The vocalist, Cam Pipes, of the heavy metal band, 3 Inches of Blood, shares his top 5 tips for being on the road. You can check them out, after the break.
1. The most important thing for touring is being in a band with people you can tolerate to be around. You might have the most amazing musician on a given instrument, but if they are an asshole then your touring life is going to be hell. 99% of touring happens off stage so you need to be able to hang out with like-minded people. If you’ve never toured before, try doing something small like a week or two. You may have done tons of shows in your hometown but nothing will test your band’s limits like the dynamics of touring.
2. Hoard all the bottled water you can. On tour, water is more valuable than booze and gold combined. You’d be surprised how many venues don’t provide bottled water, a basic band necessity. You will appreciate bottled water when you are hungover and all there is to drink on a hot day is warm can of pabst blue ribbon. As soon as water is provided, stash a few bottles in your bag and you’ll appreciate your foresight later on.
3. As soon as you arrive at a venue, scope out the bathroom situation before the doors open. If you need to take a shit, the women’s bathroom is usually the best option. For some reason, a lot of men’s rooms have one stall with no door and there’s either piss all over the seat or they are clogged with turds already. Women’s bathrooms are almost always cleaner, well stocked with toilet paper, more stalls, and the stalls all have doors on them. Also, there’s usually fewer females at or working for the venue when you arrive so you are almost always assured some privacy if you feel like spending your bathroom time to “relieve some pressure”.
4. Know your place and be respectful. On tour there is a pecking order. Obey the headliner’s techs and stage manager. Do not eat any catering until you get the ok from the headliner’s tour manager. Do not go into the other bands dressing rooms without permission and under no circumstances do you take ANYTHING on their rider without prior consent. Bands above you got there for a reason, either because they caught a break and got some fast tracked success or they did it the old fashioned way and slugged it out building their fan base over time. Either way, they draw more people than you and you need to recognize that. The less greenhorn tendencies you show the better impressions you will leave on other bands and their crew and that will result in getting other tour opportunities in the future.
5. Have fun. The reason we got into bands is because music is fun to play and its even more fun to play to new people that appreciate what we’re doing. For most, touring is a hard life filled with heartache and hardship. Its not for the faint of heart or those of weak constitution. Many bands break up or lose members because of the road. Some sacrifice relationships because of it. Touring is an adventure and whether you play music or not we can all relate to the allure of the road trip. Few bands make it big and make the big bucks and while we all strive for that success, the motivation to keep doing it lies in the enjoyment we get from music we’re playing with friends. Getting on the road is a bonus to that and we should all be grateful for the opportunity. No matter whether there is war, plague or shitty economy, people always need to get wasted and be entertained and that’s where proud road warriors like us come in.
Did you find these tips helpful? Do you have any tips to suggest that weren’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments below!
Joshua Weidling Owner/Founder
I'm the owner & founder of Digital Tour Bus. I started the company in my dorm room during my freshman year of college. I have a degree in Marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Outside of music and going to concerts, I'm a big fan of stand-up comedy, playing board games, trying the most amazing unhealthy food, and watching really mediocre comedy tv shows.