In this Tour Tips segment, the psychedelic rock band, The Mammoths, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips, after the break.
1. Stay with your friends’ relatives
Sleeping in a hotel room every night with four dudes and a dog can get exhausting and expensive. We’ve found that our relatives and/or friends’ relatives are more than likely recent empty nesters, and are thrilled to take in smelly band guys for an evening. Polite conversation, smiles, and eye contact can usually be exchanged for individual beds, homecooked meals, and unlimited beer. So find that crazy Aunt and unlock your full road potential.
2. Do Stuff
Driving across the country for weeks at a time is draining. However, it’s important to remember how lucky you are to see more of the world than the vast majority of people. Wake up a little early and see the local attractions in the area before soundcheck – whether it be a body of water, hike, or neighborhood bar. It’s worth it to see the sites and meet as many people as you can!
3. Look out for State Lines/ Border Crossings
As state laws are constantly changing and you’re crossing one to five state lines in the van, it’s smart to be aware of what’s in your vehicle and what’s legal in each state. If you happen to get pulled over in a not-so-legal state, make sure someone in your touring party can pull a Super Troopers. Right meow!
4. Remember when you are the opening band
Opening for a bigger band is always fun and exciting. The goal is to convert the headlining band’s fans and have them catch you the next time you’re in their city. Always be respectful of the headlining band and don’t drink their beer unless they give you permission. We may or may not have learned this the hard way on our first tour (six weeks omg!). Turns out that they were not actually mad, completely sober, and did not want the alcohol provided by the venue. They admitted to it after we showed up with a case of fancy IPAs as a peace offering in the next city :-).
5. Be open and make friends along the way
Lots of folks on the road will be full of it (looking at you NYC cab driver who moonlights as a talent scout for RCA records), but most people are genuine and love to help touring bands. Storytime – we recently played in Pensacola, FL on a holiday weekend with no place to stay. A complete stranger DM’d us and told us to come to his bar before our show. We showed up and this dude paid for our meals, beers, and gave us the keys to his brewery so we could sleep on his couches after our gig. Moral of the story – be smart and safe, but take opportunities when they fall into your lap.
(photo credit: Kate Blaising)