It is a well-known fact that for any DIY band life on the road can be testing. Sure you may have a deal in place and shows lined up, but as Orlando pop-rockers Hungover show, the bond you have between your bandmates pulls you through the bad days.
Having re-released their ‘WILT (When I Lose Touch)’ EP last week, it sees the quintet show tons of promise through a set of polished, occasionally heavy, pop-rock songs that has seen them be compared to ‘From Under the Cork Tree’-era Fall Out Boy and Mayday Parade. With bold hooks coming in the form of ‘Exit: Stage Left’, ‘Irish Goodbye’ and ‘Three’s Company’, Hungover combine them with a lyrically positive shine. “WILT is a record about moving on and letting go,” they explain. “The lyrical content is focused around the idea that sometimes to make progress in life you have to get rid of the things and the people that weigh you down the most.”
Although joining up with Smartpunk Records has meant ‘WILT’ has been heard by more and more people, Hungover continue to go through the daily ground of a DIY band. As part of our new Guest Blog series, we gave Hungover vocalist Marc Cortes the opportunity to discuss their recent touring experiences and how they have overcome the obstacles thrown at them.
At this point, we have been away from home for 36 days. We are still over 1,000 miles from home. Five friends in one van doing their best to support each other and make it through the wildest journey of our lives. As much as I’d like to be able to say that the DIY touring experience is parallel to what you’d see in the movies or on television: it’s not. Being away from the people you love and the comforts of home can really take a toll on you and your mental health. If there is one life lesson that has reigned paramount when I reflect on this tour, it is that you can’t do it alone.
Without being too cliché: teamwork does, in fact, make the dream work. We’re out here trying to make our passion into a full-time career and that can come along with some disappointment/frustration. Van troubles, shows that flop, and long overnight drives are amongst the long list of things that can pile up and overwhelm a new touring band. How we work together and keep morale up is of the utmost importance.
At the end of every day, we make a point to share what the best part of our day was. It can be something as big as playing a sold out room in a new city or as small as a having really good bagel that morning. It helps us remember that it’s not all bad. Sure, we have a rough go at some things, but we’re also getting to experience new things every day. It’s very easy to get lost in your head when you’re going through hard times and that little bit of time spent purposefully with each other can make all the difference. A slight adjustment in perspective can totally change the way you see things.
We’re also very open about the way we feel. Big T (our affectionately named van) is a tension free zone. If the vibe is off, we are talking about it. Sharing and living in a 12 x 6 metal box for 18 hours a day can lend to a little bit of friction, even between the best of friends. Sometimes you just need to get things off your chest and let it all air out. If you’re around people who are kind, compassionate, and honest, talking things out is a quick way to resolve any issue.
Despite the obstacles, we wouldn’t change anything about this experience. At the end of the day, we are a loving family working towards a common goal and we get to see the world while doing it. The challenges aren’t going to stop presenting themselves, but we will be ready for them.
‘WILT’ EP by Hungover is out now on Smartpunk Records.
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