In this Tour Tips segment, the progressive alternative band, HAWKING, give you their tips for being on tour. You can check out the feature, after the break.
1. Know your vehicle
Is your band hitting the road? Congrats, at least one member just became an amateur mechanic! Don’t work your asses off booking and doing press/radio for a 30-date tour only to get stuck in Lodi because you decided to ignore that weird burnt smell. Do some research and invest in a good vehicle. Look after it and it will look after you.
2. Eat well and take care of yourselves
I almost cried a few nights ago when I couldn’t find my phone charger because I was an emotional wreck from eating McDonald’s for 3 days straight. Mood swings are a real danger on tour. Keeping the morale up is important. For the past few days, we’ve been making healthier choices and finding time to hit up rec centers for a swim and a workout. It really helps keep us focused and show-ready.
3. Gorilla Tape
It’ll hold your equipment, clothes, vehicle, and general livelihood together on the road.
4. Don’t tour with other unknown bands (yet)
I book regional, national and international tours for independent artists via my agency Badmouth Booking. If I could give bands one piece of advice on the tour booking front, it would be to go it alone the first few times. A 3-band bill of newcomers from the same zip code with no buzz or radio traction isn’t a “tour package”, it’s a disaster.
Get out of your comfort zone and learn about each market you play in. Play with some cool local bands who know what’s up and make connections everywhere (real connections, not just chicks you matched with on Tinder whose DM’s you slide into whenever you play Buffalo). You miss out on a lot of important road lessons when you bring your echo-chamber of band-friends with you, not to mention your shows will be empty because no one outside of your state knows who any of you are.
5. Nerf Guns
Buy Nerf guns at Wal-Mart or wherever’s cheap and let the fun/hell begin. If you’re cheeky enough, try to return them at the end of the tour, or when you’re sick of getting shot in the beanbag from behind anytime you go to tie your shoes.
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