Carmanah – TOUR TIPS

In this Tour Tips segment, the indie pop band, Carmanah, recommends advice for being a musician on the road.


In this Tour Tips segment, the indie pop band, Carmanah, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips, after the break.

Tip 1: Health = Happiness: Maybe it doesn’t sound that sexy, but believe us, you will feel sexier if you take care of your brain and your body on tour. This doesn’t mean that you can’t still have fun but make sure you are getting enough sleep (including those precious zzz’s in the backseat), eating well and exercising as much as possible. We have found it helps to do things collectively – like having a band-wide pushup competition throughout a tour and eating healthy meals together.
Tip 2: Don’t be wasteful: Speaking of health, be mindful about the health of your wallet and of our planet while on tour. The most obvious example of this is not wasting food. We’ve seen many bands request food on their backstage rider and then leave it all untouched to end up in the trash. Not only is this a total waste of money, it’s always in poor taste to waste food. No shame in asking if you can take the food-to-go; we once cleaned out the green room every night after a tour opening for another band and had so many fruit and veggie trays to snack on continuously that we saved a ton of money and felt good doing it.
Tip 3: Be kind: Ah, this sounds like something your mom might have said to you on your first day of school…but it’s true! No one wants to work with a band of…well, assholes. So be nice to your fellow bandmates, the other bands you are performing with, the venue staff and everyone you meet. Communicate with your bandmates when you feel like you’re having a bad day so they know to give you space. Be gracious and chat with anybody that approaches you after the show. Become friends with the other bands you are touring with and be courteous to bands who are younger than yours. We had one group drive right past us on the side of the road in a huge snowstorm without stopping to see if we were okay – we still laugh about it to this day …but I would say we also gained a really important lesson in what kind of touring musicians we want to be.
Tip 4: Feel at Home: Stay with friends or family whenever possible. Feeling at home on the road can add so much longevity to trips. Hotels can be fun but they get old really fast. Individually and collectively as a band, we find little ways to make the road feel more like “home” – maybe it’s bringing some of your favourite comforts with you: a really good book, your favourite pillow, sound-canceling headphones so you can listen to that album you really love but the rest of your bandmates can’t stand… sounds silly but these things can provide real comfort on days when you might not know that you need it.
Tip 5: Organization: The less stressful a tour is the more enjoyable it will be, which will feed into your performance, your relationships and your desire to go on tour again. Always build in lots of extra time between cities (don’t just go off of Google Maps) and leave several hours for meals and potential mechanical issues. If you’re like us and live on an island, consider making ferry reservations, especially on weekends. Pack wisely and lightly (don’t overpack – our bassist once brought 7 hats to a festival and we still tease him about it) but god forbid, never skimp out on bringing enough underwear and socks!
Bonus tip: Be present while you are on tour and enjoy the day-to-day, even the simple things. You will look back and reminisce about this journey for the rest of your life (the highs and the lows) so put down your phone screen and watch the adventure unfold.

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