INTERVIEW: Courage My Love

So this is your second UK tour, how are you finding the UK?

Mercedes/Phoenix: It’s awesome!

Mercedes: We love it, it’s even more fun this time around cause we’re seeing some familiar faces and made friends last time.

Which city has been your favourite to play so far?

Mercedes: Paris was a really good show and we really like that city a lot. London I gotta say is always really fun and a lot of good times. I think it’s different for everybody.

Phoenix: We haven’t played this day yet but I think Leeds is gonna be pretty fun too. Last year it was a really good show, we’re excited.

Have you had much time on this tour to explore?

Mercedes: Yeah sometimes, like today (Camden Rocks Festival) we already played so we’ll probably go and explore a little bit. Usually we’re the last band on so at around like 10 at night or after we soundcheck we’ve got a bit of time to go check things out.

And you guys are playing Warped Tour this year. Are you doing the whole run?

Phoenix: Yeah! The whole thing.

Mercedes: We did it before in 2014 and we got asked to do it again this year so it should be a fun time.

Phoenix: We’ll have like two days back home after this tour then we leave for warped tour so it’s pretty good!

Brandon: On the road again!

Are there any bands you’re looking forward to seeing on Warped Tour?

Phoenix: *Gasps* There’s a lot of bands!

Mercedes: For sure.

Phoenix: Beartooth are really cool, I wanna watch them, I think they’re awesome. Silverstein are like our Canadian bros so it’ll be cool to see them.

Brandon: It’ll be cool to see Hawthorne Heights again.

Mercedes/Phoenix: Yeah!

Mercedes: We already toured with them and they’re really cool people so it’s nice.

What’s your favourite thing about touring?

Mercedes: Honestly the whole thing is my favourite. I love travelling, I love the friendships that we make, I really like the experiences and seeing new places and meeting new people. Being musicians we like getting to play every day - that’s a bonus! If you’re cut out for it then it’s the perfect life.

Downsides?

Phoenix: It can be physically straining I guess, just on your health sometimes. But it’s really fulfilling and really fun, it’s worth it!

Any top tips for touring?

Mercedes: I’d say sleep as much as you can. That’s we do, we try to sleep as much as we can in the back of the van. It’s not easy because sleep is probably the thing you get least of on tour.

Phoenix: Drink water. My secret weapon when I start to feel under the weather is Emergen-C. I don’t know if it’s around here.

Brandon: Any vitamin C.

Mercedes: Yeah any multivitamin. Or there’s a sick thing in the UK called Vocalzone, if you’re a singer. It works, it’s crazy! I lost my voice and I couldn’t even talk, then before a show I took it and I could sing.

What was filming the music video for your latest single “Need Someone” like?

Mercedes: It was pretty cool we’ve never done such a simple stripped down video before. I’ve never cried on camera before or anything like that so it was kinda surreal that way but I think it turned out really well and we all had fun doing it. It was an emotional roller coaster!

Phoenix: It was hard for Brandon and I because we are normally behind either a bass or drums. So it was kinda awkward being like up front and centre.

Brandon: We didn’t really know what we were supposed to do! We need some direction!

Phoenix: Yeah we were pretty much told “Okay you just have to get in zone.” Emote! We just had to think what the song was about and let it flow.

Mercedes: That song means a lot to all of us. When it’s something already really close to you it’s easy to tap into that energy or whatever.

Phoenix: Feelings!

Does Brandon ever get left out as the only guy in the band, especially since you’re both twins?

Mercedes: No! I don’t think so.

Brandon: Do you want the dirt or?… Just kidding! It’s awesome, we’re all like bros anyway, and we’ve been friends for a long time. There’s no bullshit we’re all pretty straight up with each other. These are my girls and I look after them - my little sisters!

If you were a cocktail/alcoholic drink what would you be?

Phoenix: There’s so many sexual ones! It’s a horrible drink but I think I’d be a long island ice tea because it’s easy on the way down but there’s lots inside!

Mercedes: I’d be like a berry cider because it’s sweet but also bitter so it’s conflicting tastes.

Phoenix: You’re so bitter! So bitter on the inside!

Brandon: Sex on the beach baby!

Phoenix: You’d be a shot of JD, let’s be real!

Brandon: Straight shot, no cocktails!

Phoenix: No chaser!

Catch Courage My Love on tour in the UK this November and Europe from February next year.


