Updated: Nov 15, 2021
Welcome to STORIES-2-INSPIRE #10 where I share inspiring stories of REAL people from many different backgrounds and situations who've overcome struggle, made amazing positive changes or achieved great things against the odds and refuse to give up!
Meet BRIAN SMITH, drummer for the mighty HEMLOCK from Las Vegas! I first met Brian on tour with my old band INTERROGATE at our first US show back in 2010 and we've remained pals ever since. Brian and the HEMLOCK guys are a HELL of a fuckin' live band and really down-to-earth nice guys.
A lot has changed from the days of getting blind drunk and drinking "PAN SHOTS" of Jager & Buckfast - we've both made BIG changes in our lives, living a healthier lifestyle but loving music more than ever! 🤘
It's even harder staying healthy on tour but Brian has managed to do it!
READ HIS STORY BELOW...
NAME: Brian Smith
FROM: Las Vegas, USA
DRUMMER for HEMLOCK
TOP 3 ROCK/METAL BANDS:
3. FAITH NO MORE
"Since my childhood I've always been the chubby kid. By high school I was tired of it and took up jogging and serious weight lifting. That did wonders for me then, but I have always had this 50 pound, back and forth fluctuation in my weight most of my life.
The most I weighed (that I'm aware of) was probably 330 lbs. Easy to put on, hard to take off. I'd feel great once it came off and swore I'd never go back, but somehow it always did. Whether I was touring, partying, at a day job or whatever, I'd make excuses and say I'd focus again when I got home, or back on tour and vice versa/ back and forth constantly.
Living in Las Vegas (the land of excess and accessibility) made it all the easier to eat junk food anytime.) When I'd get in a relationship, I'd get complacent and weight would just pack on. But when I got single, I would at least be a little more aware and have motivation to lose some weight again."
"The only consistent in my life was music. Music is what gave me my confidence. The ability to approach people, to perform onstage, to have a presence online, to do interviews, be featured in magazines, photographed, video etc. and be comfortable no matter what my weight was.
But I would always see photos, videos, promo posters etc. and get disappointed in myself. Years of late night fast food, snacks after drinking at the gig and pizza and other crap food throughout the day didn't help either.
I eventually bought handheld weights and a jump rope on tour in the US and would finally get the drive to start exercising again. I started coming home in better shape than when I left.
The first time I toured Europe with Hemlock in 2012 and experienced quality catering, I not only learned what a vegetarian meal was, but a vegan meal? And it was delicious too?!
I could feel full from tasty food and not feel greasy and weighed down heavily from what I ate. And the better I ate and the more weight I lost, the more energy I had."
"Touring in a heavy metal band and being able to perform a high energy set for an hour to an hour and a half, every night, over the course of 2 to 3 months is very physically demanding. I've been the drunk, fat guy on tour and I've also been the more physically fit and health conscious guy too. I've gotta tell you, looking and feeling good, being strong, having a strong core and back are all very important. Lugging gear around, fat sweaty and over weight is no fun."
"Our whole band eventually changed our way of thinking on tour and began eating much better and also got gym memberships while on the road too. We would often end our night in the gym instead of in the bar.
Late night exercise, a massage, a nice shower and a great night of sleep also felt better than waking up hung over and feeling like crap. Often waking up and hitting the gym again or getting to the next town early and spending time on days off at the gym have become super fun as well.
This is probably the healthiest the band as a whole has been since we first started Hemlock in 1993! We definitely aren't getting any younger, but we do take much better care of ourselves these days and still put on an even more high energy show than ever before.
The positivity and energy surrounding the band is also at an all time high these days too! Healthy body, healthy mind!"
"My advice to being healthy, happy and having more energy is simple. Surround yourself with positive people and people with like minded goals is huge to your own mental and physical health!
Setting yourself lots of little achievable goals and then reaching them, and having fun things in your life to look forward to (little rewards) after a job well done has been super helpful for me as well.
In my downtime from touring I keep super busy with a handful of other bands too. I have a full time day job as a kitchen manager at a local pub, I play in a country rock band named Grindstone Creek, a blues rock band named Monday's Child and I recently started a super fun, high energy 80's hair metal cover band named Stranger Than Paradise!
People ask me all the time, where do I find the energy to do all that I do? Well I'm fueled with the passion to play music, and the better I take care of myself, the longer I'll be able to continue doing what I love! Plus I gotta look good in my tight leggings in my new 80's band! Haha!!
3 of my personal favorite rock/metal bands are PRO-PAIN, SEPULTURA and FAITH NO MORE, even though I prefer to work out to 80's hair metal and 80's pop music!"
Stay Strong, Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!!
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NEVER GIVE UP!
(Owner BORN 2 BLEED)