In this Tour Tips segment, the melodic metal band, Season of Ghosts, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips, after the break.
Touring in my opinion is a challenging experience, regardless of whether you enjoy touring or not. Either way, it’s better to be prepared, to make touring as smooth as it can be!
1. Compartmentalise! Always have a dedicated backpack full of stage essentials that will never come out of that bag unless you have to set up your show. This means extension leads, duct tapes, screwdriver, and other tools, extra sets of strings, anything that you could possibly need for your show, has to go to a dedicated backpack or tool case.
2. Especially if you’re a girl, learn to be friends with travel size products, and mini size anything. For example, I always carry a mini humidifier with me to fight off dry air. Nightliners and venues are often plagued by A/C which is a vocalist’s worst enemy. I’m especially vulnerable to it, so I can fall sick immediately when I’m exposed to A/C. I like to switch on the humidifier before sleep and let the steam fill my tiny “room”. I also always carry a good amount of surgical masks, which is a great habit I picked up in Japan 10 years ago. It helps keep your throat humid during the night and during daytime pre-show. It also gives you a little privacy, so it’s a win-win!
3. Acknowledge and appreciate your team. I can’t stress this enough. The people who make things happen on the big night are instrumental to your success and deserve recognition and an occasional free drink! Your driver, the sound guys, the venue staff, the catering people, and the chef, the venue promoter. Make sure to talk to everyone before the show and thank them before you leave. A little common sense goes a long way.
4. Mind your manners. I know this probably goes without saying, but these are crazy times we’re living in, so I’m gonna state the obvious. Tuck your rockstar egos in and roll out your best manners when touring. It’s gonna make things so much easier for everybody. I see so much rudeness when touring I can’t believe it. It’s happened several times that my band was headlining a festival and I was the one who greeted each and every other band, even though traditionally smaller bands are supposed to greet bigger bands first. Also, guess what! I even got some weird looks from some people and that one time I got no greeting back from the opening act of the show either. I used to live and play music in Japan some years back and there was a strict hierarchy and some serious manners going on at shows. All bands used to gather in a circle in the morning before rehearsals and greet each other, thank the staff we’d be working with and keep a low profile, even if we were the headliner. I believe the west could take a page off Japan’s book on this one. Rudeness is unprofessional.
5. Pay attention to fans. People spend money and time to come out there and see you perform your music, so take extra care and look after them. They could be anywhere else in the world right now, but they chose to be there, with you. No matter how high or low you might be in your career, never forget who made it possible. Fans are people and they’re unique and everyone has their story. I’m always eager to hear what people have to say and I’ve learned all sorts of amusing things from fans all across the globe through the years. Ultimately, music exists to nurture the spirit and remind us that all is one and one is all, so as musicians we might as well attune to this notion.
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.