High Rise Tour - London - 22/5/17

The last day of tour was a home town show in London and it was nice to get that feeling of being home again. We took the van again to The Unicorn in Camden and were there from around 4pm so we had plenty of time to load in. Again I took charge of all the merch loading in and setting up. Although this time as punishment for not doing any loading in Tom had to help me out! After that I then set up my laptop on the merch desk to get cracking with more editing. 

At around 6pm my boyfriend arrived at the venue as a bit of moral support at the last gig. We headed down to Camden town to get some food and I brought Ricky’s GoPro with me to film some candid footage of the town centre. After a lovely filling burrito we walked 20 minutes back up the road to the venue to have a quick drink before the gig kicked off.

Callous were on first and managed to draw in a bit of a crowd which stuck around for the rest of the night. I got the chance to jam out with Defences being front and centre of their crowd which was loads of fun then it was back to work with High Rise. As the last night of tour and the crowd numbers looking up Dan finally got to crowd surf, which he was really happy about. What a way to send off the tour!

We took some time after to get a couple of group photos of High Rise and all the bands/crew together once we mostly loaded everything out. The venue were quite eager to close up as their staff don’t get paid after 11 and there was one bar guy left waiting on us. Whilst packing up we seemed to attract a rather interesting drunkard from the streets who began babbling incoherently before he started to get aggressive. Not only did he kick my boyfriend but also began hitting/prying off Defences’ license plate on their tour van! Fortunately for them their drummer and driver Kyle was prepared for anything (and I mean absolutely anything!) and had some spare screws around to fix it. Whilst all this was happening Gaz from Callous was straight on the phone to the police.

That’s when we discovered something… Dan had left his jacket and car keys in the now locked up venue which we needed to get home. After trying to think of several other ways to get home Cherry from Defences spotted the venue staff walking down the road so we chased after him and got the venue reopened. That saved our journey home! Thinking that’d be the end of our troubles I joined Jovic across the road to get some pizza for the journey home. As soon as I got there Jovic and two of Defences told me to look out on the pavement by the door and I saw a trail of blood. Apparently they had just seen someone get stabbed in the foot! I have heard of various things like this happening in Camden but had never been one to experience it, even with all the times I’ve spent in Camden at gigs.

Once our food was ready we headed back towards the van to see a police van had arrived so we went to see what was going on. Turns out the police turned up to deal with the homeless drunk man Gaz had called in about. The man had been starting to let his trousers and all sorts go and as we turned the corner we saw the police had to restrain him on the floor. Finally that was the end of our troubles in Camden and time to go home.

As sad as it was that the tour had ended I know everyone couldn’t wait to sleep in their own beds, get plenty of rest and some proper food down them! I’m sure it won’t be the last I see of the boys and hopefully I’ll get to work with them together again on future projects and tours.


High Rise Tour - Norwich - 21/5/17

By this point in the tour my laptop had ran out of core memory storage so my passport air device came in very handy to get on with the rest of the work I needed to do. Unfortunately on the way to Tom’s house I lost all the data on my phone by updating iTunes without backing up my phone so I lost tour photos and videos including video diaries. It was restored back to when I last backed it up in December which was irritating but it could’ve been worst and I could’ve lost a lot more. Luckily I was able to handle this and I hadn’t lost all my camera tour photos. 

In the end we decided to take a chance on using the van for the drive to Norwich. We all met up at Tom’s house again and made our way to the venue. As soon as we got onto the M25 we were stuck in traffic as ambulances came racing by and we soon came to a standstill as the M25 got closed off. Like most people we decided to use this as an opportunity to stretch our legs and enjoy the sunshine that was blazing down upon us. After awhile some of the guys decided to take a walk up since the news report was that the traffic wouldn’t be moving again for about an hour. Fortunately after about half an hour we saw the others running back towards us as the cars were beginning to move again and we were finally on our way. Somehow we made it there before Callous who were driving straight from Folkestone!

The local opening band that were supposed to play pulled out that night so it was just us three again. We only managed to draw in a couple of locals to the gig as a karaoke night was going on next door, and The Brickmakers wasn’t exactly town centre. It was nice to have a night of all the bands playing to and supporting each other though.

This night was also surprisingly my busiest night of the lot as all the bands asked me to shoot their sets I was working all night. I also decided to take charge of merch and did the whole layout as well as bringing it in then packing it away. I really liked the lighting at this venue too but it was a bit odd to be shooting a bigger stage with a barrier compared to all the other venues we had visited. Defences were finally able to put their whole production to use since there was a bigger stage with more space for their LED lighting stands and side stage scrolls. It was great fun shooting all of the bands and chatting with the sound guy after as he also does photography, we even exchanged details.

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