In this Tour Tips segment, the guitarist for Smash Mouth and Enrique Iglesias, Sean Hurwitz, gives you his tips for being on tour. You can check out the feature, after the break.
What’s up DTB fans! This is Sean Hurwitz, guitarist for Smash Mouth and Enrique Iglesias. For Digital Tour Bus readers, here are some tips from the perspective of a “hired gun” style musician like myself, who tours with many bands and artists. I hope you find these useful!
1. Be nice to everyone – It’s very easy to just hang with your band and the other bands on the tour, but don’t forget all the hard working people that are making it happen. From the promoters to the stage hands, your crew, the other bands’ crews, production peeps, engineers, lighting crew, video crew, drivers, runners, etc. – they all work very hard to make it all seem seamless!
As a former Live Audio Engineer, I can tell you it is almost never as easy as it seems to you when you hit the stage to play. Just realize that there was a lot of work put in by these people and make sure they know you appreciate it. It makes everyone’s life happier and more fun on the road.
2. Bus etiquette – Look, each band has a different setup of buses and a different vibe on those buses. What it comes down to is this: your bus is your home away from home…and also theirs. So treat people the way you’d want them to treat you in your home. As general examples (with exceptions):
– No smoking (sometimes it’s cool, though – ask first)
– When people are sleeping in the bunk bay, be quiet, and try to close doors behind you so it stays quiet in there. Some people might not want to party that night. Or maybe they feel sick and need their rest. Be considerate and treat them the way you’d want to be treated.
– Before bringing your guests up on the bus, make sure your bus mates are dressed and cool with that.
– Always make sure you control your guests and make them aware of the “No #2 on the bus” rule ;-)
3. Food & Fitness – With junk food available in the bus, green room, and catering, it’s very easy to overeat, drink too much sugar or alcohol and gain 30 lbs, haha. My advice to you is, make sure to:
a. Eat well – Don’t fall for the crappy chips, chocolate, and Mountain Dew on the bus and in the green room. Catering will usually have healthy options. And if you KNOW that your ‘After Show Food’ is gonna be pizza and wings, grab a to-go box from dinner catering and try to avoid the 3am tacos if you can.
b. Stay Fit – Use the time off during the day to go for a walk, explore the city. Or maybe hit the hotel gym for a quick workout.
All this will help you stay on your game (on stage) and also help you stay healthy out there on the road.
4. Lock The Bus – Everyone’s stuff is on the bus. No matter how secure you think the area is if you’re the last one off the bus (even if people are sleeping in the bunk bay) LOCK THE BUS. It’s super easy for people to just walk on and steal sh*t. Or grab things from the luggage bays. Don’t give them that opportunity.
5. The show must go on – Remember what I said about the hard working crew? Well, sometimes, sh*t will hit the fan. The gear provided by the local companies might not work. Soundcheck may not happen. Your crew will decide last minute that there’s an issue with your main guitar and that you’ll need to use the spare. Your whole rig might even go down! Who knows…anything can happen.
6. My last piece of advice – YOU need to always be the pro! The show MUST go on! With the spare guitar, shitty monitors or even you plugging your spare backlined guitar into the spare backlined amp and JUST PLAYING. Be a team player and do your job. Don’t complain and moan…not now at least. Trust that your crew most likely did everything they could have done and sometimes it just is what it is. Get up there and give it everything you’ve got.
I hope all this helps you and as usual, I’m always down to chat on social media, even email. It’s all on my website www.seanhurwitz.com.