Texas-based musician Scott H. Biram has been something of a touring phenomenon over the last two decades but says that these days he's pulling back a little.
Are you touring more these days than in the past?
No. I've actually tried to dial it back in the last few years. I was doing 200 dates a year at one point. In the last couple of years, I've tried to dial it back a little bit. I probably do 150-165 dates a year. Four or five tours a year it seems like.
Talk to me about that dialing back because I think maybe people don't realize how exhausting that can be to be on the road all the time.
Travelling and rolling, rolling all the time is taxing in its own special way. I've found myself laying down in the back of the van, rolling down the highway before, thinking, "God, I wish I could stop moving for a second." And there's the day-to-day stuff that comes with touring: Hustling to get there. There's a lot of hurry up and wait. You have to get there to do the soundcheck and then there's three or four hours before the show. Sitting around can be exhausting in itself.
Being on the road a lot doesn't offer you time to sit down and write new material.
That's probably the most important part of taking breaks, to be able to decompress a little bit and be able to get some more natural stimulation of regular life rather than the monotony of rolling up and down the highway, load out, load in. It's hard to find inspiration when you don't have that kind of time. I was in Spain just the other day. We were in the desert and at a gas station. I walked about 100 feet behind the gas station, away from the building and for a second, I was, like, "It's nice to be in nature!"
As the music business has changed in recent years, a lot of musicians have diversified and they do hot sauce and coffee. Have you had any inclination to do that? The Scott H. Biram Texas Hot Sauce?
Exactly, actually. I make some really hot pepper sauces. I haven't sold them or anything but I'm considering doing that, especially when I have my own garden to do it with. I don't have one this year but I do a lot of the time. I makes some crazy hot sauces. I have a friend that likes different kinds of hot sauces and he's always daring us to try this and try that. My mission in life is to murder him with hot sauces. I made him one for his birthday out of ghost peppers, scorpion peppers and Carolina Reapers, which are, I think at this time, the three hottest peppers there are. It was really hot.
I bet cooking is something that's relaxing to do when you're at home. It forces you to focus.
I've driven 14 hours home before and called my girlfriend on the way home before and said, "I'm stopping by the store before I hit the house because I'm going to cook when I get home!"
Scott H. Biram performs at Nortons Brewing Company on Friday, July 26.