Oklahoma City (by way of Seattle) industrial rock/metal quartet Everybody Panic! continues to support their EP titled Attack. With recent tour dates alongside Hed (p.e.), The Veer Union and Powerman 5000, it's safe to say the group are playing in the big leagues and deserve your time and attention. Everybody Panic!'s debut EP was self-produced and independently released in February of 2013. Through hard work and dedication the band caught the attention of CaviGold Records and entered the famed and haunted Robert Lang Studios in Seattle, WA in March of 2015, to record their follow up, Attack. Recently we got some time with lead singer Tyson Gay to talk about health, fitness and how his Gracie Jiu-Jitsu impacts his music.
Why and when did you got into fitness in the first place? Tyson: I have been doing martial arts since I was 9 so it has always been a part of my life.
What about exercise, health and fitness makes you take it seriously? Tyson: I live a jiu jitsu lifestyle and the benefits of that mixed with a clean diet are priceless. Keeps me healthy and my voice strong because, at the end of the day, my body is a machine that has to perform every night on stage and I want to be able to do that at my full potential.
Weights, cardio, calisthenics, CrossFit, MMA... what's your jam? Tyson: I am proud to be a professor of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu! In May of 2013 I became the 13th American black belt from the Gracie Academy in Torrance, California and I have been training for over 17 years in the art as well as running my own Academy for the past 15 years called Redline jiu-jitsu. Here is a cool video and a link to my website: www.redlinebjj.com.
Describe your weekly routine and/or an average workout for you? Tyson: When I am not on tour I am teaching classes at my Academy and doing seminars all over the world, but when we are on tour we bring roll-out mats and all of our band and crew trains in the daytime before the show.
What music gets you extra pumped when you're exercising? Tyson: My favorite thing to listen to I think is Tool when I'm training and I think it is because it is so nostalgic for me. You see, in the mid-'90s I was a huge Tool fan and one day I got to meet Maynard (the singer) back stage in Oklahoma city and with him was his bodyguard Henry Akins. (Who is now a black belt under Rickson Gracie.) Being a martial artist I could tell Henry had trained in something so I walked up to him and asked him to which, after Crossing his arms and looking down his nose at me, he replied "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu". Henry had become Maynard's personal jiu-jitsu instructor as well as bodyguard on the road. Henry had family who lived in Oklahoma and was getting dropped off of that tour for Christmas so he came to my house and gave me a private lesson and I was hooked! Me and Henry are still friends to this day and he frequently does seminars at my Academy.
Do you ever listen to your own band's music when working out? Tyson: Of course, in fact I have many training partner's tell me it is their favorite thing to listen to while grappling.
Being a touring musician, how do you stay fit on the road? Tyson: We all have a Planet Fitness membership so after each show we end up there for a little workout and showers and typically in the daytime we use a 12x12 roll out mat for jiu jitsu training. More and more touring musicians are training jiu-jitsu and we call this movement Rock jitsu! We are proud to have Maynard from Tool > Billy from Biohazard > Matt from Trivium > Kris from Adema > Johnny from Nothing More > Travis Barker and many others living that Rock Jitsu lifestyle.
Some people go Vegetarian and Vegan while others slam steaks, whole poultry farms, and a kitchen sync in regimented 6-meal sittings. Where does your diet sit? Tyson: We are not vegetarians nor vegan, but we do try to eat very clean. We are also very lucky because we have our own bus which allows us to buy food and cook it on the road which is much easier then having to eat out, when it comes to eating clean.
Supplements, yay or nay, and why/why not? Tyson: The only thing I take is vitamins because I am a singer and when I am sick my instrument is too.
Morning, noon, evening, night... when do you like to exercise? Does it even matter? Tyson: If I'm lifting weights I typically like to do it earlier in the afternoon and then a few hours later train a little jiu-jitsu with the band and crew.
How do you find your healthy lifestyle impacts your music and/or live performance? Tyson: Our show takes every ounce of my energy so there is no way I could perform the way I do without my training regiment.
Do you balance the "rockstar" lifestyle with being fit/healthy? Or is it 1 or the other for you? Tyson: Everything in life, to me, is about balance.
What's your opinion on performance enhancing drugs? Tyson: Depends on the drug and the situation, but for the most part I am against them.