In this Tour Tips segment, the hard rock band, The Alpha Complex, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips, after the break.
1. Planet fitness / Walmart
Getting a hotel every night can be quite costly. However, most Walmart’s offer overnight stays in their parking lots and it doesn’t cost a penny. What about showers? There is usually a Planet Fitness in almost every city that you’re booked in. If half of your band gets “black card” memberships then the whole band can take a shower every day. (Blackcard members are allowed 1 free guest at any PF gym). That means no more paying and waiting for a shower at truck stops, or having everyone use the same shower in the hotel room. PF has made touring so much easier on the wallet.
2. How to pack
First and foremost pack soft and pack light. Pack your clothes into soft duffel bags, not hard suitcases. This is so that you can stuff your bag under your seat or with the gear and other small spaces without causing any damage. Don’t bring stuff that can break without a case because it will break…guaranteed. A normal pack for each member should consist of 1 duffel bag, 1 backpack, a pillow, and a sleeping bag. Saving space is the goal when you’re in a cramped van for 3 months.
3. How to save money
Make your own food. Seriously! The temptation to get fast food is there because it’s easy not because it’s actually any good. Not only will you eat healthier if you make your own food but it will be cheaper in the long run. We live in a time that has brought us the Air Fryer. It’s easy, fast and cheap. You can cook just about anything with an Air Fryer and the mess is as minimal as it gets.
4. Per diem
Per diems typically average between $5-$20 a day per member. This is money to spend on snacks or daily necessities that don’t fall under band costs. There is always a way to fit this in the budget and keep your bandmates and crew happy on the road.
5. Tour etiquette
Be thoughtful of the other bands both on the tour and the local performers. Try not to bombard the headliners or the sound guy when you get to the venue. Once you establish where load-in is, keep the stage clear until the headliner has finished soundcheck. The sound guy will tell you where to store your gear and if there is a backline. Providing an input list for the sound guy at each venue makes everybody’s life way easier.