[Pixies "Allison" plays briefly then fades out]
ANNE: Hi, I'm Anne.
MELANIE: And I'm Melanie.
ANNE: And you're listening to Just a Second: A Jump, Little Children Fandom Podcast
MELANIE: Where the topical discussion is beyond belief.
ANNE: On today's episode we had a follow-up with Alison Kendrick, the Jump, Little Children social media manager, a follow-up to our November episode. I'm sorry, it was November wasn't it?
MELANIE: Was it? No, November was the Thanksgiving.
ANNE: So we had a follow-up with her and prior to that we did a recap of the tour. It was mostly me blathering my thoughts about the tour. And it was really fun and quite a lot to listen to, so thank you for listening!
[Pixies "Allison" fades in, plays briefly, then fades out]
ANNE: Ok, today we're going to follow up with Alison to bookend our November episode with her that took place pre-White Buffalo Tour. That was a really great episode and we had some great listener questions and we have more listener questions today, so it should be very exciting. But first you have to listen to Melanie and I recap the tour. [laughter]
MELANIE: Buckle up!
ANNE: Yeah, here we go! Woo. So, December was a, I would say probably true for a lot of people, Jump fans, a financially, emotionally, and physically exhausting month!
MELANIE: I'll say!
ANNE: Yeah, it's sort of interesting, you know, the portion of my brain that is completely devoted to Jump, Little Children stuff, I just sort of had to pull that out and liven in that completely for the month. And then, of course, now that it's January, just shove that all back into my brain. So that requires some, some adjustment there. And this was also the first tour since the Patreon really got rolling. We're several months in with the Patreon. And it seems the band is happy with the Patreon but we'll be asking Alison about that, if we remember. [laughter] If I remember. Melanie remembers things better than me. This is also the first tour since the podcast really got rolling, so it's several months into the podcast which meant that we had some in-person comments about the podcast, which was fun for me. [laughs] A reminder that people are actually listening to what we're saying.
MELANIE: I was just glad no one came up and was like, you know that one episode where blah-blah happened and....
ANNE: Yeah, we didn't really get any of that. And I think the upshot, the overall upshot for me, other than, you know, getting these nice comments about people saying, "we listened to your podcast on the way here" or whatever, whatever; I don't mean that dismissively, I mean literally just comments along those lines, was that some people sent me pictures of Jay! [laughter] Which is nice!
MELANIE: That's always a bonus.
ANNE: Always a plus. But yeah, so it seems like every December we have this tradition, of course with the exception of the hiatus years, that we've got a couple of Charleston shows at the end of the month preceded by at least a few dates elsewhere. And this time there were really quite a lot of dates all over the east coast. And it seems that we might be looking at an ongoing pattern, you know I'm not really basing it on all that much, all things considered, of spring shows and then December shows. Although this year there might be more of an emphasis on writing and recording, so that's sort of up in the air. But to this December tour having been pretty long and involved, I believe Matt was saying that since they live all over the country now, for them to sort of justify the travel and expense to meet up, it either needs to be just a couple of dates like it was back in May, or it needs to be like a whole full-on tour bus tour. And that sort of meant that there was a lot to keep up with, for this month. But, as for this tour, this last month rather, but let's see. We were at a number of the same shows, you and I, and that was fun. It started off, for me and I think was this the case for you as well, with the Greenville show?
MELANIE: Yeah, that was my first show on the tour too. Yeah.
ANNE: Yeah, and that was my birthday show. That was my 41st birthday, apparently.
MELANIE: Party show!
ANNE: Which meant that I also got a birthday call that day. And I want to say that I love that they're doing this, as a concept, and at no point was I willing to donate my call to anyone else or turn down the call. But as an anxious person with phone anxiety, this was like, I was filled with trepidation [laughs] that was completely justified. So first I had to make sure that I got to Greenville before the call took place so I'm not in the car while it's happening. So that was a source of anxiety. And then, of course, I find that one of my least favorite situations at work is when I'm the only person who's not in the room for a conference call. Cuz they could be doing anything in there. [laughter] You know, I can't see what their looks on their faces are, anybody else on the call, I can't hear everything that's being said. So, unlike a lot of these birthday calls everybody was present, together, you know, except for the person they're calling. Whereas with some people they're around the country and not everybody can call in and it's different that way. So, I was, I figured I was prepared to more or less handle whatever would happen on the call but I really think I was. And it became, sorry?
MELANIE: How long did the call last, in total?
ANNE: It really wasn't that long but it was longer than I thought it would be. And it was sort of like, oh god, when will it end? [laughter] Cuz you don't want them to get off the phone too quickly with you, but on the other hand it's like, we really don't need to make this longer than it has to be. Like, you don't have to come up with things to talk to me about. Which is kinda what they did because I guess they had a dossier on me that they were citing, because I was sort of like, why are you talking about Paul McCartney and going to the gym? And I'm like, oh shit! They have a list of stuff, of talking points! And, you know, it was kind of horrifying cuz it was like, wha? [laughter] I know I'm making it sound really bad, like I hated it or whatever, which wasn't really true. It's just that, you know, again, I want to emphasize that I'm glad they're doing this. I think it's a really cute thing to do. And it was very sweet how Matt tried his best to keep some sort of conversation happening while I sat there having a nervous breakdown.
MELANIE: He's good at that. He's good at that.
ANNE: Yes, bless his heart, as Jay asked how they could ruin my birthday because all they do on these calls is ruin people's birthdays, they said. So they seemed pretty amused with these. They seem to enjoy doing them but it was sort of like, [laughs] it's like the conference call from hell. And again I want to emphasize that's my sense of humor. That's my sense of humor where it's like, oh my god please make it stop. But again, I would not have given it, donated my call to anyone else. Cuz I know some people do. I'm just too much of a selfish asshole to do that. I wanted my call that I Patreon for, dang it!
MELANIE: Yeah, that's the thing, like if I was on that tier, even though I am mortally afraid of talking to people on the phone and that goes double for, like, my favorite band!
ANNE: Yeah, everybody in your favorite band.
MELANIE: I would feel like I had to take it.
MELANIE: And just suffer through it. [laughs]
ANNE: Yes, that what it was, it was just suffering through it. Like, waiting for it to happen, cuz I have anticipatory anxiety which, you know, means that no matter what it is, even if it's something really fun that's coming up, half the time I'll be freaking out and waiting for whatever it is to take place, even though it doesn't really make any sense for me to be that way. And that was sort of what I was doing, so I was just like, please, let's get it over with. [laughter] Again, I appreciate that they're doing these things. So enough about the phone call! So I would want to say right out that for this entire tour, my favorite moment of this entire tour was really technically before, for me, the tour even started. It was not eclipsed in any way by anything else that happened on the tour. And I'm also not going to say what it is because I described it to somebody and I realized I sounded like a crazy 14-year-old. [laughter] It was like, wow. I was like, mentally apologizing to the person I described it to and anyone who happened to have overheard me. And I really won't go into any more detail than that, other than to note that you were also there! [laughter]
ANNE: Yes. Ok. So, further on the--just to wrap up the whole birthday show deal, Brittany very sweetly found a birthday crown and sash, which she gave me. Of course, the crown was for a small child, so I did not wear it. And the sash had lights on it and someone nearby us, before the show, made a disgusted face when they saw the lights flashing. Thank you very much, person I will not name. So I thought, well I'm not going to wear this during the show because it is quite distracting. But it was very sweet and I appreciated that. And also during the show, I got a birthday call-out and they played "Reality Distortion Field." And I'm not sure exactly, I'm still confused about how that got on the setlist exactly, but I really like that song. I don't have a personal association with it. I just really like it and I think it's neat. And they've played it a couple times, sort of associated with me, but I've never formally requested it. It just sort of happens. And I really, I enjoy every time now that they're playing it. Because the first time it seemed a little shaky and this time it was really amazing and there was another time, they played it this month, that I heard it. Last month, rather. I keep saying this month. Last month that I heard it and I really loved it because they're making it better and better live. Because it's not really something that transfers easily from an album to a live performance. And it seems like they're really trying to work that out, which is fascinating to watch. And it's just, I think it's a really interesting song.
MELANIE: Yeah, the more they play it, the better it gets and they should play it more so it gets even better.
ANNE: Yes, they should, but only for me because it's a special song associated with me, even though I've never asked for it.
MELANIE: Only for Anne! [laughs]
ANNE: Yeah. I've never asked for it but it should be associated solely with me. No, I'm just kidding. I truly don't have a personal association with it. I know there's some people who it speaks to as a personal experience, but I just think it's cool. Also, during the show, I don't think it was during that song because that wouldn't have made sense, Matt tried to poke me in the nose. Just like a gentle booping of the nose, as one might give a dog or cat. And…
MELANIE: And you rebuffed him! [laughs]
ANNE: I deflected it. Yes, well, I didn't know what the hell he was doing. So I think he was sort of injured by that, you know mentally injured. [laughter] Mentally, emotionally he was destroyed.
MELANIE: He had to go hide.
ANNE: But I honestly didn't know what he was doing. And my instinct, if someone is trying to poke me in the face, is to stop them from poking me in the face. [laughs]
MELANIE: Right, right.
ANNE: You know, it's a pretty reasonable thing to do. But, you know, there was something later on in the tour, I can't remember the specifics of it, where I just sort of understood that he'd forgiven me for rebuffing his boop. [laughter] But I felt really bad because I was like, right there and it was supposed to be like this--you know, he'll like to point, he likes to point to people in the crowd and all this and I felt bad about doing that. But I didn't mean to do it. I just didn't understand what exactly was going on.
MELANIE: Oh wait, it was during "Habit" wasn't it? Cuz when he points [crosstalk]
ANNE: Yeah, that's when does that, yeah. Yeah, that's highly likely.
ANNE: I don't remember exactly cuz I'm still so traumatized from the, from all the attention I got during that show. [laughter] Like, it, god, it's just like, there was a lot happening during that show. [laughs] A lot to process.
ANNE: Now, after the show you presented me with my "dark side" cupcakes.
ANNE: Which were very, very good. And I was happy to consume those to complete the ritual, if you will. I've had two people, at least two people, separately tell me "welcome to the dark side," which, the whole thing. And I thought that was very funny that that's immediately what people went to because [laughs] because I mean I guess it's true. But those were very good cupcakes, so thank you.
MELANIE: And now you're officially part of the dark side.
ANNE: Yes, that's how that works, once you've eaten the cupcakes.
MELANIE: There's no going back now!
ANNE: There's no going back now, yes. It's just, the realization that I should've been eating these cupcakes this entire time. [laughter] Now, after the Greenville show everything seemed to be rolling merrily along until we heard that they had to cancel a show because Jay had lost his voice.
ANNE: Which gave me an existential crisis. And we'll talk to Alison about that later on. But that was sort of alarming. But then they were on Paste Magazine [Live], in the Paste studio in Atlanta, and it sounded like everything was fine. And then I was at the Duluth show and not only did he sound just fine, like he hadn't recently had a problem, he was actually going for notes that I wouldn't have expected him to go to even in the course of normal events, recently. And there was also a very good performance of "Because of You" so I wouldn't have had any idea that he had any voice problems. But I guess he's just magical that way. And then you and I were at the Athens show. We were sort of, I think you had said that you hadn't gotten used to, that you don't have to stand outside that early [laughs] anymore, because I, we were both outside fairly early and Michelle gave me some cold pizza to eat. [laughs] Because I didn't want to leave, I didn't want to go somewhere. And I am grateful to her for that. But that, I always like the Georgia Theater shows, I've said this on Opium. I like the shows, because even though they've rebuilt the theater and obviously it's not the same. Obviously they had to rebuild it because it burned down. So it's totally understandable that they had to do this. But it has the same general feel, you know, standing outside you've got the same feel. They've got, more or less, the same doors, I would say. Inside it's much neater. They've made the audience area smaller, I would say. And it just looks a lot nicer, which is someways disappointing cuz you kinda want the Georgia Theater to look kind of grotty and sketchy. But that might just be me. You know, the whole area around there has gotten a lot nicer. They've got a restaurant upstairs. They've got all this other stuff happening.
MELANIE: The bathrooms aren't scary anymore.
ANNE: Yeah, well the kind of are. Like the ones in the basement. It's like....
ANNE: A murder basement. But the fact that they have....
MELANIE: I mean, just by being in the basement.
