Pkew Pkew Pkew - TOUR TIPS

Join us as Pkew Pkew Pkew gives you their tips for being in a band on tour.

Pkew Pkew Pkew - TOUR TIPS
(photo credit: Graham Isador)

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

Hello. We're Pkew Pkew Pkew from Toronto. Currently, we tour in a Dodge Caravan. Yes, that's right, a regular minivan. We decided to down-size all our gear in hopes of having easier lives on the road. So far, it's going sort of ok. It's an experiment. We actually love trying to find the "best way" to tour, so we switch things up a lot. Here are some of our favorite tour tips for staying healthy, clean, comfortable, and sane.

Fresh Wraps: Carrot, purple cabbage, smoked tofu, green onion, and sauce in a rice paper wrap. This is the best way to eat healthy on tour. All you need is a small mandolin (the cooking thing, not the instrument) to shred it all up and access to water. Get 1 big carrot per person per day, and share cabbage, tofu, and sauce (I like crispy garlic in oil, which doesn't need to be refrigerated after opening), and a package of rice paper wraps will last you about a week. It's the perfect hotel room activity. With practice, you can get 3 or 4 made in like 15 minutes and eat them throughout the day. Sure, they don't taste amazing, but they're pretty good, and your body will thank you. And it's an easy lunch for everyone in the group.

Under-utilized Bathrooms: When you live on the road, you quickly get used to horrible bathrooms. Rest stops are always gross, bars are usually worse, and there's always a lineup for the one in the hotel room. If you want to treat yourself, think about the places that have to have bathrooms for customers, but customers rarely use them. My favorite is the men's department at Kohl's, mid-afternoon on a weekday. This will be a well-kept, private bathroom that is unmonitored and empty. This way, you don't have to feel guilty about not buying a coffee just to use a Starbucks one-er. People say Guitar Center is good for this too, but everyone will know you're on tour, and you'll end up with an "everyone from Pkew took a shit here" legacy.

White Shirts & Coffee: Touring is not easy on white shirts, and I really like wearing white shirts. I also need to drink coffee every morning, usually while driving. I've had so many white shirts get ruined from coffee spills. Also, doing laundry on tour is impossible, so you have to hope you don't spill. I tried using Tide To Go pens for a while, but they don't get it all the way out. One day, I realized that there was a simpler way. Coffee can't stain your chest. It's so simple. Just pop your top off while you're drinking it. Sure, others think it's weird, but if you do it enough, it becomes normal.

Lying There Is Still Rest: This was a big one for me when I had vocal trouble. I knew the best way to get your voice back was to rest, but rest is not easy on tour. I can barely sleep in hotel rooms, plus the A/C in the van dries you out, the food is terrible, and there's never any water around, etc. I would be up all night, angry because I wasn't asleep yet. Finally, I got a vocal coach who had toured, and his first lesson was about not worrying. You know when you get called to the principal's office in school, and your throat tightens up, and it's hard to talk? That's because you're worried. It's a natural reaction, and it sucks, but if you can acknowledge and accept it, you can learn to get over it. So, ya, lying there is still rest. Don't worry about not sleeping. Try to, but don't worry if you don't because that won't help. Shutting up and resting will always help get your voice back.

Shooting Range Ear Muffs/Headphones: If you're finding that noise-canceling headphones aren't quite canceling that album that the rest of the band loves that you hate, I recommend putting regular earbud headphones inside of shooting range ear muffs. Also, a great option if you can't afford noise-canceling headphones. They also pair nicely with an eye mask and neck pillow. Eliminate as many senses as possible for a nice ride.

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