THE ROAD DOG is one of rock and roll’s most hallowed traditions. The lifer, the musician who lives to be away from home, the one who’s more comfortable in a bus bunk than any high-thread-count sheets. When you look up that term in the dictionary, there may as well be a picture of Malina Moye.
Over the past 11 years, Moye has put out three albums filled with soulful, funky, R&Binflected albums, hallmarked by her powerful voice and even more powerful Hendrix- and Prince-inspired riffing. But her experience on tour predates any promotional jaunts for those albums; she literally grew up touring.
“I grew up in a family band, so my mom, my dad and my brothers, we always toured. It was like if someone was to go to school. You learn how it works and it becomes a natural part of your life,” she says.
Over that time, she’s picked up a few strategies for survival, from the big picture to the nitpickiest of details. For instance: Keep the body healthy and the mind and fingers will follow.
“I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs. I’m a very healthy person,” she says. “No matter what part of the world I’m in, every day I like to be gone for 30 minutes, just exploring whatever country I’m in. Your mindset is the most important thing, starting from the plane ride to get to the bus.”
Speaking of plane rides, you can’t just hop on one and hope for the best — not when there’s thousands of dollars of gear upon which your livelihood rests at stake. As someone who jets around the world, Moye has learned the importance of comfort — dressing comfy while you try to catch some mile-high shut-eye and having the security of mind that your axe will make it in one piece.
“Whoever is booking the travel, the main thing I’d always say is, you want to look at the airline you’re actually on and do research to make sure they’re instrument friendly. If you need to, get a first-class ticket so you can make sure your guitar or bass [can] be on the actual plane with you — in the cabin.”
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