ANNE: Yeah, you don't have walk upstairs and it's not like two random stalls with dirt all over the floor like there was before. But, you know, it's fine. And that was an enjoyable show just because it seemed like they just like being at the Georgia Theater. They like being in Athens. And even though things are a lot different now there's just a nice vibe to it. The Atlanta show, the Terminal West show, that might've been my favorite show of the tour overall, just because I like Terminal West a lot. And I had some trepidation about the Atlanta crowd because I've sort of become resigned to the fact that at a lot of Atlanta shows, say at the Variety Playhouse, they would, which really I think was the only Atlanta venue they would really go to other than the Roxy and that doesn't count. But, anyway, there's going to be like, kind of boorish guys in the audience who are too busy drinking beer and talking about how they used to see the band. I mean, you get some of that in Charleston too. But they're not, they're just like, loud and boorish. Even if they're technically actual Jump fans and not just there cuz there's a show they want to see. I've sort of become resigned to the crowd not having a vibe that I really like. Like, maybe it's a little better in Athens. But I actually like this vibe pretty ok except, you know, there was this guy behind us who kept talking through the opener. This huge guy, he was like The Mountain from Game of Thrones, just talking about his credit card and all this and they were just, cuz at that point people had already been drinking quite a bit and I was afraid he was going to talk or sing throughout the Jump set, which he didn't. So it was already pretty, you know, he was making fun of Danica from Hula HiFi's jumpsuit and I'm like, can you fuckin', can you not!
ANNE: But I enjoyed the Terminal West show quite a bit. And it was nice that they played "Darkest Love" as well. I hadn't heard that in a long time. That, of course, was when Shila was proposed to. That was a fun show. I like that venue. And it had a good feeling to it. And then we were also both at the Charleston Music Hall show. And I have to say that I don't really expect a lot, this might sound harsh. I don't really expect a lot from Charleston Music Hall shows, in the sense that I don't really like the vibe at them because it's a hometown audience. They have a sort of attitude about Jump and they've been drinking for like an hour before the show starts so you end up with like, middle-aged people making out in front of you during "Cathedrals" and you can't, like, move away cuz you're all seated. They're, like, right in front of you making out. And it's like, I guess I'll look at the stage and try to ignore these people swapping spit here. And it's just, I know this has only been like a couple years that we've done this, but I'm just sort of like, well I will participate in the Charleston Music Hall show and then the show after that will be the one that I am really waiting for.
ANNE: And that was the case with Vertidark for me, because I knew that was, rather than a larger hometown audience, it was an exclusive Opiate crowd just like it was last year at Licmag. So I really enjoyed Vertidark. And I know you weren't there so I'm not trying to be like, that was the really good show. Because, obviously every Jump show is a good Jump show. But I just enjoyed Vertidark a lot because of that feeling, which was very much like, as we experienced last year at the Licmag show, cuz it's, you know, same venue, same general concept.
ANNE: And I think it was a, I give a big thumbs up to the tour, I would say. Even though my favorite moment of the tour happened technically before anything else happened. [laughs]
MELANIE: You started it on a high note.
ANNE: Yes, yes, yes. And I, yeah, you would think that, ok, since I started with the high note everything else would be a let down. But that's not quite what it was. It was like, ok we've achieved the apex of my experience so everything after this is just gravy. [laughs] And that's why I'm not saying what it is because it's not really that big of a deal.
MELANIE: It's not a big deal but it was a huge deal.
ANNE: Yes! Exactly.
MELANIE: And that's all you need to know.
ANNE: Exactly, that's all you need to know. Let's see, I think that about covers the recap for me. Is there anything else you'd like to mention.
MELANIE: It was a great tour and I had fun being able to go to multiple shows in, you know, a short amount of time again. Instead of waiting long periods of time.
ANNE: Yeah. It sort of requires a different mentality if you know you've got a string of shows coming up, rather than try to cram all of your, all of everything you might experience into one show you're like, oh well I can just do that tomorrow.
ANNE: Or whatever. Like, one thing I've found sort of difficult that I wanted to mention was calibrating knowing when to leave the show. I know a lot of people just leave immediately afterward because they're just like, I don't want to talk to them, I don't want to possibly make an idiot of myself. And then there's been times where people, and when I have stayed until after the band left. And sometimes it can be difficult to calibrate cuz you don't, or at least I don't want to possibly miss something cool but when you, the longer you stay, the greater risk you run of accidentally being stupid. At least, that's what I do. So there were a couple times where I was like, I stayed too long at this show. [laughs] I should've already left but, you know, I can't completely blame myself for wanting to hang around and, you know, try to make sure I don't miss anything. And that sort of gets, if you're out of practice for doing that, I guess, it can be a little bit difficult to calibrate or to gauge when to leave. I don't know, maybe that's just me.
MELANIE: Yeah, I was in the mindset of, ok I drove all this way to Athens and Atlanta, I'm gonna just stay as long as I can.
ANNE: Yeah, and I was also like, I live here, for the shows in the metro Atlanta area. I was like, well I live here so I don't have to leave right away. I might as well hang around.
MELANIE: Yeah, that's how I was in Greenville.
ANNE: Yeah, might as well hang around. So, I've never really been one, at any point once I knew very early on that they hang around to talk to people afterward, I've never been like, I must leave immediately. I always want to talk to at least one person even if it's just a hug and even if it, alternatively, even if I end up saying something dumb. But I think, you know, oddly enough I got a lot of Matt hugs and that was always nice. But I think the person I spoke to the most, and actually had real conversations with was Johnny. Because Johnny has the correct Beatles opinions. And we got to, I'd actually love to talk to him more about his correct Beatles opinions at some point. Like, I was actually having real, you know, relatively real conversations with Johnny about this, albeit brief ones. But, you know, I haven't really talked to him that much in the past but we actually, I think, really connected over this particular topic. So that was interesting. That was not something I really expected. But you honestly never know, you can expect and be like, I'm going to talk to so-and-so about x-y-z and then that, of course, the more you hope for something like that to happen it either doesn't happen that way at all or it does and I don't know. It's difficult to stick to a plan of any sort with this because, you know, you're dealing with human beings and the capriciousness of reality.
ANNE: And we're coming up on calling Alison now. You called Alison, you called her last time, right?
MELANIE: Are you there Alison?
ALISON: I'm here!
ALISON: Just getting comfy and cozy so we can talk for hours, right?
ANNE: Yes, apparently. [laughter] I wouldn't not be surprised!
ALISON: Yeah, it's all our favorite subject. Let me crack my beer here. I'm just kidding. [laughter] It's a La Croix, calm down. [laughs]
ANNE: I was about to say, if I'd known we were gonna be drinking at 11 in the morning I would've gone ahead and gotten myself something and have a drunken conversation.
ALISON: We should do that! [laughter]
ANNE: Should we?
ALISON: Next time.
ANNE: We'll have a specific episode, Drunk Call-in. [laughter]
MELANIE: I'll be the designated whatever.
ANNE: No, no, you're gonna have to drink too.
ALISON: I can go like, full sorority girl on you guys if you need me to, so. I hope that this time I do better by you guys audioly. So I don't have a mic. Last time I just used my headphones and I move a lot and so I noticed there was a lot of [makes whooshing sound]. [laughter] But now I have airpods.
ALISON: So I'm hoping that one, maybe if I can focus on sitting a little bit more still. But now that there's nothing like, around my neck to move when I move, hopefully we won't have to deal with that, so.
ANNE: Ah, ok.
ALISON: Fingers crossed. We'll see.
ANNE: I was thinking in terms of the questions. If we went ahead and asked the listener questions first and then got to Melanie and my questions, that might work. But, of course, there could always be a wild card thrown in where we end up going down a rabbit hole. But I guess we should start with that structure?
ALISON: Y'all are the boss. Bosses.
ANNE: Alright, Melanie do you want to read the first one?
MELANIE: Sure. And it's from, we're saying names right?
ANNE: No, it's all anonymous! [laughter]
MELANIE: It's all anonymous!
ANNE: The shame. The shame.
MELANIE: No one will know just in case, to protect the innocent. [laughter] No. This first one is from Tonya Gillham? Yes. And she says: I am very interested in the travel/sleeping/living arrangements with all those people.
ANNE: Well, she has a whole set.
MELANIE: She has a whole set.
ANNE: You've gotta read the whole set. Yeah, some people just sent like a paragraph.
MELANIE: So take notes, Alison. [laughter]
ALISON: Oh my god. You're giving the ADD wonderchild too much.
ANNE: But if we ask one question one-by-one I think we'd be here for a very long time. [laughs]
MELANIE: Yeah, for hours! Yeah. So, the living arrangements, how is the tour bus set up, and did everyone travel together, and she asks about any interior bus photos or interesting bus stories to share?
ALISON: Alright, so that's a good note for me, putting on my social media manager hat for a second I guess, that I should share more bus photos and videos. Because they do exist. So yeah, actually this is one of the things that I was most curious about before the tour myself. So it's not surprising that it was a question. So the bus is actually a pretty massive place to be. There were ten of us on board, and it sleeps twelve, so we actually had a little bit of wiggle room. So the way it's set up is you walk on and you're in the front lounge where there's a little kitchen with our Keurig and refrigerator and a half bath affair, just a toilet room. You then move into our bunk room. So the bunks are three high and then two bays of six, so for 12 bunks total. I was on the bottom bunk. And then you move into another bathroom beyond the bunk room, that was a full bath with a shower that we did not use. So we used the shower for storage. And then a back lounge. And there was storage throughout so people just kind of found their way around to put things in different places, which is why we ended up designating the shower as kind of a closet. So, what else? What other questions, I guess in that vein, did I not touch on? Help keep me honest here.
MELANIE: Oh, yeah, did everyone travel together?
ALISON: For the most part.
ALISON: So, because Hula Hi-Fi, their first show with Jump was not until the third night of the tour. Cuz we had two Licmag shows, we did start the tour without them and then they met up with us at the Asheville show and were with us from Asheville forward. There were a couple of nights where, especially during we had a couple of days off that some of us opted to get off the bus during that time and stay with friends just for kind of a breather. I stayed with a friend, Genna, in D.C. and my friend Megan in Brooklyn. Matt actually flew directly from New York to Chicago so he could have a bonus night with Lindsay. But other than that, for the most part, we were all on the bus together the whole time.
ALISON: A lot of togetherness.
MELANIE: Now, I have a question about the bunks.
ALISON: Uh huh. The coffins.
MELANIE: Was there, this is silly, it just popped into my mind. This is just silly but was there like a bunk that anyone avoided? [laughs]
ALISON: So, the middle bunks were definitely the most popular ones.
ALISON: So those got snatched up first. If you guys want me just to paint a real accurate picture of the bunk room, I can walk through it really quickly. If you think that'd be interesting about who slept where. [laughs]
ALISON: So, when you walk into the bunk room from the front lounge, to the left Kaler was on top, Jay was in the middle, and Herbie was on the bottom. And to the right Nick was on the bottom and Ward was in the middle, and the top bunk in that bay was open. Back bay on the left was Danica on top, Johnny in the middle, open bunk which Danica and I kind of shared as our personal junk bunk, storage bunk. And then on the right was Evan on top, Matt in the middle, and me on the bottom. Matt did give me the choice of middle vs. bottom, but I decided I would get low to the ground as possible, which was pretty interesting. So, the top and the bottoms were the least desirable cuz they took a little bit more finagling to get in and out of.
MELANIE: I bet.
ALISON: The top bunks did have the most head room but also you feel the most sway and I, personally, refused to try and climb up and down every night. Cuz there, of course, is no ladder so you just kind of have to, like, parkour yourself in. [laughter] Just to give you the visual of me getting into the bottom bunk every night, I basically would, like, get down on my belly, like I was going to do a push-up and then slide in. [laughs]
ALISON: So, you kind of like, kick your legs back and then slide, you know, your torso in because there is no room to sit up. You can't like, sit in it and get in like a normal bed. They're small and the first couple nights it was like, oh god what have I gotten myself into. [laughter] But by the end I actually really liked my bunk. The middle week was the week where we had the longest distance between shows. That was kind of the northeast week. And I was actually sad when it was over cuz I learned I slept better when the bus was moving. It kind of rocks you to sleep and creates more white noise. And, so then when we were on the kind of shorter stints, like, we spent four nights in the Atlanta area, so we only had an hour or two to go between places. I remember kind of complaining, I want our longer hauls back! I will also share as st--I guess it's funny now, but it was not funny at the time story. My very first night on the bus, something had happened with the electricity on the bus and it had triggered, so in the bunk room there were two different zones for the temperature control. So the zone that myself, Johnny, Matt, and Evan were in had somehow gotten triggered to the heat setting, to 95 degrees.
