|Running lets Corb Lund drink a beer or two while performing in honky-tonks. (Courtesy Alexandra Valenti) |
Corb Lund readily admits he likes to drink beer.
Edmonton’s Juno award winner says his vice is almost a necessity on the alt-country music scene.
“We play honky-tonks and rowdy shows. And it sounds pathetic, but it’s true: it’s difficult to play my kind of music totally sober,” he tells Sun Media in a phone interview from his Edmonton home days before embarking on the Canadian leg of his 2012 Cabin Fever tour.
“I mean I can do it. I’ve done it plenty of times, but it’s really annoying.”
“It’s like that times 100. If you’re at a honky-tonk and everybody’s really into the show and they’re all hammered and you’re straight, you just want to kill them,” he explains with a chuckle.
“I’ve got to be in roughly the same psychic space as the audience or else it doesn’t work very good. So I have to drink a couple beers every night.”
But as much as he’s fond of imbibing in a few frothy cold ones, Lund wants no part of a beer belly.
The Alberta-born honky-tonker admits there was a stretch in his 30s when he was gaining about four pounds every year.
After the six-foot-three singer-songwriter reached a personal high of 228 pounds circa 2006, he decided enough was enough.
“I reached a fork in the road,” he recalls. “It was either accept being a slightly portly guy or else nip it in the bud. So I started eating decent food.”
Lund didn’t just clean up his diet. He also cut back his consumption to a meagre 1,600 calories a day — of which 400 calories was beer.
“Until about six years ago, I never paid attention to what I ate. I would just go to the 7-Eleven and be a huge hog,” he says. “I basically just cut out all the chips and chocolate bars. I was on a severe calorie restriction (diet) for a couple years and I lost about 30 pounds just doing that without any exercise at all.”
These days, Lund is a lean and mean 203 pounds. And instead of drastically restricting his calories, he now keeps himself in “trim fighting shape” through running.
“About a year and a half ago, I started running,” he notes. “I didn’t do it because I wanted to run races. My sole motivation was not to be a middle-aged fat guy. There’s nothing wrong with that if you’re into it, but I just wasn’t into it.”
Lund runs five to 10 km five times a week. Treadmills make him crazy, he says, so he always runs outside. Even when the snow flies.
“I’ve got the Gore-Tex socks and the whole bit,” he adds. “I like being out in the winter. I actually ran seven kilometres in the big dump we had (Nov. 7 when up to 35 cm of snow fell in Edmonton’s metro area). It was pretty fun. It was like running through sand.”
Pounding the pavement five days a week allows Lund to routinely pound back a brew or two and not have to worry about gaining weight.
“I’m basically running so I can keep drinking beer,” he says. But he appreciates the other “side benefits” of running, too.
“My head’s clearer and I feel better,” he notes. “I like the meditative part of running. I started out with an iPod, but I don’t use it anymore.”
Lund’s hectic travel schedule means he’s on the road most of the time, but he says running is a “really cool way to explore new cities.”
He also owns several bicycles, including one at his home-away-from-home in Austin, Texas, and another at his ex-girlfriend’s place in New York.
“I don’t bike as much as I used to, but I get out when I can,” says the musician who played high school football and was an avid hockey player up until a few years ago.
Lund, who has also been known to do the occasional series of core exercises, admits that running is “not very rock ’n’ roll.” But he doesn’t care.
“It’s just for me,” he says.
Cabin Fever tour 2012
Nov. 23 — Toronto
Nov. 24 — Tweed, Ont.
Nov. 25 — Burnstown, Ont.
Nov. 27 — Hamilton
Nov. 28 — Guelph
Nov. 30 — Thunder Bay
Dec. 1 — Dauphin, Man.
Dec. 2 — Brandon, Man.
Dec. 3 — Winnipeg
Dec. 4 — Saskatoon
Dec. 5 — Cadillac, Sask.
Dec. 7 — Edmonton
Dec. 8 — Calgary
Dec. 9 — Calgary
Dec. 12 — Vancouver
Dec. 13 — Vancouver
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