In this Tour Tips segment, the alternative pop band, The Collection, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips, after the break.
1. No Sarcasm
I know this may seem like a silly rule at first, but I think it’s the one that’s kept us so tight-knit. We love sarcasm and a good joke as much as anyone, but when you’ve played six shows in a row and desperately miss home and haven’t slept in a week, it’s hard not to take even the lightest jokes personally. We do our best to suppress sarcastic joking, and it’s led to much better connection on the road.
2. Regular Encouragement Sessions
Every few shows, on the way to our hotel, we spend the drive encouraging each other. “Hayden, you’ve been crushing the bass part on Sorry Baby lately!” “Sarah, I’ve been noticing you take a leadership role this week” The road can make you weary, and it’s helpful to hear regular encouragement that you’re doing well and are loved.
3. Ask For A Cheerleading Session
Similar to number two, some days you just feel low. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep, maybe you’re going through a breakup, maybe you lost your voice on the most important show of tour. It’s important to have space to ask for a cheerleading sesh – and for the band to pitch in and remind you of who you are – a wonderful musician, a fantastic human being.
4. Pre-show Connection Time
Tour requires constant human interaction – in the van, in a friend’s house, in a hotel, in the venue, in the green room. At least for us, this means we try to take alone time any chance we can get. So, by the time we’re about to go on stage, it’s helpful to have a little time to settle back into the group dynamic. This can look different ways – sometimes we take several deep breaths with each other. Sometimes we dance to the Space Jam theme song. Sometimes we chant like the Mighty Ducks. Whatever you need to feel the team spirit can help you pull out the best, most together show you can.
5. 3-Hour Max Driving Shifts
Too many bands get in wrecks along the way – we personally know some that have lost members in bad ones. We’ve found it helpful to limit a single person’s driving shift to three hours max, even if they still have energy. Take a break, sleep in the back, and come back next shift feeling refreshed and focus. That way we all stay alert and alive.