March 24, 2012
Touring Do's, Dont's, Always, and Nevers!
Ok so your asking how do you tour? Or what does Dan Langevin know about touring? Fair enough, lets do this.
Born in the wild and raised by wolves I was to be found by a band of Gypsies. As a small child I traveled Canada going to parties drinking and eating many small animals. Meeting many town folk, this brought me a new sound. The sound of music. Ok so maybe some of thatís a stretch but it sorta goes like that. I did move every 2 years or so till up till a few years back. This teaches you how to make new friends and get along with people, finding a common ground (music).
But lets skip a head, Now a days I get to speak to tons of bands who are planning to go on the road (My Son the Hurricane, Crutch) or coming in from out of town (Ginger St.Games, USS, Down with Webster), or on national tour (Del the Funky Homosapien, Fozzy, the Trews).
Recently I also joined the Much Music road teams. Where I travel around Ontario and Quebec putting on the various show styles they offer the public. This means my with trusty VJ (a real VJ.. Not what you see on TV) I hype up the crowds for all sorts of people. The list is amazing after a short time, Traveling to Collingwood, London, Montreal, Sarnia, Toronto, Niagara Falls and performing for audiences such as Public/High Schools, YMCA, Halloween Parties, Private Parties, Casino Niagara, the Saugeen Reserve.
So enough about how I know things and lets get down to the do and doníts.
Advertise for your shows ahead of time, (get help)
Plan Routes ahead
Check your Tires and Oil levels
Check your breaks
Have a spare
Let the best driver drive
Bring extra granola bars or snacks in the vehicle
Gloves for moving gear
Extra clothes for when you get to the location (temperatures vary after far travel)
Ask about the area (food, tourism, shortcuts are all good to know.. DonĎt get lost!)
Have an extra key to your car thatís not going to be inside when you lock yourself out with it running.
Ask people about your show, what did they enjoy
Set up a return date to your location or plans to talk in the future (this helps with your next tour)
Take pictures or video
Allow extra time for Flats, Washroom breaks, and Breakdowns
Meet people from each stop ( Friends always come in handy)
Hang out after you work hard, makes for good times (big dinners, clubs, house parties.. epic times!)
Travel with out the cash to pay for the most expensive part on your vehicle
Leave home with out tools
Rely on your GPS
Donít miss load in times (rushing can be really bad)
Donít forget how far you have to go.. Gas Up!
Panic, Everything works out if you relax and think!
Drive while your over tired (easy way to ruin everything)
Hit anything on the road big or small (it could be a small piece of I-beam that flies up and punches threw your gas tank just as you stop for gas, which spills all over the cement and ruins it, so that the Station goes after your insurance and tries to F*ck you for the next 10 years! Ok IĎm a little bitter.. But I got off that time. Still had to get a new gas tank.. pissed)
Obey Traffic Laws (itís brutal trying to follow some one who speeds or runs lights)
Travel with people you like to be around
Bring music or other entertainment for the hotels
Eat well, or deal with cranky people who donít usually act like assh@les
Greet the Owner or manager with a big smile (or as close as you can get)
No matter attendance levels always put on a show that delivers to your audience
(you never know whoís out there watching)
Remember your building your own network of fans and tour places!!!
Thank the host for having you.
Complain to the person paying you about ANYTHING, unless itís about safety, improper pay, or something that will benefit everyone. If you do have to complain do it before the show, everyone likes to remember the good times after the show not the bad.
Well I hope that helps your touring/travel experiences, remember donít panic, stay rested, eat well, plan ahead, have fun! Easy. Oh and the second time on tour will be way easier!
- Dan Langevin -