Returning to Australia later this month for two very special live shows in Melbourne and in Sydney as part of Vivid Festival at The Opera House, Herbert will perform tracks from The Shakes, his first new dance record for nine years, due for release Friday 29th May via Caroline Australia.
Touring is a huge part of any musician’s life, and Herbert, has more than a little experience in doing so globally, so we asked Herbert how he spends his time on the road….
Touring is a state of mind. you need to surrender to the dull throb of endlessly waiting for drivers to show up, the long queue to check in at a hotel when you’ve just come off an 18hr journey, the buffet of cheap processed foods backstage that you know are bad for you but you’re still going to eat, the engineers fiddling with a PA that hasn’t been set up right, the realisation you left your costume back at the hotel when you’re supposed to be on in 10 minutes, the struggle to find a bar you can all agree on is the place to have a drink after the show, the weirdness of being engrossed in a book that describes a world entirely at odds with the one you see from your window, the unconvincing signal from the hotel wi-fi system, the yearning to get home as quickly as possible. and then you go on stage, and nowhere else exists – explains Matthew Herbert of being on the road….
Movies/TV shows: What are you watching?
Louie. I’m not that far into the new series so not sure how it will pan out, but some of his previous shows have been some of the best TV that’s ever been made. his work is so laced with surprise and so unimpeded by convention that each episode can be like taking a new drug: you never know what’s going to happen next. depressing though to say as much, it is also extraordinary to see a male lead character simply getting by with his children. in an age where the idea of macho seems to be back on the political menu, it’s refreshing to see healthier representations of masculinity and the tenderness that accompanies it.
Music: What are you listening to?
High winds blowing the tin roof of this studio I’m in and through holes in the walls to create a small symphony of whistles, squeaks, squeals and knocks.
Literature: What are you reading?
This changes everything by Naomi Klein.
Since 1990, emissions have risen 61%. if we don’t change this violent and destructive economic system we’ve built, we’re on course for an incredible shock and we’re not as robust a species as we have led ourselves to believe.
Food: What are you eating?
It’s asparagus season so it’s a quest to hunt out anywhere that sells it.
Accommodation: Where are you sleeping?
Anywhere that has something to rest your head against. on tour, any time you can steal 20 minutes or so, you have to take it otherwise the long hours become backed up and the delirium kicks in.
Tour Comforts: What can’t you live without while on the road?
Nail clippers. a torn or long nail can drive a person mad without the appropriate tool to deal with it. and if you forget a pair of clippers, they are harder to track down than you might imagine.
Guilty Pleasure/s: What is your one guilty pleasure while touring?
Driving miles and miles and miles.
From an environmental perspective, we really shouldn’t be travelling as much as we should, and I try and avoid flying if possible but sometimes I really enjoy the long drives around Europe. a current favourite is süd tirøl and the dolomites as you weave through the mountains and beside rivers. It really is a guilty pleasure, as playing a gig isn’t really justification for excessive consumption, but with declining record sales, performing live has once again become a staple form of income for many musicians.
What is your favourite tour photo or video from your personal collection?
As you can probably tell from some of the answers above, touring can be a lonely and draining thing to do, but then you wake up one morning in a hotel in northern Italy, open your curtains and see something like this and realise you are one of the luckiest people alive.
The Shakes is due for release Friday 29th May via Caroline Australia.
HERBERT TOUR DATES
Friday 22nd May – Prince Bandroom, Melbourne
Tickets available here
Saturday 23rd May – The Studio, Sydney Opera House (VIVID)