MUSIC FEATURE: Life On The Road With…Nathan Gray
boysetsfire frontman Nathan Gray is returning to the UK and Europe this month to celebrate the release of his solo album Working Title. We caught up with him ahead of the dates to talk about his top tips and stories from the road.
Favourite thing about touring:
I love being able to create a home in different places around the world. There are cities and countries I have been traveling to for half my life now that feel like home to me the second I arrive. It has been especially wonderful to have that as I reinvent myself as a solo artist. All of those people and places have welcomed me back with open arms each and every time I return.
Least favourite thing about touring:
Little time and space to be alone. I’m fortunate to have progressed over the years, past the times where I was sleeping on couches or in the van, sharing jars of peanut butter with my band mates and playing to five people in a living room in the middle of nowhere. At the time, a lot of those things felt difficult, but without those hardships, I never would’ve made it this far.
Five essentials for the road:
-My own pillow from home.
-Something to steam my vocal chords with before and after shows
-My phone with the FaceTime option which allows me to see my family
-Cherry flavored BC headache powders and Tiger Balm for post show aches and pains
-And socks. Lots and lots of socks.
Your favourite way to pass the time:
People would likely be shocked to know that there is a lot of downtime on the road. A LOT. Backstage is actually quite boring, and I like to spend the time quietly – either working out, just chatting with friends, or playing my favourite game on my phone that helps me relax. I do enjoy the press time where I give interviews, because it’s always fun to talk to new people.
All of my “firsts”. I’ll never forget our first time to Germany with boysetsfire, my first solo show ever, the first time we got to travel in a tour bus, or the first Family First Festival we put on.
Once, I played a boysetsfire set in my pyjama pants and slippers because when was time to hit the stage, I was still asleep in the van. (This was long ago before I perfected the art of handling jet lag.) Josh came out to wake me up and I literally ran straight to the stage and began the set.
I don’t know that there’s been many embarrassing moments. I mean, I forget my own lyrics all the time, but I’m having so much fun on the stage, nothing phases me.
Family First Festival. Looking out at a crowd of 4,000 and seeing the frenzy in the middle as the crowd lights up.
There are probably too many of these from back in the day, none of which are worth dwelling over. I don’t like to drink much anymore, even when I’m not on the road.
I always make a point to jump into the crowd to thank people personally for coming out to a show. It means the world to me when they share how our music has helped them through a tough time. I love the symbiosis music provides – a mutual healing. There’s nothing on earth with a power that magical.
Nathan Gray‘s new album Working Title is out now via End Hits Records, available to purchase HERE.
See Nathan Gray on tour at one of the following dates:
Fri 14th – BERLIN, DE – Columbia Theater
Sat 15th – MÜNSTER, DE – Sputnikhalle
Sun 16th – KÖLN, DE – Kantine
Mon 17th – FRANKFURT, DE – Batschkapp
Tue 18th – HAMBURG, DE – Gruenspan
Wed 19th – LEIPZIG, DE – Conne Island
Thu 20th – NÜRNBERG, DE – Hirsch
Fri 21st – WIEN, AT – Szene
Sat 22nd – MÜNCHEN, DE – Backstage
Sun 23rd – ZÜRICH, CH – Papiersaal
Mon 24th – STUTTGART, DE – Wizemann
Tue 25th – SAARBRÜCKEN, DE – Garage
Wed 26th – LONDON, UK – The Courtyard Studio