Tales of the unexpected lead to new blood-flowing roads.
Falling to earth from a cloud of guitar-noise, Fizzy Blood revel in muscular rock riffs and inventive melodies played with a euphoric determination. We chat to their guitarist Paul Howells about what makes his blood flow.
Hello Paul – how are you? What have you been working on?
Hello! We have been away cooking up some new material yeah, more word on that to come early next year. We’re super-excited to be heading out on the road with Spring King and then following on from that we’re doing our first UK headline tour and bringing our pals Forever Cult along. Exciting stuff.
What has been your biggest challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it? Do you think that being a group instead of a solo act helps keep it together and have more support during stressful times?
To be honest, doing this kind of thing, most things are a challenge and are stressful both in our personal and professional lives. There is a level of group solidarity and camaraderie that I think brings us closer together and makes it easier to deal with things. We don’t tend to talk very openly as individuals about what’s going on but we try and be supportive of each other and as they say, laughter is the best medicine. Well, except for actual medicine.
Do you have any pre-show rituals to help relax and get ready for the stage?
We’re usually pretty sedated in the dressing room and then right before we’re due to go on, we tend to go a bit nuts. Stretching, jumping around, chanting, singing, whatever gets us in the mood.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
Break things down. A lot of the time, I find for me when I’m feeling overwhelmed its an accumulation of little things that all build up and suddenly I feel like I’m really struggling to keep up. If someone was having a similar experience, I would say make lists. Sit down and take stock of everything you have to do, then break them down into little tasks like a to-do list and set a time for when you’re going to do them, then the important part is to actually do them. It’s amazing, you feel great because you feel like you’re accomplishing a lot with your time and it’s just a lot of little steps so it feels totally manageable.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
I’m grateful for a lot of things. That I was born a white male in a first world country with parents who love me and to have the opportunity to pursue what I’m passionate about is something that I can quite easily take for granted, but I try not to.
What three songs lift your spirits?
Mini Mansions – Freakout!
Tears for Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World
Anderson Paak – Parking Lot
What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?
To be honest, the only self-help stuff I’ve ever read was like CBT literature and things like that given to me by professionals. I prefer to learn about things in a more reciprocal fashion where I can have a conversation with someone and ask questions. As for quotes, there’s something my dad used to say a lot that has stuck with me: “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you when on tour? Do you have a routine, does each of you have a specific role in your ‘ecosystem’?
So everyone’s different but a perfect day for me is when I can get up having had a good rest, big fry up, get some time to explore wherever it is I am, have some kind of experience that’s totally unanticipated, and play a great show and then meet lots of new people and have a good laugh. The whole time, I am totally in the present. There is quite a lot of routine on tour and that’s why I like it when the unexpected happens, even if sometimes it appears to be a bad thing at first, it brightens up the day and we find a lot of comedy in stuff like that. Everyone in the band does have a very distinct personality so we do tend to have our roles on tour. We bicker a lot but it’s like brothers and there’s always the right balance of personality there to both create and then diffuse tension.
Do you guys still try to lead a healthy lifestyle and exercise as well even when it gets busier? If so, do you have any suggestions on how to balance it all?
When I’m at home, I exercise 3 or 4 times a week, try and sleep 8 hours a day and eat 4 balanced meals a day, which really makes a difference to how I react to people and how I feel about myself. On tour, despite my best intentions, that does largely go out of the window, but it’s something I’m working on.
Here at The Mind Map, we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground every day and loving it – can you share a similar memory?
I didn’t have a lot of friends or good memories that spring to mind as a child. But I feel like now I get to have my fun, venues are my playground.
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
Taking responsibility for my own wellbeing and recognising that I’m not the only one who feels this way. It’s okay to feel sad or weird or distracted but as long as I know why and when/how I’m going to cope with it, I know it’s going to be alright.