ANNE: Oh my god.
ALISON: And I didn't know that's not normal. So, like, I roasted [laughter] that night in my bunk and, like, it was awful. I was sick. I got no sleep that night. And I remember thinking, like, is this it for me? Like, am I a bigger pansy, am I more, you know, higher maintenance than I know? Am I gonna have to get off the bus cuz I can't hack it? Cuz I can't not sleep for a month. So I was very happy to learn the next morning that, a. I should have just gotten up and gone and slept on one of the couches if I was that miserable. But it was like, I didn't know bus etiquette yet. And two, that's not normal and it's not normally 95 degrees with hot, hot air blowing in your face all night long.
ANNE: My goodness.
ALISON: So, that was, but the first day, if you saw me in Chapel Hill I'm really sorry. I apologize cuz I was more of a hot mess than even I normally am, that day, because of that [laughs] cranky lack of sleep. But it was much, much smoother sailing after that.
ANNE: Oh goodness. That almost sounds like a hazing. [laughter]
ALISON: Yeah, well it, I did learn really, like the boys didn't care. Like, Matt, Evan, and Johnny knew it was hot but, like, they crawled in their bunks and went to sleep.
ANNE: Oh my god. I can't even imagine that. [crosstalk] My reaction would be the same as yours. I'd be like, oh my god, is it going to be like this forever? [laughter]
ALISON: Well, and so, I live in Charlotte and Charlotte was the fourth or fifth night, so I'm really thinking, at that point, like, am I just gonna have to let them leave me in Charlotte and call this a failure? [laughter] That's really where my brain went! Cuz I just, I go worst case scenario, man. Doomsday! So, I am very, very pleased to report it got much more comfortable after that and once we all kind of, like, learned the ropes. And the biggest takeaway there was just get out of your bunk and go sleep on a couch, man. Like, this isn't hard. So [crosstalk]
ANNE: No, you are not allowed to leave the bunk once you are in the bunk! [laughter]
ALISON: I didn't know! I didn't know the rules. [laughter] So, yeah.
ANNE: So, this might be dumb and we might cut this out but I'm wondering about this logistically. Were you, was that your only place of lodging on the bus, other than, like, when you stayed at other, like your friends' houses?
ANNE: Or did you ever, ok, so you never went to a hotel?
ALISON: With one exception.
ALISON: There were two nights in New York City, and there's no place in…
ANNE: No place to park. [laughs]
ALISON: To park a bus. So, the bus pulled up, dropped all of us and all our, we had to do a complete load out of everything that we might need, gear and personal effects. The bus then went and parked in Secaucus, New Jersey and then came and got us. Unfortunately that was when they had to cancel the Brooklyn, the second Brooklyn show. But they, there was a hotel in Brooklyn that night. I elected to stay with a friend, just so I could hang out with her. But other than that every single night was spent on the bus.
ALISON: The other question that this might lead into, that people had had logistically was how and where and when did you shower?
ANNE: That's what I was going to say. [laughter]
ALISON: So, at every stop, with one exception, there were either showers available in the venue or we would have a band and crew hotel room where we could go shower.
ANNE: I see! Ok. Ok, yeah. I'm sorry, but that's the sort of thing that my first question would be. [laughs]
ALISON: Yeah. People are very, very interested in showering and bathrooming and other really personal things.
ANNE: Now, we've already established that we're not going to get into the bathrooming thing. So we're not gonna do that. [laughter] I'm gonna move on to Kerri's set of questions.
ALISON: That's very good. [laughs]
ALISON: I know she has good ones.
ANNE: Yeah. I think you might have seen them. It's sort of a disparate set of questions here, but I'm gonna read them all in one go and we'll just have to remember them all. No. I think these can be relatively short answers. I sort of broke my own thing about not reading out individual questions one-by-one, but, you know, we'll make it work. Approximately how many times was a new inside joke created, specifics not necessary, but I bet it was often.
ALISON: And some carried, you know, we would, and then we would kind of build on the ones that we had, you know, created the day before. And there were recycled in-jokes from other times together. I mean, the guys specifically chose Hula Hi-Fi because of having worked with Josh Kaler in the past and so they already kind of had their....
ANNE: They already have all the jokes.
ALISON: Jokes from the making of Sparrow. So, one for example, I won't get obviously too into inside jokes cuz I know that they're not too much fun for anybody but those directly involved, but "Too late to cancel?" you know, that was kind of what they said when they were making Sparrow and we did that a lot on the bus as well. And Danica and Josh Kaler are two of the funniest people I've ever met in my entire life, and they kept the jokes coming nonstop.
ANNE: Thinking of that, though, if I can interject, I kept seeing and in-joke, I guess was what it was. "Kaler, how wonderful!"
ALISON: No, "that's wonderful." "Kaler, that's wonderful."
ANNE: Ok, "Kaler, that's wonderful!"
ALISON: There's also "Kaler, that's terrible."
ANNE: Ok. [crosstalk] So that's just one of those.
ALISON: You have to say it with the right inflection. "Kaler! That's terrible!", "Kaler! That's wonderful!" And you can insert anybody. We did a lot to Ward. "Ward, that's wonderful", "Kaler, er, Ward that's terrible."
ALISON: So you actually say name first and then either "that's wonderful" or "that's terrible." It's just a really shitty way of either congratulating or calling somebody out. [laughs]
ANNE: Yeah, I kept seeing that and I thought that probably doesn't mean anymore than it looks like but [unintelligible] mystified.
ALISON: Yeah, there were several. If you go back, I use several of them in the hashtags, so y'all can go find the Easter eggs in Jump's, specifically in the 31 days of Jump on Instagram. There's a lot of in-jokes as hashtags. But, I mean, contextually you can probably decipher what we're doing and saying. Nothing is really that [crosstalk]
ANNE: Yeah, there's nothing, not really that much to that one.
ANNE: And Kerri Kennedy had a next question, was it as a fan first, difficult to see the back end of rock and roll? Well, actually, let's see. Was it, as a fan first, difficult time see the back end of rock and roll? Were you surprised by anything in particular? I mean, you know, I think you get what she's asking even though [laughs] I think she left out some words. [laughter]
ALISON: I do speak Kerri Kennedy fluently. Love that girl. Difficult is not the word that I would use. Eye-opening for sure. I think, you know, I, and I think I mentioned this the last time I got to chat with y'all, I've become friends with all of the guys. But I'm certainly closer, for example, to Matt and Evan and still, in some ways, getting to know Johnny and Ward and Jay. And so, I think that first, just to be brutally transparent, there was a little trepidation, like, about a fan on board. And them knowing my role, like, [clears throat] excuse me, they know I was there to document.
ALISON: And it felt strange, you know, to like, we're sitting around having fun, laughing, joking, you know, in our cozypants, and it's like, do I whip out the phone now and, like, stick it in Ward's face because he's being particularly hilarious? You know, so that was one of the challenges that we all kind of have met together. Ward, in particular, got really good at saying, "Alison, I've got some great content." [laughter] "Take your phone out!" So, we did kind of navigate that together. Cuz, you know, of course in the past on prior tours Matt's done some documenting but it's just none of their first instinct to, oh something great is happening, let me pull out my phone.
ALISON: So, I would say, if we're gonna use the word difficult, that was probably the most difficult part for all of us. But it wasn't, difficult is still not the word I would assign there. But it was exciting to kind of see how the magic or utter lack thereof. I mean, and Matt and Evan in particularly had warned me, like, this is not as sexy as you're envision.[laughs]
ANNE: Don't worry, nobody thought it was sexy. [laughter]
ALISON: It's been very interesting to see, like, how there are truly boring parts in all of this. I'm sorry, like, there, I will say in the guys' defense, there's never a moment when they aren't working. I mean it is a hustle from the moment they get up until the moment they go to sleep. But there are boring parts of that job. And so, to get to see that was interesting. Yeah.
ANNE: Now, she also, I know you wanted, you had definitely an answer for this. She asks, what was the weirdest thing anyone ate on tour?
ALISON: So, and I'm sure that we have all noticed a physical change in Johnny.
ALISON: Also a really cool, if you've gotten to talk to him, Johnny is just on this really great path right now, of both physical and mental, emotional, spiritual health. And he's taking great steps in his life that I won't step on his toes too much, and I'll let him share that, you know, as his own personal experience. But, Johnny now eats some real weird stuff. And my favorite is, Johnny drinks a lot of coffee and when he's not on the road, if you're familiar with this, he drinks bulletproof coffee.
ALISON: Where basically you put ghee and MCT oil and it's meant to help sharpen focus. And so, Johnny traveled with yak ghee. [laughter] I don't know why, but I think that's hilarious. I would've ended up thinking that Evan would be the one bringing the funk in terms of what personal effects and things he would bring on board, but no, Johnny brought yak ghee. And I just think that's hilarious.
ANNE: That's wonderful!
ALISON: That's wonderful! [laughter] Johnny! That's wonderful! Anne, that's terrible. [laughs]
MELANIE: Now, did you try the yak ghee at any point?
ALISON: I didn't. And at one point, you know, we went through coffee pods like nothing I've ever seen in my entire life. And at one point, I don't know if he did this on purpose to keep people from drinking his coffee, but he bought, they make bulletproof coffee Keurig pods now. And so at one point he was making that, you know, and I'm a pretty adventurous eater, and I've actually tried bulletproof coffee and it really does just kind of taste like a strange latte. But there was something about, like, the manufactured process, like all in a pod. You know, like, I guess freeze-dried butter. Like I don't even know how you accomplish that. So I did not, you know, I did not partake in any of either bulletproof coffee pods or by putting yak ghee in my coffee. I just stuck to, you know, good, simple french vanilla creamer pods. I'm very boring, I guess, in that regard. Sorry to disappoint y'all.
ANNE: I mean, I guess it would just taste like coffee with butter in it. [laughs]
ALISON: Yeah, it's not that exciting. Yeah, so, Johnny and Ward were definitely our coffee snobs. Ward would usually, as soon as we would pull into a place, he would bolt off the bus in search of fancy coffee, I think is how Kaler, every time: "Ward, you going for fancy coffee?" and he would. He kind of had a nose for finding the best coffee in any given neighborhood and he would be out the door.
ANNE: Yeah, that really doesn't surprise me.
ALISON: Not at all.
ANNE: Now, Kerri had a final question here, which sort of changed gears for a bit, if you could relive a specific moment for five whole minutes, what would it be?
ALISON: No, I thought about that and there's just so many. I could sit here and list them, you know, for forever. I guess I would go back to the beginning of the tour. The second show, it was the Licmag show in Carborro at the, back where the Cat's Cradle, which was a really fun venue. And that was just a really good show. I felt, with this tour, that the guys really just took off running and never stopped. Like, they sounded great from the first show. There was no warm-up period that there had been on some prior tours. And so, you know, Licmag shows are near and dear to my heart. I love them, you know, cuz those are the songs I fell in love with Jump, Little Children to. And the Cat's Cradle back room, the green room slash artist lounge is like they slapped up a sheet of drywall halfway along the balcony. They put up a curtain. [laughs] So it's kind of weird. Like, the artists have to then like, go all the way through the crowd, up the stairs, across the balcony which is general admission and then like, disappear behind a curtain. So Mike Winger, Amy Cox, and I kind of bogarted that space during the show itself. It was kind of our own private balcony to watch the show. And I definitely just kind of had a cool little moment up there, watching, you know, "Come Out Clean" comes to mind cuz that's the song that drew me in that I heard on the radio that fully introduced me to Jump, Little Children. And so, I kinda had a cool little moment up there with that song and that's kind of when I felt everything, you know, sinking in. That, oh my god, you know, these guys are back and they're making new music and we're on tour together. So that's one of my many, many favorite memories of the trip that I could live again and again in five minute chunks.
MELANIE: The next question is from Heather and, well, a couple of questions, and she asks, which aspects of tour life lived up to your expectations and what were the things on tour that turned out very differently than you expected?
