Please give a welcome to the third and final co-host of the Bandhive Podcast… Matt Hoos of Alive In Barcelona!
After nearly a decade following the Vans Warped Tour, Matt and his bandmates built up a following of over 25,000 fans and made thousands of dollars in sales… All without being an official part of the tour.
Listen now to find out how you can follow in Matt’s footsteps at other festivals around the world.
What you’ll learn:
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Travie McCoy (Gym Class Heroes)
Adam Carson (AFI)
Welcome to Episode seven of the Bandhive Podcast.
I am one of your co host, James Cross here with Erin Jing Gris from suburban Samurai. How's it going, Aaron? Good. What's going on today? Oh, you know the same old, same old.
Except not because this episode Episode seven is the episode where we get to introduce our other co host, Matt Hoos of a live in Barcelona. How's it going, Matt? I'm doing pretty awesome, guys. How how are you guys doing over there in, uh, in Vermont, right? Yes. So how are you doing in Vermont? The snow is gone. I'm sad. Oh, you're sad. Not happy back. It will definitely be back. And then I will be sad that it's back. It's still cold, right? It's like 34. I think something like that. Nice.
And what's around? Freezing a T shirt. Weather? Yeah. Yeah. True. Vermonters. I grew up in New Jersey for 11 years, so I need a hoody like, But I think you're from around here, right? Erin? Yes. Okay. So you have that true Vermont blood, you can deal with the winters. I dropped my keys. Okay. So, uh Okay. Yeah. Have you been to Vermont? Right, Matt? Absolutely. I have been to all of the lower 48. Nice. The only states I haven't been to our Hawaiian Alaska, And I don't know how I would fare in Hawaii, considering I'm just a pasty little white boy.
Nice fair hair, fair skin on. Probably get to Hawaii and get off the plane and immediately melt so or die of skin cancer instantaneously. I'm not really sure how it works in those hyper tropical islands, but you know, I like my nice cold places to so me and winter get get along great. Yeah, and that brings me back to when we were both on warp tour. I would always hear your sales pitch for sun block and sunglasses. Absolutely. And that was basically your pitch right there. E mean, take it from a ginger.
The sun is trying to kill you. Yes, exactly. Ladies join the fight against wrinkles. Stop squinting by sunglasses. That's a good one. Well, absolutely. Supply and demand is really, really easy when you just let them realize why they're buying stuff. It's like, Hey, you know what your favorite rock star loves to see your eyes squinting up at them while you're watching them play? Yeah, well, and that's the thing. You're actually adding a ton of value there for people who forgot their sunglasses and their sunblock, because by spending five bucks for a pair of sunglasses, first of all, they have a cool souvenir.
And second of all, they will be able to see well into the day rather than seeing like the first five minutes and then being like I stared into the sun, I'm blind. Absolutely. My brother and I used to also sell sunglasses that were incredibly hardy. We would encourage people okay, what? Your sunglasses into the mosh pit. If they get knocked off your face and somebody steps on them, you could literally grab the lens off the ground and pop it back into the frame. Eso and I would literally pop frames out and pop them back in and be like.
Here you go. And people were legitimately amazed and it was like, Yeah, it's good for everybody People standing on the side, not mushing people in the pit, mashing It's a win win for everybody. Look how cool you look with these sunglasses on. Oh, you remember 2010 with this. And maybe they're still around with sunglasses that air like, Oh, the slap. Yeah. Don't really sunglass all that Well, Yeah, they're awful power pop 303 or Cobra Starship or one of those bands popularized those. I think it was. Yeah, it was smooth, like I know about them.
So it clearly, whatever they were doing worked at work. They did it. Yeah. Successful marketing. Yeah. This episode is not about me, but the first show, like the first big show I ever worked, was three or three and Cobra Starship back in 2010. That was a show. They pay you and, like slotted sunglasses. Luckily, I was Well, I didn't get paid anything. I was helping out. It was one of the openers. I fight dragons who I've mentioned on the podcast. At some point, I'm sure of it, but I was selling merch for them because they're merch.
Guy was also the sound guy. So he had to piece out during their set. And then he made an assistant stuff. But yeah, fun show. Because the fire alarm went off in 2000, 475 people got evacuated from House of Blues Boston. And then there was a giant party, and there was a tour Blawg and I ended up like photo bombing the picture of the day that they posted on the block. I was just like in the back, standing there looking awkward, because it's like Cobra starship trapping McCoy. And three or three and I fight dragons all around me.
