Notes From The Road: Night Moves

Mark Ritsema writes for ClashMusic...
Night Moves

For most people, the idea of joining a band on tour is a gloriously exotic experience.

Yet for most bands, touring can descend into idleness and drudgery. Endless hours on the road can be inspiring, but it can also lead to plenty of spare time left lying around unused.

Night Moves are aware of both sides of the live experience. The Stateside group recently unveiled their debut album 'Colored Emotions', the product of years of hard work, missed opportunities and new possibilities.

Setting out on tour, the band agreed to support Mercury Music Prize winners Django Django on their North American tour. Mark Ritsema jotted down some notes, showcasing an irreverent side to the band which you might otherwise have missed.

Ever wondered what you could tell about a person by their choice of soft drink? Well you might do after this...

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We’re in the middle of a tour with Django Django sitting around before our show in Cincinnati. We came from Columbus, OH the night before, home of the FAYGO warehouse. Last time we played in Columbus I had the privilege of ordering a cherry Faygo with my slice of pizza and I have to admit that it felt good. I felt like I was channelling the spirit of the Juggalos and that I was part of their family. I wanted to yell out “WOO WOO” and pour it all over my chest but remembered that I was in public. It made me think of how people use their drink of choice as a way of defining themselves in their scene. Being in a touring band we see so many parts of the country with different music scenes and the drink of choice is always apparent.

I think what you drink can have a serious impact on your attitude. Just the idea of drinking Faygo in Columbus gets me pumped up and of changes my mind-set, even though I know there’s no special ingredient in it that chemically pumps me up or makes me want to dump it all over my girlfriend/cousin. It’s this strange placebo effect, like you can live vicariously through any type of person just by drinking what they drink.

This is probably because with a drink, you have to hold on to it, in your hand, in front of everyone – it’s a status symbol. It’s very exposing and intimate; it almost becomes a part of you. It seems just as important about what brands you are wearing. If you walked into a Superbowl party with a bunch of wood-cutting grizzly men, you wouldn’t want to stroll in with a strawberry margarita bucket and curly straws. You would want a case of Coors Light, with the mountains as blue as possible. I guess being on tour has just highlighted this phenomenon for us.

When we get to a new venue or city the question is always asked, “what should we drink tonight?” That’s because it’s a serious decision on the way you want the night to go. Should it be a tequila night? A Hennessy night? A Faygo night? A red bull night? Cough syrup? You can pretty clearly predict the outcome before you indulge. The U.S. is a very divided country, so it makes sense that there is no national drink that bonds us all together. Each region of the U.S. has its own drink - The punks have Black Label, the Hicks have Budweiser, the South has Double-cup purple drank, the college kids have kegs, the High-school kids have whatever they can find in the trash, and the Christian rock crowd has…Sunny D.

-Mark Ritsema of Night Moves

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