In this Tour Tips segment, the alternative pop duo, Shallows, give you their tips for being on tour. You can check out the feature, after the break.
1. Bring A Laundry Bag – And if you have a place to store it besides the bunk, do it. Probably the worst part about being in close quarters with 1 to 11 other people is having to smell their feet when they kick off their shoes after a set. Fresh air makes even the loudest of idiots more tolerable. Be considerate and save everyone the smell of your junk from the night before.
2. Carve Out Alone Time – You could be touring with your best friends, but that doesn’t mean being with them 24/7 is easy or necessary. Fight the inevitable altercation over something dumb by taking a lengthy moment to yourself every day. Don’t write the next PUP album – take a walk after sound check, clear your mind and face each day as it comes. Maybe even shell out some of your personal cash for your own hotel room on a day off once in awhile, if you can afford it.
3. Take Days Off From Drinking – It’s way too easy to fall into the pattern of drinking every night. Friends in every city want to hang out, people want to party with you (you’re so cool), and unless you’re straight edge, you probably need a nightcap for your own sanity. Usually it’s free, and you’re bored 80% of the time so why not? At the risk of sounding like my dad, alcohol is a depressant and it’s going to affect everything from your mood to your performance if you wake up each day feeling shittier than the last.
4. Have A Workout Routine – I was on a tour once where our stage manager was on a Crossfit kick; joining in made the days fly by and honestly I’d never been happier being on a bus for a month and a half. A couple of laps around the block and some pre-show push ups really make a difference in staying positive and sweating out all the booze and/or frustration.
5. Take It Slow On The Road – If you’re in a bus this probably doesn’t apply to you (unless you’re the driver), but if you’re in a van this is probably your most important mantra. Stressing out over drives and load-in times can lead to disaster; everyone is sleep deprived and god forbid it’s snowing. Being three hours late to a show is better than being dead.
6. And Most Importantly, Don’t Check Bags – I would say do NOT check your important bags. Take that shiz on the plane with you. Because just when you least expect it somebody will slip up and you won’t have your bag for the next few days. Sure the airline will reimburse you but the time it takes to go and buy what you need might throw a wrench in your travel plans.
(Photo credit: Joel Bear)