Like partying and drinking. And here I am, a 17 year old kid being like, What is this? I feel out of place right now. Yeah. No, it was I'm a volunteer. Very strange. Yeah, exactly. So that's the story about the first show I ever were straight And how James wound up on the cover of alternative press June 2010. Oh, I wish that I would have that X frame that would be on my wall instead of those Adam Carson drumsticks Thanks, Adam. Those air. Awesome. But yeah, I think it's time we get to actually hear from you, Matt, Since this is your episode And for those of you who are wondering how this is gonna work, Aaron and Matt are going to be switching off each week for episodes.
And, uh, basically, for the time being, Matt will be taking all the even numbered episodes. So this is Episode seven next week. Episode eight will be Matt, and then Aaron will take the odd numbered episodes. And that will be how we do it for the foreseeable future. A two part episode or something comes up, in which case things might get swapped. But for the foreseeable future, we have evens and odds I could jump in. Matt, Before we started recording, you were telling us about the giant owls outside of your house.
Why do you have giant owls and like where you live in and what do you have? Thio. So I love talking about this because I live in Colorado. And one thing you learn about Coloradans is that we are all pumped that were from Colorado. You will pretty much never, ever meet someone from Colorado. That's like, I hate Colorado because they just don't exist. We love Colorado. We love mountains. It could be the thin air getting to our head. And so we're all a little bit loopy. But we love it.
It's awesome. Everybody. I mean, it's like one of the few cities that you can recognize on people's tattoos when they get the city skyline. Everybody has, like, a a tattoo of We have a building downtown called the Cash Register Building. It looks like an old school cash registered. And so, like, a lot of people have that tattooed. Some people have the Colorado C, and then a lot of other people just moved here because they love marijuana about the owls, though I actually I was up nice and early, uh, walking out to my car about five o'clock in the morning, maybe about a week ago, and, uh, I was going to grab something in my car, and I just heard some loud who and it definitely sounded like a conversation was happening between a couple of large birds.
So I took a couple steps away and looked up at the roof of my house and on the north face of my house just sitting on the peak there, there was a pair of great horned owls just chilling waiting. I'm assuming they were waiting for the mice toe wake up and come out of the fields and look for their morning breakfast so that they could have their dinner. But it was really awesome because I got to come out and we'll see to mean they're they're big birds.
People don't really realize how big a great horned owl is until you're like, right next to it. But I mean, this bird is like 2 ft tall just sitting there, and there's two of them and, you know, they just look like gargoyles when they're awesome and they turn their heads super far and they look really creepy. And but they're also not very afraid of you. And so I got to see that right? As soon as I saw him, one of them saw me and just took off, and I got to watch it fly real low to the ground and fly from my property over to our neighbor's property, and then the other one just sat there.
But, you know, that was one of those beautiful nature moments that I really enjoy, You know, in Colorado, there's two parts of Colorado. You either live in the mountains or you live in the prairie and I'm out in the prairie. I get to look at the mountains because their massive for anybody who's never seen the Rocky Mountains, I highly recommend you do it. It's one of the most beautiful parts of the country. But one of the cool part about living out in the prairie is that we do have a lot of wildlife.
It's not too rare to see foxes, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, you name it. They're pretty much all over the place. A couple weeks ago, we went up to Rocky Mountain National Park and saw some bighorn sheep, and there was a bunch of elk and, you know, so it's nice, because Denver is also a really big city. So you have a lot of the city hipster life going on, and then, like a my you know, a couple of miles in any direction you have, you still have riel wildlife.
You know, you could go see wild moose, wild bears, all sorts of things. So long answer long. I'm in Colorado, where you know the mile High city where it snows ah, 100 days a year and has sunshine for 350 days a year. So we get blizzards and then we get 90 degree weather the next day. It's It's pretty crazy, but it's awesome. Yeah, that sounds really great. And I'm sure you have the people who go snowboarding in T shirts and shorts because it's so warm. So I lived in North Idaho for about 10 years before I moved from Colorado to north Idaho.
