“MONEY IS STUPID!!” A Conversation with Jess Shoman of Tenci

How do you cope with “post tour blues” as we like to call it, is it even a thing you experience? 

Oh god, I have been definitely experiencing this lately, and it’s really disorienting. I’ve found that taking time to indulge in alone time by doing things that feel grounding for me helps a lot , like crocheting, making elaborate meals, watching tv, cuddling my pets - basically just getting to be really reclusive after having to socialize so much. I do find that diving too much into being a homebody after a tour can cause me to spiral a little, so I still try to find a good balance between stimulation and relaxation. 

What do you do to try and stay healthy while on the road? Or, is it your time to let loose and eat some corn dogs? 

I try to eat as many fruits & vegetables as possible! We usually try to hit up a grocery store on the road to get healthy snacks and save some $$$. If we have the opportunity to make a home cooked meal, I think that immediately brings me back to life, but sometimes you just have to eat the free pizza or tacos that the venue provides.

What does daily life look like for you currently? Do you have a day job - or some sort of side hustle to supplement money for being a musician? What do you do for work?

Currently I am UNEMPLOYED > : ) I am taking a little break in between tours to have *me time*, but I usually do freelance design work to supplement being a musician. Years ago I used to work at an ad agency and would abandon my job to do music-related things, so it was clear I was definitely not trying to have a full time job lol. Freelancing is really nice because I can make my own schedule and work on the road if I really need to. When I’ve worked on the road before it’s been pretty stressful, so I am hoping I can just coast on savings until we’re done touring, and then pick up some freelance gigs. If anyone out there needs design help hit me up ; ) 

*~* www.jess-shoman.com *~* 

What are your financial goals in playing music? Are they different from when you first started out? 

My goals have stayed pretty much the same in the sense that I don't think I will ever really bank on living off of solely being a musician, even though it sounds nice. It doesn’t feel very realistic in the way the industry is laid out and it feels like a lot of pressure to put on something that I do because I love doing it. My only real goal financially is making sure I can pay my bandmates enough and maybe save up for a touring van someday. MONEY IS STUPID!!

What existential thoughts or moments have you had on the road? What insights has it produced for you? 

My very first tour was about 5 days long (which at the time I thought was a really long time) and I remember not being sure if I was going to like it. I pretty quickly became enamored because it felt like time didn’t exist and that we could just go forever and ever. It sometimes feels like driving down a really long & fun tunnel, making stops and playing music along the way. Holding on to that time warped feeling has been really important for me to keep going whenever there are hard times on tour. I feel so lucky to be able to do any of this at all.

Do you feel like you’re seen as childish for pursuing music as a career? 

I’m not sure what people think, but I also don’t really care. My mom is proud of me and that’s all that matters ; - )

Celebrity moments- any celebs come to a show? Give us the hot goss! 

Maddy Morphosis from RuPaul’s Drag Race came to one of our shows in Fayetteville lol. Our drummer Joey tweeted this and she not only came to the show but hooked us up with a hotel room and was very cool & sweet.

Van breakdowns, heat waves, ice storms- what kind of sketch situations have you endured weather wise? 

When we were driving in the mountains of Colorado, the roads got super icey and a giant semi slid into us and completely totaled Curtis’ Prius. It was a miracle that everyone was ok, including the truck driver. That was the first time in my life I truly thought I was going to die! It was terrifying.

What do you want the audience to take away from your live show? 

I simply want people to have the feeling of release - to laugh and cry and have fun. 

Why do you create? 

I create mostly because I need an outlet for really complex thoughts and feelings, and if I didn't get them out I would explode.

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