Charlotte Sands lets us in on finally getting back on the road, how to best enjoy a concert, Harry Styles, and much more.
It’s no secret that the first two years of the pandemic dealt a near-fatal blow to the live music scene. For a time, it felt like we wouldn’t be able to see our favorite musicians again in person. But 2022 has seen an aggressive resurgence of concert and live gigs. After being cooped up at home, hundreds of artists are hitting the road once more as hundreds of thousands of fans make their way to venues around the world to see their favs. One artist who’s definitely happy to be back performing in front of audiences again is Charlotte Sands.
The musician, whose 2020 hit Dress shot her to mainstream success, achieved a major milestone this 2022 with her first-ever nationwide headlining tour, Love And Other Lies Tour. While the pandemic has changed certain things, being back on the road is more than welcome news for Charlotte. NYLON Manila got the chance to speak with the female rocker where she opened up about life on tour, staying recharged in between shows, the best seats in the house, and much more.
So, how has tour life been going?
It’s amazing. I love being on the road. I love touring. I love doing shows, like every night and meeting so many people, especially after the last two years when we weren’t able to play shows. So, I feel like I’m making up for lost time right now. And just trying to fit as many shows into as much time as possible
How do you feel like the energy of the crowd has changed from pre-pandemic to now?
I definitely feel like there is a difference, I think that people have realized how easily it can be taken away. And the privilege it is to be able to go to shows and experience live music. So, when we’re in those rooms, I do feel like there’s an energy of just gratitude and just enjoyment of being able to be in these moments together and trying to really hold on to every moment and be really grateful for it. And I think it’s so fun.
What kind of show do you expect the audience to see?
I want them to just have so much fun. I mean, the entire point of my show is to create an inclusive environment where everyone can feel safe and comfortable and enjoy themselves and feel like they can express themselves freely without any judgment. And I think the way that I felt when I used to go to shows when I was younger, I just wanted to kind of feel free and feel like I was able to have fun and like you’re dancing with your friends. I just want to create that for other people who might need a little break of reality and just want to be around people that make them feel loved and respected and all that.
Before you go on stage, is there a pre-show ritual you do?
I mean, every night feels like it’s a little bit different is because we have such different amount of time before we go on. And sometimes it takes me a really long time to get ready and other times I get ready really quickly. And as always, like family around or no one around or it’s just changes every single night. But usually right before the show the entire band and everyone on our crew will just come together for a quick huddle and pick a word of the day and just chant that word and then get on stage and just try and have as much fun as possible.
What are your memorable moments on tour?
There’s been so many. I think that last night I played in Boston, which is where I’m from and my family and so many of my friends were there. And it was, it was so much fun, we sold it out. And so that was probably my favorite show of the entire tour just because it was my hometown show when I’ve been wanting that venue since I was in high school, and so many fun things like that. But just being able to have so many memories with so many people all over the country has just been something that I’m so grateful for. And I just am so lucky to get to do and to meet so many people I’m every day is like a different exciting experience.
What do you do to make sure that you aren’t drained after each show?
I think I’m still trying to figure that out. But I think mostly is making sure that I’m able to get some time alone to just like, sit with myself and my thoughts and figure out what my mind and my body need at that time. That’s really helpful. And I think just, I honestly something as simple as like going on a walk or going to get coffee or doing anything that just feels like a very human thing to do. Like, this is such a strange thing. But even when I’m on tour, and I feel like really excluded from like reality or the sense of a normal life.
I’ll just go to the grocery store and like walk around, because it makes me have this sense of normalcy in my life that kind of refuels my energy as a person and makes me feel less like I’m just this one person performing every night. I still have an identity as a human, I still can do normal human things. And it’s like small things like that, they kind of make me feel a little bit better. And trying to get as much sleep, I try really hard to take care of myself as much as possible and not just wear myself out.
In your opinion, what do you think is the best seat in the venue?
Personally, I’ve always love being as front as possible. But I think now, knowing where the best sound in the venue is. That’s usually like my favorite place to watch now, because I love to be able to see the entire show and to be able to hear it the way that it’s meant to be heard. And to be able to take it all in. Now, I don’t love watching shows from like the side of the stage or that kind of stuff, because I feel like I can’t experience it as a fan. And I just want to experience it like that.
What advice would you give to fans on how they can best enjoy a concert?
I have a lot of people that have come to my shows that they’ve met online and then like, met up at the shows and have all become really good friends. And I think that’s such a fun thing is to be able to find people who also love the same shows as you and be able to meet up at shows and then like be creative friendship based off of your love for music is so cool. So, I think having an open mind if you want to be a part of like an artist, community and like go to multiple shows of multiple people that’s really fun.
I think that that creating an environment for everybody where they feel safe and they feel comfortable. was really fun. I would say definitely just try and be brave and try and hang out with other people there if you want to. And yeah, take care of yourself, be safe, if you are in the middle of crowds and watch out for your friends and take care of each other, I think is the most important thing.
Is there any city or venue or location that you would hope to perform in the future?
There are so many I mean, I’ve always wanted to play the House of Blues Boston, but then I also want to play a stadium in Boston, and in so many stadiums around the world. So give me a few years and then hopefully, I’ll be doing that.
There’s a debate on whether or not to use your phone during a concert. As an artist, where do you stand on this issue?
I feel like it’s okay for people to take videos. I do realize that we live in a world where like, currently having videos and posting videos and all of that is so popular. And so I don’t have a problem with it at all. My favorite thing is when people are able to take pictures or take videos, but then they’re able to put their phones down for multiple songs and actually enjoy it. Because the one thing that is really hard as a performer is being onstage and I want to look out and I want to see everyone’s faces and I want to connect with people and I want to be able to, like see them when we’re like singing these songs together.
And so sometimes when there’s only like, when it’s only phones in my face, it’s really hard to try and make that connection with people. I think that there’s a there’s a good mix of taking pictures, take enough memories. But then make sure that you’re also enjoying the show. And you’re also experiencing it and you are actually experiencing it without just experience it vicariously through your phone later on.
You’ve said that you want your shows to feel like a safe space. Your most famous song to date, Dress, which you wrote about Harry Styles, revolves around inclusivity and letting people live their lives. What’s your take on Harry, the new generation of pop stars, and artists in general who are breaking the social norms of society?
I love it. I love anybody expressing who they are, and whatever makes anybody happy. That is what I want them to do I think that people should do whatever makes them happy and whatever fills them as long as you’re not like hurting other people. I think as long as you walk out of the door every day and it brings like a little bit of a light to you then nobody should really care. And I think that pop music and music in general is constantly kind of changing the norm and questioning a lot of that, which is why I do love Harry and so many artists right now that are doing that and do a really good job of doing that.
And they’re creating a space where all of their listeners and their fandoms know that they can express themselves. And they are welcome in a place where they’re able to be themselves and live their authentic lives and do whatever makes them happy. And I think as long as you’re respectful and accepting of other people, then everybody, everybody should be able to feel that way.
Once the tour is over, what’s your next in store for you?
My goal is to definitely make music. I’m trying to spend the next month after this tour is over, working a lot on writing and creating more music so that for next year, I can have a bunch of stuff that I want to release. I haven’t been able to write a lot this year, because of touring so much. I’m definitely going to prioritize that and hopefully write some songs that I’m really excited about.