ALISON: Those are great questions. First of all, Heather, thank you for the cookies. Y'all, so many treats on this tour. Every stop people baked a lot and very well. Lots of deliciousness and Heather was one such baker for us. I think I never got sick of the shows. You know, at some point you wonder when you've seen a band live a hundred plus times, and I know we've all talked about this as fans. Like, people who aren't Jump fans just don't understand, man. You know, like, how can you see that band so many times and not get tired of them? And so, to even go to every single show of a tour. So that was something I was hoping, going into this that wouldn't let me down. And I very happy to say I never once got sick of the members of Jump, Little Children or Hula Hi-Fi or their music, which was fantastic. Matt and Evan had warned me prior to the tour, that there just really wouldn't be a lot of time to do things. And that was also the case. You know, it's like we, I would tell people, hey I'm coming to your city! And you think you're gonna have time to go, like, catch a meal or grab a coffee or invited them to the show or, you know, like we had big plans for the things that we were going do together. We meaning me and, you know, Matt, Evan, and other members. That we just never got around to. So, even though Evan, in particular, had set up that expectation I didn't believe him. And that came to be. There was just not a lot of time or energy to do all of the things and see all of the people that any of us had wanted to see.
MELANIE: That reminds me, I remember on the Jump, Little Children Facebook page y'all asked what were things to do in people's town. And I was wondering if y'all got to do any of those things or took anyone's suggestions.
ALISON: We didn't! [laughter] We were terrible at that! And we really, so, that though was a Wondering Wednesday and that started because Ward wanted to issue, and I love the way that Ward's brain works sometimes, he wanted to issue a milkshake challenge. He wanted to know where the best milkshake in every town was. Which is just a wholesome thing to want, right? Can you just imagine the five guys of Jump, Little Children walking hand-in-hand in a soda shop [laughter] just to get ice creams and milkshakes. It's absurd! I love it. And, so, and we were like, well, ok, but not everybody is going to want to drink a milkshake in every city. And so we kind of amended it based on the things that we knew each member actually would want. And no, there was no time to do any of that. People, and the guys have been traveling so long, you know, at this point they kind of have favorites in every city. So it's like we, you know, touch down and they are scattering so they can get to the places that they already know and love. I think the only exception is that if they have their own friends in town they might be coerced into "let's get dinner here" or "hang out after the show there." But by and large we get somewhere and they know where they're going already. So, I'm very sad to report that we did not make good on that Wondering Wednesday. Next tour! I'll do a better job, I'll try at least.
MELANIE: Ok, well this, this is the second question from Heather and it was: how many times did a well-meaning member of the general public say to you or Danica, gosh is it just you two poor women traveling with all these men or does having two women on tour negate this phenomenon.
ALISON: No, we got that a lot. Pretty much daily. The in-jokes and people asking what it was like to travel with a bunch of dudes. And it's interesting cuz, like, people would be talking to Danica and either not know me or forget that I exist and would ask her how it was to be the only woman on board. And she would point me out. And then the same thing would happen for me, even though they had just watched a set where a woman performed. And also, I know that it is not on every tour that the opening band travels onboard with the headliner. That's actually pretty rare. And this may have even been one of the first times in Jump's, at least recent, history that that's happened as well. So, you know, people would ask what it was like to be the only female and I would usually point out well there's also Danica. So, we're in this together. But people were very, very curious about that for sure.
ANNE: Now this is somewhat of a jump here to a question from Brandi Brant Jansen. It seems that you and Matt watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer on the bus, and she wanted to know why not Charmed or some other CW gem?
ALISON: That's very fair. Because Buffy, because Matt and Evan are huge, Matt in particular, are huge Buffy fans and were incredulous that I had, as a product of the '90s, had never watched a single episode or the movie. So it was very, very Buffy-specific. I, yes, I know. Well, so, let's rewind that for a second. I'm a big old pansy. I don't like scary things. Scary Movie is too scary for me. [laughs] And so, Matt and Evan are working on, like, chiseling away at that and slowly introducing me into horror-adjacent content. And so I forget what it was, but I'd made my way through something. Shoot, I wish I could remember what it was. And that was the point which Evan said, ok, if you can do that, you're ready for Buffy. And so, then the whole Buffy, it got started. We had a day off between the Charlotte show and the D.C. show in Alexandria, Virginia. Matt and I hopped off board and went and stayed with our friend Genna Cohen, who lives in D.C. Genna is a huge Buffy fan, has the complete series box set, listens to podcasts about it. Sorry if I'm selling you out, Genna. So, Genna was actually the catalyst for all of this and was like, let's introduce you to this, let's watch this tonight. And what was really funny about it, spoiler alert for those of you who haven't seen a single episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but you've had over 20 years to do it so I don't feel bad for what I'm gonna say next. The scene opens with a vampire as a human, and Genna is like clinging to me and she's like, this could be a little bit scary. And then the, she turns around and she has her vampire face on, which is supposed to be scary but it's really bad '90s horrible makeup. And I burst into hysterical laughter, at which point Genna like, released her grip on me and we knew that I was going to be able to handle this Buffy phenomenon. And so, then from there Matt and I would just watch it on the bus when we got on board every night. So I know that that was a rambly answer. Brandi, I don't know why we didn't choose another one. It just, Matt and Evan were just so incredulous I never watched Buffy so we fixed it.
ANNE: Well, there you go.
MELANIE: And how far did you get?
ALISON: We completed the first season during the tour and I'm now, I think, two episodes shy of being done with the second season. It was actually funny, cuz it was the very last night on the tour bus, it was between the Atlanta show on Saturday and Winston-Salem. Because after the Winston-Salem show we all scattered for Christmas and weren't on the bus anymore. And I realized I didn't know where I was in the series and we pulled it up and realized we only had two episodes to go. It was like, two o'clock in the morning [laughs] and Matt looks at me and he's like, we can do this, do you want to do this? And so we thought we should finish, you know, finish what we started and so we did. We did complete the first season during the tour, which I'm very proud about.
ANNE: Wow. Now, actually I....
ALISON: If you put your mind to something, ladies, you can really accomplish anything. [laughter] Sorry, snarky. Anyhoo.
ANNE: Let's see, we've got the next question from Megan Latour.
ANNE: Oh, I'm sorry, MEgan Latour.
ALISON: That's my girl.
ANNE: Melanie's got this block.
MELANIE: Ok. She asks: does Alison have any insight on the process for how cities and venues are chosen for any given tour?
ALISON: So, insight? Yes. Do I handle? No. So, and people do contact me a lot about, hey I've got this venue. And so Vance handles all of the booking, all anything remotely related to management inquiries and otherwise, so I will kind of put that caveat on this. But yes, it boils down to both the relationships that Vance has with venues as a booking manager, of not only Jump but some other bands, as he's been in the industry for awhile. And yes, it absolutely does have to do with how they have performed in any given city on past tours. Both in terms of the venues that they select, but also in the days of the week. You know, so it's like, Terminal West on a Saturday might be different than Terminal West on a Wednesday. So, obviously he's looking at geography and trying to make the most sense, you know, for getting around. But that he's also looking at, ok, so we, you know, hit this capacity at this venue on this tour, do we need to go larger or smaller on the next? He worked directly with City Winery, for example, because that's just a venue that a lot of bands in Jump's general demographic do have success with. And they had a successful run at the City Winery shows on the Sparrow tour. So when we decided to revisit some of those cities, and in fact add a new one, Philadelphia, on the next one. You know, that's why City Winery, for example, was chosen again. Boring stuff, huh. [laughter]
ANNE: Now, I'm just, no, I'm just thinking. Would you say that, as a whole, the dates they hit on that tour met their expectations generally?
ALISON: I don't know how much is oversharing. What was really interesting on this tour is in the past Jump has done a lot of advance sales. So, tickets go on sale, people buy them months in advance. There was a lot more activity at the door on this tour than there has been in the past. Which was interesting and unique.
ANNE: Yeah, I was actually wondering about that, yeah. Why do you think that was the case?
ALISON: I don't have a good answer to that! [laughs] To be brutally honest with you, I don't know, you know, I mean, planning and executing a tour is a game. You have to plan it at a time of year when you think people are either going to be free or be willing to travel. And then you have to hit that sweet spot of giving people enough notice, you know, to make their plans not too much so they thinks, eh, I'll procrastinate and just do that later. So I have to wonder on this tour, you know, we announced that there would be a tour, what was it, end of July beginning of August?
ALISON: So I think that perhaps, you know, that's just, like, we hit the tail end of vacation/back-to-school/back to work and then it's just like, it gets buried. People get really, really busy September, October, November. Oh, crap, it's December, I really like this band, they're in town, yeah I'll go. That's purely from my own personal thoughts and brain. I don't have any date to substantiate that. But I think that that, perhaps, that's what it was. And also, you know, when Jump came back in 2015, it was a, Oh my god I've gotta get these tickets cuz I don't know if this is a one time only thing vs. now, you know the reins have kind of loosened there. Where there's a pretty good chance that we'll get to see this band again.
ALISON: Which is ok, too.
ANNE: But overall it seems like a win.
ALISON: Yes, but I would definitely call this a successful tour. Great to see a lot of familiar faces and also great, you know, Matt was really excited after a couple the shows talking to people and there are now officially post-Sparrow era fans.
ANNE: Oh, good!
ALISON: Which is kind of wild, yeah! You know, like we all think of ourselves as pretty old school at this point and identify by, oh I'm a Vertigo-era or I'm a Magazine-era, I was there from the very beginning. And so it's, it was kind of wild for him to talk to people, "Yeah, I heard 'Hand on My Heartache' on the radio and had to learn more about you guys!"
ANNE: And that reminds me too, of something I believe Jay say that he noticed about people at Terminal West who knew the words to the new songs. And I think there was at least one other occasion where he said that the fact that people knew these lyrics meant that they were doing their homework. Which I thought was cute. So that means that they are noticing that there are these Sparrow and post-Sparrow specific fans.
ALISON: Yep. And that fans who are not of the Sparrow-era. God that's a hard phrase to say, [funny voice] "Sparror error."
ANNE: The established fans are also listening and paying attention.
ALISON: Are also listening and saying, hey yeah you guys have taken a turn, you're traveling in a new direction but I still love and support you and I'm on board with this new sound. Cuz that's, I mean, that was terrifying for them even, you know, in round one. And it's like, they released Magazine and it was such a departure from everything that they had released prior. And so there's always going to be that fear they're gonna have of are we going to release a record and are our fans gonna like it? Or are they gonna revolt?
ALISON: So it's nice for them to know that their existing fans love the new music and they're, you know, gaining momentum with new fans as well.
ANNE: Now, we've actually moved on past the listener questions to the ones that Melanie and I had. And, let's see, I know that on the previous episode with you, you were talking about your concern about getting all the clothes packed that you wanted to bring with you. So how did you end up working that out and if you want to maybe discuss if you know how other people managed this.
ALISON: Yeah, so, packing cubes were the secret to success there.
ALISON: Shout-out to Amanda Carlyle, who I literally brought my overstuffed suitcase and spare duffel bag over to her house the day before we left and had her basically go through every item that I had packed and we played a "Do I Need It" game. And so I was able to remove some fluff that way. And then she helped me organize my entire suitcase into packing cubes. So, again, onboard, ten people, not a lot of space. There are drawers and cabinets and junk bunks around but you don't want to have your bigass suitcase with you. So really and truly the way that it works is you put your suitcase underneath in the bays below. And then every couple days you just kind of cycle through. You put stuff you've worn back in and then take fresh clothes out. And then it's just a matter of finding a place to stick it. And I think, too, traveling in December is hard because we travel through multiple climates. You know, you start and end in Charleston and you're going up through Boston, Philly, New York, Chicago and you need wildly different clothes and shoes for both of those. So I did, even with Amanda's help, overpack. If I were to do a tour again I would take a lot less than what I did, because what I noticed was I was just wearing the same stuff everyday cuz it's easy. You're getting dressed quickly, you're getting dressed in the dark and so it's just easier to grab a pair of black jeans and throw a sweater on and be done with it. So I conquered my packing anxiety but I know I can do better! [laughter]
ANNE: Melanie, do you....
MELANIE: Oh, oh. I thought you wanted this question.
ALISON: Uh oh! Don't fight, y'all!
ANNE: Ok! Ok, if you insist.
MELANIE: I thought wanted this one!
ANNE: No, well I thought we were doing turns but yeah.
MELANIE: Oh, well I'll take it! [laughs]
ANNE: No, I'll do it! [laughter]
MELANIE: You said you wanted it, so.
ANNE: Ok. Well, I was just curious because you did actually have to deal with a breaking crisis on this tour, which would be Jay losing his voice. So I was very curious what your communication plan was during that.
