In this Tour Tips segment, the progressive metal band, Monochromatic Black, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips, after the break.
Here are Monochromatic Black’s most important tips for touring condensed to 5 categories. We’ve all been on the road whether in past bands or this one for years and years now and have a lot to say!
Tip #1. HEALTH.
You will be spending most of your time sitting in a van. This means you will be sitting down for most of your day completely non physically active. Hold each other accountable for making sure you get at least 30 minutes of physical activity aside from stage performance per day. Push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks are all things that can be done at rest stops or while waiting for your set to perform. Eating a proper diet is also really important as you will not put on your best show if you have garbage food in you. This includes staying hydrated at all times; having a large filtered water cooler in the van for everyone to pull from is a great idea. Sleep schedules should be organized as well whether driving or parked & keeping sanitation articles on you like baby wipes, and hand sanitizer will be a real help when you need it.
TIP #2 FINANCIAL PLANNING
In order to tour extensively there’s a good chance you will have to take time off from your job & if you’re just starting out as a band you may break even at best (in some cases you may pull profit! It’s just not common for newcomers) so saving up money before you leave is essential. If you know you’ll be out for a month, it’s probably best to try to save for an emergency fund. You may need to borrow from it for the time you’re out and also anticipate possibly not having your job when you return from tour as some employers aren’t a fan of you constantly leaving. Learn when to spend and save, always search for coupons, buy food in bulk, and only grab a hotel if it’s absolutely necessary. Showers are free at planet fitness if you have a membership and they often allow guests. A loaf of bread, batch of bananas with PB & J should cost no more than $10 for the entire band’s breakfast. If you think things through with this mentality you will kill it.
TIP #3 TIME MANAGEMENT / PREPARATION AND PRODUCTIVITY
You will need to organize your driving shifts, merch, stage set up and break down routines, social media, and more. You won’t want anyone over driving if they’re too tired, merch inventory counts and watch over are essential. Being a band who sets up and breaks down fast on stage will make everyone involved love you & is impressive. Always make sure you document with plenty of photos and videos for social media content as well! Always make sure your gear is set up with extra guitar strings, drum sticks, etc. and well protected in cases. Use downtime to write your next album and work out ideas when possible!
TIP #4 RELATIONSHIPS
It’s important to keep a healthy relationship with your bandmates, your home life, yourself, 3rd party professionals such as promoters, agents, venue owners & workers, and of course your fans! Make sure everyone gets enough personal alone time to organize it how they wish. Always try to maintain a healthy positive attitude – even though things can be intense at times, remind yourself that you’re on tour doing what you love best.
TIP #5 SAFETY
Always keep a 1st AID kit in the van. You will never know when you’ll need it. No drinking and driving. It’s a good idea to wear gloves when carrying gear in and out of the venue so your hands don’t get charred up or swollen. Always warm-up before the shows, it’s important not to hurt yourself before you play. Don’t stack gear randomly at the venue too high & create hazards. Don’t park in dark unlight parking lots as vans get robbed all the time. Keep all phones charged at all times in case 911 needs to be called, if someone doesn’t have proper rest, switch drivers. If you need to park to sleep as a group, hotels and Walmart parking lots usually won’t bother you.
That’s a good general gist for newcomer touring bands and maybe some tips for seasoned pros! Thank you so much again for having us featured!!
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.