Life is hectic on and off the road for Tank, tattooist and vocalist for Leeds metal band Chasing Dragons, so we had a chat to her about her fitness routine and how she keeps fit on the road. The band hit the road throughout the Spring and Summer in support of their debut album, Faction, which came out on October 5, 2018. Read our interview, check some tunes, and note the tour dates below.
Why and when did you get into fitness in the first place?
Tank: I think my intro into fitness started with my love of snowboarding. I was pretty overweight and unhealthy in my early/mid-teens and when a good friend bought me a taster session for my birthday I realised that was the sport for me but I was so unfit I struggled to even stand up with a board on! So I joined a gym, got my butt and my head in gear and so began my love for fitness.
What about exercise, health and fitness makes you take it seriously?
Tank: I love the challenge with myself; I always want to better my own achievements. I want to be more healthy, want to run faster, lift heavier, jump further, hang upside down, pull myself up, hold my breath longer… you name it, I want my body to do it. It also makes me feel mentally amazing and, for me, that’s the best part.
Weights, cardio, crossfit what most gives you the fitness buzz?
Tank: I’m into calisthenics; push-ups, pull-ups, parallel bar work, handstands, human flag, dragon flag and the like. It’s bodyweight-only training but it gives you the most incredible strength and the best bit is that strength is functional! I use it everyday whether I’m running around stage, in the gym, on my snowboard, or simply sitting on my butt tattooing all day (you’d be surprised what a strong core helps with!).
Check out why Tank needs to keep fit fronting Yorkshire metal band Chasing Dragons with their video for “Like Gravity.”
Do you have any routines to get you fit for going on the road?
Tank: Nothing that’s really out of my usual structure, though in the two months running up to tour I usually up my cardio a bit and push my VO2 max. I like to feel like my lungs aren’t burning when I hit those power notes!
On May 12 2019, Chasing Dragons are running the Leeds Half Marathon with their proceeds going to help Macmillan Cancer Support. You can help out their great cause here.
How hard is it to keep fit on the road?
Tank: Ohhhh that’s a tricky one! It’s tough because you’re busy and tired alllll the time! I try to make the time to work out and use my environment – lighting rigs, flight cases etc and there’s a lot of exercises you don’t need equipment for. I’ve even made a little grippable section in our van where I can do pull-ups! You just have to get a little creative though I confess I’m not much of a drinker so the lack of hangovers probably makes it a lot easier for me than most!
Who is the most unfit member of the band?
Tank: Hahaha I’d say pretty equally that’s Murf and Adam. Kate and I are usually pretty on it. We’re trying to whip the boys into shape, slowly but surely!
What tunes are on your fitness playlist?
Tank: I tend to workout to a mixture of industrial metal and drum & bass – it’s about the only time I really zone in on these genres but I find them pretty tempo perfect and motivational – I prefer less vocal heavy stuff to workout to otherwise I just get distracted and sing along!
What about diet? How important to you is a good diet?
Tank: Diet is everything. I’m actually a super tricky eater; I have a fair few allergies and intolerances, so I have to eat quite clean anyway! It’s definitely 75% of the battle to good health though. You can work out for days with all the commitment in the world and see no results if you’re eating crappy foods!
Dietary/Supplement fads? Should we be taking them seriously?
Tank: The only supplement I occasionally use is a vegan protein shake and this is because I can’t always get enough protein in my diet. I’m not vegan but I’m lactose intolerant and allergic to egg, so this is the perfect fit for me. I don’t like the idea of relying on supplements – most are simply gimmicks and money makers. The ones that do “work” should be used in a well balanced diet and having tried some in the past I can say the only benefits I’ve felt are from BCAA’s (to be used before or during a strength workout – they’re the building blocks of muscle), good quality protein powder (consumed at the right time of day and post workout) and creatine (for additional explosive power in heavy strength training).
Give us your top fitness tip / piece of advice for a musician.
Tank: Fitness is key! Don’t neglect it; make the time. If you wanna perform night after night at your best you need to be mentally and physically at your best. Commit to your workouts and give them as much effort as you do onstage and things will become easy. Eat clean and respect your body, your mind will become a lot clearer and your performances will fall in suit!
Upcoming Tour Dates:
04/13 – Stoke-on-Trent – Girls Rock Festival
05/03 – Crumlin – The Patriots MC 22ND Anniversary Weekender
05/04 – Sheffield – Heaven & Hell Fest @ The Royal Standard
06/06 – Leeds – The Key Club (w/ Hands Off Gretel)
07/13 – Whitchurch – Percy’s Cafe Bar
10/05 – Sheffield – AoniaFest III @ Sheffield Corporation