Hi there, I’m James and I play guitar in False Accusations. I’ve been booking all of our tours since we started, some successful, some not so successful. And while I am definitely not an expert I’m gonna tell you a few things you don’t wanna do when you’re on the road.
NEGLECT YOUR WELL BEING.
This is mainly geared toward vocalists. Especially if this is your first time doing shows for more than just one night in a row, you need to take extremely good care of your throat and yourself in general. When you’re in a band that screams, or screams and sings, your voice will get worn out. Do as much as you can to prevent this. Find some warm up regimen that works for you. It may seem silly at first, but if you just do any sort of warm ups before your set, it will help you out tons. Drink tons of liquids, if you’re feeling your voice start to go, stop talking, don’t whisper (it’s worse for your voice), chug honey, tea, lemon, suck on cough drops and seriously, shut up.
BE AN ASSHOLE.
Don’t be a dick when you’re on the road. This is probably someone’s first and maybe their only idea of who you are as a person, they may never see you again, but they also may tell everyone they know in their scene about what a dick you are. Just always be conscious of what you are doing. Even something that may seem harmless to you might make you look bad from another perspective. Be nice to everyone.
BE A PUSHOVER.
Okay, this may contradict my previous statement, but you seriously have to stand your ground when you’re far from home. You’re a band on tour, don’t let people walk all over you. Don’t let locals, crappy promoters, or venues take advantage of you. You drove 5+ hours to play a show, there’s no reason you should be playing first on the bill. You were promised X amount of money, but shady promoter person says the show didn’t make enough to pay you guys. Don’t take that crap. I’ve been there, I’ve taken it, and if you let it happen it only gets worse from there.
STAY IN YOUR VAN THE WHOLE SHOW.
If you’re in the DIY touring network, every night you’re getting to play with a completely different lineup of bands every night. Don’t be that band that misses all the locals expect the one that played right before them as they were setting up. That goes back to the whole “don’t be an asshole” thing. I know sometimes you might be exhausted, might need some time for yourself, etc, etc. That’s FINE. But I always try to make sure at least one member of my band is inside checking out the bands always. Don’t miss out on potentially awesome music, and don’t miss out on the chance to make a friend and connection. This is DIY music for God’s sake, we don’t have room for egos.
TAKE IT FOR GRANTED.
Seriously, touring can get really stressful, things can get really shitty. But don’t let it get to you, learn to appreciate the small stuff. Don’t get hung up on one bad set, one band fight, one show drop, because focusing on the negative never gets you anywhere. Just try and keep all the little things with you. That band that thought your set was really good, and bought merch, those awesome folk that put you up the other night and fed you, the fact that no matter what, you aren’t at home working away your normal job. And if that isn’t enough to keep you going, then you’re probably in the wrong industry.