This set of Tour Tips is written by rock/pop band, Quietdrive. You can check them out after the break!
1. Get a band hard drive and upload (legally) as many movies and tv shows as you possibly can before a tour. A. Now you have an immense movie library and it’s mobile. B. Van movies can be a great time for band bonding and help pass the time on those 8 to 10 hour drives to the next show. *Sidenote: It is always a great idea to get a bevy of different genres, comedies, dramas, dramedies, and of course, a good documentary about the modernization of globalization and it’s effects on the world economy, they can be very educational.
2. If you ride shotgun, help the driver out. Don’t read a book (that’s right QD is condoning not reading), don’t sit their playing solitaire. Talk to the driver, become the van DJ, provided witty asides about everyday life and how pop culture greatly influences what we do. For the driver, it sucks to be stuck behind the wheel. Often it’s in the middle of the night and they’re fighting sleep. Being in shotgun, you are the co-pilot, the Goose to Tom Cruise’s Maverick (that’s a movie, not a nick name or jargon for Tom Cruise’s penis, although I’m sure he has one.)
3. Plan. Get your schedule straight. Know when load-in is. Have a direct route to the venue figured out. Have an idea of where you’re going stay that night, or if you are going to be driving after the show, determine who the driver is beforehand. This may sound pretty standard and expected, but you would be surprised how details can be missed and all of a sudden something has gone wrong. The more meticulous you are when planning out a tour the more enjoyable and stress-free the experience will actually be.
4. Expenses. You’re going to have expenses. Food. Gas Money. Lodging. Something will go wrong with you van. They’re built to break on tour, usually it’s the most expensive pieces. Perhaps a member of your band or your merch guy decides to get naked and run around outside the venue making awkward sounds with his genitals as he flounces about and gets arrested for exposure. Someone is going to need to post his bail. It’s happened before and it will happen again, in fact, it’s probably happening right now. Plan on having plenty of money in an emergency fund before you go out because you’ll need it.
5. Communication. This may sound sappy, but it is by far the most important rule for touring. You may all be 4 or 5 of the best friends ever, but spend three to four straight weeks together with these people (most of that time cramped in a broken down van) and you’ll start to get a little irritated. It happens, it’s normal. A lot of tension and anger can be alleviated through simple, honest communication. Talking things out, having code words when you evacuate gas, and just having some ‘me’ time, it’s all necessary to the process. If your band communicates well with each other, chances are you’re going to tour pretty well with each other.