This new set of Tour Tips was written by the singer songwriter, Morello. You can check out his tips for being on the road, after the break.
1. Change of Clothes Glistening with sweat after a performance is sexy (possibly) for about 5-10 minutes. Then, it gets old really fast. Plus, by the time you go anywhere with overly-efficient AC (e.g. tour bus) you’re in serious risk of hypothermia (been there: it sucks!) So, if showers aren’t available, at least consider a change of clean/dry clothes for the end of the night – it makes a huge difference.
2.Travel with Real Food Fast food. Gas station food. Chips and pretzels. By the time the gig’s over the adrenaline’s wearing off and you’re ravenous so you gorge yourself on the aforementioned…trouble is they’re all salty as Hell, dehydrate you more and leave you feeling like crap (keep it up for more than 2 days in a row, you’ll see what I mean.) Hip touring musicians are always visiting supermarkets, even health food stores during downtime, stocking up on fruit, veggies, fresh almond milk, instant oatmeal. If your schedule is too hectic, consider taking the Jack Daniels off the rider and insert ‘real food’ options instead! Your crew will love you for it. Talking of which.
3. Love your Crew Your crew are there to make your life better. They work about 4 times harder than you, whilst you get to enjoy all the limelight. For all these reasons be beyond grateful; be the person who offers to do a coffee-and-or-sandwich run for them when they’re stuck in the venue all day. Make sure the fans know who they are when you’re having that wild aftershow party. Redefine ‘crew’ not as ‘my minions’ but as ‘extended bandmates/posse/team’ – i.e. “I’m rollin’ with my Crew, yo!”
4. Stretch/Warm Up Repetitive-strain-type injuries suck. Tours tend to produce them; for this reason stretching/warming up and even warming down before and after shows is a smart move (that includes vocal cords too, natch.) I once got to tour with a merch person who was also a physical trainer – I Really got to appreciate the importance of a good physical routine on the road (and at the same time realized I’d been a total idiot about it for like, years…)
5. Merch, Merch, Merch! Duh. The only way you’re going to make money back from all your hard work. Have awesome merch and you might even do good business (i.e. make profit) so take this part seriously Kids! The more fun/fab items the better. For shirts, have different sizes available; offer girl And guy options. Cute, small stuff (pins, keychains) will Always sell. Have a credit card swiper on hand (e.g.Paypal, Square, etc. Straight off your phone, bam!) and never turn away another sale again (“Uh, sorry, cash only”, wump wump.) I saw a great band last night who ‘totally forgot to bring any CDs, sorry guys’ – I So wanted to slap them!
Did you find these tips useful? Let us know in the comments below!