ALISON: Oh, that was not dealt with as well as I feel like I should've. So, oh New York! New York was a little bit of a hot mess. So on top of, you know, we have to completely load off of the bus and I stayed elsewhere while everybody else stayed in a hotel. At one point I was not even gonna go to the Brooklyn Licmag show because, miracle of miracles, I ended up getting SNL tickets through my, through Manashi, who works for SNL. Not through her, but Megan had won the lottery and I had mentioned to Manashi that she had won, and so there was some talking back and forth. So, I put that caveat in there so everybody doesn't bum rush Manashi for SNL tickets, cuz that's not how this works.
ALISON: And then I ended up saying, you know, I probably shouldn't go. I am on this tour to work. So just, that's a lot of details that I just tried to explain in two sentences, but just know that there was, "am I or am I not going to go to SNL" going on. I was staying away from the band, not at the hotel with them. So when all of that went down, I was actually in Manhattan while the rest of the band was deciding whether or not to go with that show. And I was in the middle of Rockefeller Plaza, in front of the tree, so like the most crowded--it's two Saturdays before Christmas, so most crowded spot in the world that I could've been in, when Matt texted me, "we're gonna have to cancel the show." So I immediately had to try and get out of the crowd, which if you've ever been to New York in December, finding a spot in midtown away from a crowd is damn near impossible. Then get on the phone with Matt while he's also trying to be on the phone with Vance. There were a lot of details, you know, to uncover in a pretty tight--so, you know, canceling a show is obviously worst case, doomsday, last thing that they wanted to do, which is why it was done so late in the day. Cuz there was a hope that Jay could be well enough to go ahead and perform. And they had also talked through alternatives. Could we bring guests up to sing some of these songs? Could some combination of Matt, Johnny, Ward cover some of these songs? And so they were really and truly waiting until sound check to get a real read on the room and how it could or would sound and unfortunately, the decision was made to cancel. So, I'm on the phone slash texting with Matt, I immediately get into a Lyft. We start drafting, you know, what and how we're gonna release this information. I start going through an inventory of, what is every channel that we can possibly use to communicate this cancellation. And in the meantime, Vance is trying to get on the phone with the venue to make sure that they would open the bar, because I believe it was actually Ward's idea to still do kind of a meet and greet with the band in lieu of the concert before we had to pack up and leave. And then there's the added chaos of, while all of that's going on, we're also trying to communicate with the bus driver, who as I mentioned before is out in Secaucus, NJ, understanding that we would have a very tight window of time that when the bus pulled up, we would have to load into it immediately, hop on board and drive away. How's all that sound? Just a few minutes of chaos, right?
ALISON: So, Matt really was the hero running point on a lot of that. So, it's like I'm drafting the statement, he's editing the draft, we're, you know, just going through the motions of where all can we post this and how do we publicize this and what's the best way to handle this so that the fans aren't, you know, left completely disappointed. So in the end, I guess it was handled as best we could. Y'all will have to tell us if you agree or disagree. And I hope like hell that we never have to go through that again, because of course the band, they were all devastated. That was one of the sadder moments of the tour, was seeing how truly sad they were to have to cancel.
ANNE: I think it was handled really well. And it's interesting to hear that that was Ward's idea to still come out and talk to people, if you will. I think that was a really good call as well. But what I thought was interesting was, there seemed to be almost, I don't know if radio silence is the term, after that was we were sort of waiting to see, you know, is Jay really sick?
ANNE: Is, you know, what's happening next? Are they gonna have to cancel the rest of the tour? Because for all we know this is like a catastrophic voice loss. Apparently that's not the case, but it was sort of interesting just watching the strategy, well it seemed like a strategy to me, of nobody's asking and nobody's telling, if you will. We're waiting to see what develops rather than constantly reassuring us, like, it's fine, it's fine, it's fine. Because you can't really, I don't think you really could make that call at that point. That's what I assumed. I thought, well I guess we're really just going to have to wait and see what happens.
ALISON: Right. Right. Yeah, and that's interesting that you say that, cuz we certainly weren't trying to keep anyone in the dark.
ALISON: And I guess maybe that's a good note for us in the future to say, hey it's just tired vocal cords.
ALISON: I mean the truth of the matter is, and I got really mean about this pre-tour on Opium, you know, is sickness runs rampant but especially in cold and flu season. And the 10 of us are traveling on a germ factory. We are literally all breathing recycled air.
ANNE: Yeah, I remember you telling me that. [laughter]
ALISON: And so it's like, if one person gets sick you can really take the whole operation down. So, you know, Jay's sickness really, it was only a, you know, mild, mild cold compounded with--I mean, that's a, this is a tough job for what they do, and there's really no room for rest. I mean, you know, you get maybe a day off a week but to try and recover from six days of truly arduous work, that's just often and that's not enough. So, really and truly, it was just a matter of ragged vocal cords. And yeah, I guess in the future we can do a better job, but also it's like, we don't want to make guarantees either.
ALISON: Because there is the possibility of what if this isn't better, you know? And so Jay knows--it was interesting because on the, you know, kind of Jump social media side, I did, we started to get flooded with everybody's homeopathic and otherwise, you know, cures for what Jay needed to do. Which I understand. It's so well-meaning and people just want to help and share what works for them and that's a very natural reaction. But at the same time, Jay is a professional, he has been doing this his entire life. Of course he has a care plan in place for when this happens. And so he, I mean, the first thing he does is that he goes, he stops talking. He does not make a noise. Because whispering is actually worse on the vocal cords.
ALISON: And especially if you're already tired and drained. So, when Jay's voice starts to go, which it usually will. Like, if they perform five or six nights in row, usually by day five or six he's starting to get a little ragged. He will not talk at all from the moment he gets off stage until soundcheck the next day. He will drink a lot of hot tea and hot toddies with honey, you know, and has other exercises that he goes through. And I know Jay not talking is probably, you know, just another day but [laughter] he really won't talk. And he will get as much sleep as he can. And so I think that's why we didn't say a lot, cuz it just, on our side of things it was, ok it's a day of rest. We'll see you guys at our next show on Monday. But, you know, [crosstalk].
ANNE: That's really interesting because, yeah, because my assumption was, this is either a disaster and they're not telling us yet or we're just, literally, just having to wait and see and it's basically fine. And it was sort of, it sort of gave me an existential crisis, just the thought of Jay permanently losing his voice. But on the other hand it was sort of a lesson in patience because, like, we cannot do anything. We just have to wait and see. Will they go forward with the Paste appearance? Will they have to cancel any other dates? We really cannot do anything about it so we just have to wait and see. And from my end I didn't see anybody asking or making comments.
ALISON: Oh, yes.
ANNE: Which I thought was interesting. I was expecting people all over Opium to just be like panicking nonstop. But, so you were seeing direct messages like that.
ALISON: Oh yeah. There were direct messages and there were also comments on posts that could easily have gone missed if you didn't have your eyes on it.
ANNE: Yeah, I must not have been looking.
ALISON: Well, and people comment on the darndest things! You know, like, people will somehow find posts from two weeks ago and like, hey is Jay's voice better? Like, on a Wondering Wednesday picture of milkshakes.
ALISON: And so there was [laughs] there was a fair amount of that, where people were commenting on prior posts or sending direct messages. And unfortunately we had no statement to release because we had to give, you know, Jay a couple of days. Now, the show that was canceled was a Saturday. We had a day off in Youngstown, Ohio--jealous?--on Sunday. [laughter] And then continued the trek to Chicago for Monday night show. So it was Chicago, Monday, Nashville, Tuesday. And by and large, the most people that were asking the questions, we were getting, hey I've got tickets to the Chicago or tickets to the Nashville show, are y'all still playing? But yeah, we could have done a better job saying this was a non-catastrophic event. This is a one-time, you know, "Jay's voice needs rest" situation.
ANNE: Yeah, I still think it was more or less handled, from what I could tell was happening, it seemed to be handled well. Because it is an active little crisis there, and you honestly can't be 100% sure, like you said, you don't want to offer assurances if you really cannot be sure at the time.
ALISON: We really blame Jay for it fully because he did say at Friday night's show that they've never canceled a show and so he jinxed it. [laughter] We, let me just make this, we do not blame Jay. [laughter] As soon as he said that I think a bunch of us went [shrieks].
ANNE: Yeah. Dammit!
ALISON: Don't say that, man! [laughs] So, yeah it's never happened before. I hope that we never, it never happens for them again cuz I have never seen such five pitiful, sad, sad men.
ANNE: Well, I'm knocking on wood for you right now, having said that. [laughs]
ALISON: Yeah. And we really, so we got our flu shots. We actually remained pretty healthy. Kaler, Danica, myself, and Evan each got like a one-day funk on board that we just, you know, kind of tried our best to deal with. But thankfully it was only about a 24-hour. Sadly, for Kaler, he got it in Nashville, which was his hometown show. But he still, like a champ, played and sounded great. I think if you didn't know he was feeling bad, you wouldn't know. But thankfully the fans who were sick, I guess, stayed away or at least didn't come hug the guys. And so we were able to stay relatively healthy as a group for the duration of the tour.
ANNE: Yeah, I was getting paranoid about picking up something at work and taking it to one of the shows or getting something. Like, back in May a bunch of us from May had like a month-long serious killer cold.
ANNE: Like, a cold from hell. And I was sort of afraid that that was gonna happen this month. But I managed to get through December without getting myself or anyone else sick, so.
ALISON: Yeah, I had a cough for a couple days. Chris Slack took me to the pharmacy in Duluth so I could get the heavy-duty stuff that they keep behind the counter now.
ALISON: And so I powered on through myself. But yeah, no true sickness or bug for maybe the first time in a while, which is great.
ANNE: Now, I, if it's ok, I want to take the next one as well, because that was based on something, a conversation I had with Matt. Before the Vertidark show he mentioned that they were a little concerned about how Vertidark would actually go because the album is so heavy, thematically. It's got falling in love, death, and breaking up. It's pretty, pretty dark and I think he was a little concerned about how that would go and whether it would, because it's so different from the overall feeling of Licorice Tea and Magazine, there might have been some trepidation about that. How do you, do you think that's how it ended up playing out? Because I think it went really beautifully.
ALISON: As per usual, they're worried, they're, you know, just this is gonna be chaos, this is gonna be the worst thing ever. They were the same way before Licorice Tea/Magazine the first time. So it's almost comical to me how they're always like, this is gonna be a disaster, we're gonna suck. And they never suck! They're always amazing! And yes, not, I do take Matt's qualms about, you know, the heaviness of some of the songs and the feelings that it must drudge up. Not only what the songs are about but also the release of Vertigo, as we've talked ad nauseum.
ALISON: It was a heavy and disappointing time for them. I actually have never really loved Vertigo. And I think, for me, it's almost this empathetic response to what they went through.
ANNE: Yeah. It's fraught.
ALISON: Yes it is. And I remember I listened to it about a month before we hit the road and I was like, hey this is actually a really good album! Did you know that? [laughter] They were like, shut up. It is a beautiful album. It is a heavy album. It is a fraught album. That's a great descriptor of it. So yes, they were worried. at one point they were basically, they practiced all month long. They would play one of the songs from Vertidark in soundcheck and then of course they had a couple of days in Charleston to whip it into shape as well. And Jay, during one of those times, made the comment of like, why do I write such damn hard songs? Like, I do this to myself! [laughter] And we all agreed, yeah you do. Like, this is on you, bud. And I think it was, it may have been when he was figuring out the, when he does the kneeling to play the intro of "Mother's Eyes", work or was there any way for him to a faster switch of guitars standing upright.
ANNE: No, he pretty much needs to do that. [laughter]
ALISON: Yeah, yeah. I agree. And so he's like, kicking 2000 Jay for doing that to 2019 Jay, is what was happening there. And they were so worried. And even in soundcheck at, once they loaded into Footlight, they were still, I'm sorry if I'm selling them out, but they were just hemming and hawing about how much they thought it was gonna suck. And it didn't. And it doesn't.
ANNE: Not at all.
ALISON: It never will. Like, because you....
ANNE: Even, I mean, even the, sorry.
ALISON: Go ahead.
ANNE: Oh I was just gonna say, even the parts where they kind of messed up a little bit, we loved it all. We loved it all just like at the first Licmag, even when some stuff was forgotten. [laughs]
ANNE: Since it had been awhile. We loved it! I mean, we love everything.
ALISON: Yeah, exactly. Even, I mean, I can't say it more perfectly than that. Like, we, and we don't love it just because we love it and we love them. They are truly talented masters of their craft. So even when they mess up it's still on a level so far above what anybody else can do in this world. And, you know, it's also endearing because they're also humans and and humans do sometimes fudge lyrics or forget a lick. It's ok.
