In this Preshow Rituals segment, the dream pop band, Satchmode, share what they do before every show. You can check out their rituals, after the break.
My preshow ritual starts after soundcheck. I can’t drink or eat much since it messes with my voice. Sometimes I’ll try to sneak a couple tacos and I usually end up burping my way through our set. So I’ll have a bottle of Soylent and that’s it. If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying it, Soylent is a sort of dystopian futuregruel containing a balanced meal in flavorless liquid form – I never leave home without it. After that, I’ll drink a cup of Throat Cut tea, which is basically a miracle elixir for your voice made out of tree bark. Soothes any throat soreness and keeps your voice feeling healthy. If there’s time and people are hanging out at the venue, I like to talk with the guys in the other bands and get to know them a little bit.
About an hour before the set I’ll start warming up my voice. If there’s no good place to sing loud, weird vocal exercises backstage – which is usually the case – then I’ll go sit in our van. It used to take me a really long time to feel warmed up because I didn’t have much real technique. But I started working with a vocal coach about a year ago, which has been a huge help. It only takes me ten or fifteen minutes now to get my voice ready for a performance and I put a lot less strain on it. Then I’ll play some scales and arpeggios on guitar to get my fingers loose.
After that, I need to be somewhere quiet and away from distractions. There’s usually a lot going on in the green room – friends coming back to say hi, guys from the other bands hanging out and drinking. If it’s not too cold, I like to leave the venue and just wander around the neighborhood for a while. I try to get myself into a calm and focused place. If you ever run into me right before or after a show you’ll probably catch me in that mental state. It’s a weird sensation – my mind is sort of blank and open, and I won’t be able to hold much of a conversation. It’s when I’m in that place that I can totally immerse myself in a performance.