JUMPING DARKNESS PARADE: DAATH’S EYAL LEVI ON THE BENEFITS OF PRE-SHOW DRINKS
The cycle begins. I used to not think that I could play and drink onstage. I never ever ever touched drinks or smoked weed before a show. I came from the school of thought that you needed to have your brain fully functional for the show.
Well, pre-show jitters would occur. I just would notice that parts of my body were trembling. Then the adrenaline rush would start. And I noticed that it became very, very difficult to get my brain and my hands to get onto the same page. There’s something about being in fight or flight mode which makes it hard to focus on very precise picking and things of that nature. In the midst of an adrenaline high mixed with nervousness, interesting things happen. Parts of songs can be completely forgotten. What fret that solo starts on can become a challenging thing to remember. Basic song structures can seem suddenly hard to remember. Etc., etc., etc. Sounds like the behavior of a stoned person, but it’s really just the behavior of a really hyped-up nervous person. I started thinking to myself that maybe this isn’t my brain functioning at its fullest potential. This is my brain redlining itself and hindering my ability to play.
Enter the pre-show drinks. I used to not entirely understand what people meant by “take the edge off” and statements like that. I mean, it’s a metal show. I want an edge. Well, that edge I want there isn’t what the alcohol will take away. The edge the drinks take away is the excessive RPMs my brain starts pulling. Sometimes for no reason, sometimes in high stress situations. So it brings the RPMs down to a manageable level, to where I can go out there in the right mood. “The right mood” is what athletes refer to as “the zone.” Where you feel indestructible and ready to conquer and the work you have to do is just second nature. I can assure you that at this point in my musical career, it’s not my hands that are the problem. It can be my brain that gets in the way. Though it’s really not an issue anymore, this is something that plagued me in earlier years.
Then there’s the second phase. Which is overcoming mental lethargy in order to get into the mood. To those of you who don’t do this, it may be hard to understand that yes, even when you are living your dreams, its hard to always be in a winning mood. Just like if you have a hot girlfriend. No matter what she looks like or how bad you wanted her before you got her, you are not always going to want to give her the high hard one in the most extreme, proper, and legendary of fashions. Sometimes you’re just straight up not in the mood. And that’s another example of where the drinks help. Or maybe even a joint. They help strip down the self- imposed mental distractions, which hinder us from being at our best. In my opinion, not being in the mood when you have something you’ve always wanted is a cop out, and you’ve got to do whatever you can in order to change that. If it involves running around the block five times, so be it. If it involves five shots of whiskey, a joint, and sixty push-ups, then so be it. You have to do what you have to do in order to get to that place where you can, and will, dominate.
Visit Daath on MySpace to get the full itinerary for their summer tour with Goatwhore, Abigail Williams, Abysmal Dawn, and Success Will Write Apocalypse Across the Sky.