40 things you should know before you go on a band tour, Part 2
Hey, guys! Remember this? Last time we gave you some useful advice on how to pull off the perfect band tour. Well, we decided it wasn’t enough, so in order to keep you safe, happy and successful, we came up with a whole new bunch of tips for you and your bandmates. Because you deserve it.
‘Cause you’re awesome. You’re welcome.
21. Know your gear
Make sure you’re familiar with your equipment and the sound you want to get out of it – house engineers usually know what they’re doing and may be able to help you if you just know what you want.
22. Bring a dream team
If you have a road team, make sure it’s a good one – the important people on your tour are not just the ones playing the instruments. Make sure those who accompany you know what they’re doing and they have everything they need to do their jobs.
23. Stage diving is harder than it looks
BE CAREFUL. Broken wrists, floor landings and crushed members of the audience are all things you should naturally avoid. When preparing for a stage dive, aim for the strongest group of people you can see and make sure they’re not too surprised when you land on their heads.
24. Don’t get wasted
The only intoxicated people you want on your tour should be in the audience and only because your music is so intoxicating. People chose to come and see you live rather than doing something else so be thankful and respectful. Don’t make them regret their decision by forgetting your lyrics or passing out on stage. And you can imagine how happy the venue owners would be. Not.
You’re not superhuman – eat, sleep and get hydrated regularly. Forgetting these basic things is easier than you might think when you’re under pressure. If you don’t want to look like a zombie on stage, don’t live like one.
26. Yoko Ono is out there
Be warned: the world is full of obsessive girlfriends and boyfriends who will effortlessly demolish your band without thinking twice. You may think you’re safe because you’re all grown-ups but you’re wrong. Love is blind and people are stupid. Tread carefully.
27. Keep yourself busy
Traveling with the same four people for days or weeks can get really boring. Bring stuff to entertain yourself with during the long drives. A book, a music player, a laptop – they can all save your life.
28. Luggage is your enemy
Bring what you need to assure some basic comfort. But when you’re deciding what to put in your luggage, just imagine having to carry it around and putting it in the van with all your gear and a bunch of other people who brought their stuff and their gear too. That’s right, less is more.
29. Driving issues
Obviously, have more than one driver. Make a schedule and rotate every 2-4 hours. When planning your drive, remember that stops will usually last around an hour. Traffic in big cities is also something that will slow you down so consider it when making the schedule. In some countries, it’s also good to have change for pay tolls.
30. Show gratitude
If everything goes well with the show and you’re happy with the work the promoter has done, show them you care – give them a t-shirt, or a badge, or anything. If you don’t have merch (but you definitely should) at least buy them a drink and you’ll get a new friend.
31. Have stuff
Seriously, bring your own gear. Some bands may be cool with sharing drums but some gigs just don’t allow you to show up unprepared. If you need time, good. Make sure you have as much as you can.
32. Respect time
Don’t play longer than you’re supposed to. Whether there’s a band playing after you or club employees just want to go home and sleep, you’re probably wasting someone’s time. Don’t be those guys – set up quickly and go away fast.
33. Eat smart
Budget is usually tight but allow yourself to have a nice warm meal every once in a while. To avoid a 100% grocery store diet, don’t spend all your money on the first few days. Making a daily budget will certainly help solve this issue.
34. Save money
If you’re not a millionaire, you might want to watch your wallet. Drive the speed limit. Avoid hiring paid musicians unless it’s really necessary or you can really afford it. Don’t give away merch for free to just anyone. Someone is always going to ask for free stuff – just give them a sticker.
35. Ease up
You’ll most definitely make mistakes. Bad stuff will likely happen. The tour may be a blast but it may also turn out to be a disaster. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Repeat and you’ll learn from experience. Just have fun.
36. Set your priorities
Why are you doing this whole tour thing? If your goal is to ‘get signed’ or ‘get chicks’, something is seriously wrong with you. Think it over before you get brutally bitch slapped by reality.
37. Fix people issues beforehand
If you don’t get along with a band member before the tour, things will not get any better when you have to travel together and spend every single hour of the day in the same place.
38. This goes for other bands as well
Sometimes you’ll be touring with another band. Make sure you won’t feel an urge to kill all of them with your bare hands after a few days together on the tour bus. Do your research and don’t get fooled. Musicians can often seem nice but once you get to know some of them, you’ll feel capable of things they put people in jail for.
39. Please shower
Maybe some of your bandmates grew up in a pig farm and maybe they didn’t. In any case, don’t be that filthy ball of stench in the corner of the van, making it hellishly difficult for anyone to breathe, eat or concentrate while you’re around. And for heaven’s sake, change your socks.
40. Give 100% every night
No matter how hard it was getting to a venue, how hungry, sweaty and tired you are, how rude the owner was or what hell you went through to organize the whole thing, you have to be your best self once you get on stage. You have a responsibility to your audience, to your bandmates and to yourself to give a great performance every night. Don’t forget the big picture and enjoy every step of the way. Have fun with your tour and we promise you, it’ll be an unforgettable experience.