Musician Interview with Nevada Hill of Bludded Head
Name: Nevada Hill
Bands: Bludded Head
QRD – What’s a myth about touring you wish people knew wasn’t true?
Nevada – That’s a big fun endless vacation. It’s fun at times, but it’s also really stressful. I’m always physically & mentally exhausted when I get home.
QRD – How many shows do you do a year & how many would you like to?
Nevada – Two & a half weeks per coast. If we had the proper infrastructure I would do more, but that would mean a decent guarantee for every show.
QRD – How many shows does it take before you are in a real groove?
Nevada – It depends. BH doesn’t rehearse a ton because of my medical stuff & Jon being in Pinkish Black. Tour is like our band camp. We get real tight by the end.
QRD – What’s your preferred length of tour?
Nevada – Two to two & a half weeks
QRD – Do you use a booking agent or book things yourself & what are the advantages of each?
Nevada – I have other people book. Even though I need to do it myself. Doing it yourself you obviously have more control. Also you can understand what you’re getting in to.
QRD – With so many venues no longer having an in house promoter & promotions relying so much more on the band themselves how do you get the word out to cities you’ve never been to before or rarely go to?
Nevada – Ha-ha... Still trying to figure that one out.
QRD – How do you think the festival circuit has effected touring & do you enjoy playing festivals?
Nevada – We played a little fest in Detroit called Beserker fest that was great. Our tour in May was kind of dismal because of Maryland death fest. We aren’t asked to play big fests.
QRD – How do your songs change for your live show?
Nevada – I work out the songs with the audience. They aren’t done until the audience hears them. I will make changes based on what I feel from the Audience.
QRD – Do you keep notes on how to play your songs?
Nevada – Just scribbles with lyrics that I don’t even use.
QRD – How often do you have line-up changes & how do they effect the band?
Nevada – This band is on its fifth drummer & third bass player. How it affects us is I have to get used to the new player. Especially with drummers. Jon Teague (our drummer) is such a bad ass though.
QRD – How do band practices differ from live shows?
Nevada – Band practice is like jerking off in a porta potty. You can do whatever you want. Playing live is like jerking off in front of tons of humans. You want to do it right. There’s more at stake.
QRD – When you hear your live recordings are you generally critical or satisfied?
Nevada – Always critical. I’m happy with them but also note on how it could be better.
QRD – Do you think of recorded versions or live versions of your songs as definitive?
Nevada – The recordings are the keystones. Playing live is throw away.
QRD – Do you do the same set every night on a tour?
Nevada – Yes.
QRD – How does the audience effect what or how you play on a given night?
Nevada – Depends on my mood. Sometimes a city will just vibe you out. I pretend the audience isn’t there most of the time.
QRD – Do you take new songs on the road or stick with released material?
Nevada – Always new songs. We do it the opposite of how you are suppose to do it.
QRD – Do you throw in cover songs & how do you select them?
Nevada – We have covered a song before. It was a song I used to listen to while driving to get interferon treatment from the hospital.
QRD – How do you deal with bad stage sound & bad sound guys?
Nevada – Our drummer is a sound guy, so he handles them.
QRD – What do you do when equipment malfunctions on stage?
Nevada – Keep playing & fix it.
QRD – What have you learned to do to get better sound regardless of the venue?
Nevada – Big amps & lots of them.
QRD – What’s the best compliment/worst insult you’ve gotten after a show?
Nevada – This one drunk guy said we were awful. It’s a long funny story. He felt bad & bought me a shot & then went on to tell me how bad my band was.
QRD – Do you ever tour with bands other than your own as a hired hand & if so how is that experience different?
Nevada – I have done little tours with Pinkish Black.
QRD – What makes you like a particular city?
Nevada – The People. Sometimes people will treat you like, “Why are you here?” The promoter didn’t promote the show. The sound guy is angry that you have to many amps.
QRD – What makes you like a particular venue?
