MUSIC INTERVIEW: Life On The Road With…VOLA
Photo Credit: Simon Læssøe
VOLA released their new album Applause Of A Distant Crowd earlier this month and are soon to embark on a UK tour with Monuments, so we thought it was the perfect opportunity to catch up with bassist Nicolai Mogensen and keyboardist Martinl Werner to hear their top tips and stories from the road.
Favourite thing about touring:
Nicolai: I feel very honoured to be playing all over Europe with some of my best friends. The show is a highlight of the day, and talking with fans after the show is always very encouraging too. It’s not every band that gets the possibility to do nightliner tours, and I’m very proud that we’ve reached that point.
Least favourite thing about touring:
N: The hardest part is definitely being away from family. I have a son and girlfriend waiting for me at home and on a bad day on tour that can be really painful. It also hard to eat properly since there’s often only 1½ meals per day, mostly consisting of white bread and cheese.
Five essentials for the road:
Toothbrush: There’s no escape if someones has bad breath on the tour bus so for everyone’s sake remember to brush two times per day!
Plenty of books: Especially nice to have when the wifi isn’t working and you need entertainment the good old fashioned way.
T-shirts and underwear to last 3 weeks or more! Most smaller venues don’t have a washing machine so the opportunities for getting your stuff cleaned are few and far between.
Stomach pills: Having diarrhoea is bad as it is, but on a moving bus it’s a nightmare.
Gym clothing: When on tour you quickly enters something called the ‘tour state’ were you feel tired at all times and just want to lie on the couch looking into your smartphone the whole day. The best cure for this is going for a run or hitting the gym. But don’t exercise to hard, you’ll have to save some energy for the show later.
Your favourite way to pass the time:
Martin: You tend to spend a lot of time on social media doing band related work, but also to pass the time. It’s always fun to follow the online activity of the band when touring and read peoples comments and reactions to the shows. Also, each day offers a new location and city to be discovered, so it’s always nice to go for a walk and get some fresh air away from the venue.
N: A highlight for us was supporting Katatonia in a full O2 Shepherds Bush in London. That whole tour we did with them and Agent Fresco feels like a breakthrough moment for us and especially that show stands out in our minds.
M: For the last show of any tour it’s a tradition to do a prank on the other bands. The last show we did on the Katatonia tour we made a prank on the other support act Agent Fresco, when our stand in drummer Simen Sandnes walked naked across the stage eating nachos and salsa dip. A genius and entertaining prank that was well received by the tour crew and audience. Doing pranks with the other bands when touring is inevitable when you spend so much time together. Humour and laughter is a way of surviving.
M: When playing Rockaue Open Air Festival in 2017 our laptop broke down due to overheating forcing us to stop the show for almost 10 minutes. It was extremely hot that day and the outdoor stage was facing direct sunlight. A technical issue that many bands experience, but still quite embarrassing when standing in front of a large crowd. Asger entertained the audience by playing an acoustic version of our song Emily before the laptop was up and running again.
M: I was sleeping in the upper bunk in a nightliner and woke up in the middle of the night being squeezed against the ceiling of the bus. In complete darkness while screaming I fell to the floor dreaming we were in a car crash. Being half asleep and not aware of the surroundings I crawled into the nearest bunk where our drummer was sleeping and fell asleep next to him. Apparently Asger who slept in the bunk below had a nightmare about him being trapped, so he unconsciously pushed my bunk upwards with all his force using both hands and feet. None of us realised what had happened until next morning.
We’re an exceptional boring band both sober and when drunk. But here’s a little something. From Helsinki to Stockholm there is this 12 hour ferry ride. The ferry is famous for its buffet which has wine and beer ad lib…the tour was nearing its final shows and people were bored as hell. So after the big buffet everyone ended up getting wasted drinking Underberg and dancing at the disco all night. The party continued until next morning when the buffet opened ones again. Just another day at the office.
N: When we are on stage and we feel a connection to the crowd, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. Luckily we get to experience this quite a bit!
Applause Of A Distant Crowd is out now via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group.
See VOLA live on tour with Monuments next month at one of the following shows:
Fri 2nd – WORTHING – Bar 42
Sat 3rd – LEEDS – Damnation Festival
Sun 4th – CARDIFF – The Globe
Mon 5th – GLASGOW – G2
Tue 6th – BELFAST – Foundry
Wed 7th – DUBLIN – Voodoo Lounge
Thu 8th – MANCHESTER – Factory
Fri 9th – LONDON – The Dome
Sun 11th – BRISTOL – Macmillan Festival