Most musicians I know have a mild addiction to coffee. Maybe it’s something about our artistic ways that we crave the caffeine rush to get the creative juices flowing. It’s kind of the hang factor too, “hey, you wanna grab a coffee?”
If you want to know what most likely is going on backstage before a show, it’s probably a bunch of musicians playing on their phones, sitting around drinking coffee. Sure, there are the warm ups and what not and in my case usually some bad Dad jokes being told. 🙂
Growing up on the east coast of Canada, I swear we were all addicted to Tim Horton’s coffee. You wouldn’t dare show up at a band rehearsal without bringing some ‘Timmies’ as we’d call it. Road trip in the van to the gig? Gotta stop at Tim Horton’s first.
Between 2009-2012 I was traveling almost every week, working in a duo piano show. We went all over the country performing music and comedic bits. It was about 50/50 flying or driving. On those long drives, it got to a point where I knew which exits had a Starbucks right off the freeway in many a random state. Being on the road is not for everyone. I loved it. Different crowds, different surroundings, new stories to tell when you got home.
Working for a band since 2012 we have a lot of moving pieces to the operation. We usually load in the gear early in the afternoon. We set up, do a soundcheck and then for the most part we split to kill some time before dinner and before the gig starts. It’s usually just a given…”hey, so…coffee?” If we’re close to home, we have our favorite coffee spots we like to hit. If we’re on the road we like to seek out a local, coffee shop.
The photos below are from a time I performed in Hawaii. On the first morning there, I woke up early and took a walk up the street to find this funky coffee shop which had outdoor seating and a beautiful view. It was a fantastic way to start the day before our soundcheck.
Closer to home, I remember playing at an outdoor festival in Jackson, MI. The town had brought artists from all over the world to paint on buildings throughout their downtown streets. It was an interesting idea and a nice way to create a community gathering, with tons of people walking around during the day and we entertained at night. After our gig, we stopped over at a venue to grab a drink. One of the event organizers was there and she asked me, “so did you see anything that you liked? I quickly replied, “oh yeah, we liked that cool coffee shop, Jackson Coffee Co. what a great spot!” She rolled her eyes, and said…”I mean, did you see any of the art that was painted all over town?” Me: “Oh, right, right…”
Maybe you’re not a coffee drinker, no problem. Next time you grab a cup of tea or your favorite cold beverage would you consider listening to my latest album? Trust me, during the writing and recording sessions a lot of coffee was consumed!