David is the drummer, and Ben plays bass, and together with Josh and Ben, another set of brothers, they make up Citizen Way. I've written previously about them getting signed with a label and hearing their single, "Should've Been Me," on the radio for the first time, and them visiting while in the Phoenix area for a few shows, but now they are on their first big national tour! So, I thought I would ask a few behind the scenes questions to get their impressions of life on the road:
Give us some info about the tour you are currently on.
We are on the Redeemed Tour with Big Daddy Weave and Chris August - awesome, hilarious dudes that we're glad to now call friends.
Tell us about your basic routine on a show day.
David: Well, provided we stayed in a hotel instead of driving though the night, I get up about an hour before bus call to take a shower and then iron the living crap out of my poor clothes that have been rolled up into little tubes to all fit into my suitcase - gotta be crisp. The days that I can't iron drive me NUTS. Then we drive wherever we have to go, and after I'm done setting up my stuff on stage and sound check, I either retreat into my iPad or my Nintendo 3DS until show time. I usually try to find a Chipotle as well so I can eat real vegan food and not starve. Nighttime consists of getting FaceTime or a phone call in to Emily (my wife)....wash, rinse, repeat.
Tell us about a basic travel day or “day off.”
Ben: Basic travel day is a loose term since there is plenty of night travel. This tour in particular has some very spaced out routing. We can find ourselves packing up after a show and leaving a venue around midnight for a 9-10 hour haul through the night to the next city.
I’ve only had one day off, so I don’t really know what is typical. For Josh and me, in terms of the business stuff, off days are usually taking care of things like deposits, reports, and any other issues that might pop up.
You were signed with Fair Trade Services early last year, and it has been a crazy ride since then. What has been the most exciting part about this whole adventure?
David: The most exciting part for me has been officially starting the career that I've had my eyes set on since middle school. I have had professional musician tunnel vision since probably 7th grade. I've never wanted to do anything else, and wouldn't allow myself to. I am thrilled and blessed to be starting this new chapter! It's literally a dream come true.
Ben: It’s very difficult to narrow it down, but generally speaking, it’s exciting to know that you’re a part of what God is doing, and that what He is doing specifically involves you, your talents, and passions to reach people with the Gospel. Being a part of that big picture looks as different as the cities and people we’re in front of every night, but it’s the point of it all.
Unique circumstances teach us a lot about ourselves. What have you learned about yourself while traveling the country stuck in a van with 3 other dudes?
David: I have learned that I love Red Bull. I've learned that I'm even more OCD about personal hygiene (my own and others) than I ever imagined. I've learned how much I am actually attached to my home, my wife, and my fat black cat.
Ben: No matter how well I know or like the people I'm on the road with, in our case actual brothers, space is a must each day. Whether it's grabbing a nap at a venue or going for a walk, it's
important for me to find solo time for things like calling home, praying, reading, relaxing. Without it,
it’s easy to start being very critical in your thoughts towards others for simply being themselves.
What is the biggest misconception you’d like to clear up about life as a signed and touring recording artist?
David: I think the biggest misconception is that we just get to play music and get payed lots of money for it. At this stage in the game we play 15 minutes of music a night after a full day of travel and preparation. The ratio of actually playing music to all the other work is crazy. Since this is early in the game, we take on opportunities like this tour regardless of what little money we may or may not be getting paid. I do it cause I love those 15 minutes every night dearly, and I know this is where I'm supposed to be and what I'm supposed to be doing.
Ben: It’s not glamorous. It’s not easy. It’s not lucrative. It’s not a lot of what one might think, but it is great. Like any pursuit, being an artist, whatever that means, is also a lot of thankless and unseen work and effort for mere minutes of the proverbial and literal spotlight.
Ok, now it’s time for the lightning round. Each of you give us a quick answer to these questions about life on the road:
David: Having my job be to travel around and play concerts
Ben: PLAYING MUSIC
David: Staying healthy and being away from my wife and cats (huge animal softie)
Ben: Being away from my wife and two girls….period
David: There are SO MANY CITIES that don't have a Chipotle.
Ben: I thought I’d sleep more.
Worst thing you’ve eaten/drank…
David: Fazolis ...ew
Ben: Amarillo Texas trailer maintenance shop
coffee...wow. What was I thinking?!?!
Weirdest place you’ve slept…
David: Behind a decorative curtain up against the wall in a room that had just previously held like an Elks Club Lodge meeting or something weird like that
Ben: It's a toss up between the floor of the green room in the fetal position, winter coat covering my face, and in the van in a random parking lot in Vegas.
Favorite tour stop so far…
David: Oshkosh, WI because I had SO MANY friends and family there to support!
Ben: I’ll let you know, still 30 some stops to go on this tour. I will say
however that I’m looking forward to the Northwest. Portland was nice last time I was there, but our
stays are usually very very short.
Finally, when does your new album, Love is the Evidence, come out and what would you like everyone to know about it?
David: I would like everybody to know just how much of a stink face I was making during every drum recording.
Ben: The album is scheduled to come out April 23rd, and I would like you to know it’s for sale on April 23 and you should buy it….haha. Seriously, we’ve worked very hard on the album, and are genuinely thrilled to share it with everyone, especially family and friends who have been so supportive. Whether you're 15 or 50, there’s a song for you, and I would check it out…said the unbiased bass player.
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