Phil: Oh god you guys, this is too beautiful!
Chris: This just looks like a painting!
Laurie: I want to move here!
Just a few reactions from the band I’m tour managing, Folly & The Hunter, driving through the Swiss Alps for the first time. Everyone is in sheer awe of the landscape outside, holding onto their iPhones to make sure they don’t miss the next mountain panorama en route from Monthey to Bologna. It’s November in Switzerland and we’ve been touring in a van all over Europe for the last few weeks. The mountaintops are covered in snow. It really is quite spectacular and magical.
To add to that magic, FATH have been supporting fellow Canadians, Half Moon Run, on their current European tour and I can’t remember the last time I had such a crush on a band. Actually, that’s not true. I remember having the same elevated heartbeat and excitement when I first saw Broken Social Scene or The Arcade Fire live. The thread that connects all these bands in my mind isn’t simply that they are from Canada but that these bands have an authentic charisma and the tools to be more, to fulfill their creative potentials.
Half Moon Run write effusive, masterful folk songs that are driving and progressive but also have sheen or (for lack of a better word) an aura. They radiate. I had a chance to sit down with Devon Portielje, the lead singer, and talk a little bit about the ups and downs of touring, the debilitating nature of not having a home and the ways in which he keeps his head clear on tour. No matter how successful, excessive travel requires a little bit of coping to stay sane.
So, I asked him about his recent foray into the mountains on the band’s day off in Monthey, near Lake Geneva. Following the local promoter’s advice, the band wandered off into the mountains, until they hit some sort of hiking path which then led to the gorgeous “Les Gorges de la Vièze” – a system of crossing mountain streams with tasty water, inspiring thoughts about moving to a “situation that is more involved in nature”.
“It’s just so nice to get out of the fucking touring and just be in the mountains. It’s been so long since I’ve felt that fresh mountain air, or just fresh air in general just away from the electronics and internet.” Devon Portielje
It’s important to counter the stimuli of tour (lots of socializing, lots of electronics) with some fresh air and a few rituals. Devon is adamant about only traveling with 2 bags and no more. I believe streamlining one’s personal belongings has positive effects on one’s focus so it’s nice to hear that someone agrees. Devon sometimes does yoga with his bandmates, though he goes on record to say he struggles with the discipline to do it himself. But what brings him JOY on tour? “I love to try local cuisine. That’s one of my favorite parts!” He spoke more about how he loves the experience of not knowing what he’s ordering, to try regional food outside of his comfort zone and not necessarily on his terms.
We started this blog as an effort to bring light to the beauty of the German Alps, as well as showcase what Munich has to offer as a tour stop. Incidentally, Half Moon Run is playing a show in Munich at Ampere today so you can come and bask in their beautiful songs. If you don’t know the band, here’s some tasty video treats:
And for those of you who don’t have tickets, we’re giving away 2 tickets for their show on Nov 7th at Ampere/Muffatwerk. Just email us about your current band crush to firstname.lastname@example.org (by Nov 7, 4pm). We’ll choose our favorite story and put your name on the guest list!