Questions, Questions and Questions!!
I asked people to send me questions for this blog entry, and I got some good ones. I love the interaction I have with people I would have no other way of knowing. Technology is so cool!
So let's get to the questions!
Rachel Jimison Mattox asks….. Have you ever had a show where all members wore Journey shirts on stage at the same time? I mean a planned thing to do, just for fun.
This is an easy answer...It has never happened...Our Drummer Dan Ross will occasionally wear his Escape tour T shirt on stage. I have multiple Journey T shirts but I always feel odd wearing them...It’s like HEY LOOK AT ME I LIKE JOURNEY!!!
Julia Love Alden asks…. Outside venues and the uncooperative weather or indoor venues and storms/heavy rains that affect the show.
In a perfect world Weather wouldn’t be an issue...But we all know we don’t live in a perfect world. If I had to choose between the two, I’d have to go with indoor venue, At least when you get there you can enjoy the show. The band has it in their contract that we get paid either way...Show or no Show...but if you know the guys in this band we would much rather play than to not play! I can say one of the hardest things to do is to plan for a big show and to see that the weather might make folks stay away. We always want people to be safe, but we love seeing your faces!
Kenneth Harris asks….I know you love Journey and your band just kills it... But as a musician does it feel constrictive?
I can’t speak for the band but I can say playing the same 25 songs every week can be a challenge for most. I promise you it isn't for me. I love these songs with such passion I wish I could sing them 5 days a week(I’m human I need 2 days to rest). Also I’ve never considered myself a musician. I'm a singer, a performer. Musicians are those artistic types that produced music or play an instrument. As for the other guys, well I’ve had about 15 people or so come and go over the last 7 years. There are many reasons for this but I imagine one of them is they just wanted to play something other than Journey.
Shawn Dison asks….What would you do if Steve Perry showed up to one of your shows. Stood right up at the front of the stage and was singing along?
HAHAHAHA...WOW...well this is an easy answer. I would stop the show and ask him to please come to the stage and take over singing...I would basically swap places with him. Those songs belong to him...I’m just borrowing them!
Wendy Mcintyre Butler asks…. Do you have a certain area of the states that you like to perform at more so than somewhere else?
The political answer is we love to play anywhere that will have us. We so love the idea that people choose to spend their free time and hard earned money on us. But the band originally starting out in Charlotte NC I would have to say anytime we play the Fillmore in Charlotte is like being in the SUPERBOWL for us. (we play the Fillmore in Charlotte Aug 6th….don’t miss it!)
Alicia Yvette Jamison asks 3 questions…. How do you feel right before you walk on stage?
Usually I am a wreck all the way up til show time…..and it has nothing to do with the show. It's usually band manager stuff...Are the tickets ready...will the band be on time….do I need to eat...will there be a good crowd...will the opening band be good...will I sing well….do these pants make me look fat….I hate my hair….non stop….and then it's 5 minutes before we go on and the world comes into balance and focus...Usually we will call the band members and those that are in the Green Room with us to join in a family prayer. It’s not meant to be Religious...It’s meant to pay respect to the all knowing force that has given us the chance to perform. It puts our hearts in the right frame of mind….3 mins before show time...the Intro plays…”it's just another Trial by Fire…..” I take a deep breath and step out on stage and feel the most relaxed and comfortable I’ve ever been.
Ok next question...What do you do after to settle down from the adrenaline rush?
The simple answer is I go out into the audience and thank folks for being there. But sometimes it takes until 4am to drop down. Sometimes we are in a car driving hours and that adrenaline rush is what gets me home safe. Other times you lay in a hotel room and think of your favorite moments from the show and smile. The secret is knowing that it's ok to have that rush and it's ok to let it go. Many musicians have tried to maintain that high and that's a terrible mistake. It’s a high that can not be replicated with drugs or drink, So why try?
Last question from Alicia, What would be the one Journey or Steve Perry song you wish you could add to set list?
That’s a tough one, because I don’t like to add songs that I would like. I like to add songs that I think would make the show better. We have learned and dropped so many songs in 7 years because they just didn't grab the audience attention. We don’t want to bore people, we want them to sing along. So for that reason we try to play the hits.
But if I had to choose it would probably be The Steve Perry song Strung Out….I used to sing that song every day….and to this day the words ring true….It's hard to love somebody...especially when they don’t belong to you….cause they’re loving someone else...strung out and hung up on you!
Karen N John ask…..Who began the formation of TBF and how did y'all meet? Where did your first venue take place? Is there any particular show that stands out in your mind and brings back special memories?
I started Trial by Fire in 2008. The original members were people I found on Craigslist as I was new in town and didn't know any local musicians. (you can read the previous blog post for the origin story of why I started TBF) Our first show was at the Berewick Community club house..it was my Birthday April 18th 2009...this was at the neighborhood that I lived in when I lived in Charlotte....We build the stage by hand...we practiced in my garage for months...I drove my neighbors crazy! As for a venue that brings back memories...I could do a whole blog post on that. Let's just say I have many memories and stories to tell.
The band has grown and evolved in its short 7-8 year span. All the members have changed a few times, as people come and go..just a fact of life. I met our current keyboard player in a bar called Brewballs in Burlington NC. He offered to fill in one day and I had been chasing him to be in the band from that moment on. Our Drummer Dan Ross brought Scottie Jordan and Rich Barefoot to me. In a moment of depression I was threatening to end the band and Dan said let me show you these two guys...you’ll love them...and love them I did…..And so I credit Dan Ross with saving Trial by Fire….The current line up has been together for 2.5 years...And I love them!
Rachel Jimison Mattox asks….If you had to perform only one Journey song, but you knew Steve was there watching, which song would it be?
That’s a tough one...First off I don’t think I’d want to sing for him. I’d want him to sing for me. But if he insisted I would probably sing “Send Her My Love” or “I’ll be alright without you” as I’ve heard he really likes those two and I think I do them better than the rest…..but I'm sure I’d be a shaking blubbering mess...so it doesn't matter!
Thanks again to all that sent a question...This was fun!! Let's do it again soon!!