Those Who Dream - TOUR TIPS

Join us as Those Who Dream recommends their touring tips.

Those Who Dream - TOUR TIPS

In this Tour Tips segment, the alternative music duo, Those Who Dream, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips below:

What's up we’re Those Who Dream! We’ve been on the road a bit lately, playing with some amazing bands and meeting some super great people. From our first tour to where we are now, we’ve picked up some essential do’s & don'ts of being on the road, because as much fun as it is, it’s also one of the toughest things to pull off… especially as an independent band. So, we wanted to share with you our Top 5 Tour Survival Tips to help you stress less and enjoy the wonderful world of touring!

1. Be Respectful, Be Respectful, BE RESPECTFUL!!
Rule #1. Hands down. On the first show day, everybody involved will have the same question on their mind; “what’s everybody else going to be like?” and it can go one of two ways. You’ll either discover everybody is cool and very easy to be around, or (less commonly) you find out that you’re about to spend every day for the next month or however long with someone who is absolutely insufferable.Maybe an artist who has a hyper-inflated ego and treats you like trash or like, a real hard-ass Tour Manager who makes things extra difficult for you. You may not be able to control anyone unpleasant you’re stuck with, but you can absolutely control the respect you show others.

If you’re humble and chill to be around, people will remember you for that. Remember it’s not just one show, you’re about to do this same routine with the same people over and over again, and with all the stress and exhaustion of touring, there is no room for any bad attitudes, so make sure you’re always being cool towards others and bringing the good vibes. Who knows, you may wind up being on another tour with that same group of people in the future.

2. Don’t Overstep
If you’re supporting a tour, give the headline band & crew tons of space while they set up and soundcheck, and absolutely don’t be the band that arrives and starts setting up at the venue before the headliner or anything like that. Remember, the tour is for them, not you - so they’ll 100% have priority for everything. Wait until you’re given an “all clear” before bringing gear over and setting it up, also smart to ask permission before you occupy any space around the stage area with your stuff. You can be confident with what you're doing as long as you’re always non intrusive.

It’s generally important to understand your place in the hierarchy on the tour, and no, this ain’t us trying to belittle you… but, if you demonstrate to those higher ranking individuals that you respect the restrictions, you’re helpful outside of your own duties and you're ready to make life as easy as possible for everybody, even if it means sacrificing your soundcheck or something - more often than not, those same people will return that respect and might even be extra lenient and accommodating towards you as a result. But I’ve also seen people get kicked off tours and in heaps of trouble for not staying in their lane and overstepping… Not a fun thing to witness lmao.

3. Sleep Whenever You Can (duh… but hear me out)
If there was one word I could use to describe being on tour… it’d be “unpredictable”. Especially touring independently, the most random hiccups that you could have never accounted for can and will come up, while you’re miles away from home. But if there’s one thing you wanna keep consistent, it’s your performance on stage night after night. The foundation of consistently putting on a great show, despite whatever problems you encountered beforehand, is getting enough sleep. This also goes for problem solving on the road - how are you going to successfully troubleshoot on a half functioning brain?? Less sleep makes tiny issues a big deal, and big issues impossible to deal with, and it’ll affect your performance too.

So with that being said, I know there’s not always necessarily perfect sleeping windows, so my advice is find time in everyday life. If you’ve only had 3 hours sleep from driving all night to the next city, allocate some time before load-in to catch up on missed sleep! If you’re in the van and it’s not your turn to drive, sleep you dummy! Recognize your own sleep deprivation and try to find windows where you can have a nap and re-energize for the night ahead.

4. Check Up On Your Gear!
Like us, you probably travel with a lot of expensive fragile electronic gear, and whether you’re flying or driving the tour, it’ll be going out for the bumpiest ride of its life. I remember we’d just gotten off a long flight and drove straight to the venue, loaded in and hung out chilling in our greenroom until it was our time to sound check… oh how foolish. Upon opening our wireless rack, I coldly realized that all of the hardware on our units had been unfixed due to vibrations causing the screws to come loose… meaning all our wireless units had just been thrown around untethered to its rackmount case, so some cables were broken and everything was a mess. Secondly, I discovered that the digital amp had reset itself due to vibrations affecting the storage battery, meaning all my guitar patches were gone.Luckily one of the very lovely bands we were touring with shared some of their gear with us to get through the show, but man were we stressed.

The lesson is, these problems would have still existed had we checked up on the gear as soon as we arrived at the venue… but, we would have had MUCH more time to troubleshoot and get everything back to working! We would’ve performed better too, much less stressed man. I always arrive at a venue early now for this reason alone. However, referencing Tip #2, if you’re going to arrive at the venue early to check on your gear, don’t get in anybody's way. Stay far away from the busy stage area while you check the condition of your stuff. I’ve found that loading in our racks, guitars, laptop etc… to a quiet corner of the “crowd standing area” is always a safe bet. It signifies to the headliners crew that you have no intentions of invading their area until it’s your turn, but you’ve still got space and (hopefully) a power outlet to check up on your gear! Don’t disregard this tip, just take 5 minutes to check everything works!

5. Self-Check Up On Your Mental Health
When you become a touring act, you’re signing up for one of the most crazy jobs out there. You’re away from your family and friends for sometime months at a time, life at home is going on without you, you’re doing the same routine everyday, always on the move and on top of that you’re probably not getting a huge amount of sleep… It's a lot, man. It’s only natural that this sort of lifestyle is gonna take a toll on most people, so it’s a good idea to check in with yourself throughout the tour. Be aware of your emotions and your mood as the tour progresses on and if you start to notice that you’re getting homesick, frustrated more often, or you start isolating yourself from your tour party and becoming sadder… take this time to listen to yourself and respond with small changes in your routine moving forward.

I really enjoy hanging out with our Drummer Hazel and our crew in our downtime on tour, but I know that I naturally require more alone time than some people, and when I feel like I don’t have the chance to have that it really taps into my anxiety. It also only takes me a couple weeks to start feeling home sick, missing my girlfriend and our cats back at home, it’d often get me feeling pretty bad. Once I started to notice these feelings and seeing patterns in how I was responding to stuff I could figure out how I can adjust my lifestyle on tour to try and minimize these feelings and swap them out for memorable nice experiences. I’d schedule time on most days to have an hour or two to myself before loading into the venue to explore, write and just do my thing. I’d also call my girlfriend every night and try to find interesting places to chat so that I could describe it to her. Weird? Maybe! But it totally works for me. Just be kind to yourself out there :)

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