ANNE: And it's funny, you know, like Jay said, Jay forgot a line in "Mexico" and he said that before the show he'd been joking about how funny it would be if he forgot the lyrics to one of the songs that they play the most. And then it happened and it wasn't funny. [laughter]
ANNE: I was very surprised. I was like, what?
ALISON: It's funny cuz the lyric that he messed up in "Pigeon"--so, I had told him ahead of time, and sometimes I probably do a bad job of like over-coaxing their anxiety, but I had told Jay I was really excited to hear how you're gonna go about "Pigeon." This was in pre-tour Charleston time. And they still didn't quite know, to be honest, how they were gonna pull "Pigeon" off.
ALISON: And so when they first did it, they ran through it twice in soundcheck. And, I mean, the first time I just gasped, or I think I may have cried a little bit. And then the second time he forgot the same lyrics he forgot that night where it's just a pigeon, "with peaceful eyes unsuffering, a pigeon floats in the tide." And I don't know why that's a, with peaceful eyes unsuffering, but he did [mumbles lyrics] "a pigeon floats in the tide." [laughter] And I yelled at him, like I literally screamed out. So I think it was kind of funny that he also had forgotten it that night. Of all of the beast of lyrics that he writes, those three words seemed to fail him. But I thought it was gorgeous. I don't know if I told y'all this story before, but I remember vividly, getting Vertigo, like driving to, I think I skipped like a 9 AM class when Vertigo was finally released, and I drove to Manifest, South Boulevard here in Charlotte, and immediately got in my car, put it in the CD player, and at that point we had heard most. They had been playing the Vertigo songs for a year or better, but "Pigeon" was the one that we had never heard before, so I flipped right to that one. And I sat in the parking lot, and I'm swooning, and I'm being overtaken by the beauty of the swells and the crescendos and all of the different musical elements, and what he's saying, and just the harmonies. And I'm having this beautiful moment. And then Jay gets to that very last line, "a pigeon floats in the tide" and I literally, like, hit my steering wheel and screamed out, "IT'S ABOUT A GODDAMN DEAD BIRD?" [laughter] I was so, SO MAD.
ANNE: I think this would be a good time to mention that what you said to Ward that you told me.
ALISON: You're gonna have to give me a clue.
ANNE: About the dead bird.
ALISON: Oh yeah! We were [laughs] we were parked, I think it was after the Duluth show before Athens at our hotel parking lot where we had a band shower room. So we were clean before Athens, you guys. And there was a dead bird, like, right in front of the bus and Ward, being a gentleman, was like, oh Alison don't step on that. I look down and I see it and I yell out behind me, JAY! DEAD BIRD. Come write a song about it. [laughter] He likes to write songs about birds. Living and dead birds. I'm glad the sparrow, to our knowledge, is alive. [laughs]
ANNE: Now, about "Pigeon" though. I was really never that into "Pigeon" as a song because I don't know for whatever reason. But along with that song and a number of other ones on these two albums, I sort of revisited them. Ones that I might have skipped in the past. Or also there were a couple, because I didn't go through either of those albums before the show to memorize. So I wanted it to sort of be a surprise, because it's been long enough that I've listened to them straight through, that I was taken by surprise by some of the ones. Like, oh yeah, that's on there! I mean, some people might call that lazy and not devoted enough but I was just like, I like forgetting that such-and-such is on an album. Like I don't necessarily like looking at a setlist either.
ANNE: I wanna be surprised by what's coming.
ALISON: I didn't, I only listened to Vertigo straight through once before the tour. And primarily because I was doing something, imagine this, completely not at all connected to Jump, Little Children. And for whatever reason it hit me in my heart that I was gonna get to hear "Mother's Eyes" live again. And I've always loved that song.
ALISON: And that was, you know, but to your point, no I didn't want to listen to it into the ground because I did want to be delighted. And it is interesting how I get some, you know, I loved "Angeldust" back in the day. I remember that was like the, one of the first morsels that they dripped out for us to listen to in advance of the release. And I remember really really, there's one part of it that I would just rewind and listen to over and over again. But then there were other things that I didn't care about that I skipped over, you know, or just didn't give any attention to that years later, I'm like, wow that's a damn good song or a damn good moment in a damn good song.
ANNE: Yeah, I ended up being surprised by "Broken." I forgot. I sort of associate "Broken" with the "plan d" version [crosstalk] that they... the what now?
ALISON: I associate "Broken" with the "Broken" drinking game that we used to play at shows. [laughs]
ANNE: Oh, well I, maybe I wasn't part of that. [laughs]
ALISON: We took a sip of our beer every time Jay said "fine" or "broken."
ANNE: Oh, ok.
ALISON: And so especially at the end where he [singing] "I'm broken" just over and over again.
ALISON: And you usually have to have two beers in your hands and you'd be....
ANNE: Thank you for trivializing my favorite song! No, I mean, my main association with that was the "plan d" demo that sort of slipped out. That's my favorite version of it. So I don't, I sort of almost forgot that it was on this album. So I was, I did like a classic huge gasp when I realized what they were playing. Cuz I hear that live so very rarely.
ANNE: But yeah, Melanie do you want the next one here?
MELANIE: Sure. So this was the first tour well after the Patreon got going. How does the band feel about the Patreon campaign?
ALISON: That, I'm actually not fully prepared to answer. I think that there were a lot of great parts and things that we learned. And we have, all 2019, called Patreon the great experiment. But I think some of us are looking forward. I know I've already thought about maybe some changes that we could make, some way to address what were challenges with Patreon. But, in the spirit of full disclosure, we have not discussed those as a group yet. So I probably shouldn't share what those thoughts are quite yet.
MELANIE: Yeah, ok.
ALISON: But I will say that, you know, Patreon is definitely one of the things that made the White Buffalo tour possible. Just with having a little bit of funds to kind of catapult them into, because I mean, you do make money on a tour and that's the primary way that bands these days do make a living as a band. But you have to have something kind of in the kitty to get you started cuz there's a lot of expenses that come up in advance. Like, renting a tour bus and you know, making merch. And hiring other members of staff that are needed to execute a tour and things like that. So I will say that because of Patreon, in addition to the actual perks that I hope Patrons feel they received over the course of the year, we were also able to mount a tour. It was pretty cool.
MELANIE: And you mentioned the merch, which I just want to say right now, after getting my shirt finally.
ALISON: Evan killed it.
MELANIE: I love, I loved all the merch and I love my shirt. It's the softest shirt. It's all beautiful.
MELANIE: It was some of my favorite merch.
ANNE: Oh yeah, absolutely.
ALISON: If it makes you feel any better about getting your merch finally, I got my hoodie, it was waiting on my bunk as I load, unloaded my bunk into my car on the last day of tour. [laughs]
ALISON: So, band and crew was not special. We did not get ours 'til the bitter end. Except for Ward, who was our model. And he did wear that damn hoodie every single day. [laughs]
MELANIE: He did a good job of trying to sell that.
ANNE: Yes. He did. I considered wearing the shirt and the hoodie everyday at work and I thought, I'm probably gonna get in trouble for that. [laughter]
ALISON: Um, no, Evan killed it. I am such a fan of Evan.
ANNE: Yes, yes.
ALISON: As a human, as a drummer, and as an artist. I mean, I loved--it was his idea. He wanted to ask, you know, for feedback and voting and make it a, and that's where Patreon is cool and that's where, moving forward, I would love to use Patreon more to just, this community, man, it is something special. There were moments along the way where we really did just kind of weep with the, just, sheer awe of the Jump community. So know that, please.
ALISON: I won't get choked up now, I swear I won't. I will keep my act together but it's intense and insane and wonderful at the same time.
ANNE: Yeah, I mean, you know diffusing the emotional awkwardness from that revelation, I just wanted to add, again, that I believe I've said this, but I could not have designed a more perfect hoodie or shirt for myself if I had, you know, it met all my qualifications. [laughs]
ALISON: That's what we were after.
ALISON: What would Anne Martinez like. [laughs]
ANNE: Well, yes. Well, you know, I'm sure, apparently everyone else loves this as well. So it's just working out so well for everybody.
ALISON: And Evan was laser focused on that from the beginning. He said, I mean, cuz like a band has to create merch.
ALISON: It's a given that there were be merch on a tour and he was like, you know, why don't, what if we really paid attention to the quality and making things that people would actually be proud to wear. And of course that's hard because even when we were having the discussions, both on Patreon and Opium and Jump's Facebook, you know, people wanted thick hoodies, people wanted thin hoodies, people wanted the band's name prominently, people didn't want the band's name prominently so it just looked like a cool graphic tee, you know. So trying to find that intersection that makes everybody happy, which we all know we never will do fully, I think that Evan really smashed it on this one.
ANNE: Oh yeah.
ALISON: Making the largest number of people possible as happy as possible. So thank you for saying that. I hope that those compliments have also been paid to the artist himself, but just know that he really was very focused on creating some higher quality items this go-round.
ANNE: Well, I'm pretty sure, when I said that, he reacted with a heart comment, so. [laughs]
ANNE: Think he did see that.
ALISON: Evan's the worst, man, he is so good at giving compliments and telling you how he feels but the second you're like, man I love you too, he's like, stop it. Yesterday he told me he would snatch the hair off my head and I was like, no I'm having a really good, like, hair life lately and he was like, fine I'll punch you in the face, like, because I complimented him. [laughter] So dysfunctional, I love it! So yeah.
ANNE: Yeah, there was an Opium post, there was at least one actually, complimenting him on how well he did during the tour and I was like, he's going to be so embarrassed! [laughs]
ALISON: Yeah, he, I even had that moment the very first show at White Mule in Columbia. It was kind of a weird little very narrow, long venue and so I was kind of smashed over to the side of the stage in I guess what was the VIP area. So I pretty much could only see Evan at that show and I was having a ball watching him.
ANNE: Oh yeah!
ALISON: Because he really is a lot of fun to watch. And I hate that he's tucked away in the back and refuses to be on a riser. Because he, there's so much in his, you know, art to appreciate. So, this one's for you, Evan.
ANNE: Absolutely, yeah. I was watching him too, not to sound creepy. We're all watching you, Evan. But it is really fascinating, the amount of work he has to do. This is another question about relating to the Patreon that Melanie had. If you want to go, Melanie.
MELANIE: Oh yeah, the backstage series videos that were filmed for the Patreon during the tour. How was that decided on as something to be done.
ALISON: Jay brainchild. That was something Jay was very clear that he wanted done. And so we knew we were gonna have William Poteet, who did a lot of the filming so thank you so much to him as well as our archivist Chris Slack who already did all of the audio archiving, he also upped his GoPro game. And so Jay and the other band members knew that there were gonna be more cameras on them and so Jay I guess kinda was like, well if cameras have to be on me at least I can execute a vision. So he was the one who came up with the idea of let's get some kinda secret, hidden hideaways of me warming up, of the guys warming up. And so that "Close Your Eyes" one was done the very first night at White Mule in Columbia. White Mule, I think it's still in the process of becoming what it will be but the concept is that it will be both live music, music hang space as well as like an event space. And so that was, the space that Jay's in singing "Close Your Eyes" is directly backstage. We kind of flipped the lights on and had a, "well this would be a pretty" moment. So we grabbed William and his camera and Jay just started playing. And we hope to do more of those. And we have more than what we've already released, to drip out in the coming months, both on Patreon as well as on social media.
ALISON: Yeah, get ready.
MELANIE: Cuz those are really, those were really, yeah. Good. [laughter] Keep those coming!
ALISON: I think we finally turned a corner with Jay where he has embraced this new digital world that we all cohabitate and is beginning to, ok, if I have to have videos and if I have to take selfies at least I can make them of the quality that I would like for them to be. And so he did a lot more, like, hey film this. Which I am here for it!
ANNE: Oh no, we're in for it now I guess!
ALISON: Yeah, we did--I will share a sweet little quick Jay story, not to ramble too much. But "Caught in the Rain" is a song that drudges up a very intense emotional response of mine because it takes me back to 2005 and the very last, you know, at the time what we thought was the very last show ever. I was in the depths of despair to steal from Anne of Green Gables. Things were not going well in my personal life. And I remember sitting in the Dock Street Theatre, listening to him play that song for the very first time ever and it just perfectly captured that chaos. Like when you're caught in the rain it's, your brain is fighting cuz there's this very logical, it's just water. Like you're just wet, it's fine. With the very emotional, like, ew I'm wet, it's cold, I don't like it, I want to fix it. And that's what that song means to me, right. Like being caught in the rain, my favorite band's breaking up, my life is changing in ways I'm not yet ready for. And as we all know, Jay does not like to share the meanings he puts behind songs cuz he wants to leave them open for interpretation. But I shared that story with Jay while he and I were literally stuck inside of the Philadelphia venue because the rest of the guys had taken the freight elevator down to load up the bus. So we were stuck until they would release it and it could come back up and get us. So Jay looks at me when I shared that story and he said that's exactly what that song is about. And then he played it for me! And so we had this like a cute little moment which, of course, I filmed. So you can look forward to that and others being dripped out as well.
