In this Tour Tips segment, Scott Mills, from the pop rock band, Colony House, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips, after the break.
Going on tour is like going to a sleepover every night – except you’re at work, with 10 other dudes (or girl, and you’re an adult. So yea, it’s actually way different. Throughout the years I’ve figured out a handful of hacks for touring and traveling by plane, train, bus, or van. These rules to live by will guarantee you have a great time and do a great job.
1. Find A Rhythm. One of the most surreal things about being on tour is that your entire day – every day – is decided for you. Radio interview at this time, load in at this time, soundcheck at this time, VIP at this time, dinner at this time, show at this time… you get the idea. It can very quickly turn from Wild West type exciting to quite monotonous. So, I decided at some point that every single day I have to make one decision for myself. If it means getting up early to walk to a coffee shop, walking around the block to clear my head for 10 minutes, or meeting a friend for a drink after the show. Taking control of my days on tour has made me love the whole thing even more.
2. Stay Healthy. Being sick at home is miserable. Being sick on the road is borderline unbearable. There’s no time to rest or lay low when the show must go on. Trying your best to stay healthy is a really good idea. Generally speaking, I do that by sleeping a relatively normal amount of time (when possible), drinking plenty of water, and increasing my vitamin C intake. The common thought about tour is that it’s one big, epic hang with all your friends and I’m not gonna disagree with that. But… you can’t go to a party when you’re sick, so it’s a good idea to figure out how to stay healthy.
3. Make note of great experiences. One of my favorite things about getting to travel for a job is hitting my favorite spots all across the world. I try to keep a running list on my phone of where we are eating, drinking, and shopping. There’s something really exciting and comforting about going into a city that you don’t live in, but yet you know exactly what to do in. We’ve made friends in places all over the world by doing this very thing and it makes being on the road a lot less lonely.
4. Pack Light, and Smart. It’s unreal how much I wear the same clothes over and over on tour. Ha! More clothes means more things to leave behind at venues and hotel rooms. Every time I overpack I get so annoyed with how much I have with me when trying to live in a really small space with 10 other people. On the other side of this realization, I pick my favorite and most durable pieces and just wear them to death out there! It makes life a little more simple and just think… no one really knows because you’re in a new city every day.
5. Flushable Wipes. I’m just gonna leave this here…