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QRD #78
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Artistic Dad Interviews:
Justin Holt
Brian John Mitchell
James Gofus
Billy McKay
Jason Young
Matt Jones
Micah Liesenfeld
Nate Powell

Cartoonist Interviews
Chance Wyatt
Mike Rickaby

Comic Shop Interviews
Atomic Books
Illusive Comics & Games

Guitarist Interviews
Anda Volley
Anna Conner
Grant Nesmith
Lee McKinney
Max Kutner
Micheal M
Tristan Welch

Label Owner Interviews
Taped Rugs

Touring Musician Interviews
Azalia Snail
Martin Newman
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Touring Musician Interview with Azalia Snail
August 12, 2017
Azalia Snail
Name: Azalia Snail
Bands: (solo) & LoveyDove
Websites: https://www.facebook.com/AZALiA-SNAiL-15605644956/

QRD – What’s a myth about touring you wish people knew wasn’t true?

Azalia – I think you have to look at it more as an adventure than as a job. Every experience should be equally valued & one should keep in mind that not every show is going to be as spectacular as we might want it to be.

QRD – How many shows do you do a year & how many would you like to?

Azalia – Azalia only does a show once in a blue moon, but LoveyDove plays at least once a month.

QRD – How many shows does it take before you are in a real groove?

Azalia – 3-4.

QRD – What’s your preferred length of tour?

Azalia – 1 month

QRD – Do you use a booking agent or book things yourself & what are the advantages of each?

Azalia – Unfortunately because I’ve never had the support of the big label, agents have been hard to come by.  Now I actually value the experience of booking shows myself as a way to learn every aspect of what goes into the promotion & the playing.

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?

Azalia – The usual suspects: Facebook, Instagram & emails.

QRD – How do you think the festival circuit has effected touring & do you enjoy playing festivals?

Azalia – Like with anything else that becomes too big for its own good, festivals are only fun when you’re playing them.

QRD – How do your songs change for your live show?

Azalia – Definitely enjoy the luxury of fleshing out the material, sometimes songs change for the better the more you play them.

QRD – Do you keep notes on how to play your songs?

Azalia – Yes, I have my “cheat sheets” as I still have stage fright.

QRD – How often do you have line-up changes & how do they effect the band?

Azalia – Since LoveyDove is mainly a duo; we can add & subtract players depending on how many players are avail on a certain date. Our occasional drummer Jerry can go between a small kit or a bigger one.

QRD – How do band practices differ from live shows?

Azalia – The energy that you can feed off from a crowd is so potentially exciting. We just can’t get that from rehearsal.

QRD – When you hear your live recordings are you generally critical or satisfied?

Azalia – I might listen to something that I played live once & maybe again several years down the line. I think an artist can be their own worst critic.

QRD – Do you think of recorded versions or live versions of your songs as definitive?

Azalia – Almost always the recorded versions are better; but sometimes when songs are played in a particularly wonderful setting, something new comes along & the songs improve.

QRD – Is there a song in your catalog you wish you never had to play again &/or one you wouldn’t mind playing every night?

Azalia – I have to say that LoveyDove’s second album ShowStopper is so much fun to play. We have yet to be tired of the songs & it’s been about a year & a half.

QRD – What do you do to stay interested in your set each night?

Azalia – I really like to have some lights on stage & visuals if possible. Totally enhances the mood & add so much vibe to the performance.

QRD – Do you do the same set every night on a tour?

Azalia – No, we try to cater to the audience & the room.

QRD – How does the audience effect what or how you play on a given night?

Azalia – If it’s going to be a smaller venue, we might play more intimate songs. In the bigger venues we try to play the more upbeat stuff.

QRD – Do you take new songs on the road or stick with released material?

Azalia – Would love to try new songs out ~~ that’s how they really come alive!

QRD – Do you throw in cover songs & how do you select them?

Azalia – Absolutely. I’ve had a wish list of cover songs I’d like to do for many years. It’s been an absolute joy to do “I Saw the Light” & “Fancy” by The Kinks & “Where do the children play?”

QRD – How do you deal with bad stage sound & bad sound guys?

Azalia – That’s a tough one. We try to be super nice & gracious from the get go ~~ always ask their names & treat them with respect. Their job is not easy & can be less than rewarding.

QRD – What do you do when equipment malfunctions on stage?

Azalia – Must play it cool. Never let them see you sweat!

QRD – What have you learned to do to get better sound regardless of the venue?

Azalia – We always bring our own microphones.

QRD – What’s something you hate seeing other bands do?

Azalia – I’ve seen bands get frustrated on stage & take it out on the sound people & band members. It’s absolutely inexcusable.

QRD – What’s the best compliment/worst insult you’ve gotten after a show?

Azalia – Most of the compliments are directed toward my band members. I’ve been told that I am “intimidating.” Much to my surprise.

QRD – Do you ever tour with bands other than your own as a hired hand & if so how is that experience different?

Azalia – No.

QRD – Do you prefer playing with another touring band or just locals?

Azalia – Depends. I’ve had wonderful tours with my peers & truly wonderful shows with bands I have never heard of before. I love being turned on to new & wonderful bands.

