Father John Misty’s third full-length release Pure Comedy has sent Josh Tillman and his band on multiple shows and tours, and why wouldn’t it? The record, a triumphant mish-mash of modern music, existentialism, and humanity, encourages the search for a happy ending through an eviscerating examination of Tillman’s self.
Having played in multiple shows, and many more yet to come, the band has seen themselves spending two-thirds of the year on the road. We managed to grab the band’s drummer, Dan Bailey, for a quick sit-down and he shares a little bit on a drummer’s life on the road:
Which other drummers have you always admired?
Ringo, Joey Waronker, Silas Utke Graae Jørgensen, Dave King, Jim Gordon, Jim Keltner, Phil Collins, Jeremy Stacey, Matt Johnson.
Do you have a particular song (from other artists, of course) you enjoy jamming out to?
When I find the time to go back and play along with records, it’s still the most fun to go back to the stuff I grew up playing along to. Tears for Fears, Genesis, Hall and Oates, Michael McDonald, Chicago, Beatles, The Police.
What do you not leave on tour without?
Noise canceling headphones.
And would you happen to rock any pre-gig rituals apart from the stretching?
Not really, just stretch, play a bit on the pad, maybe drink a half a Gatorade, eat some light food like an hour before.
What are your thoughts and tips on an effective practice routine?
Repetition. I’ve started playing on a pad a solid 15 minutes a day. Just doing a handful of normal exercises, usually at slow speed to make sure my technique is holding up, When you tour a couple hundred days a year, you can start to fall into bad habits, so I just want to make sure it’s all where it should be. I’ve started taking lessons on breaks between tours for the same reason, something I didn’t use to do. Also, a lot of stretching. I stretch the hell out of my hands before I play as I’m getting older. Nothing is worse for you than going in cold to a 2 hour set.
What are your drum goals now, and how do they differ from when you first started?
I’ve been lucky enough to have a pretty decent recording resume even while touring as heavy as I have for the last 10-15 years, but I’m definitely trying to learn more on recording as I get older. I love touring, but there’s only so much you can do and maintain any kind of a family life.