Fate DeStroyed - TOUR TIPS

Join us as Fate DeStroyed recommends their advice for touring.

Fate DeStroyed - TOUR TIPS

In this Tour Tips segment, the metal band, Fate DeStroyed, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips below:

Hey! This is Franccesca De Struct from FDS and I want to give you all some tips to help out on those first few “living rough” tours. It’s not a surprise that most band’s first tours don’t come with dedicated managers and a cozy bus. If you’re like most bands, your first (or first several) tours are likely going to be in a passenger or sprinter van, and there are a couple of tips you can use to make the process way more comfortable.

So I am going to share with you the ultimate van touring tour tips to make your life (and tour) way, way easier.

Tip #1: You will never be as prepared as you think you are. Be ready to adapt

I think one of the biggest misconceptions that I had when I first started touring was that I could possibly prepare enough to get out on the road. I'm kind of a meticulous planner, and I truly thought that with my endless spreadsheets and planning that I would be prepared for anything that the road could throw at me. Now that is the biggest mistake you can make.

The truth is that you can never be ready for every situation that comes at you, and being able to adapt to whatever the road throws at you is probably the most important asset you can bring with you. As someone who really likes structure and order, this was a difficult lesson for me to learn. I'm definitely the type who likes things to be a certain way at certain times.

Some ways we prepare for the unexpected - we always keep a band emergency fund, something like $500 to $1,000 in reserve cash just in case something happens. A van breaks down, you suddenly need to go to an ER for a visit, something happens with your merch, you need a new tire, anything that could possibly happen you have your little bit of money stored away for that rainy day. Hiccups are not all just financial - sometimes you have to be prepared for other road bumps like..not getting along with other people that are on tour package, sudden changes in routing, shows being canceled, or sudden changes in sleeping arrangements. I think the biggest advice that I could give to any new band that's going to start their venture into touring is to be flexible and to be calm. A lot of being out on the road is just taking things as they come, and once you can find some kind of comfort with that and confidence in your abilities to move forward… touring is going to be a lot easier for you overall.

Tip #2: Love LOVES

In yester-year the hype was all about Walmart parking lots. They used to be 24/7, and when you’re out on the road and in a van with no bathroom - having access is super crucial.

We have found that a much better option are Love's gas stations.

Hear me out.

They exist across the country, you can park a van and trailer overnight with no worry about being bothered by security, they are well lit and safe, and also 24 hours so you can shower, eat, refuel, and many even have wifi.

Loves absolutely changed the game for us.

And the crazy thing is they're pretty much evenly spaced throughout the country so anywhere between two points you can generally find a love somewhere in between. and no, I'm not a paid spokesperson for Loves, we just legitimately love it that much.

Tip #3: It’s All About Respect And Conflict Resolution

You may spend a lot of time with your band, but until you've been crammed in a tiny 15 passenger van with four other people, you really don't know them.

You have to remember, touring is tough. Everyone is tired, everyone is stressed, everyone is sleeping less, everyone is not eating as well as they normally would, most people miss their family, their dogs, their home, their schedule, and everyone is giving up whatever semblance of a life they know to exist solely in a six foot by 3 foot space. Touring puts you in closer quarters than you ever imagined possible with four other people… and it's for a long time.

Conflicts are going to happen, so a really good tip for tour is to understand that everything is about respect and conflict resolution. Respect each other's spaces, know everyone's expectations before you hit the road, and when it comes to conflict - it's important to remember that we're all people and we're all tired and we all sometimes have bad days. Knowing how to communicate with each other, and knowing when it's time to step away is always important.

Tour is definitely one of those experiences that will Forge friendships that you'll probably have for the rest of your life. But no matter how close your bandmates are, even if they are family, you just have to be patient, tolerant and respectful.

Tip #4: The Entire Reason You’re On Tour is For Fans, Make Connections

This may seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of times I see bands go out on tour and they're not taking the time to make those real connections with their fans. If you're in a smaller, or even a mid-size band, the entire reason that you're out on the road is to create fans and to build your community. You may be tired, you may be over it, you may be low on social battery, but you have to make an effort to get out there and spend as much time with the people who came to see you as possible. That is where you're going to forge those lifetime loyal fans who are going to come to every show and always buy your merch.

I always make sure that our entire band watches every band that opens for a show, and we stay until the headliner finishes playing and we watch every band. We go out into the crowd, we hang out at our merch booth, we make sure to spend time with the people who came there to support us. You will very rarely have the opportunity to get facetime in with the people who support and love what you do - so that means that touring time is the best time.

Besides,  you never know who's going to be in a room. In fact, one time we played this show in the middle of nowhere in Florida and James Groot from Slipknot was just chilling at the bar. Those situations happen a lot, And if you want to be known as the band that cares about their fans those first impressions matter. make a habit of always spending time with fans of priority. It'll pay off in the long run.

