INTERVIEW: Drew Dixon
Hi Drew, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
What’s up! Thanks for having me! I’ve been great. This summer has been a lot of fun, and our busy schedule this Fall has been extremely exciting to put together.
How have you been preparing yourself for this short tour on September?
By Yelping as many local places to eat as possible. Kidding, sort of. I’ve mostly been relying on people who already have international touring experience–be it on the artist side, road crew, or in management–and asking them as many questions as I can. Oh and I bought a new guitar case haha. I’m sure there will be some unexpected surprises, it’s almost unavoidable, but I’m beyond stoked for this tour!
Does leading the tour makes yourself feeling much nervous or rather the opposite?
I wouldn’t say I’m nervous, but I do get a bit of travel anxiety, no matter how far we’re traveling. Will the gear get there? Will we hit traffic/have flight delays? Will I get a window seat? Haha, those sort of things. I’ve had an amazing group of people helping me coordinate this particular tour, so it’s taken a lot of the stress out of it. On the music side, I know the guys on stage with me are super talented so that helps me relax as well. No matter what I’ll be worried about something going wrong, probably until I’m walking back into my place in Nashville after it’s all over haha.
Having toured with so many big names in the industry – what have you learned from these experiences?
To always remain humble for any opportunity to play for people. I’ve played to empty rooms and I’ve played to sell out crowds, but if you take any of it for granted, you won’t enjoy the fact that you’re doing what you love. Also, knowing how to interact with other people in close quarters for long periods of time. Nothing else can prepare you for that, besides actually doing it. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by a crew that all have the same sense of humor so that really helps–only a couple black eyes/stitches needed.
Do you put any of these teachings on your solo stints?
Most definitely. Playing an empty room when you’re solo on stage is way tougher, in my opinion, than with a band. With the band you can joke around with your buddies between songs, or work on new material. When it’s just you and a bartender or sound guy, it really tests your commitment. And I’ve had PLENTY of those tests haha.
Having released your new self-titled EP – would you be playing the whole record in its entirety?
Absolutely! I really love the sound of this EP, start to finish. Not to mention our brand new material that isn’t even recorded yet!! We’ll be showing it all off on this tour.
We’ve been known to play cover songs that you wouldn’t expect from a blues/rock band. There will most certainly be a few of those. We won’t be able to bring the pyrotechnics and Cirque du Soleil performers with us on this first run, unfortunately.
Does your set list or approach tends to change depending on the venue?
Not necessarily. We played a Country Club (private golf club) in Alabama and our set list was basically the same as the dirty dive bar we played a few days later. We’re going to play our style of music no matter what.
What’s become the most challenging aspect of touring?
Haha tough to narrow it down to just one. The emails are difficult in the beginning, especially with new areas that you haven’t toured before. Just getting someone to give you a solid yes/no can drive you crazy. Then once the tour is booked, the logistics of moving a group of individuals, efficiently, across a designated area of land is a huge undertaking. It can be intimidating but I’ll reference the people who have helped me with this upcoming European tour again: having people that you can call on when you feel overwhelmed or trapped on a dead end road (literally and figuratively) is invaluable.
What else is happening next in Drew Dixon’s world?
It really has been an exciting year. Literally 5 days after we get back from Europe we’re going on the road and opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd. We have some new material that I hinted at before, and so the goal for the Fall is to get that recorded and ready for release early next year, hopefully around the time we’re headed back to Europe again. We’ll tour some more in The States to finish out the year. New England, Southern California, and we always do a holiday show in South Carolina in December. But right now my focus is on Europe; this tour means a lot to me. It’s been a dream of mine for over a decade to play in Europe, and to think that in a few weeks we’ll be there is a total trip. Pun not intended.
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