The SoulBounce Q&A: Allen Stone Shares The Thrill Of Playing Live, Giving Fans An Experience & Life On And Off The Road


SB: You said earlier that you travel to over 200 cities on tour. How is that? Is that taxing on you? Is that exciting for you? Do you get to see the cities or experience what they have to offer? Or, are you simply on the tour bus going from hotel to venue to tour bus?

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AS: The road is a really funny place. I’ve been on the road for three quarters of the year for the last six years. There’s something that’s really exciting about it. I’m pretty sure I would hang myself if I had to go to the same place every day and do the same thing every day. On the road, there are new challenges every day; there are new places every day, new situations, new people. A lot of stuff is really new, which is really exciting and nice. I love that about the road. And obviously, getting to play music every night is bonkers. The fact that somehow the universe has come together and conspired for me to be able to do this is a blessing.

SB: You’re living the dream, man, living the dream.

AS: It is a huge blessing, and I do my best to give joy and not take it for granted. The travel does definitely wear on you. There are no lies about that. It’s a weird life. You’re in a tour bus with 12 people, and a tour bus is the size of a studio apartment. So, you’ve got 12 people living in a vessel that’s the size of, like I said, a studio or one bedroom apartment and that’s always going to present challenges. There are always going to be hiccups without question. It’s like when you’re in a romantic relationship with somebody and you’re sharing space, time, energy and emotion, you’re going to experience hiccups. That is just how it is. I don’t necessarily see those as challenges or negative things; it’s just part of the business. It’s part of the life. It’s just life. There is no way around the ups and downs.

SB: Right, it’s the lifestyle.

AS: It’s just life in general, really. There are definitely things that will make you happier than others. But no matter what you do, no matter how excited you are about your art, or craft or what you get to do, you’re going to experience valleys and touring life definitely has that. We did a seven-week headline tour, I had about three weeks off, and then we did another seven-week opening tour, then I had about two and a half weeks off and now we’re going out for another seven weeks. It’s daunting, it’s tiring, you get lonely. You miss home and having your own space and being around your own stuff. There are definitely challenges, but the highs of playing music for a living and being around people you love and care about, would take a bullet for, getting to play this music for receptive crowds, people who know my songs before I get there. There is no feeling that can surpass that. It’s really the peak and the pinnacle. It’s as good as it gets. You know what I mean?

SB: Yeah, I totally understand. You mentioned getting the occasional breaks and stretches at home. If there were to be an Allen Stone reality show, what would people see you doing when you’re at home? [laughter] Are you sleeping 24/7 to catch up on all the sleep you missed on the road, are you in the studio or are you there just maxing and relaxing? What is life like when you aren’t on the road?

AS: There’s a lot of maxing and relaxing. There’s a lot of catching up with people I don’t get to see very often. I have so many good friends around the world. I was in Seattle for a long time and about a year ago I moved into a cabin up in the woods of northeastern Washington. I put a studio in there, and I got a dog and kidnapped my Australian girlfriend and made her come live up there with me. I’ve met some of my favorite people in that little community. So, if I’m off, I’d be hanging with them. I went to the Monday Night Football Seahawks game, that’s like a passion of mine.

SB: Nice.

AS: There’s a lot of downtime on the road. You’re driving a lot, you’re on a bus. You have a lot of time to chill and relax and do stuff, you know like catch up on your Netflix. When I’m home, it is self-maintenance.

SB: Okay, so a normal life.

AS: Yeah, and the occasional doobie.

SB: [laughter] Riiiight. So, in other words, the Allen Stone reality show would not be like Keeping up with the Kardashians.

AS: I think my life is a little bit more interesting. Maybe not, I’d probably get cancelled after the pilot. They’d be like, “Who is this joker? He doesn’t shower, he doesn’t like to change out of his pajamas with a beard.”

SB: Hey, when you work from home that happens.

AS: Hey, right? I’m glad you’re very understanding of it.

SB: After this leg of the tours ends, how will you close out the rest of the year?

AS: We have a pretty good break over the holidays. We’ll take most of December off with the occasional gig here and there. I know we have a couple of shows on the books, some private shows. We’ll rest over the holidays quite a bit and then once next year starts we jump over the pond and try to win over Europe, Australia and Japan.

SB: Nice. So, then the world tour starts in 2016.

AS: When I’ve put out records, it’s kind of like a campaign really. I’ve never had radio success. The way that this has all been possible is through word of mouth, playing the live show and winning over people at the live show. It’s like I’m on campaign, trying to convince people that hey, you can enjoy yourself to this, I promise. So, with that being said, we’re going to go over to Europe and Australia. I think we hit Japan, Southeast Asia and hopefully Hawaii and just bring the new music live to people and pay respects to the people who have already supported me and given me their love and their time. Also, to try to convince new fans that hey you should be my fan.

SB: Any newbie who comes to your show, they will definitely be converted after they see you live. I’ve taken a couple of people who have actually never heard of you before and they have become instant fans.

AS: Bless you. Thank you.

SB: The Allen Stone Effect is definitely real.

AS: Bless you, man. I appreciate you’re saying that.

SB: Yeah, we cover you extensively on SoulBounce. We are always trying to spread the word and let our SoulBouncers know what you’re doing and what you’ve got going on. It’s definitely our pleasure to support and let folks know that you’re out here and you’re damn good.

AS: You’re so sweet. Thank you.

SB: You’re welcome, but thank you. If you were trying to convince someone who has never heard of you to come and see your live show, what would you say to them?

AS: I would ask them to picture the scene in Hook where Robin Williams has been captured by the Lost Boys. He has told them that he’s Peter Pan, and they don’t believe him. Then the young kid comes, Rufio draws a line in the sand and the young kid, I forget the character’s name, he stands next to Robin Williams and says, “Giv’em a chance.” That’s what I would tell people, just give me a chance. I really think that we cultivate a good energy in our live setting. I really just want to create a safe place for people to come and have a good time and express themselves, whichever way they want. We have a really good community of people who come out to the shows and party.

SB: Yes. It really is one nation under a groove as your shows.

AS: Word. Okay, I like that!

SB: You have a very diverse audience and wide fan base. I’m definitely digging the scene at your concerts, and I’ve been to five now, across the country.

AS: You deserve an award. Let me put you on the guest list the next time you want to come to a show.

SB: Hey now!

AS: You’ve earned it. If you had an Allen Stone punch card you would have gotten a free coffee by now. [laughter]

SB: You should think about that, an Allen Stone punch card.

AS: Yeah, that’s not a bad idea.

SB: Once you get six punches you get a free download or something, I don’t know.

AS: Oh no, you get a free ticket. You get to come to the show for free, that’s how it goes.

SB: There you go. That’s even better! Think about that for the future. Tell your people.

AS: I will, and I’ll give you credit, too.

SB: [laughter] I appreciate that, but all credit goes to you. You’re the man.

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