Is The Rock ‘N’ Roll Lifestyle Taking Its Toll On You? Part 1

Is The Rock ‘N’ Roll Lifestyle Taking Its Toll On You? Part 1

Are you a musician, or working in the music industry in a non-performing role, and having difficulties in keeping fit and healthy or maintaining a good level of energy to permit you to perform? Are the pressures of your work in music making you ill? With the grueling schedules that you have to attempt it’s not surprising if this is the case!

It’s very tempting to find some kind of drug – caffeine, nicotine or otherwise, to get you by the day, the gig, the tour etc. However there is always a ‘payback time’ in terms of your health and you don’t want this to come when you have another gig or tour or important deadline to meet.

There have been quite a number of reports over the last year of artists having to cancel or postpone their up and coming gigs or events, due to ill health, in addition as quite a number of artists reportedly attending Rehab for addictions. for example:

Music Week reported the following in their Daily News Bulletin, 11 October 2006: “Justin Hawkins has left The Darkness to retrieve from his addictions to drink and drugs”.

And Tom Chaplin, rule singer of Keane, had a spell in Rehab for his own difficulties in drink and/or drug addiction, in addition as Pete Doherty of the Baby Shambles, ex-Libertines, who has been reported to have had several visits to Rehab.

In addition, Luke Pritchard, rule singer with The Kooks had to postpone 4 gigs at the beginning of their last tour. Luke was experiencing with both laryngitis and tonsillitis. An article in NME, 21 October 2006, states the following about Luke’s illness: “Pritchard admitted that his voice had got into a state after The Kooks indulged in a few rock ‘n’ roll clichés while touring”. seemingly Luke had been “out a bit too much and didn’t really sleep”.

James Morrison too had to cancel a visit to The Live Lounge on the Jo Wiley’s Radio 1 Show due to ill health, recently.

So what’s going on? I thought I would look at the issues and possible solutions that would help you to keep yourself fit and healthy to permit you to perform in the music industry. Let’s take a look at just two examples of the work you may do within the industry.

A signed artist: okay your music is now your career and no longer a hobby – but it’s not 9 to 5! You will be working strange hours depending on whether you are touring or recording etc. You are expected to produce excellent songs that are going to make lots of sales – no pressure there then! So your workload includes the usual writing and recording, but then also includes a enormous amount of promotion when a single or album comes out, plus an enormous amount of touring etc. That may not sound too bad, but if you were to look at what was involved in promotion for example, you would see just how hard work that is – several interviews a day – some with very early starts and others at night – some with a photo shoot or a TV turn up. In this scenario, you need to be at the minimum looking fit and healthy!

An artist manager: this is a 24/7 job – trying to keep everyone happy around you: predominantly the artist, then the record company, the promoters etc. You have to position all the logistics that surrounds an artist – signed or unsigned – it’s your job to steer the band or artist. Plus you have to keep an ‘objectivity’ so that the artists can make clear decisions – so you need to be completely on the ball and keep well informed of the music industry and all its machinations – which are regularly changing! Essentially you are a problem solver.

Okay, well that’s what you do around the clock, but where is your chance to sleep, keep fit, eat well, and generally look after yourself? Not to mention keeping a balance between your music career and the rest of your life! These extreme workloads and without of balance and without of putting your body’s needs first, can consequence in physical or mental illness – such as colds, sore throats, spots, sheer exhaustion, stress, depression, burnout, in addition as using drink and drugs as a route for escapism which can rule to you being bad-tempered, behaving erratically, becoming unreliable and can rule to addiction of some degree. Sounds like a total without of well-being doesn’t it? So what’s the answer?

In Part 2 of this article you can see what you can do to look after yourself, whilst nevertheless having a good time!

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