We sat down with the extremely talented and all-around epic human being, Matt Thomson, The Amazons to discuss all things music, rituals, and of course life on the road.
What's the first thing you do when you wake up the morning of a gig?I mutter a quick prayer to the Rock Gods under my breath, before I slip out of bed/bus bunk. The 2nd act, especially on tour is about locating a shower so I can wake the hell up.
What's your favourite music to listen to during these rituals?I like to ease in with the softer stuff. A lot of 60/70s Singer-Songwriter, Soul, Country music. Lots of Joni Mitchell, Ray Charles, Glen Campbell. I’ve been listening to a lot of Bonnie Raitt’s record ‘Streetlights’ recently.
Once you’re pumped and the adrenalin is flowing, how do you get in the zone before you go on stage?We try and get the dressing room as open and relaxed as possible. Sometimes that’s just hanging out with no-one but the band and some music or it could be a full-blown party, with the support bands or whoever. There’s no use warming up when you’re on the stage, you need to be full of life and ready to strike at the first note.
Important question… how do you celebrate after an epic gig?It’s pretty natural. We’re bouncing off the walls anyway. Music, drinks, everything you can imagine. Plots and schemes for adventures after you get kicked out the dressing room. It’s important to make time and see the fans who’re outside too. There’s a lot of fun talking about the show with them.
So what’s your after-after-party ritual? How do you wipe away the blood, sweat, tears?It’s usually about over-compensating with hydration and hygiene. Getting fresh air. Trying to sleep as much off as possible. Not always easy on the bus.
Do you have a next-day ritual after a show where you reminisce on what you’ve achieved?Not really. We never reminisce. I wish we did. I think we should look back more but this life is a bubble moving at a hundred miles an hour. It’s a blessing and a curse because while you might not appreciate the show 2 nights ago, you live in the present and that is freeing.
How do you incorporate balance into your rock star lifestyle? What’s the ritual that brings you most peace?Carve out your own time on tour. Don’t wait for anyone to join you at the museum you want to visit or whatever. Just do it. Everyone in the band and crew has different interests and ways they want to spend their time, which are all valid.
What travel essentials do you go anywhere and everywhere with you when you’re touring?Face cleanser, moisturiser and hand soap. Touring is a dirty old business. You want to tackle the sweat and dirt on your face and avoid unwanted spots etc. Way more significant I feel is the hand soap. It’s pretty easy to get sick on tour. Your immune system is down from inconsistent diet, sleep, constant travelling etc, the last thing you want is to not at least try and defend against the never-ending waves of germs coming your way.
To end our chat, as you know we’re all about anti-anti-ageing, and embracing the natural lifecycle; seeing wrinkles as a life well-lived. What are your thoughts on this?I couldn’t agree more. Perfection is boring.
The lines on your face tell stories. Erasing them, just to fit in with societies current idea of beauty doesn’t sit right with me. By all means, we should treat our faces and bodies kindly, but the changes our bodies make are worth respecting. It’s part of the ride.Photo credit: Phoebe Fox