Tour Bus Shape Up: 4 Indie Bands Reveal How They Stay Fit on Tour
How do bands on tour for long periods of time stay in shape to hit the stage? I spoke to 4 “need to know now” bands about how they manage to work out and live healthy while on the road. I was inspired to step up my own healthy game after getting the scoop from these musicians. They face many more challenges to a healthy routine from late nights to long hours sitting on the tour bus to exposure to all the temptations of a more hedonistic lifestyle.
Here's my Tour Bus Shape Up Report courtesy of smokin' hot bands CSS, Escort, Leftover Cuties and Lucius...
How they got so hot?
You probably first heard CSS’s provocative and fun dance rock music in the 2007 iPod Touch commercial where their song “Music is My Hot, Hot Sex” was featured. These native Brazilian rockers' band name CSS (Cansei der Ser Sexy) translates to “I got tired of being sexy” (lifted from a quotation from Beyonce) and has recorded their first 3 albums in Brazil yet their latest album was put together in sunny LA. I learned after talking to Luiza Sá, guitarist/keys/bassist, that Cali living seems to have had an influence on their music and even their health habits. She told me that the “overall feel” of their last album Planta “is very positive and easygoing and definitely has a lot to do with the sunny California living”.
So what’s on the CSS workout mixtape?
Their song Dynamite is on repeat on my playlist but I wanted to know what's on the CSS workout mixtape. Everyone in CSS are into working out whether it’s yoga or faster paced sports like running. Lead vocalist Lovefoxx is into making workout playlists and Luiza revealed that she loves working out to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. According to Luiza, the entire band have Ru Paul on their playlists! I love that!
CSS = Rock Star Juicers!
Not the steroid kind of "juice heads" but juicing fruit and vegetables! While recording in LA, they were staying with David Sitek, producer and band member of TV on the Radio, and he was big into juicing. He got the band hooked on his kiwi lime ginger juice and they got inspired to bring the Nutribullet on the road and do their own juicing. I’m thinking they would be awesome sponsors for the product, right? I asked Luiza about the band’s philosophy about health when touring: “Staying healthy will probably make you stay happy. Obviously it's nice to have a day when you can eat whatever you want and drink". I like that philosophy!
CSS have been on tour to support their latest album and their style is recently inspired by Gaultier’s creation for Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour (another workout playlist fave artist!). These women have awesome style especially since lead vocalist Lovefoxxx and Carolina Parra (guitarist/drummer) are graphic designers, Iracema Trevisan (bassist) is a fashion designer, Ana Rezende (guitar/keys) is a film student (and directed the video for their song "Off the Hook"), while Luiza Sá attended art school. So check them out and try snagging a Nutribulllet for your travels and see how it goes!
Here's their new album.
If you're looking for a workout friendly mix of disco, funk and soul beats, start listening to Escort NOW. This band was founded in NYC by Eugene Cho and Dan Balis and is fronted by the enormous vocals of their gorgeous lead singer Adeline Michèle. Their self-titled debut album was hailed as one of the "Best Albums of 2012" by Rolling Stone and Spin. I've been rocking out and working out to this remix of their song Barbarians.
They just kicked off their tour, so I thought it was the perfect time to get some helpful tour health tips from lead singer Adeline Michèle that you can follow in daily life:
- GRAB FRUITS WHEN YOU CAN & EAT HEALTHY! Adeline explains that she's "a total fruit-dependent person. I need my grapefruit every morning and i eat apples throughout the day. Surprisingly, it's not always easy to find fruits." She packs apples in her bag to makes sure she gets her fruit fix.
- DON'T THINK ABOUT HOW TIRED YOU ARE! She realizes this might sound weird but as she puts it: "The mind guides the body: when I only get one or 2 hours of sleep, of course I'm exhausted but it won't help to keep telling myself how tired I am. So I focus on how lucky and thankful I am to get to perform every night, I put a smile on my face, and it makes things a lot easier!" Sari Beth's note: This is something I definitely try to do when I have a late night but force myself out of bed for a work out. It's amazing how you can train your brain!
- GO FOR A RUN! Adeline loves running because it's the most adaptable sport: "You can do it anywhere, all you need is a good pair of kicks. It's always a great way to discover a new city or shake your legs after a long flight".
Catch Escort on tour this Summer & Autumn and get a taste of some Escort music on Soundcloud!
The Leftover Cuties album, The Spark & the Fire, just came out on July 23rd and features really cool and unconventional instruments like the ukelele and accordion. Shirli McAllen, Israeli-born beauty and lead singer/songwriter for this up-and-coming indie-pop band from Venice, California, shared some great touring tips with me as they were gearing up for their full-scale North American tour :
- DON’T LET THINGS GET TO YOU: On every road trip there are ups and downs…Take deep breaths and stay positive.
- EXERCISE AND STRETCH: Stretch out and engage in physical activity whenever possible. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Jump ropes are lightweight and can be used at the gas station while you’re filling up the tank…
- EAT WELL AND STAY LIGHT: Stay away from junk food and sweets. Whether you worry about your weight or not, you will feel a whole lot better eating real foods.
- YOUR BODY IS YOUR TEMPLE: Treat it that way. Loading gear in and out can be tricky. Sari Beth's note: This advice can apply to every day life (not touring with a band per se) including making smart choices about lugging around heavy gym bags and purses that can lead to back problems.
- TAKE THE LOVE IN: There are amazing people out there. Try to focus on the good exchanges you have with people and appreciate the love they shower on you.
Lucius is an indie pop band from Brooklyn, NY celebrated for their beautiful melodies and blissful sounds. You can get their self-titled EP on iTunes now and they're releasing their first full length album in North America in the Fall of 2013. They were a major draw at the big music conference SXSW back in March and they're heavily touring around the United States and Europe this summer and fall. Due to their big tour schedule, Lucius has also compiled a list of health and fitness conscious tips that definitely translate from tour bus to real life.
- GO FOR THE GREEN! When looking to snack - instead of chips, go for some greens. Even if you're in the middle of nowhere, there's always a healthier option-- grab a bag of carrots or a green apple!
- JUMPING JACKS ARE WHERE IT’S AT! We try to do 100 jumping jacks (and sometimes sit ups and pushups too) every time we stop for gas. It's an easy cardio session at a time when were usually waiting around anyway. Plus, it's a quick boost of energy after sitting in the car for long periods of time.
- H2O IS THE WAY TO GO! Start your day off with a glass of warm water and half of a squeezed lemon. It's a morning ritual that balances your pH, boosts your immune system, aids digestion, amongst many other health benefits. Plus, it's cheap and easy! When you're feeling like you need a snack, or you're losing steam, it's usually because you're dehydrated.
- WATCH OUT FOR THE LATE NIGHT MUNCHIES! We try to skip out on the late night meals. If we eat well and healthy (as possible) on the road, we feel better. Eating late at night can slow you down and make for a more lethargic morning after - and we need all the energy we can get for show time.
Which tips Tour Bus Shape Up Tips did you like the best?
Do you have any healthy travel tips of your own to share? Share the love below in the comments section!