Techno Tuesday: How BLOND:ISH stay sane on the road [Op-Ed]
Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.
Despite the glitz and glam that are often paired with fame, the hardships of life on tour can be a challenging concept to grasp. For many touring artists, this life – one that requires constant movement and a permanent energy seemingly exceeds human capabilities – can be taxing; so much so that the act of living feels less like being alive and more like an unfaltering, robotic maneuver. Even for an act as acclaimed as BLOND:ISH, the world is moving faster than ever. Countless flights across the globe, hours spent partying and drinks later, Anstascia and Vivie-ann have admittedly come closer to the edge than they’d ever imagined.
“Unfortunately, like everything, [the DJ journey] becomes too good to be true and usually comes with a cost.”
Anyone who’s been uprooted more times than they can count on two hands knows exactly what “cost” the duo are referring to: the physical strain, the mental exhaustion and perhaps even the onslaught of emotional trauma brought on by interminable travel.
Following years spent mastering the art of balance amid a relentless lifestyle, BLOND:ISH have learned the tricks of the trade, like eating digestive enzymes after each meal, alkalizing their water, and taking breaks when they’ve maxed out their bandwidth. It’s this ability to say ‘enough is enough’ and to rise above the pressures of peers that allow the pair to continue exploring and experimenting as an unrivaled house and techno act.
Catch BLOND:ISH at SXM Festival from March 15-19.
Photo courtesy of BLOND:ISH
BLOND:ISH share their tips for staying sane on the road. Check out their op-ed below:
“The other day on the beach in Tulum we were laughing about old stories and reminiscing on the days when we were trying to make it as DJ’s in Montreal about 9 years ago. We realised that both of us at a young age knew that we wanted to travel the world and make people dance.
Today we can say we’ve definitely gone through this incredible DJ journey, seen every continent in the world (except Antarctica which is basically Montreal so you can say we’ve been there). We’ve played at almost all of the best clubs on the planet, experienced many different cultures through music, reached many of our goals, danced and shared endless magical moments raving, eating, drinking, laughing with incredible people that we can very luckily call our friends and mentors.
But unfortunately, like everything, it becomes too good to be true and usually comes with a cost.
When we got the request to write something on this topic, we honestly felt like we could write a book because the struggle is real. Don’t get us wrong…every single step along this adventure has been incredible, but something about traveling every weekend has changed for us in the past 2 years and has become more exhausting. Some sort of energy has shifted..maybe it’s because we’re not teenagers anymore but we feel like it’s getting much tougher for us and many of our colleagues. At least it’s apparent in our circle of friends by the stories we’ve been hearing.
We flirt with the fine line of burning out quite often. We’ve thankfully never reached it yet but have come close. The world seems to be moving much faster now and nobody feels like they have time for anything. It seems like there’s 99999 more festivals popping up in the past few years and even more boutique hippy jet set spiritual vegan techno poncho deluxe ones popping up left right and centre…we just can’t keep up. Even though they offer yoga, meditation, & volcanic exfoliations where you connect to the earth and yourself bla bla bla, it’s just still not enough sometimes to rebalance yourself.
As self-proclaimed Hippycrits, the most important thing we’re learning is how to constantly keep a center of balance throughout our lives. Not ever tipping the scale too much in one way or another. Life is all about a game of balance. Everything you do is a constant balance. Whether it’s eating meat this week and not the next or not raving the night away and sleeping 48 hours the next day or yoga three times this week and next week flopping around the beach like a lazy whale…it’s never ending.
Therefore, we wanted to share our 8 top tips for staying in balance that we’re trying to apply as much as we can in between and during our rave/touring schedules.
1. Spend time in nature
We are fortunate enough to be able to be based in Tulum in the winter time and Barcelona/ Ibiza for the summer season. But when we’re not home, we’re usually in airports, taxis, planes, hotels, clubs and back in airports. The hardest part of our actual work and touring is having to travel 99% of the time vs being 1% of the time in the club (which is the fun part). You become crazy after a while with all the people around and all the fake airplane air. The most important thing you can do for yourself and your sanity is reconnect with nature. Take some time to go for a walk, go to the beach…hug a nearby tree to ground yourself. Do whatever you can to just get some fresh (non big city) air in your lungs.
