By Jasmine Bourgeois
Phoebe Cross is the drummer/vocalist in indie-punk trio Happy Accidents. Happy Accidents released their first album in 2016, and they’ve already made a splash in their short time making music — they’ve been covered by a number of publications and got a slot on the BBC Introducing London stage at Reading and Leeds Festivals 2016. Their newest album, Everything but the Here and Now, dropped in mid-February via Alcopop! Records. Phoebe split the role of lead vocals on this album; expanding her musical range and exploring new directions for the band. On top of being a badass drummer and vocalist, Phoebe’s also an amazing teacher; helping out girls/women of all ages learn to play drums at London’s School of Rock. We talked to Phoebe about eco-friendly touring and some of her favorite songs by bands with women drummers.
Right so, I’m interested in being more environmentally friendly on tour. Driving around in a van does make me feel a little guilty, but at least it’s always full of people and gear and worth it to share our music and have fun gigs! So I decided to write about my personal 3 favourite eco products that I — and the first two my bandmates have, too — take on tour, along with some general tour tips.
1. Re-usable steel water bottle.
We used to take a pack of disposable mineral water bottles with us, but I really love having one of these with me on tour, it’s so useful on the road, at the gig, and at night. They keep water hot too, which is great if you have teabags with you. We all have a different colour one; it’s pretty cute. Obviously at gigs there are always plastic cups and bottles of water around still, and I can’t exactly demand that the promoter doesn’t provide it especially for other bands! But it’s nice to try and do your bit with cutting down on waste at least. We’ve all seen David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 which broke the world’s heart.
These are great because they’re absorbent but also fast drying so no more damp towels hanging around in the van grossing me out! This particular brand, ECOdept, is a small company which designs environmentally sustainable products.
3. Menstrual cup.
Okay I know it’s maybe TMI but to be fair this silicone cup changed having my period on tour for the better! Although they might not be for everyone, I really am an advocate for them because I can just forget about it for most of the day and it saves a lot of waste not using disposable pads and tampons. It’s ideal for longer journeys too.
I hope my picks are useful to anyone who goes on tour, and also just in general! Other advice as a drummer specifically — especially if you’re a singer too — is to get some custom-molded or just re-usable earplugs, rather than use foam disposable ones. I used to use a pack of foam ones every time when I first started going to shows/playing gigs, but having some proper fitted ones has been great!
My Top 3 Songs Right Now: I’ve also written about my 3 favourite songs at the moment, with bands with women drummers!
1. ‘In Undertow’ by Alvvays – This is the first song off their new record, and also my favourite it’s super dreamy and catchy I must have played it hundreds of times already!
2. ‘How to Socialise & Make Friends’ by Camp Cope – This is the latest single from Camp Cope and it’s so upbeat and fun. Look out for their sophomore album coming out soon. The band don’t shy away from calling out discrimination in the music industry and constantly encourage musicians to spread the message – they’re certainly very empowering. Drummer Sarah Thompson runs Poison City Records, a fantastic Australian label based in Melbourne.
3. ‘Ugly Veg’ by Peaness – I love the harmonies on this. This band have some great tunes, and also happen to be our label mates on Alcopop! Records. Drummer Rachel sometimes plays to a click track live, which I always admire. Check ’em out! <3