QRD – Do you try to listen to the local opening bands on tour?

Azalia – Always.

QRD – What makes you like a particular city?

Azalia – It’s all about the people, but it doesn’t hurt if there are great museums, restaurants, etc.

QRD – What makes you like a particular venue?

Azalia – Great sound, stage & staff.

QRD – What do you have for merch?

Azalia – T-shirts, stickers, CDs & vinyl.

QRD – Besides band members, how many people do you bring on tour & what are their duties?

Azalia – Sometimes a driver.

QRD – When you’re on tour, does someone take a father figure role of responsibility?

Azalia – Me. I am on many occasions the designated driver.

QRD – What do you do to keep your instruments & personal belongings from being stolen?

Azalia – Always make sure they are close by. Never leave anything in the vehicle.

QRD – Do you rent a vehicle or take out your own?

Azalia – Rentals.

QRD – What’s the worst car breakdown you’ve had on tour?

Azalia – Van stuck in Utah, had to wait a couple of days until we could move on.

QRD – What’s your ideal touring vehicle?

Azalia – Smaller the better. Electric would be a DREAM!

QRD – What plays on the radio as you drive?

Azalia – Oldies or college radio, if avail. Talk radio occasionally.

QRD – How do you occupy time in the van?

Azalia – Sleep.

QRD – What’s your main activity to occupy your downtime when not in the van?

Azalia – Investigating, walking, swimming if possible.

QRD – How do you try to find places to eat on the road?

Azalia – Friends recommendations or yelp.

QRD – What’s your in a pinch fast food meal?

Azalia – Subway.

QRD – Do you try to make any meals for yourself on the road?

Azalia – Yes. Always looking for a good farmers market or local market.

QRD – How many days does it take before your body is in sync with the touring lifestyle?

Azalia – About a week.

QRD – Do you prefer to stay at people’s houses or hotels & what are the advantages & disadvantages to each?

Azalia – Mixing it up is ideal. I love the camaraderie of staying with people, but sometimes it’s nice to catch up on sleep at a motel.

QRD – Do you have separate clothes for onstage than daywear?

Azalia – Of course! Gotta have the glam on stage!

QRD – How many changes of clothes do you take on tour?

Azalia – Depends on the length of the tour, but always trying to keep it to one bag.

QRD – How often do you do laundry on tour?

Azalia – Ideally every week... but not always possible. Handwashing comes in handy!

QRD – How often do you try to bathe & how do you schedule in everyone getting bathed?

Azalia – Daily & I’m not afraid to suggest to band members to do the same!

QRD – What do you do when a band member has totally different ideas about hygiene?

Azalia – (Tell them.)

QRD – How often do you try to schedule a day off?

Azalia – I’m better about that now. I want to enjoy some of the cities & definitely like to take more time now.

QRD – Any tips for not getting sick on the road?

Azalia – A fresh lemon a day, vitamins, plenty of water, green tea.

QRD – Do you have a set drinking policy (none before performing or a nightly total)?

Azalia – Not a big drinker & I don’t like to lecture people.

QRD – What’s a lesson from touring you keep forgetting & re-learning?

Azalia – To get enough sleep.

QRD – What do you do the week before tour to get ready?

Azalia – Make sure there’s enough merchandise. Look at maps a lot. Tons of emails.

QRD – How long does it take to convert back to day-to-day life?

Azalia – About a week.

QRD – How do you test for personality conflicts between band members before touring?

Azalia – Probably not possible but I try to only tour with people that I really admire.

QRD – How has touring effected how you feel about playing in your hometown?

Azalia – It’s all got to be because you love it.

QRD – How do you feel about fans putting live cell phone videos up on YouTube?

Azalia – Inevitable, & I don’t mind as long as it doesn’t interfere with the audience enjoyment.

QRD – Do you see touring as mainly a promotional tool for your new albums?

Azalia – No.

QRD – Do you try to practice as a band while on the road or just stick to the performances?

Azalia – Performances are rehearsals!

QRD – Do you have time to practice your instrument while on the road?

Azalia – Playing live is the best practice!

QRD – Does your time with your instrument go up or down on the road compared to normal?

Azalia – Up.

QRD – Do you try to hit museums or any touristy things while you travel?

Azalia – Yes!

QRD – Do you try to get any rudimentary grasp of a language before touring in a foreign country?

Azalia – Yes! We have apps on our phones now (used to take books)

QRD – Do you have any pre-stage rituals before each set?

Azalia – Try to chill backstage.

QRD – Does “what happens on tour, stays on tour” apply for you?

Azalia – It becomes a journal & future lyric inspiration.

QRD – Have you ever or would you like to do a bus/train/mass transit tour?

Azalia – Might be tough.

QRD – What are your favorite & least favorite seasons to tour?

Azalia – Spring & Fall are the best.

QRD – If money were no object, how many months a year would you spend on the road?

Azalia – 5.

QRD – What would make you start touring more or start touring less?

Azalia – Money.

QRD – What’s something that would cause you to cut a tour short?

Azalia – Death.

QRD – What could happen to make you stop touring?

Azalia – Dump. (Current prez)

QRD – What’s something about life in general that you’ve learned from touring?

Azalia – Everything.