Tip #5: Bring Doubles or Triples of Absolutely Everything

You know that reliable piece of gear that you've been using for the last 15 years you've never had an issue with? It's going to break on tour. You know your seemingly simple setup that only requires a couple of cables to work for your live set? You're going to lose one of those cables on tour.

The point is … bring doubles and triples of everything. Always.

Extra guitars, extra cables, extra di boxes, it doesn't matter. Technology will inevitably fail, and there's nothing worse than not being able to play a show because of technical issues. Whatever gear it takes for you to be able to play your show, bring two of them, or three is even better

Tip #6: Plan Your Driving And Loading Rotation In Advance

Unless you're on one of those cushy buses you're probably going to have to spend some (or a lot) of time driving during your tour. Having an established rotation keeps everything fair. Make sure everybody puts in the same amount of effort and the same amount of driving.

Some people are better drivers in the morning, some people are better drivers at night. Some people don't drink so they're the best choice when leaving venues, some people prefer to wake up at the crack of dawn so they're great to drive the first shift in the morning. Having a plan for how everybody's going to split up the work is going to save you from a lot of potential conflicts in the future. Just know who's job is to do what and stick to it. Situations change and of course you have to be adaptable…but having an idea of who's going to contribute what when will make things smooth and fair.

We like to split things up into four hour driving shifts. 4 hours is just enough time that it gives other people a chance to rest and it's not so long that you go crazy from driving. We always have a pilot and a co-pilot - which is a driver and somebody who helps to keep them awake and entertained while the other people are sleeping.

We like this rotation, and At the end of the night when everybody is tired or first thing in the morning when everybody is tired we don't have to sit there and argue about who's driving next. It saved us a lot of hassle. I couldn't recommend it enough

Tip #7: Get An Ice Chest for Your Van

It is so easy to go on tour and spend a ridiculous amount of money on eating out everyday. I mean you're on the road, that's what fast food is made for right? You'll burn through so much more money (and likely gain a couple of pounds) if you rely solely on the food from the various fast food places that dot the country.

We keep an ice chest in our van and fill it with easily accessible drinks, snacks and perishable items from the grocery store. Every morning before we leave whatever Loves we're staying at we refill the ice chest with new ice and dump out the water.

This means that everybody has easy access to snacks, we don't have to stop as frequently when people are hungry, and we all save a bunch of money by having ready to grab meals available to us at all times that aren't deep fried or come in a bag.

Tip #8: Make Time for the Loved Ones You Left Behind

Tour is a time warp. Things can simultaneously seem like they happened today.. And also two weeks ago. It's so easy to lose track of how long it's been since you've messaged your significant other, or talked to your mom, or checked in with your neighbors or anything like that.

You have so much downtime and yet it seems like you have no downtime. You have to remember that touring can put a strain on a lot of different kinds of relationships because people who don't tour don't understand what it is like to be on tour. You have to take extra special care to be on top of staying in communication with the people that you love that are at home living their normal day-to-day lives.

I know that sounds like a no-brainer, but trust me when I tell you it's easy to suddenly realize you haven't checked in with your partner in 16 hours because you've just been… doing who knows what. It's never intentional but it does happen. One thing that can really add a lot of stress to any tour situation is dealing with conflicts that are outside of the tour, so making sure to make time for the loved ones you left behind is important. It will not only help your mental health, it also helps to avoid those conflicts… which means when you go home things will be just as peachy as when you left.

Tip #9: Its Okay to Do Nothing, But Don’t Always Do Nothing

Everybody tours differently. I know some people who are rarely in their van the entire tour, and I know some people who never leave the backstage area for the entire tour. Being a touring musician gives you a unique opportunity to be able to travel the country, or other countries, and be exposed to places and situations you likely otherwise would not have been.

It's okay to do nothing on days off because recharging is important, but it's easy to end up doing too much of nothing because you're tired. Touring can provide a lot of unique experiences to bond with the people around you, and sometimes going out on a band Adventure can be just what you need to quell tensions and that makes the tour a more fun and a more memorable experience.

So it's okay to do nothing, but don't forget to take advantage of the opportunities in front of you and explore the world around you.

Tip #10: Have FUN

Touring is a lot of things. it is exhausting, it is stressful, it is sleepless nights, it is cramped sleeping quarters, it is people in your personal space, it is repetitive every night action, it is endless bars, it is endless loaded and loadouts, it is endless press, it is endless driving and endless repeat of the same songs and it is so easy to lose sight of what an incredible and unique experience you have.

The best tip that I can give you for going on tour is to have fun.

Truly appreciate the situation, and just have fun with it.

It's going to be tough, it's going to be stressful, it's going to be unpredictable… but at the end of the day you're getting to live a life that most people could never dream of …even if you're a small band like us.. so go out there and have fun

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