It was the week that I left there. Waas, a nice cold spell that came in, and the year that I left, we had a record days in a row that were, uh, it was negative degrees and it was like 17 day. I think it's 21 days in a row under zero. So it was nice and cold for a while. And then the week that I left, the temperature rose to a nice warm. I think it was like 22 or 23 degrees, and I remember walking out of a store and looking up at a thermostat they had and it being 24 me looking at myself, and I was wearing shorts and a T shirt because it had literally gone up 30 degrees in temperature.
And so it just felt like a heat wave. I mean, and everybody was doing. Everybody was wearing shorts and a T shirt. And so we definitely have those crazies that get on the mountains and that's their way of life. And they hit the slopes and then, like one run in there like Okay, time for me. Toe. Take off most of my clothes and it's like, Hey, man, if you're a good skier or snowboarder, good on you. It's a good like that. Should be on Colorado license plate A. Just like a half naked person skiing, it probably will eventually.
Yeah, and I wanna point out for international listeners, because we're basically the only country who still uses Fahrenheit 23 24 in Fahrenheit is about negative four negative five Celsius. So that's still cold. But that's the point. Here is it was so cold that when it was negative five cells you So you know, 23 24 F. It felt warm. Yeah, and it was wonderful to that's insane, Matt felt like way. I mean, and it was funny because, you know, when it's that cold, you get everybody. Everybody's hiding there or hibernating. And then it warmed up and it was like, Yeah, the whole town comes toe life and and everybody in Denver is like crazy about their sports.
So it doesn't matter what the temperature is for sports games. There's actually one of the There's a few, I guess, football mascots that air like, really well known. Well, Denver is one of those football teams who has a incredibly well known mascot, and he's called the Barrel Man or something to that effect. And it's a man who wears nothing but a barrel. I remember seeing an interview with him where he was, you know, they were asking, and they're like, Oh, you know, have you ever You're gotten really sick or anything And he was just like, Oh, you know, never anything like I don't really ever remember getting too sick.
It's unless you consider hypothermia a sickness, Andi, that pretty much is the essence of, you know, the Colorado sports world is there, like, Hey, man, there's a blizzard outside. Let's go to the game Yeah. So they were all pretty crazy again. It's probably just the thin air. And since, what, 2015, it might be something else, too. Was a 2014? I'm pretty sure. The whole year after they legalized marijuana, the entire state was probably high. You could go to Boulder and the whole place just smelled like pot. Spend like a smell like a snoop dog concert.
So pretty comical. E do believe. Wait, no, He change his name back. Didn't he? From Snoop Lion? Yeah, because he went back to Snoop Dog. I don't remember. He might be like, Who knows? He changes his name all the time, just like P. Diddy does. And it's like a thing for, like, the eighties nineties rappers for To be like, Yeah, today I'm puff. No, I'm Puff Daddy now. I'm P. Diddy now. I'm just Diddy. I'm Snoop Dog. Snoop Doggy Dog. Snoop Lined Snoopy. Okay, good way to get on the news.
It's just a simple basic rebrand. So have you ever been to a Snoop Dog show or actually, even just like a club rap tour? Yes, they do not play their full songs. And it's in my opinion one of the smartest things ever because I think they just realized that people would lose interest by the time the second verse hit. People only wanted to like that feeling of like, Hey, I know this song and I'm gonna sing all the words for the first verse in the first chorus and then the second verse comes in And then I'm gonna turn and talk to my friend and they kind of realized that.
And so instead, they would do the intro, the first verse, the chorus and then you have the d. J. B like on. And then they would immediately go into another song. Interesting. And like it was insane. Especially when I when I saw Snoop Dog it was like every 45 seconds he was going through another one of his leg top of the chart hits, and it was hilarious because everybody was constantly pumped the entire time on. Don't think I've ever seen more energy at a single concert other than maybe like rage against the machine.
That's a good one. And that's just because the type of people that go toe to go to rage are absolutely insane and awesome. So I think rappers air genius there like, came in. Let's keep people focused on us and not play our full songs and will make more money that way. And then nobody leaves going Oh, man, I wish I would have heard that song like, Oh, well, you did. You heard, you know, 40 seconds of it, but one giant exactly how you they just re ignite all the nostalgia that everybody like is going to see them for.
