This new set of Tour Tips was written by Dan Hawkins, of the rock band, The Darkness. You can check out their tips for being on the road, after the break.
1. Even if you are going away for a month or so only pack one pair of trousers and enough underwear at most for a week. God invented tour managers for a reason, they do everything for you. If you get into a tight spot and run out of clean underwear – go commando. If the next day there is still no opportunity for any of your employees to get your laundry done – buy some more! I know a few musicians that have gone on tour with only the outfit they are wearing and buy new underwear and throw away their dirty pants and socks on a daily basis. If you are on tour you can consider yourself a rockstar so start fucking acting like one.
2. Run at least 5 miles a day and circuit train for an hour. You have a duty – people are not paying lots of money to see someone wobbling about on stage because they are out of shape so sort your shit out. We have learnt this fact the hard way, there are no excuses – and if you think the gig is enough excercise and that you should sit around like a slug all day (probably because you are actually hungover) you are completely fucking deluded. Just ask Mick Jagger.
3. Don’t drink before a show. Most musicians are insecure, which is why we do what we do in the first place. One thing that comes along with insecurity is the assumption that we can only really ‘get into it’ if we have had a drink or two before the show. Wrong. In fact it is the opposite. I played my first sober show after 15 years of gigging – I really wasn’t sure whether I could do it. What you find is that it is so much easier to play when sober than even after 1 drink that you start to pay attention to the audience more than your instrument. Once your head is up looking at them the gig becomes 3 dimensional – you actually take part in the experience rather than existing in an ‘Us & Them’ style environment. I have never enjoyed playing gigs as much since I stopped drinking beforehand and I wish this had been the case all of my career. And anyway – you can get plastered afterwards and work it out on your run/in the gym the next day anyway (see point 2 ;)
4. Read. You can’t retain every piece of information when you tour the world as your head would be literally full of shit. Better you immerse yourself in great literature while on long journeys, backstage etc. Reading makes your quality of life better. For what ever reason it fires the imagination and makes simple things like actual human interaction more enjoyable. DO NOT sit on Facebook all day wasting your life looking at other people. Life is happening now – to you so live it. And if you can’t explore and further yourself physically then read a great book.
5. Don’t Feel Guilty. You are in a position that nearly everyone wants to be, that doesn’t mean that you should feel bad about it. It’s very very tough leaving friends and loved ones behind for long periods but it is your job and your calling in life. Sometimes you will feel certain resentments towards you – usually because people think you are not working as hard as they are. Well maybe they should have spent all of their life mastering something and maybe they should taken the risks that you have. You finally got yourself onto that tour bus after enduring years and years of shit gigs, heckling, pennilessness and throwing away the chance of an education so fucking enjoy it. For example: do not let anyone make you feel bad because you woke up at 11am and they have been at work since 8 – you only finished work 6 hours ago remember (your job being a rock star) so in effect those fuckers had a lie in.
Did you find these tips useful? Let us know in the comments below!