Nevada – The people. Some of the best shows have been at crusty basements.
QRD – What do you have for merch?
Nevada – T-Shirts, syringes, vinyl, posters, stickers
QRD – Do you try to have any specialized merch for live shows?
Nevada – Sometimes I will make something special. If I have time.
QRD – What’s a merch item you think about selling but haven’t yet?
Nevada – Flasks.
QRD – Besides band members, how many people do you bring on tour & what are their duties?
Nevada – Just the band.
QRD – When you’re on tour, does someone take a father figure role of responsibility?
Nevada – Yep, me. I’m a dad. So I manage most of the stuff.
QRD – What do you do to keep your instruments & personal belongings from being stolen?
Nevada – Luck? Having a good Van.
QRD – Do you rent a vehicle or take out your own?
Nevada – I take my own Van. I bought a commercial vehicle & customized the inside.
QRD – What’s the worst car breakdown you’ve had on tour?
Nevada – Luckily that has never happened.
QRD – What’s your ideal touring vehicle?
Nevada – We have it.
QRD – What plays on the radio as you drive?
Nevada – Whatever. It goes all over the place.
QRD – How do you occupy time in the van?
Nevada – Staring off into space.
QRD – What’s your main activity to occupy your downtime when not in the van?
Nevada – Staring at a phone. Drawing, reading.
QRD – How do you try to find places to eat on the road?
Nevada – We go to Cracker Barrel in the morning.
QRD – What’s your in a pinch fast food meal?
Nevada – I don’t eat fast food. I go to a grocery store.
QRD – How many days does it take before your body is in sync with the touring lifestyle?
Nevada – A week.
QRD – Do you prefer to stay at people’s houses or hotels & what are the advantages & disadvantages to each?
Nevada – People’s houses. Because of my illness I will get a hotel sometimes to chill. Staying with people is awesome. Sometimes it can be horrible. We have had a few instances of that.
QRD – Do you have separate clothes for onstage than daywear?
Nevada – I just take off my shirt so people can see my scar, also my shirts don’t get all sweaty.
QRD – How often do you do laundry on tour?
Nevada – Never.
QRD – How often do you try to bathe & how do you schedule in everyone getting bathed?
Nevada – As often as possible. We used to tour with T2 & they were against showering.
QRD – What do you do when a band member has totally different ideas about hygiene?
Nevada – Bitch about it.
QRD – How often do you try to schedule a day off?
Nevada – Usually a show falls through.
QRD – Any tips for not getting sick on the road?
Nevada – Eat well sleep. I’m not a typical party animal. After we play I just wanna go to bed.
QRD – Do you have a set drinking policy (none before performing or a nightly total)?
Nevada – No, everyone’s an adult & respects each other. I trust the group will do what’s right.
QRD – What’s a lesson from touring you keep forgetting & re-learning?
Nevada – Take a bigger bag with more clothes.
QRD – What do you do the week before tour to get ready?
Nevada – Panic.
QRD – How long does it take to convert back to day-to-day life?
Nevada – Two days.
QRD – How do you test for personality conflicts between band members before touring?
Nevada – I have a good instinct about people. If someone is going to join they had to have toured before.
QRD – How has touring effected how you feel about playing in your hometown?
Nevada – It makes me wanna play local less. It’s better for us to play a show every two months & tour three times year.
QRD – How do you feel about fans putting live cell phone videos up on YouTube?
Nevada – It doesn’t matter. I’m glad they enjoy it enough to shoot it on their phone.
QRD – Do you see touring as mainly a promotional tool for your new albums?
Nevada – It’s rehearsal to record the new album.
QRD – Do you try to practice as a band while on the road or just stick to the performances?
Nevada – Performance is practice.
QRD – Do you have time to practice your instrument while on the road?
Nevada – No.
QRD – Do you try to hit museums or any touristy things while you travel?
Nevada – No time. Any down time I just want to lay down.