It's like, you know, Snoop Dog isn't this artist that's in high demand right now, But when people go and see him, he makes sure that the live show is incredible and the people that come to see it are, you know, well entertained. The awesome thing is, too, is he's kind of at this like I mean, Snoop Dog has a certain mentality about him that is awesome and a person he's just like his persona is pretty cool. And he was smoking a blunt on stage, and this cop walks up to the side of the stage.
This is in Boise and is like which, you know, marijuana is very illegal in Boise and Idaho. It'll be the last state to legalize marijuana and these cops sitting there with his arms crossed like I don't even know what his goal was. But Snoop Dog, just look the car right into it with Snoop just goes What are you gonna dio? What it's like? What do you wanna dio like? What are you gonna dio just leave and just literally tells this cop who's watching him smoke a blunt on stage?
It's like you're gonna try to arrest me. There's literally 1000 people here that you're gonna have a full scale riot if you dio And it was just like, man, the audacity was like, Yeah, that's crazy. Funny little anecdotes from random shows. Yeah, that's pretty awesome, though, that he first of all had the nerve to stand up to the cop like, because that's his show. You know, that's his space for those 90 minutes or two hours. However long he's up there, you don't miss with an artist on stage. That's just you don't do that.
When it was funny, because it was literally Snoop Dog, his d j, and then his dancers. Honestly, Snoop just looked like an old man on stage. He didn't do much he just kind of danced around with his sunglasses on. And then his dancers all had, like, choreographed moves that kept the show, you know, stimulating. And he and his D J just literally just were, like, just smoking back and forth on and playing through all the classics. It was pretty fun. That'll be one of the shows that I remember forever.
So always have a special place in my heart for Snoop Dog. Because that was I met my wife at Riot Fest in Chicago and we had our first. We went on a Ferris wheel and hunt our first kiss. While Snoop Dog was playing on the stage, playing to like 100,000 people behind us. Eso could barely even talk because we were right next to the speakers. It was great. Yeah, well, very cool. Speaking of riot fast, you've been doing ah, lot with your music and you have very extensive festival experience.
Do you wanna give us a little rundown of how you first got into music and then talk about how you spent time at festivals promoting absolutely and where that's gotten? So I play for a band called alive in Barcelona which, you know, we used to be called the persevering promise We've been playing for about a decade now, and, uh, we made the switch from the persevering promise to alive in Barcelona as a rebrand just a few years ago. But for a long time before that, we weren't really entirely sure how to get our start or what the best way for us to market our product was.
We were a young local band and we said, Hey, let's make some music. We'll go record it will release it. You know, we did. We did things all the wrong ways. We didn't have a release plan. We didn't really understand what a marketing budget Waas. We didn't know really anything about business. We just knew about music. And so we wrote an album. We were like, How are we gonna promote this? We figured the Warped Tour Warp Tour is a giant festival. There's gonna be tons and tons and tons of kids that are in our demographic.
They're going there to see the bands that we are influenced by. We'll go out well. I remember the year I want to say it was 2012. Maybe maybe 2011 that we traveled from where we were in Spokane, Washington, over to the west side of the state. And we went to to warp tours to promote. We went to the Seattle Warp Tour and then to the Portland Warp Tour. And at both of those places, we went in line. Um, you know, kids start tow line up a Tzar Lia's five oclock in the morning.
I've actually met kids over the years that have camped out from the night before because they're so excited about the event. And, uh, you know, me and my whole band, we went over there and we worked the lines. We basically walked down the line, talk to kids, wanted a time, played our music for them, said, You know, this is who we are. This is where we're from, and we tried to promote ourselves as much as possible. At first, when we set out, we were like, Oh, yeah, if we could just make enough money toe to pay for our gas, that would be great.
Well, when we did the one the first date, it was like we made like, $500 and we were like Holy cow. This is insane. You know, we didn't even think way were hoping just to cover gas just across the state. Six hours. And so, in our current, you know, in our van at the time, that would have been, like 50 bucks in gas. And so it's like if we could make 100 bucks, that's gas there and back. That would be awesome. First day we make, like, 500 bucks. Well, let me go down to the next the Portland work tour, and we sell there all day.
