In this Tour Tips segment, the alternative/pop artist, Lauren Mann, gives you her tips for being on tour. You can check out the feature, after the break.
As fun as touring is, it can definitely take a toll on a person in more ways than one. I’ve learned a few things over the past couple years of crisscrossing North America in a tour van that have helped it become a bit more sustainable and enjoyable.
1. Eat healthy
Eating well can be really hard on the road. It’s easy to choose greasy food over veggies, but it won’t do you much good in the long run. I always keep a big batch of homemade granola on hand for breakfasts and snacks, and try to look for healthier options for lunch and dinner, like Vietnamese restaurants, and fast food options like Chipotle and Subway. We usually make grocery store stops every week or so to stock up on apples and bananas, and I always make sure I have lemons on hand to slice up and throw in my water. All that being said, I’m always down to make an exception for good ice cream.
2. Do some exploring
Just because you’re in a different city every night, it doesn’t always mean that you get to see much. Often, once you get to the venue you’re playing at there’s not much of an opportunity to explore your surroundings, so I usually like to take a walk before the show to get a vibe for the city I’m in. My favorite thing is to find a local thrift store and look for a treasure or two, or find a local restaurant to eat at. It’s also a good opportunity to get some alone time in after being in the van all day.
3. Get your exercise
Most people don’t realize that touring bands spend most of the day in the van driving between cities. Unless you’re on a tour bus that you can walk around in (I’ve never had that luxury) you’re stuck in your seat for hours. Whenever we stop for gas, I like to do some stretches and go for a quick jog around the gas station to get the blood flowing and keep my muscles happy. In the mornings before we leave, I like to do a quick 10 min yoga routine so my body doesn’t hate me after the drive.
4. Play like everyone is watching
It’s inevitable that issues between bandmates, stuff going on at home, and personal struggles, will come up while on the road. But at the end of the day, the show must go on, and it’s important to leave all the negative stuff behind when you go on stage. The music is what it’s all about, so no matter what’s going on, have fun and play your best.
5. Be Kind
Not just on tour, but in life in general, be kind to those around you. On tour, that means the sound guy, even if the monitors were terrible, the bartenders, venue owners, even the gas station attendants. A little kindness goes a long way, and makes life and tour a little brighter. I’ve experienced a humbling amount of hospitality in my few years of touring, from friends giving us dinner, to complete strangers opening up their homes to us, and it’s the least I can do to repay that with a smile and a “hello” to someone.
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