Kacey Musgraves’ Secrets of Life on the Bus

There’s an ugly side to life on the road that no one really talks about. It’s called the bus.

Sure, an artist’s tour bus may seem like kind of a glamorous place to be, especially from the outside. But Kacey Musgraves shed a little light on what it’s really like on the inside.

“Being on the road and traveling with nine guys, it’s easy to get ragged as shit. It’s like you’re constantly camping,” she told me when she was in Chicago recently. “It’s hard. The showers are so nasty that you have to wear shoes. When you get up, you have to search for your toothbrush in your bag. And when you want to change, you have to make them leave the room. Everything’s kind of a hassle.”

So while she’s out touring, Musgraves told me that finding ways to get off the bus helps her keep her sanity.

“I try to squeeze in some yoga,” she said. “And I just got a bike that folds up so I can just put it under the bus, and then during the day I just unfold it, and I can ride around and see the city.”

She said the exploration is important because all the cities look alike from inside the arenas. During her bike rides, she might get coffee, do some shopping or get her nails done.

“That’s my weakness,” she said.

Musgraves’ favorite way to spend downtime, though, is with Pearl, her three-legged rescue dog that she thinks is part Jack Russell terrier and part pit bull.

“Sometimes I bring Pearl on the road and we hang out,” she said. “She has a human soul.”

Once her part of the Lady Antebellum tour wraps at the end of April, Musgraves will hit the road again to go on tour with Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss for a few weeks in June. And she’s freaking out.

Musgraves says her favorite Nelson song is “Are You Sure?” (It’s one I only knew about from the first season of Lost, by the way.)

“It’s just Willie and his guitar,” she said of the song from Nelson’s 1965 album Country Willie — His Own Songs. “It’s only about two minutes long, and it is very blunt, and it’s so good.”