In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the alternative music duo, Standing Before Kings, shares some of their stories from being on the road. You can check out the story, after the break.
While there are many great memories and stories of being on tour, there are a couple that stick out in our minds.
1. DON’T AGREE TO DO A SHOW IN NORTH DAKOTA IN THE MIDDLE OF JANUARY.
The venue was perfect and held 1,000 people, we had our own dressing rooms with showers, boos, and catering; we could even park our tour bus inside the building and unload onto the stage like we were some “real” big band. The soundstage was massive and, boy, did we sound GOOD. Except, no one showed up that night. During our 6 hour drive to get to the show in the dead of winter, the temperature gauge read -25 (F) degrees below zero, and -40 (F) degrees below zero with the wind chill.
It was so cold that night that there was actually a state-wide warning for people to not go outside for more than one-minute or they could suffer from frostbite. Well, as they say in show business, “The show must go on…”. We made it through the show with a minimal turnout. SIDE NOTE: The venue was actually mad that we didn’t bring more people out and didn’t even consider that it was so cold outside that people could actually DIE (of which we almost did on our way home). In our renovated, adult-passenger tour van, the heater went out and we literally turned into ice sculptures while we drove the 6 hours back home, bundled in snowmobile suits, ear muffs, gloves, hats, and blankets. All of us band members snuggled together, trying to combine our body heat to stay warm while we took turns having one member risk his own life to drive us home, with no one to snuggle with.
2. WHILE IN JAPAN, GO EASY ON THE INSTRUMENTS.
While we were touring in Japan for one month, we quickly learned that we SHOULD have packed minimal gear. To get to our venues we had to walk hours every single day to catch trains and subways that were so crowded you felt like a can of sardines. On our backs, we carried cymbals, guitars, guitar pedalboards, basses, and the heaviest of them all – The Merch-massive amounts of t-shirts, sweatshirts, beanies, hats, and tank tops, cause we had to make some money right!
We also made the wrong assumption that we could use English to help us get around, WRONG! Hardly anyone speaks English over there, but mainly Japanese- GO FIGURE! LOL! We had to use translators to help us get anywhere until we memorized all of the train routes. On an interesting note, our Japanese translators said it was virtually impossible to book a gig at a Japanese venue spontaneously by just walking in somewhere, but we did it! The very first club we walked into we just told them we were a band from LA and they booked us that night. ;-)
3. EVEN THE “SONS OF ANARCHY” HAVE A SOFT SPOT.
While on tour somewhere in Nevada, our tour manager booked us a show at a bar. No biggie, just another night to rock out! Little did we know this was a motorcycle, tattoo-wearing, hard-hitting, straight up “Sons of Anarchy” Biker Bar with dudes ready to kick our asses!! When we walked in the bar with our LA- Metro- Sexual vibe we got looks from the whole bar like, “Who are these guys?” We literally were thinking about what should we play? We had some hard heavy songs but not enough to play a full set. Which meant we had to play some of our slow ballads to fill the set-out. We didn’t think we would make it out of the bar alive! They would not only boo us off stage but probably take us down to a secret basement in the bar and go “Pulp Fiction” on us! Then it happened the moment in our show where we slowed everything down and played the soft emotional stuff. Yikes! BNOT A DRY EYE in the audience!! I kid you not, as I was hiding behind my guitar amp trying to plan my exit to escape I couldn’t help but notice all the Biker dudes in the bar had stopped their pool playing, beer drinking, engine revving activities and were upfront of stage crying like little babies. Who would have ever thought these hardcore dudes had a soft spot? They bought us some beers afterward and we ended up playing there again the following night. We are here today to say, even Grown Men Biker Dudes Can Cry!