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Guest Blog: Jake Luhrs of August Burns Red - "Touring: No Breath... Today we've got a guest blog written by Jake Luhrs, vocalist of , titled "Touring: No Breath Of Fresh Air." August Burns Red
Guest BlogTouring is absolutely a joy in my life; Iím blessed to be in August Burns Red. Iím blessed to tour the world, sell records, be interviewed, write the music I love to write, scream lyrics I love to scream. However, this life isnít all itís cut out to be.
Regardless of what your career is, itís bound to have ups and downs. My Papa use to tell me, ďLife is like a roller coaster; you have your ups and your downs.Ē It seems that everyone always hears the ups of tour. They hear about how great the shows are, how sweet the tour bus is, hanging out with the other bands, and about the overall glamour of being a touring musician. Itís unlikely for one to hear about the downs -- like when youíre away from your family on the other side of the world and youíre in a rut of loneliness. Or when youíve been out on the road for months at a time and all you want is your own bed to sleep in. Or just to hear the voices of your loved ones when youíre on a different continent. Or when you simply donít have any personal time or space on the road.
Touring can be a hellish place if you allow it. People come out to a show to celebrate, enjoy themselves, and have a good time. But then they go home and continue on with a normal schedule and lifestyle. For a touring musician itís an entirely different ballgame, and itís not a party if it happens every night. Unfortunately, with some bands, they get stuck in that ďpartyĒ mentality and continuously feed a detrimental flame with extremely late nights, bars, sex, binge drinking, drugs, etc. It just keeps going and going and going. Itís understandable when you know the reality of a musicianís daily life. Your day consists of waiting, meetings, interviews, boredom, and a show. You have extreme highs and extreme lows. You can get anxious, nervous, homesick, lonely, exhausted, and there are no breaks, no time outs, and no where you can run to. Living in the moment can be a dangerous thing, because while there are no immediate consequences, this lifestyle can have devastating repercussions on your body, mind, and spirit.
A lot of people ask me how I personally make it on the road. Simply put: there are just a lot of things out here that I genuinely donít want to be apart of or associated with. Before I was in this band, I used to drink frequently and carelessly. There are times when Iím down and out where I honestly am tempted to go back to my old ways and drink my problems away. However, I know full well that itís just a temporary solution to an ongoing problem. So where do I go? I go to my faith. I go to the family and friends that are closest to me, and I hold onto hope. Iíve had seasons of absolute hell out here on the road, and the only thing that has kept me from not going off the deep end is God. I focus on my faith in Him, and trust that He will show me the way out. He is my strength when I am weak out here, and will hold me upright when I feel that I canít walk on.
Prayer is essential for me. There are things on tour that can corrupt me, mold me, and change my thought process in a negative way. Thus, I make a deliberate effort to bring those things to Him, and can rest assured knowing that He will provide me with a healthy way out.
And when I do bring these things honestly before God, He often reveals and teaches me things that I didnít know about myself.
I believe Iím on tour for a reason. Itís not just to play the shows, or make money, or be some exalted front man of a band. Itís to be a vessel; a messenger with a good word for the crowd that I so anxiously await each night. Iím called to bring them something positive, something that builds them up. And despite all the hard times that we donít speak of and fans never hear about...itís the shows that make it all worth it. Itís knowing that there might be one kid that comes to the show, hears us play, receives the message weíre bringing, and decides to make a change in their life in a positive way. I do this for those people, and I do this for my Lord. For when I am weak, He is strong.
Jake can easily be reached on twitter: @, JakeABR and on email: Jake@heartsupport.com #jake luhrs #guest blog #august burns red
05:39 PM on 02/20/12
This will definitely be an interesting read. I love ABR and what they stand for!
05:48 PM on 02/20/12
I'm very impressed that he was willing to talk about his drinking like that. Seems like a lot of guys in Christian bands are very unwilling to talk about their problems with sin. Awesome guy to talk to after a show.
05:50 PM on 02/20/12
I'm not a huge fan of his band or religious at all but this bloke makes an awful lot of sense. A cracking read.
05:55 PM on 02/20/12
these pretzels are makin me thirsty
I wouldn't consider myself religious, but I admire it when those that are speak so eloquently and passionately about it without alienating me. This was a great read.
06:02 PM on 02/20/12
There's no such thing as god.
06:08 PM on 02/20/12
this took longer than I anticipated.
06:25 PM on 02/20/12
Jake is such a cool guy -- definitely always a pleasure whenever he's in town, whether he's playing a gig or not.
If anyone else has other guest blog suggestions, feel free to PM me with suggestions...
06:52 PM on 02/20/12
Your pictures are already burned.
Awesome! Keep it up Jake.