Our good friend and healthy hippie Jonathan Blake (aka Crazy Red Beard) had a conversation with the leader of the Everyone Orchestra and drummer from Hot Buttered Rum, the one and only Matt Butler. They discussed being healthy and more green on the road.
Don't miss you chance to see Matt Butler perform with Everyone Orchestra this spring and summer.
CRB: As a performer, I often find it difficult to make the healthiest eating choices when constantly on the go. How do you manage this when touring/performing?
MB: That is a very true statement and I do my best. My Iphone has been a god send. I can find health food stores near where I'm playing. Eating raw kale has been my way of balancing out the unhealthy foods I eat along the way like at airports. I have to say that airports are getting better with having choices other than hamburgers. Eating kale, carrots and fruits helps keep me in balance and grounded.
When I'm touring I have to say that my weakness is sweets. Sugar is my drug of choice in the way that I miss my family so I want something sweet.
CRB: Are there any must have travel foods for your and your crew?
MB: I like to have dried fruits and nuts at all times. If needed it can be a meal. With Hot Buttered Rum we say that when there are carrots, juice and pitas backstage the show is better. It's like you're home. I try to keep those things on hand.
CRB: Do you currently, or do you currently plan to try to lessen your carbon footprint when traveling? As a live painter that traverses many states in a given year, I often feel guilty about this...
MB: It is a conundrum for me right now. Obviously when doing Jam Cruise...we did a private show to make money to plant trees to offset the carbon footprint of Jam Cruise. Last year I did over 160 shows between Everyone Orchestra and Hot Buttered Rum and about fifteen of them were in my hometown of Portland. We might be one of the last generations to live like this. It's still affordable to fly to New York for a couple of shows. It might not always be like that. I always try to purchase carbon offsets for my traveling which is basically planting trees. I've gotta say that I take more than I give in that respect right now. I'm not turning down any gigs if I can support my family. It's a constant tradeoff. Currently I'm investigating ways to do more of what I do on a local and regional level so I don't have such a large carbon footprint.
CRB: Do you and your band mates make time for physical activity and fun on the road?
MB: When I travel with EO I mainly travel by myself and I play tennis and do yoga. I bring my racket and I have people I meet with in towns to play tennis with. With Hot Buttered Rum everyone in the band is a runner. We plan kickball games to get people moving their bodies. When you are deep into a 2 week tour it gets harder to get your ass up and going because of lack of sleep. It always helps to get up and do that stuff.
CRB: Any super delicious travel recipes you want to share?
MB: I love to wrap spicy Thai food in raw kale. It's my favorite. It is the perfect meal. Our garden is starting to grow and we haven't had to buy greens at the store. We plant mostly kale. Kale is the most nutritious food. The first recipe my wife made me was steamed kale with macaroni and cheese and it changed my life. I am so happy my kids love it too!
CRB: For me, one of the toughest things to do when on the road is maintaining a semblance of balance with personal health; spiritual/mental/physical. At least one area tends to be lacking for me. Do you put a lot of thought into this or do anything special to prepare for times when you won't have access to exercise, meditation or other mental activity, or spiritual practices?
MB: To be honest I approach those moments with apprehension and fear but I tried not to go into it like that. When things are crazy I do whatever I can to make sure my family is settled, well and happy. If I set up everything else in my life I can focus better and feel clear. I do simple breathing to feel grounded. Sometimes I drink coffee when I'm tired, but if I take some time to breath backstage I feel so much better, grounded and sane. I try to get a massage. Festival massage can really make or break a performance. It helps me be a vortexual facilitator for Everyone Orchestra so I can be in tune with where everyone is going and feel where there energy is at.
CRB: Any general advice on green and happy living for other bands/performers?
MB: Taking time between tours. In the 90's I was always on the road. All my stuff was in storage and I lived in a van. Our ability to project out the glory of music was marginalized because I wasn't grounded into any one community. There is so much to be said to be grounded into an intimate family and community and to go out into the world and project that. There are so many musicians that don't take time for their families. You have to keep the home fires growing to make everything feel worthwhile.
CRB: Weirdest road food?
MB: Meat fried lasagne. They breaded the lasagne and then deep fried it. It was really good but I regretted it. The whole band was like, "Woah" and we all couldnt' move on stage.
CRB: Ever get frustrated with the lack of healthy options at rest stops/travel plazas?
MB: Yes. I don't have too many high hopes for those places. The more you travel the more you learn about where the good places are. I have been using my IPhone more and more to find the good places. Sometimes it's hard to turn down the donut at 3am. You just want some joy somewhere even if it makes you sad later. That is why I carry dried nuts and fruit in my backpack to try to cut down on that. I'm guilty of eating hamburgers at fast rood restaurants now and then when there is a food emergency.
CRB: Do you guys manage to recycle while traveling? If so, how?
MB: HBR does on the bus. We have paper and cans and bottle recycling. We scramble to dump it at the right spots when we find it. At a large EO show we demanded that the theater recycle and we brought in our own crew. At the end of the night we saw that the theater had thrown all of our recycling bags into the regular trash. They didn't know what to do with it. We don't demand it at this point but we do encourage it. I travel with a water bottle. I limit to one paper coffee cup a day.
CRB: You are really making a difference to inspire other musicians and music fans to be a little healthier and more green. It was very inspiring that you were so honest. I know that our readers are going to relate to you and learn from you.
MB: Oh good!
Everyone Orchestra Tour Dates
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Hodi's Half Note
Fort Collins, CO
1. Matt Butler
2. Jennifer Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band)
3. Kyle Hollingsworth (String Cheese Incident)
4. Jamie Janover (Zilla)
5. Steve Kimock
6. Garrett Sayers (The Motet)
7. Dave Watts (The Motet)
Friday, May 21, 2010
Quixotes True Blue
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Quixotes True Blue
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Early Acoustic Show
Quixotes True Blue
Monday, May 31, 2010
River Ranch Campground
1. Audio Angel
2. Dave Brogan (Animal Liberation Orchestra)
3. Jans Ingber (The Motet)
4. Nat Keefe (Hot Buttered Rum)
5. Steve Kimock
6. Dan Lebowitz (Animal Liberation Orchestra)
7. George Porter Jr.
8. Aaron Redner (Hot Buttered Rum)
9. Melvin Seals
Friday, July 09, 2010
All Good Music Festival
Masontown, West Virginia USA
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Summer Meltdown Festival 10
Whitehorse Mountain Amphitheater
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Bear Creek Music and Arts Festival
Suwannee Music Park
Live Oak, Florida