2. It’s ok to take time off
At the beginning of our busy touring life we would accept almost every offer we could get to obviously get our name out there and to gain worldwide experience. But after a while you realize that not every gig is worth saying yes to and that resting and taking some time off is incredibly important for longevity in this game. When we’re not traveling we usually have Mondays – Thursdays off (except during the busy summer). During the week were working in the studio, answering never-ending logistical emails or working on ABRACADABRA, our new project. We make it a point to take a few weeks off at a time at least 3 times a year to reconnect with ourselves and our loved ones. Or sometimes we’ll randomly take a weekend off. It felt totally weird at first, not being on a plane on a Friday or Saturday, but you come back to work the following weekend feeling rejuvenated and amazing!
3. Exercise // Practice Yoga // Meditate
This is an obvious one but it’s something that we try our best to incorporate in our daily routine. The thing that has been the most helpful for us is stretching and spontaneous yoga moves wherever we are…We stretch at the airport, in taxis, in line at the post office or even on the plane. When we’re back at home we do yoga and reformer pilates as much as we can and also incorporate meditation and various breathing exercises into our daily routine (which you can also do anywhere anytime). We’re obsessed with Gaia, where you can stream yoga or mediation classes even from your phone or in your hotel room. It’s also an amazing resource to learn from and stream anything to do with new age hippy consciousness aliens or whatever.
4. Learn to sleep everywhere
Over the years we’ve mastered the art of sleeping – literally whenever and wherever possible. In taxis, airplanes (try to get a full row of empty seats whenever possible if you don’t fly business class), airport floors, on some random person’s shoulder, airport lounges etc.. We never leave the house without our essential sleep apparatus…heavy duty earplugs, melatonin pills, eyemask, a warm coat/sweater as a blanket and a comfy foam travel pillow. Another tip we’ve learned is to really pick your battles, meaning you don’t always have to go to the after party. Pick the ones that are really worth going to. Sometimes the best after party is sleeping in your hotel bed and not being an airport zombie.
5. Take care of your spine
We have been both struggling with back pain from all the touring, heavy luggage lifting and many years of being hunched over our computers in the studio. We realized that when you’re dealing with constant back pain, no amount of yoga or massages really fix the problem…which is why it’s important to get to the root of the issue. Thankfully, Anstascia’s longtime chiropractor Dr. Khan in Vancouver developed the KKT Treatment that has helped us tremendously. This treatment uses a non invasive machine that sends sound waves to a specific point in your neck that improves spinal alignment of the back, shoulders, and pelvis and subsequently enhancing the health of the spinal discs, ligaments and muscles.
6. Bring healthy stuff with you on tour
We were joking the other night at dinner that we should to carry an extra suitcase now to gigs just for our vitamins, supplements, essential oils, superfoods, matcha powders, activated nuts and seeds, raw food bars, sweetener alternatives, apple cider vinegar, water bottles, neti pots etc. Traveling and being in airports all the time doesn’t leave many options for healthy eating so we bring as much as we can with us and the repertoire just keeps growing. (pro tip: don’t ever travel with a 5 litre of apple cider vinegar in your check-in luggage even if it’s in a plastic bottle. You can smell the explosion when your bag comes down the carousel).
7. Eat digestive enzymes
Yes we pull these out at every meal. We’re super healthy vegan flexitarian-whatevers, but when the weekend rolls around we go for the pasta or the occasional once a month organic burger with some mezcal or red wine on weekends before shows. After a heavy meal all we wanna do is nap and that’s not the best state to be in before a gig when you need to be on FIRE, so digestive enzymes help with that.
8. Alkalize your water
This is a huge topic in itself… we recently had a conversation about drinking distilled water vs alkaline water with Margaret Dygas on our way to playing a festival in Romania. It was quite intense and we both had a lot to say on the topic but we’ll keep that for another day.
We try to drink alkaline water as much as possible all day everyday…Everything from pollution, stress, sugar, alcohol, coffee, meat, pesticides etc create acidity in our bodies and therefore creates the perfect environment for bacteria, viruses and yeast to thrive and diseases to develop. These impurities cannot thrive in an alkaline environment and since our body is around 60- 75% ish water, it’s important to keep our inner ocean clean. There are many chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride in the world’s tap water which are all very acidic. We travel with our own water bottle and add Santevia alkaline water sticks to reduce chlorine, add minerals and raise the PH. At home we have a Santevia Alkalizing countertop water filter that we love.
Sound is our passion. It’s our life. It’s the main motivation for what we do. We’re sure it’s been our passion for many many lives. There is nothing else we can think of that is so limitless and has no boundaries as music. This is why staying in balance in this crazy world we live in will only serve to propel us further into the exploration of sound. Staying in balance will allow us to continue to explore and share our passion for music with the rest of the world.
For more info call our hotline 1-800-blondishtips.