Pop/rock band, Skies Alive, has written a set of Tour Tips for us. You can check them out after the break!
1. Always pack light, however BRING EXTRA SOCKS AND UNDERWEAR. The thing is, you want to save as much room as possible in the van because quarters are already a little too close, but you can’t cut corners on socks and underwear. You’re asking for trouble because you can typically pull of wearing a pair of jeans, and even t-shirts for a week or more. But when you try and recycle boxers and soxers you’re going to start offending the noses of your fellow bandmates in 2 days flat. Trust me. Been there.
2. Every time you stop for ANYTHING, do a head count. It sounds kind of dumb right? I mean, shit, there’s only 6 of us so how hard can it be to keep track of each other? But I’m telling you it happens. When Skies was on tour with Take Cover last Spring, our bass Player, Nick, and I decided to ride in the TC van for a bit and we did a routine gas station pit stop somewhere in Michigan … or maybe it wasIllinois? I forget. Anyway, hilarity ensued after we loaded up on shitty food and gas, and hit the road again only to find about a half hour later that we had completely forgotten Take Cover’s merch dude Hot Jeff in the bathroom at the gas station. What I want to know is, how the Hell was he doing that it took him a half hour to realize he was left behind?
3. Be extremely, extremely diligent about vehicle maintenance. This is not something to fuck around with. I know it’s easy to push your engine that extra 1000 miles before you pony up for an oil change just to save a few extra bucks, but honestly it’s just not worth it. I’ve had so many friends in bands seize their engines or blow something up 1500 miles away from home with only a whopping 50 bucks in their cashbox, and this is not something you ever want to deal with. When I was on tour with my old band in 2005, we suffered a similar situation and ended up stranded outside of Birmingham for 3 days while we waited for a wire-transfer loan from our ex-guitar player so we could fix the van enough to get back home to Arizona. We had to drop off the tour 4 weeks early, and besides that you just don’t ever want to be stranded anywhere inside of Alabama statelines.
4. Don’t believe it until you see it. Always hope for the best, but honestly when a promoter makes big promises like “Dude we’re gonna feed you guys Chipotle for dinner and Coldstone for dessert, and there will be five thousand kids at this show because we promoted it so hard, and you guys are staying in a suite at the Hilton!!”, this usually ends up something like this- “Dude, like Chipotle closed down yesterday because the owner went bankrupt so here’s some white bread and Jiffy. Man, I’m so sorry. And like there was gonna be five thousand kids, but I just don’t know what happened. I mean, you know how it is dude, it’s Xmas vacation (even though this show ison July 27th) so all the college kids went home to the rents’ house, and fucking Coldstone ran out of ice cream. But don’t worry! The suite at the Hilton is totally still ON! –oh shit. Dudes, I just got a text from my runner and it turns out the Hilton actually lost our reservation … but you can totally share the floor with Mittens. Mittens is my cat.”
5. And last tour tip for now is, no children in the van. And by children, I mean check her ID. This rule applies EVEN to your all-talk “tour manager” that weaseled his way into the van because his unemployment situation enabled him to dazzle you with a 1000 person increase in twitter followers the weeks prior to hitting the road. You always, always, always want to avoid angry fathers and obnoxious police officers, probably even more so than a seized engine. Nohm sayn?