And it was like, Holy cow. We made another $700 or something. I can't remember the figures, but I remember making a lot of money and being like turning to Jesse, who is guitarist and Jesse runs most of our business. Um, and, uh, we turned to each other and we said, Dude, if we can make this much money between these two dates, you know, imagine what we could do on the whole tour. And so we decided that the following year we were going to follow the entire tour no matter what it took, and we were going to go out and promote our music through direct marketing, walk up to people and talk to them.
And so the following year we did that. It was it was me and my two guitarists and the three of us. We were in a Mitsubishi Lancer and there was we had the thing packed so full with, like our suitcases and our merch that none of us could recline our seats on, uh, Fill. My guitarist of the time was sitting in the back seat and we weren't buying hotel rooms, so all of us were sleeping, sitting up. It gets better. So we were all sleeping sitting up, and before we left, Jesse had the idea of Hey, what if we get 50 T shirts printed and over the course of the 45 dates, if we can sell even one T shirt today, that will help cover the cost of our gas?
And so that's what we did. We ordered 50 T shirts and we went out, and the first date on that year of work tour was in Salt Lake City. We had, I think, $120 to our name, and we drove from north Idaho all the way down to Salt Lake City using all of our money. We had no money left, he said. Okay, let's see how much money we can make. Now. Those who have been in the works were seen No, that Salt Lake City date is one of the more awesome dates because kids in Salt Lake City don't you know that there's not a lot of music that comes to a lot of those neighboring towns.
And so the attendance at Salt Lake City work tour is absolutely insane. Well, we got out there and we started to sell, and we made well, more than we imagine. We made like, 500 bucks. And again we were just, like, blown away. Matt, if I could interrupt, I just I think you should explain. Just for the handful of people listening who may have not been to a work to her. Could you just take a second and explain like exactly what you were doing on each date? Like if you were walking the line?
Because I leave it to you to explain. But I e think I was on the same one, um, that you got the last two dates of and arguably anybody I think who did what I think you did. That job is it would be much harder than somebody who's, you know, pitching a tent inside the festival grounds each day like you. This is you hustle. Yes, Absolutely. This was I mean, this is the essence of the grind. We would wake up at sunrise, we would go out the earlier you get into the line, the more chance you have of getting more people each and every date is different in how the venue let's cars in how the security Let's fans in when they opened the main, what we would call the floodgates.
Um and so each and every day is a little bit different. But in essence, you wake up early, we would load either a bag or a box full of as much merchants. We were trying to sell, and then we would go out, and basically one by one tried to sell our music to these people. Now some people would walk up with an iPod and say, Hey, put these headphones in when you listen to my music, which a lot of people loved but as you know, unequal amount of people did not love it because they didn't want to be putting somebody else's earbuds in their ears.
And so we got the smart idea that we would just play our music on a boom box and walk around carrying the boombox. Why market toe one person at a time when I could just blast this music on a boom box and let 20 people here it at a time. So we're carrying a box of 30 CDs. We would have like a backpack that have, like 10 shirts in it, walking around with a boombox. We'd have to make sure all of our iPods, iPhones or whatever we were using Thio play our music was fully charged.
We're waking up early, most of the time not eating breakfast, and a lot of the time the doors would open between 10:30:11 a.m. And so you'd be working from, like between six and seven till about 11 30 depending on when you wanted to quit and people slowly trickle in all day. So there are some people who were really hustling and would literally work all day. I mean Troy from then now, always which anybody who's been to a warped tour knows then Now always that Dude, I've never seen a better salesman.
Thin Troy. I've never seen somebody that works harder than Troy on Like I grinded for a long time. Troy puts me to shame and so like and and And there was a lot of us, you know? And that's actually where I met James. When you're on war of tourists, James was out working for PETA and just, you know, our philosophy on working the lines was that we're all in this together, and so we all kind of support each other, and then there would be a few people on the side that didn't really care.
But in essence, the grind waas Sellas much of your product as you could to these people in 100 degree weather. While other people are trying to sell music to the same people. You're trying to respect the other people in line, especially since we had a boom box. I couldn't tell you how many times I'd like be turning to talk to somebody. And then I would look back at where my boom box was facing, and I was actually like blasting somebody else who was trying to sell, and and that's when you're like Oh my gosh, you know, I'm so sorry.
I didn't realize that I was basically stepping on your toes, and so we would do that in the mornings. Then we would give ourselves a little break in the afternoon and go get some food. Then, from there we would kind of wait until the evening's. A lot of we try to go to a lot of the band barbecues at the end of the evening because Warped Tour hosts a barbecue at the end of every night where they have a band who cooks food for everybody and a band that supplies alcohol for everyone donation base.
