This new set of Tour Tips was written by the alternative country artist, Ruby Boots. You can check out her tips for being on the road, after the break.
1) Bring your best self. Everyone that has been on the road will know there are high highs and low lows and that nothing ever goes exactly according to plan. On top of that, no one is getting a regular lay when you’re loading into the show and loading out right after, then onto the next stop. So, everyone’s antsy radars can be set a bit higher than when at home chilling on the weekend with your lover. Bring your best self. Be nice to each other. Love the shit out of each other especially if things are going pear shaped, and try to keep a positive outlook as much as you can. It’s far more rewarding and everyone has a much better time without the antsy meter peaking.
2) Always carry noise canceling earphones. I went through many a pair of headphones before I found the right ones that would block out the deep dark gurgle of your most drunken band members snore, I for one hear the first sound of snore and I am wide awake tuning into the nasal growl, there is no turning back once you are on that road with your beloved tour buddy, sleep is just not an option by that stage. It’s all about the noise canceling earphones and the meditative chants of monks coming through the little pods.
3) Pack melatonin, a neck pillow. Sleep is like intangible gold on the road, especially when you have to sing and if you are a belter like me, a few extra hours sleep could mean the difference between completely getting off on stage and hitting (or wailing) those long notes or having to work within the restraints of a tired voice. Melatonin releases a hormone that already exists in your body that is released around the time it gets dark and tells you you’re tired so you aren’t pumping yourself full of any unnecessary chemicals, its awesome to put you into a quick sleep coma on a plane or in a van and its over the counter and considering you spend so much time in a seat sitting the neck pillow is its perfect partner in crime—match made in heaven for a “sleep anywhere on the road” recipe!
4) Show Gratitude … One of the biggest perks of being on the road is the people you meet along the way, and more often than not a lot of those people lend you a helping hand. It’s been years since I have had a fixed address and I couldn’t have done that without the stand up humans that have offered me a bed, a gig, a meal, an ear, a ride to the airport, anyway you get the picture. People want to help people who are grateful and thankful. We may be at the center of it all, but it’s the helping hands along the way that make the journey a much easier and more enjoyable one!
5) Balance the money every night. I’m a self-managed artist (and even if you’re not, it’s good to have your shit together and be a somewhat savvy and know where the money is going) and one of the MANY tasks that comes with that is handling the money. Finding the money to get on the road to start with can be a mammoth task in itself. We don’t have massive touring circuits in Australia like there are in America, so it can be an expensive exercise until you have a decent following, anyway, I digress… Balance the money every night because even after a couple of weeks on the road when you get home and you are faced with a bag full of cash from gigs and merch and a bag full of receipts, the painful experience of balancing everything in one hit far outweighs the ten to fifteen minutes it takes at the end of the night.
Did you find these tips useful? Let us know in the comments below!