Our Tour Survival Guide checks in with rockers about life on the road. Here’s our You Oughta Know artist Aqualung (aka Matt Hales) on school bullies, audience love, and solar-powered calculators.
Ben’s In Charge
It would be nice to think that I was a totally self-sufficient creature who could stalk through this world, bending everyone’s will to my own without anyone’s help. But it seems everything goes better when my brother Ben is there. He’s got a special pair of gloves for helping the load-in, and I haven’t got any of those. He’s also quite good at knowing what time it is.
Calculated Dirty Talk
A few years ago, we were in a dark backstage area at a club gig, and nothing on our rider had arrived, but there was a solar-powered calculator backstage. Which obviously didn’t work, because it was dark. It struck us as the ultimate luxury. So we thought we’d have that on [our rider] from then on. I just like to do that thing where you type in certain numbers, turn it upside down and it says "boobs."
My least favorite city to play might be my hometown London. I’m always so much more self-conscious there because there’s almost certainly someone I went to school with there, [and] it might be someone who teased me at school. And they might come backstage and start teasing me again.
Some Shows RatedNC-17
Ridiculous, dumb things happen on stage with us. Occasionally people will shout out that they love me, which is a popular pastime at gigs. You can ignore it, but sometimes they’re very persistent. Once I was trying to say "Of course, we’re all human beings, as one member of mankind to another, I love you too. I love you all." [But] then that went into this song about platonic love, and loving people in a general way, and that turned into a country song called "General Love." Then that turned into an awful punk song called "SergeantFistf*ck." It all kind of happened. On stage. It was very clear that as it turned from fun to offensive, there was some cooling.