Florence Welch has opened up about the “trance state” she enters into in order to perform on stage with Florence and the Machine.
The musician is currently on tour in North America with the band, who released their fourth studio album ‘High As Hope’ earlier this year, with the jaunt visiting Seattle tonight (September 10).
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Welch revealed that she enters into the “trance” by listening to a regularly-updated playlist before each show, and then zones out.
“Sometimes I’ll put on something and listen to it over and over again,” she said. “I have to start giving myself over to whatever it is that’s in charge of performances — the performance spirit or whatever the fuck it is. I don’t know, because it’s not really me.”
Adding that she “always feels like there’s some sacred ground on the stage”, Welch said: “It may be part of the performance itself, where you’re at odds with yourself sometimes. But I wouldn’t say all the time that I’m totally comfortable. It’s almost in the anger at that and the pushing through and the sort of ‘fuck you’ to myself that the performance comes out.”
However, Welch cautioned that if she comes out of the “trance state” on stage, it can have potentially catastrophic consequences – as it did when she jumped off stage at Coachella in 2015 and broke her foot.
“I had suddenly become self-conscious,” Welch said about that incident. “I’d just taken my shirt off in front of a bazillion people, and I realized that I’d done that. I remember thinking, ‘Oh, my God, what the fuck?’ When you’re in the trance and you go with it, you’re like, ‘Everyone take your clothes off,’ and you’re with everybody. But in that act, I suddenly … it’s like the fucking Adam and Eve thing: ‘Oh, my God, I just realised that I took my top off in front of all these people. I’m not supposed to do that.’
“I became self-aware for one second, and I was like, ‘I have to get off this stage because all these people can see me,'” she said. “So I threw myself off the stage, but in a self-conscious way that hurt me, because I’m back in the physical. It was like I suddenly became clunky. When you’re in the almost out-of-body space, you’re usually pretty safe because you’re doing things in such a fluid way that you won’t hurt yourself.”
Last month, Welch shared videos of herself watching a festival performance from Arctic Monkeys on her social media.