Why Manchester is the new creative epicentre of neo-soul and hip-hop
Stelmanis: "Because I evaded higher education by becoming a musician, I feel like I have to keep up with my peers by reading lots of famous literature. Its very easy to become stupid on tour and as of late I've noticed a significant deterioration in my vocabulary. So, I'm attempting to keep it alive by always having a thick read on hand."
Flaubert: "The only time we really have to work on music while on the road is in the van. Days off are usually spent sleeping, and the time in between playing a show and driving is usually spent trying to find ways to move. And so, we have to find instruments that that fit within the two foot space each of us occupy while traveling. Mini interfaces, harddrives and keyboards are essential. We even have a mini-guitar for those of us who aren't bothered by it."
Stelmanis: "Being on tour is a constant battle of infection and illness within your body. Not sleeping, not eating right, stressing out and never exercising are great ways to get sick. We avoid the inevitable by consuming huge amounts of vitamins and health tinctures every day. My personal preference is oil of oregano and Super echinacea."
Stelmanis: "I HATE flying which is pretty unfortunate considering my career. I always have to travel with plane drugs to help fall asleep or help relax. Ativan works pretty well, as well as various sleeping pills I've acquired all over the world for longer journeys."
Stelmanis: "Since I started touring constantly 3 years ago I've seen my youth slip away at a rapid rate, so I've succumbed to the societal generalization that youth=beauty and purchased "youth serum" to stay young. Its kind of a crap-shoot but it feels nice on your face when your tired."
Stelmanis: "When I perform I always like to wear big shoes so I don't look so short next to my bandmates, and because if I wear the right ones, I think they have the power to unleash a deeper performance character. These shoes are particularly special to me. I got them second hand in London, and have since learned they belonged to a Swedish Pop Star from the 90's called Leila K. She was one of the first Swedish-Moroccan women to find success on a mainstream level (a lot of people believe the spice girls ripped her off). Unfortunately, she was screwed out of all the rights to her music by her label and spent a few years living on the streets in Stockholm. Someone made a documentary about her, and I think the attention has helped her get back on her feet. I feel honoured to wear the same shoes she did 20 years later."
Stelmanis: "Living with 6-8 other people in very close quarters can be a bit too intimate at times. I always travel with matches that can be lit when someone has an unfortunate incident in the bathroom to avoid discomfort. Its a very important tool for our group and I recommend it for all bands."
Stelmanis: "We feel guilty sometimes being in a band because our carbon footprint is so huge. Driving, flying and using huge amounts of power to play a concert is very wasteful, and so wherever possible we try to be environmentally conscious. The easiest way to do it is to avoid plastic water bottles (which used to end up in our van in droves) and stick to reusable ones. Reusable cutlery is great too, as well as jars and tupperwares."