing a show…you’re still buzzing off adrenaline, so a little something to send you off to the fairies goes down a treat.
Your favourite way to pass the time:
Everyone has their own thing going on, some of us watch films, some play chess, some listen to music, some sleep the WHOLE FUCKING TIME but personally I like to get on Photoshop and design clothes.
Playing with Asking Alexandria & have a SHVPES chant before we went on. It was one of those “are they saying our name? Surely not…It kind of sounds like our name, is that our name?” moments. I say that like it’s a common moment, we’ve never had that before…
There have been many amusing moments, hilarious some might say, others not so much…I’m struggling to remember most of them, so I’ll give you a mediocre LOL we encountered recently: after our KOKO show with Asking Alexandria, Harry (drums) pulled a bottle of what he thought was water out of the van door and took a big sip. Our driver simultaneously dived across the van in what I could swear was slow motion screaming “noooooooo!!!” Harry luckily spat it out and it turned out to be a big ol’ bottle of Anti-Freeze. It was funny, yet ruthless.
Playing Brixton academy and addressing them as Birmingham. Oops.
We (I) had a bit of a stinker at our Brixton show with Fightstar…After asking them how they (Birmingham) were doing, I found myself climbing over the barrier to cause a bit of havoc in the crowd. On my journey back to the stage, one of the security guards kindly picked me up and tried to, from what I gather, carry me to the stage. He stepped back off the barrier and ended up stacking it whilst holding me.. He fell back, basically suplexed me into the stage and broke his foot. When we came of stage, I could hear a dude shouting in one of the backstage rooms. I walked past and saw the guy all fucked up with medics round him etc. so I apologised and offered him a T-Shirt; he didn’t accept my offer, for some reason. I pottered up to the dressing room and someone on the other side of the room asked me for a beverage. Not one to be rude, I attempted to pass a beer via the quickest method (flight) to our guitarist, who came to the conclusion it was going too fast for him to catch. He decided to duck, not thinking about the open window behind him…that can ended up gracing the promoter somewhat unfavourably. Safe to say we weren’t too popular that night!
The last show of our tour with Crossfaith ended in Manchester and we ended up going to their dressing room to have a few Shirley Temples and say our goodbyes. To cut a long story short (and then repeat it long) – I don’t remember shit. I went in completely sober and woke up in Birmingham 12 hours later. From our Tour Manager’s perspective, here’s what went down:
We had a few shots with Hiro. A few shots turned into a few bottles, there was some shuffling, there were several selfies. Then in the space of about 90 mins, things got a little hazy: our drummer ended up head first in a bush, I’m not talking in & out, he was in there for a while. Our guitarist (not saying which one) was necking on with a 50 year old woman he’d met 30 seconds prior on the street – rumour has it she asked him for change, but that’s not my place to confirm nor deny. Another guitarist (not saying which one – they’re both fucked now) had a finger covered in peanut butter and some other NSFW substance for ‘a bit of banter’ that went a bit far and our dressing room bin was filled with broken glass, shame and from what I hear, urine…
There was was an incident at a somewhat empty petrol station that resulted in a lot of Krispy Kremes. We dined like Kings that night.
SHVPES head out on tour this month, catch them at one of the following dates:
Mon 10th – LEICESTER – The Cookie*
Tue 11th – COLCHESTER – Arts Centre*
Wed 12th – MILTON KEYNES – Craufurd Arms*
Thu 13th – BIRMINGHAM – Rainbow Cellar
Sat 15th – NORWICH – Sound And Vision Festival
Mon 17th – BOURNEMOUTH – Anvil^
Tue 18th – PLYMOUTH – Underground^
Thu 20th – CARDIFF – Clwb Ifor Bach^
Fri 21st – NOTTINGHAM – Basement^
Sat 22nd – MANCHESTER – Satan’s Hollow^
Mon 31st – SOUTHAMPTON – Joiners^
Wed 2nd – LONDON – Boston Music Rooms^
Thu 3rd – LEEDS – Key Club^
Sat 5th – SHEFFIELD – Corporation^
Sun 6th – GLASGOW – King Tuts^
Mon 7th – NEWCASTLE – Think Tank^
Tue 8th – LIVERPOOL – Studio 2
^w/ Press To MECO
The band’s debut album PAIN. JOY. ECSTACY. DESPAIR is set for release on the 14th October via Search & Destroy/Spinefarm Records, available to pre-order via iTunes.