ANNE: Yeah, I don't think Melanie or I will object to any rambling about Jay, so. [laughter] Just putting that out there.
ALISON: Jay and I are two very different people. And I love him very, very much. But, like, it was nice to have that, like, just that quiet little moment with him which can be few and far between cuz by and large I try and like, give him his space and not, you know, be up his butt with a camera in his face.
ALISON: But that was, it was a good moment and it was also good that Jay is seemingly coming around on, alright, alright, you can film me. I'm wearing him down!
ANNE: Yes it is.
ALISON: So y'all welcome. [laughter]
ANNE: I think this next one was also yours, Melanie.
MELANIE: Oh yeah, so, with the caveat with the respect to the band's privacy and without giving away too many secrets, was there anything that might surprise fans that you discovered while being in such close quarters?
ALISON: Yes, and I do obviously want to respect privacy, but you know, like, for instance just as an example, I really enjoyed my mornings with Johnny. Johnny and I were the two morning people of the bus. So typically in the mornings it would usually be he and I would be up first followed closely by Danica and Biv. It was interesting to see the way that the guys all kind of both need and very gracefully take their me time and their space. So there wasn't as much together, I think, as I thought that there would be. Cuz it's like, they all knew what they needed, because they've been doing this for so long. So, Johnny would kind of get up and he, you know, had his morning routine that he would do. But he and I had some really, really lovely chats. And I just really think the world of him. And I did before, I've always loved Johnny, but just seeing what, you know, like he and I had a great discussion one moment about how we want to curse less. Because really, it's unimaginative to only curse. The world is big and full of beautiful words that we should learn and impart back on the world instead of just dropping f-bombs right and left. So it's just little morsels like that that, really, I look back on most fondly. As well as, you know, obviously, Danica and Kaler were the two newbs to me so it was great to get to know them a little bit better as well. But yeah, nothing too, what the, I don't even know the word I'm looking for, Melanie, but like nothing was like, oh wow this is totally different than I thought it would be. But just more better and deeper all along the way.
MELANIE: Very nice.
ALISON: Which is cool.
ANNE: Now, this is sort of a wrapping up question. And I'm sure we have more to talk about if more comes up but I did want to sort of touch on this because you and I had discussed very briefly, trying to think how to phrase this. We talked about, you know, typically me and other fans will sort of worry to ourselves and to each other about, oh I said something stupid at a show or whatever, I feel like I've made an ass of myself. When you actually didn't really, you know, like you weren't being an outright jerk or anything like that. And you guys, apparently, that was a topic of conversation, like we don't really, they don't really pay that much attention. [laughs] They don't really retain your... yeah.
ALISON: Yeah, I mean there's all kinds of old adages and cliches about, like, you wouldn't be so concerned about what people think about you if you realized how little they did.
ALISON: Now that's a really catty way to say that. And that's not what I mean here. But, you know, first of all the nights are blurs cuz they, we pull in and they start, you know, the work they start is around 1 or 2 PM and really doesn't end until sometimes 2 or 3 the next morning. So it really does pass in the blur. What they do remember is that you were there, that they got to talk to you, that they love you, that you made them laugh. It's something that, and I'm saying you to whoever's listening not to Melanie or Anne here. [laughter] But they, this is not a call out. But they do. They rem--like, I got to see Melanie, I got to see Anne. She made me laugh. And it might be the thing that you think was dumb but all they remember is that feeling once it's past. So we did talk a lot about that. And I had the same qualms. I mean, I had anxiety raging throughout some of the tour of like, oh my god, am I doing this right? Which is funny cuz it's like one of those self-fulfilling prophesies, that the more anxious I get about being annoying, the more annoying I am.
ALISON: So I just quit being anxious about it, I won't be annoying. The only, I will share this cuz it's funny. The only exception to the, like, they really don't remember the bad behavior. One phenomenon that we, you know, have--so back in the day, you know, we talked about like hoochies and mutants and other names for fans who got out of hand a little bit. The new phenomenon we have dubbed "moms gone wild." [laughter] So there is this undercurrent, and I say "moms gone wild" because most of Jump's fans are females and most of us are of the current or immediately post-childbearing years. And it's like, you know, you have these kind of just, you know, daily lives that we're all a part of but then, like, you get to a concert and suddenly you're reliving your 20s! And there's a little bad behavior. [laughter]
ANNE: I want to be clear though, I want to be clear first cuz I don't think I really imparted that in the question. I'm not talking about, like, actual asshole jerk behavior. I'm talking about, you think afterward, oh I said kind of the wrong thing. Like when I was talking to Johnny I described a song as funk when it's really R&B. That's the kind of thing that I beat myself up about.
ALISON: Got it.
ANNE: Johnny probably barely registered that I said that except to correct me. But I, that's what I do. I'm like, oh no I said the wrong word.
ALISON: Yeah. Ok.
ANNE: So I don't mean, this is like, this is not like carte bla--this is not like a free pass to do whatever you want cuz they're gonna forget about it immediately. afterward.
ANNE: I don't mean like that at all. But yeah, anyway.
ALISON: They don't remember the, all of the details. Especially the moment. Like, we're hardest on ourselves, especially the moments you think were dumb. Really and truly they were just happy that you were there at all, much less took the time to stay after and talk to them.
ALISON: And yes, and to your point then, the whole bad behavior thing is a, I'm blending the two when they really are separate pools. But yeah, they are, they don't remember. They don't remember the dumb things I've said and I say a lot more dumb things more frequently, I promise you.
ANNE: Well, I once asked Matt if they remember dumb things that they said and he had no idea what I was even talking about. Like, he had no idea what I was even trying to say. And I was questioning myself like, what? So I guess it's just not a factor. [laughs]
ALISON: I have shared the moment from back in the day that I am most mortified about my behavior over. And Matt doesn't remember it at all. Just to share that story really quickly. I came to a lot of shows really, really trashed in my 20s. I'm not proud of this behavior now. But there was a show in particular. It was a friend's birthday, there was a large group of us. We weren't even 21 yet but had brought nalgene bottles full of Malibu, cuz that's a thing, to the venue. Had downed them before the show. Had come in and gotten on the front row at Tremont Music Hall and we were loud, yammering assholes. And at one point in the show, Matt leaned down and said, "Girls, I love you but you're so loud it's creating feedback in our monitors that's causing us physical pain." [laughter] I think about this moment often, you guys.
MELANIE: You know what? This is gonna blow your mind because I was at that show and I remember that. [laughter] And we had not met. That was the first time you came on my register, like, oh that's Alison.
ALISON: Oh, god I'm so sorry Melanie. I really am! [laughter]
ANNE: I'm trying to remember if I was at that show.
ALISON: I am mortified about this on a daily basis. I really, really am. I feel terrible. I feel terrible for the fans that had to witness that because I, like, you're not there to watch me be a jerk. You're there to watch, you paid good money to see a band. And we were, we were loud, we were screaming, we were probably screaming really terrible things, you know, just like over-sexualizing the moment. Like 20 year olds do! Like, it's so bad.
MELANIE: Well, if it makes you feel any better, I mean, from the audience standpoint, I didn't even register, I just remember the part when Matt said something to y'all. And I had not even noticed anything until then.
ALISON: Ok, good. Phew. That does make me feel better. But yeah, when I think about--and I've told Matt that story and he's like, I don't remember that. Matt's first memory of me is very different from my first memory of Matt. In fact, Matt's first memory of me I didn't remember having even happened until he told me about it. So it's bizarre. He, apparently we went and we got like waffles together after a Myrtle Beach show. Like, a big group. And I didn't remember having done that until he was like, oh yeah the first time I remember you on my radar or whatever was the time when after a show, it was like whatever Myrtle Beach's homegrown version of Waffle House was. It wasn't even a real Waffle House. So yeah.
ANNE: Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
ALISON: But yeah, like so, but that's the thing. They really, truly don't remember the dumb things. They're so overjoyed that--they still can't believe that people come out for their shows. They still will sit on the bus and be like, can you, do, what? It's amazing both phenomenally talented and just utterly humble they all are. It's bananas.
ANNE: Well, I will say, and I think I mentioned this to you, that I will continue to err on the side of caution because in my experience they will sometimes mention something or remember something that I did not expect them to mention, to notice or remember. And that sort of freaks me out a little. [laughs]
ANNE: Just putting that out there. And I also didn't mean to interrupt your whole thing about "moms gone wild" because that is hysterical.
ALISON: Oh yeah.
ANNE: But I did want to get that caveat in there that, you know, it's not a free pass. [laughs]
ALISON: No, not at all. But like we, once we, and it was funny--you know like when a group is all noticing separately and you think it's just you and then you talk about it, like, YEAH THAT THING.
ANNE: Yeah. Yes.
ALISON: So that's kinda how the "moms gone wild" discussion had gone.
ANNE: That is so funny, cuz I had that too. Yeah. I haven't called it that but. [laughs]
ALISON: That's, you know, and not to put women in specific roles or holes, you know.
ANNE: No, but you know, still.
ALISON: There is a lot, there is still some drunkenness at shows that you just go, oh girl. Oh, honey. [laughs]
ALISON: I actually, I pretty much won't get drunk around them because I'm still so embarrassed over my 20-year-old antics that they really haven't seen me. I mean like, we've gone out and gotten drinks before and I've gotten like a little hyper, I guess, is the word I might use. But like I won't get like full drunk because I just couldn't go back to that.
ALISON: And I also don't, I mean I enjoy alcohol for the way that it tastes and like the fine art of mixology and things like that, to sound like a total priss or snob, but I don't ever, like, I'm getting trashed tonight!
ANNE: Well, yeah, you know now that we're all approaching 40 or post-40--
ANNE: It's not that great anymore. For one thing it's not that great physiologically, but for another it's like, you know, come on. You're too old for this.
ALISON: Well, and hangovers now last three or four days.
ALISON: It's no longer like, you know, eat a Bojangles biscuit and carry on with your day situation. It ruins my whole weekend.
ANNE: Yes, exactly.
ALISON: I am happy to leave that part of me in the past. I hope that no member of any band ever has to say, I love you but you're causing me physical pain.
ALISON: Melanie, I can't believe you remember that! [laughs]
MELANIE: I remember way too much. It's ridiculous.
ANNE: She does. She does. Like, I'll forget shit and Melanie's like, "what about" [laughs]
ALISON: Can I just blanket apologize to the both of you and also any listener who has any recollection of AllyJumpUp. [laughter] I'm sorry! [laughs]
ANNE: Are you saying you're not AllyJumpUp anymore?
ALISON: I don't know. Like it's funny, cuz occasionally Matt will throw that out. Like, he, cuz sometimes I don't know if they know that I'm AllyJumpUp, you know what I mean? Like, does that seem so, we don't talk about it and I don't refer, I don't sign emails "AllyJumpUp" anymore. But I think it was Matt had put up a sweet post on Instagram on my birthday and had said something about, like, we love you AllyJumpUp. And I remember bristling, like, oh god, he remembers. [laughter]
ANNE: Well, I don't, I think, yeah, I don't think they're under any illusion that you're a totally different person. [laughter] I have positive memories of you! [laughter]
ALISON: I'm not gonna share this one but the quote is on the quote pages about our discussions from a particular Visualite show. [laughs]
ANNE: We're not, there's a, now there's really a lot on the quote pages that we really shouldn't discuss.
ALISON: So, so terrible. "I don't want them to see me and think I'm a loser!"
ANNE: Yes, I... yeah. I was looking through them the other day and I saw that like after that I put, "Alison, being serious." [laughs]
ANNE: "I don't want them to see us and think we're losers." [laughs]
ALISON: God forbid we eat food at restaurants too.
