Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Apr 30th 2010 12:45PM by The Antlers
The Brooklyn-based group is currently on tour with Phantogram, in support of their remastered LP on Frenchkiss, and working on a new album in between. In their second road report, Silberman talks about how he adjusts from life on the road to life at home.
Touring is an exercise in adjustment. For a bit over a year now, we've been touring constantly, and what this has lead to is a failure to fully have my feet in one life or another. I don't know exactly when the balance tipped so as to have me gone more than I'm home, but I am home from time to time. These periods are not very long, the longest being a month and the shortest being a day, with variations in-between. This has lent itself to an attempt to carry on with two lives -- one at home, in which the comfort and stability of friends, family, and familiarity make leaving difficult; and [one on] tour, where impermanence, strangers, temporary friends and "looking at things" prevail.
I could go into the specifics as to how this division has strained my personal relationships, but that's personal, and a work in progress. Things fall apart and I tape them back together, trying stronger tape with each collapse, tighter stitching with each unraveling. The better able I am to make each life relatively stable, the more they become worlds unto themselves, less like trips and time off. Somehow, this has made each life seem imaginary from the perspective of the other.
Re-entering each life is confusing. The first few days of tour feel as though I've been pulled away from something. Routines quickly seem impossible and ill-matched for this other world in which there's rarely time to do anything, despite the massive amount of blank hours driving, being driven, or waiting to soundcheck or perform. Every wake-up is a fire drill -- a surprising, rushed 30 minutes to get out of a foreign bed and make sure I'm not forgetting anything, attempting to remember where I am and where I'm about to be. Sometimes this is a 30-second waking-up-in-the-van, suddenly finding myself at the venue and needing to get up and carry things inside. The life I've been pulled from begins to become distant and less relevant, and the logic of every day back home makes less and less sense with this new arrangement of leaving and arriving and leaving and so on.
But after several weeks of this, I unexpectedly wake up in my own bed and it's over. I don't need to pack anything up, I don't need to go anywhere, yet I can't help but be convinced that a van is leaving without me, or that the hotel is kicking me out at eleven. The more time I spend at home, slowing down and staying put, the less sane the last life seems. The pace is entirely different, and can't apply to home. I become relatively sure that I've never left, and that I'll never leave again. But as soon as I've convinced myself that I have one life, I'm ripped apart from it, and catapulted into the other, unsure as to how long the two can co-exist. Like being asleep and awake, each world has it's own logic, with the slightest residue of the other state's skepticism, an initial disorientation, and an inability to know for sure which is real.