In this Tour Tips segment, the synthwave band, VHS Collection, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips, after the break.
1. Get a good Tour Manager (Tour Dad). Shout out to our very own Jeff Swart who is both a superb sound engineer and tour manager. Not only did Jeff keep the whole operation moving along from a logistical standpoint, but he also helped coach all team members on how to survive and thrive on the road. A tour, like any journey or adventure, is bound to have its ups and downs. A rock-solid tour manager can make everyones’ lives easier and help the team complete the mission. If your tour manager doesn’t have it together, your tour could be a catastrophe.
2. Plan your route wisely. There are plenty of off days on tour. Plan accordingly so that you can make the most of your off days in fun places. We were fortunate to spend an off day exploring Marfa on our last tour. These types of experiences make touring worth it. We chose to spend some other off days in barren Wal-Mart towns just outside of major cities (not as fun). You have to keep the budget in mind, but it’s important to plan some cool experiences for the whole team to enjoy. Epic days off provide a huge morale boost for the whole squad.
3. Workout. Even though you’re tired from playing lots of shows, you have to find a way to exercise regularly. Some members like to go on runs, which is fun because you get to go for a run in 20 different cities in a month. Other members found boxing or yoga classes in each city. Pro-tip, sign up for a gym that has locations in most cities so you can work out, shower, steam, etc. Exercise can reset you mentally and keep you sane.
4. Find some alone time. You spend a lot of time together on the road. A bunch of grown men living on a bus together for months at a time is bound to get on each other’s nerves at some point. The key is to give yourself plenty of alone time throughout the tour so you can enjoy everyone’s company when you’re all together. Solo walks, books, and movies in the bunk are a good way to find your own space.
5. Pace yourself. If you have 4 shows in a row and you go out partying after everyone, you’re not gonna make it. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
6. Create a specialty beverage for each tour. Each tour, each year, creates a different tour cocktail. Negronis, Martinis, Dark and Stormy’s, whatever you’re feeling. Each tour is then associated with that cocktail. Then when you invite friends on your bus, you can impress them with a fancy drink.
7. Eat great food. Find a special restaurant in each city that you want to hit. Eat your way across America.
8. Keep a sense of humor. Some shows will be incredible, some are bound to suck. Your bus might break down in a snowstorm. It’s only rock and roll. Everything’s gonna be okay.
9. Take lots of pics and videos and write a journal. One day you’ll be old and all you’ll have is the mems.