Welcome to my first entry where I discuss elements of the “Ayria style”. I want to post semi-regulary a mix of different topics from music (of course) to touring, inspiration, etc. So, I have no idea how this will all turn out, but for this post I thought it might be fun to post about the elements that go into the look that I’ve cultivated for the stage. Having toured quite a bit now (I’ve been on the road about 3 months out of a year for the past 3 years), I’ve learned that everything I need to pack, needs to get compartmentalized so I don’t forget anything. All the stuff I’ve been piling on my arms has made them a signature part of my look I guess, but a more important self-discovery is that that I’ve realized that I feel completely naked and incomplete if I haven’t put this stuff on my arms before getting on stage! It’s become an obsession, a weird sense of security (maybe a disorder of some kind, who knows ;)) Through the years some of these arm pieces have been on tour and onstage with me since I started Ayria, which makes this kind of a historical collection of little things I’ve amassed since the beginning of my touring advenures! So, I hope you enjoy this post which showcases what I pack on tour that’s just for my arms alone plus any stories behind them.
I guess it all started with my obsession for black jelly bracelets and from there grew to more bracelets, cuffs, gloves, bicep bands, etc. and I’ve even lost a LOT of stuff on the road too so the collection was actually larger before. Losing stuff is a part of touring. It just happens when you’re packing up your stuff every night in different cities backstage, hotels, busses, etc. (Luckily, none of my accessories are expensive!) Here is a picture of how the arm gear gets stored and packed:
Yes, those are giant plastic zip-lock baggies. This was one amazing tip I learned from Jessica of the Cruxshadows while touring with them. She has this insanely organized system of putting things into plastic baggies. Not only can you reduce the space things take up by pushing the air out, but it also makes things easier to find and keeps clean outfits separate from dirty ones. I of course was the only one on tour that had a baggie just for arm accessories, but anyways, Pictured are the 2 bags I store at home, one is labelled “Ayria Arms” and the other bag is “Ayria – Back Up Arms”. I know. Crazy stuff. I only bring one of the bags on tour, but this shows how much crap I have that I even have back up arm accessories not in the main rotation! ;) Here is the content of the “Ayria Arms” bag laid out for everyone to see:
There are 4 componets that make up my arm accessories: # 1: Jelly bracelets. Here in this picture I have over 80 black ones. A few noteable ones were the gifts I got like the “Deathguild” ones from one of my favourite club nights in San Francisco, California, and the Cruxshadows one that I got while on the road with them (I have a pink one too that I couldn’t find, typical), plus some of them are from fans that give them to me at shows.
2. Bicep Bands: These get pulled up over my massive muscles The one on the right with the zipper is famously from the cover of the “Flicker” CD (below is a pic of me wearing it during the”Flicker” photo shoot) and was made by my friend Amy in Seattle, along with the army green heart ones. The pink Plastik Wrap logo is visible in there too. The rest I was crafty (or cheap) and just made from pieces of cut up fishnets and interesting tights that got holes in them and needed to be recycled to a higher purpose.
3. Gloves: No real stories for these, kind of boring (but still very important). Mainly just bought at places like Hot Topic in the U.S. and Ardene or Claires while I’m home here in Toronto.
4. Other wrist accessories: studded bracelets, cuffs, rhinestone bracelets. I bought the pink studded one in San Francisco on Haight street. Bracelets sometimes become my souvenirs of a city! I’m quite the collector of arm stuff!
My all time favourite “wrist accessory” is pictured below and is an elastic lace wrist cuff I got when Ayria had the privledge of playing in Japan. I needed a souvenir from Harajuku and thought this was lovely! It has a bow, studs on the lace, a chain, safety pins and a hilarious tag:
The back of the tag cracks me up and I’m considering titling some songs from my next CD based on this. Like several things in Japan, something got lost in translation. They had a whole culture of hard core punk rock fashion, but Japanese culture was so positive and not rebellious that it all comes out kind of funny. For example, a knock off Sex Pistols shirt where instead of printing lyrics “No Future For You!” it said “Good Future For You!” In a totally bad ass font! It was awesome and hilarious! I ♥ Japan so much (but that’s a whole other story I should do!)
Wow, never knew I could have so much to say about arm accessories! Thanks for reading the first instalment dedicated to other things making up the Ayria world and aesthetics. Since I’ve dedicated this year to working as a musician working on the new material, I’m trying to look for creative ways to generate a bit more income, while trying to offer those who already have all the music, some neat little keepsakes. So, here’s the deal, if you enjoyed reading my blog and want to have a little piece of Ayria history, if you donate any amount of your choice (minimum of $5.00 please – so I can cover the costs), I will personally send you one of my jelly bracelets pictured above (Gasp! Yes, I’m going to part with some of them), with a fishnet bow with a signed tag, plus a card with a personalized message to you all as pictured below
Ok, so I’ve shared one of my obsessions with you (I ♥ jelly bracelets)…. what’s your obsession?