ANNE: Yeah! Like, I was at a restaurant that Matt and Evan came in later and we were like, oh my god they're here! I don't ever actively try to be at the same place they are, in case I look like I'm crazy. Even though we were already there when they came in! So I was telling the person I was with, I was like, we're allowed to eat! We were here first! [laughs]
ALISON: Yeah, I mean, we joke but I have the same anxiety, like even on this tour, about like, I, you know we would all scatter and go places. Like if I walked into a coffee shop or whatever and two of the guys were already there I'm like, I'm sorry. Like, am I on your turf? And it's like, I'm living on a bus with you. What am I afraid of? But it does feel weird.
ANNE: Yeah, like I saw Johnny at Fast and French and I, you know, I tried not to make eye contact with him. And later on he mentioned a Facebook post I made about Fast and French and I was like, ah! [laughs] I was there first, why are you [unintelligible]
ALISON: Yeah, I mean, it's kind of full circle on this one. They love, they love, love, love the community. They love the people. They love the perks of the job and really don't let themselves--Matt and I are, you know, constantly like, he's reassuring. Cuz I'll take things personally that get said, for instance, on Facebook and he's just, you gotta be a duck. Let that water roll off your back. They really do focus on the good and don't get bogged down with what causes the rest of us anxiety.
ANNE: Well, are there any other things that you'd like people to take away from what you've learned being on this most recent tour or, you know, just in your Jump fandom and talking with the band in general. Is there anything else you want people to take away from this?
ALISON: I mean, the two biggest things that I will spend the rest of my life trying to impart on the general public, or at least the Jump, Little Children community, are 1) how hard these guys work. And, like, I myself didn't know until I got a glimpse of it. But they are some of the hardest working guys, in what they do for Jump, Little Children as well as within their own families and their own personal pursuits. When I think about how much they accomplish in any given day, week, month, year it's mind-boggling. So never, ever, please, take that for granted, how hard they're working. Especially when it comes to Jump, Little Children. And then, I mean, the same thing with how deeply they love the fanbase and the community and it's so much bigger than just the five of them. You know, just to make this about me for a second, what the Opiates did for me at the Footlight show was....
ANNE: Oh yes.
ALISON: I mean, I was shocked and surprised. So, for anybody listening who doesn't know, I guess everybody had come together in a Facebook group to come up with a gift for me.
ALISON: And ended up showering me and far more than I deserved. And people were shocked that I was surprised. And I'm going, guys in what world is my brain going to be like, you know what I bet people are gonna do for me? Like, this is a job that I do but it's a fun job and it's a rewarding job and I don't feel owed by anybody and certainly not either the band or the fans. So for that to have been done for me really was just very beautiful and I still am trying to find the words. But it's funny because I'm known as kind of an emotional rollercoaster and I do cry at really, really stupid times and when I don't cry, people are like, "why aren't you crying?" [laughs] And so people were waiting for me to ugly cry that night and I just couldn't cuz I was in too many layers of shock. Matt shared with me that he basically went back stage and just wept.
ANNE: Oh my god!
ALISON: Because it's just...
ANNE: Now, I want to cry!
ALISON: I know, right? Because it's such a testimony, though, to this, like, you know, he loved that he was in on the secret. He loved that he got to play a fast one on me.
ANNE: Oh yeah!
ALISON: But like, just knowing how much Opiates and the greater Jump fandom really does care about all of us.
ANNE: He was also really crucial in shaping the form that it ended up taking because he was able to advise us.
ANNE: We were sort of trying to decide what to do and he was really able to direct us appropriately and I did have this on my list as something to mention to you as like sort of a wrapping up thing. But we had so much fun doing that. We were so excited about it! We were like, yes this is gonna be so great! [laughs]
ALISON: Well, the funny part, I, so there were six other women that I was sharing a house with during the Charleston week, who all knew about this and have varying levels of how active they are within the community. So, the fact that all of them knew and all of them kept it a secret. But it's funny, like, Amy Cox, for instance, was sure she had blown the secret cuz she said somebody's name to me. She said on the phone, "oh, I've gotta go meet Brooke." And so I'm thinking, oh she's meeting Brooke for lunch. Like, ok.
ALISON: She was just, "oh, I knew I'd ruined it." So the amount of care that you guys took in wanting to do something at all, much less what you ended up doing, I am just, I will appreciate it for the rest of my life. I mean, like, now when I'm having a bad day or when I miss it I can watch the video back or I can pull out the cards that you guys all wrote sweet little notes in. It just, it means so, so, so much to me. And I know that we all feel some kind of way about this band and so really the biggest thing to impart back is they feel all of that right back at us, at you guys, whatever the right words to us are. I'm getting choked up now! Dammit!
ANNE: Well, the last thing about that, you know, I think I had gotten across here, at least I tried to on the last discussion we had with you that you are pretty much the perfect person for this position.
ANNE: And I think we all understand, well generally speaking we all understand and appreciate what you have to do and how well placed you are to do it. And it's just has worked out so beautifully that we did want to do that.
ALISON: It's interesting because I've had people outside of the Jump fandom be like, oh I bet all the other girls hate you.
ANNE: No! [laughs]
ALISON: And I have to disappoint them, cuz like, I actually don't feel an ounce of hatred. I mean, those in the fanbase know me and know my intentions are pure. And I don't feel any hatred.
ANNE: I mean....
ANNE: I'll admit to being a little jealous of some stuff but, you know, I'm not directing waves of hatred at you. [laughter]
ALISON: No. And it's so weird, but I think that's another, and I mean this could probably be a whole episode in and of itself. But I think that that's another testimony to this community, right, is that we are of good enough whatever that it really isn't about hatred or whatever.
ALISON: Whereas there would be other communities of cattiness towards the female fan who had, you know, broken through or however you want to put it. That I just--
ANNE: Well, I mean....
ALISON: I don't feel any of that.
ANNE: There is also the fact that everybody's married and in their 40s. [laughs]
ANNE: If it had been 20 years ago...!
ALISON: People do ask me....
ANNE: It would be a little more....
ALISON: There definitely are, like, people again, outside of Jump, like if they see pics are like, oh those guys are hot, don't you--and I'm like, ok, first of all no. They're my brothers. I can admit that they're all fine physical specimens. But they, like, no. This is not a sexual thing.
ANNE: They're like, no, you don't understand. [laughs]
ALISON: Two, I know, so not only are they all married but I know all of their wives and I adore all of their wives.
ALISON: There's not one wife where I'm like, oh get her out of here. And that's been one of the other cool side effects of this has been getting to know each of them. And god, I love them! I love them so, I love them as much as I love their husbands.
ANNE: Oh, sorry.
ALISON: I was just going to say that's something that, again, people outside the fanbase, they're like, oh no, I bet you love the guys, I bet secretly. And I'm like, I really don't. I'm sorry. I don't.
ANNE: Yeah, it's not like that. I was just thinking about how this is just another example of how this is a very unique situation and community, that you really just can't explain to people who have not really experienced it. Which, I mean, it sounds like I'm talking about a cult but....
ALISON: Yeah. Well, you are. [laughter]
ANNE: But it's just so unique. Yeah. I mean, you know! [laughs]
ALISON: Guys, I gotta go get the goat ready for later.
ANNE: The goat!
ALISON: I'm making bad cult jokes.
ANNE: Oh! [laughter] I thought you were seriously talking about a real goat.
ALISON: I'm sure there's jokes in there about, you know, sacrifices and whatever.
ANNE: You can cut this part out where I didn't follow your joke.
ALISON: We honestly, like, just looking we have been talking for so long, feel free to cut this into a two parter. [laughs] I don't know if anybody needs to listen to this for two hours.
ANNE: Well, we had two and a half hours of Matt talking. [laughs] We can do two--
ALISON: Yeah, that was a lot! [laughs]
ANNE: It was a lot. I mean, maybe we should've put that into two.
ALISON: I see a two-parter. Come back later for the exciting conclusion of Alison's tour post-mortem. There's your soundbite. [laughs]
ANNE: Ok. Well, we were happy to talk to you at any time.
ALISON: Yeah. And I was very happy, obviously. It's funny because once you asked me to do this and knowing that we had set the date, I really haven't thought too much about the tour. Like, we really did, you know, like I got back on January 1st. I had my cousin in town last weekend. You know, I tried to kind of busy my mind so I didn't get sad because I was so worried that I would be so sad. I'm pleased to report I haven't been. But this week really has been about diving back into work. Matt, Evan, and I are full tilt boogie on BivBros Creative/AK Shouts things so I was looking forward to this today, hoping like, oh maybe I'll...closure is not the right word but, like, I'll get to think back through this again and verbalize some of my feelings.
ALISON: So, thank y'all for giving me the platform to do that.
MELANIE: Oh yeah!
ANNE: Oh yeah, absolutely. And that makes total sense. Before we pulled you into the call I talked, and it, cuz honestly it was mostly me blathering about the tour and my experiences during the tour and how weird it is to suddenly go from a December where it's basically 100% Jump to, not only am I going back to work now, but there's really not that much going on at work. [laughs]
ANNE: I haven't really been sad about the tour being over. In some ways it's been, you know, obviously it has to end at some point but it was a lot to deal with in a month. So enjoyed sort of looking back on it as well, because there's funny, it's sort of funny, the things that stick with you, as opposed to other things that someone mentions and you're like, oh yeah that happened. But that was not my takeaway. [laughs]
ALISON: Yeah, and I, you know, right now, before you guys called me, I was working on, spoiler alert, you know, starting to, I'm really taking a good stock and inventory of all the content. We got a lot of great content. And how we're going to use that.
ALISON: There will be a photo album going up this weekend.
ALISON: I'm going to try to start trying to pars things out, so get your little 'like' button clicky fingers ready! Cuz that'll be coming out. Of course, by the time this is released it will have already been out but we'll have moved on to other albums. But it's now, I've already, Matt has been assigned his post-morteming writing duties.
ANNE: Oh yes.
ALISON: But yet, it's an interesting January cuz it's like we're taking care of what we need to take care of to begin to drip all this great new content out. But then we're moving forward in other ways. I'm going up to Chicago in a couple weeks so Matt and I can really sit down and hammer out some Caption Point stuff. Matt, Lindsay, and I are attending Southeastern Theatre Conference, SETC, in Louisville at the end of February as a kind of a cool push to take Caption Point outside of the city of Chicago.
ANNE: Oh cool!
ALISON: But we do, I say that not to concern anybody, but to celebrate with us. And we all celebrate our wins together, right? But then to say there's still more gas in the Jump, Little Children tank. I won't tell you I have the roadmap fully in hand but I can tell you there's still cool stuff to be done and I still think it's going to be a really fun year on social media, on Patreon, and anywhere else we can manage to be.
ANNE: Well, I'm excited!
ALISON: I hope so. If we don't have a band we don't have anything.
ANNE: I know! [laughter]
ALISON: No pressure!
ANNE: I did actually see, you know, back on the listserv we were able to change our email usernames. Not like you can do that on Facebook now, because you can't. And I saw at some point in the year 2000 I called myself "Queen of the JLC Geeks."
ALISON: Ooh! [laughs]
ANNE: And when it came up in, yeah, when it came up in the search, I though, I hope that's not me. Oh, it is me. How embarrassing. [laughter] And then, you know, I can't really argue against it. [laughs]
ALISON: Back in the early days of Googling yourself, when the Opium website was a thing. When Opium squared was where we all congregated.
ANNE: Oh, jeez.
ALISON: There were Opies, and so remember how I used to run the Opies?
ANNE: Yes, yes I do!
ALISON: And then I stepped away for a year and somebody else ran them so I actually was eligible to win a couple Opies. Of course what I won that year was "Drunkest Opiate." So for years, and this is in the very, you know, I'm trying to graduate college, I'm trying to be taken seriously in the working world, if you Googled 'Alison Kendrick' the first hit was Drunkest Opiate. [laughter] Thank god that is now finally gone unless you use the Wayback Machine. But thankfully when you Google 'Alison Kendrick' I think my Facebook comes up first which is fine.
ALISON: But no longer drunkest opiate.
ANNE: Ok, well on that note. [laughter] Say goodbye to Alison! [laughter]
ALISON: [quietly] I swear I'm a good person now. [laughs]
ANNE: We're all completely different people now. [laughter]
ALISON: Totally sober.
[The Beach Boys "Feel Flows" begins to fade in slowly]
ALISON: Thank you guys so much for letting me come on and babble for a very long time about the thing I love most!
MELANIE: Yeah, thank you.
ANNE: Thanks for talking to us. We enjoy that.
ALISON: Any time.
ALISON: Cool, I'm sure I'll talk to y'all soon!
ANNE: Alright. Bye!
["Feel Flows" plays briefly then fades out]