This set of Tour Tips was written by blues rock band, Toy Soldiers. You can check out the band’s tips for being on the road, after the break.
1. VEHICLE: While it was the golden era of music (See: 3EB, Barenaked Ladies) don’t get stuck in the 90’s when it comes to vans. We had a 1993 Dodge Ram that died on a highway in the middle of the night in Louisiana during a tour. Our new 2000 Dodge Ram only ever breaks down near home and it’s great on gas (7mpg vs. 6mpg) Shop in the $6k-$8k range. Something too cheap can’t be trusted (that can also be applied to most things)
2. HUMANITY: Be friendly, good people….always. Relationships are the blood of touring and if you either don’t make them or f*ck it up then you’ll be alone forever thinking that the world owes you because you’re doing the exact thing you want to be and it turns out its not conveniently easy.
3. BIDNE$$: Be realistic about your goals, distance and what you can afford to do. The first few tours still hold a certain level of romance so do it! Hit the road and love it. But as you grow you may find a more realistic approach of building a 6-8 hour radius from home keeps everyone happy, stable and you’re making way more progress then playing Nilbog, Nebraska on a Tuesday once a year. Remember every city requires the same TLC as your hometown to build.
4. SENTIMENTALITY: Embrace the struggle. When you are lying in your 4-star hotel bed alone spooning a bottle of merlot because your band made a ton of money and now you all hate each other you will miss the days spooning with your bassist in the backseat of your van parked in a hotel parking lot.
5. WORK ETHIC: 120% 110% of the time all amplified by low expectations.
Did you find these tips useful? Let us know in the comments below!