Soulful pop artist, Rachel Platten, was kind enough to write a set of awesome Tour Tips for you guys to learn from. You can check them out after the break.
1. GET INTO TOWN EARLY
We started aiming to get to our hotels 2 hours ahead of soundcheck, and it’s made the tour much more relaxing. Though admittedly you get a bit less sleep as you have to get up earlier, it’s awesome to be settled in your hotel room and have time to spare to take a nap, check out cool local spots, get ready, etc., and not feel stressed if you hit traffic.
2. FIND LOCAL ORGANIC FOOD STORES
My drummer is a vegetarian, and I am pretty health conscious, so we’ve started looking up local health food stores, juice bars, etc. in as many cities as we can. We’re determined at some point to write a book, or a blog with all our findings – our favorite so far is Arden’s Garden in Atlanta. My label gave me a book by Dar Williamscalled “Tofu Tollbooth” which is a pretty cool list of health food stores for touring artists, except that it’s from 1998 and I think most of the stores are closed now…..We’ll get a new one out someday.
3. YMCA, BABY
We met some wonderful people in North Carolina on our fall tour who worked at the Y and gave us free passes for the day, and we were hooked. The Y’s are everywhere, and they are really kind to touring musicians. You can sometimes trade a CD for a day pass, and if not, the day fee is really cheap. We try to work out at least 4 times a week if possible, just because sitting in a van all day tires you out so much, and your body craves it. Sometimes the hotel gyms are nice, but if not, Y’s are money.
4. We are obsessed with podcasts. I have downloaded over 500 on my ipad, and we recently got the “This American Life” app too which has made thousands of miles seem like nothing. Ira Glass (the host of “This American Life”) is our hero and probably the voice we hear the most other than each others. Here are some we recommend besides Chicago Public Radio’s “This American Life”: “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” “The B.S. Report with Bill Simmons” (sports focused which I dig [he’s a Boston boy woohoo!], but he also does amazing recaps of reality TV shows), NPR’s “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me,” “NPR: Radio Diaries,” WNYC’s “Radiolab,” and I recently discovered “The Moth.”
5. Every so often, it’s important to party.
We strive to take really good care of our bodies on tour so that we can actually play 200 dates a year; eating right, working out, listening to informative stuff, etc., but once in a while, we actually do act like musicians and go out and party just a wee bit. I like single malts on the rocks, Craig likes Blue Moon beer, and Martin is a fan of the ultimate mojito (what a fun guy). These nights are awesome when sprinkled in every so often, because after all, we’re on tour with our best friends and get to meet the coolest, nicest people every night. Sometimes it’s just awesome to throw down and leave behind all the good stuff we’ve been doing to our bodies all week.
Bonus tour tip from bandmate Martin Rivas:
Make sure you get your sleep, be it while en route or at the hotel or backstage… Every little nap helps.
Bonus tour tip from Craig Meyer:
Pick your band/tour mates carefully. You only play for an hour and hang for the other 23.