In this Tour Tips segment, the alternative band, The Man Who, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips, after the break.
1. Respect! For the other members of the band, your crew, local venue staff, and if you’ve got an opening slot – for the headliner. All of these people can make your life that much better or a whole lot worse. The same rule applies here as it should for the rest of your life, treat others as you would like others to treat you. It’s not rocket science…just be a nice dude! If you trash your hotel room like a stereotypical rock star, how quickly do you think you’re gonna get that extra bath towel when you ask for it….still waiting….
2. Engage! People (hopefully) paid their hard-earned cash to see you live…so give ‘em their money’s worth and then some. Concert goers are passionate people, there’s nothing passive about them. And most of them have no idea how long a day it’s been for you already between travel, load-in, soundcheck, interviews, etc. And the show, after all, is the reason you’re out there in the first place, so don’t hold back. There’s a sea of people in that crowd waiting to make or break your career often with a single social media post. While 22 hours of the day you can sort of go through the motions, not when you take that stage. So don’t waste energy on the fact that your all-day breakfast came with potato wedges instead of hash browns, save that intensity for the show.
3. Fuel! Several days or weeks into a tour and you can suddenly realize how road life takes its toll on the body. So fuel up and hydrate. Sure there’s gonna be celebratory beverages and after-parties…that’s one of the great perks of touring! Just be sure to offset the overindulgence with copious amounts of water, juice, Gatorade…whatever quenches your thirst and gets you ready…for the next party of course. And yeah – most days of the week it’s just easier to get some take-out for lunch, so at the very least make sure your snack options are somewhat nutritious. Pretty sure a piece of fruit isn’t gonna kill you, and unless your allergic same goes for some trail mix. It’s a balancing act. And changing up a Big Mac for a Whopper does not count as balancing.
4. Research! Heading to a new town, or one you haven’t been to in a while? Got some time on the bus or plane? Do a little research. A few minutes of prep can help you make the most out of your visit. There might be tons you want to see and do, or there might be nothing at all. But killing some time en route can ensure you aren’t left scrambling. Even if it’s just Taco Tuesday and you simply figure out the best Mexican joint in town ahead of time. It can also help with on-stage banter. You don’t wanna be screaming “Go Bruins” when you’re in Boston if they just got knocked out of the playoffs.
5. Sleep! Whenever you can, wherever you can. It’ll have a HUGE impact on the first four Tips above. Lack of sleep…and suddenly you have no respect for anybody, you are anything but engaging, you eat junk food just to get by, and you’re yelling “Hello Cleveland”….in Denver. So find the time to sleep. Even if it means skipping out on a couple of potentially awesome after-show events. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no shame in being well-rested…which while touring might only mean enough rest to survive. Earplugs – check. Sleep mask – check. Just don’t be crossing borders with any sleep “aids”!