They all tip thio, eat food and drink alcohol. So we would try to go to those as many of those as possible because that was the industry stuff that we wanted to be a part of. And then, from there we would do all of our own driving ourself. Now, for people that have done club tours, driving yourself doesn't necessarily seem that bad because you're drives air hour and a half, two hours, three hours, four hours or the worst you know, 5 to 6 hours. And that's that's really if you're like touring over to a destination for the purpose of a festival, you might have some longer drives for the purpose of getting there quicker.
But with warp tour. Ah, lot of their drives are, you know, minimum of four hours or eight hour drives. Um, I will always remember one year on warp tour where there was one year we did Portland, Oregon, to ST Louis. There was one year we did. I believe it was, um, Houston, too. ST Paul E want to say there was one year it waas Florida to Texas e mean and these, you know, for those of you who haven't spent a lot of time on the road, all of these drives air like 17 plus hours.
You know, these air right in the like they take more than one day to dio, and the reason it was really hard on us individually is because we did all of our own driving after we would do all of our own selling and not sleeping well, not eating very much. And what we were eating was, you know, mostly crap food anyway, McDonald's dollar breakfast burritos, You know, whatever cheap food that we could find in order to maximize whatever profits we were making so that we could reinvest.
But mostly it was like we also wanted to be a part of the social activities that were happening. And so there were nights where it's like from 6 a.m. until midnight were there and then we would go on, make a five hour drive, you know, and we'd sleep in shifts and, you know, somebody drive for two hours and then literally be like, Hey, man, I were going to die. If I keep driving, it's like Okay, well, then let's switch. And we would do this. You know? You think doing this a couple days in a row, it's hard.
Imagine doing it for 45 days in a row. So you know, the sickest that I have ever been in my entire life has always occurred on the warp tour. Um, you know, to the point where I'm like, vibrantly shaking because I hadn't drinking enough water and I've been in 100 degree weather for, you know, two weeks in a row. We made better money following the warp tour, even in It's like a single year. Then I think we did on any other tour that than any other, probably like five Tours put together that first year that we went out and did the whole thing, though on the first day, you know our plan was to sell won T shirt per show and after first day we sold like 20 shirts and we were selling them in a bundle that you could buy.
Either this, you know, my CD for 10 bucks or this T shirt for 15 bucks. Or you could buy the bundle for 20 and that obviously, you know, people wanted the shirt. People wanted the music. And so I mean, it was literally, you know, in the $20 Bill is the most circulated bill in existence. So it was really, really easy to make a serious profit. And by Day two, which I believe was the Las Vegas State we had sold out of T shirts and so we had already sold all 50 of our T shirts by day to which was a giant eye opener for myself and Jesse, where we just kind of turned and looked at each other.
We were like, we have to get as many shirts as possible. So we were already sleeping, sitting up in our vehicle, and we decide to order more T shirts. This time I think we ordered 100 maybe maybe even 200 in this order. Um, but our printer was a local printer based out of North Idaho who was not very business oriented. And I still remember we, you know, we ordered I think it was like black tank tops. And then we go toe open the box. You have to pay to have it overnight shipped.
And all this stuff we go toe open it. It's like white T shirts instead of black tank tops like Okay, well, this is not what we ordered. So Jesse calls. And as you know, he's a nice, strong in business enforcer, and he, you know, he starts yelling at this guy, basically, and the guys like, Oh, it's not my fault. Like it was the other guy that did it. He's like, Well, is it your business guys like Well, yeah, he's like, Okay, well, is that how you want your business to be portrayed?
You know, your brand is your reputation and so and the guy was like, No, you're right. I wanna He's like, I wanna do it right. I want to send you guys the correct order. But I don't have any black tank tops right now. He's like, Can I send you black T shirts instead? And he said, Well, okay, sure. So we had these, like, 100 white T shirts that we didn't order. And now we're getting 100 black T shirts. Well, this was like the one totally horrible thing that happened to us on the tour that ended up working out a ton in our favor because we had those shirts shipped to believe San Francisco.
And it was the one day on the entire tour where it was cold and overcast. And so we were able to sell all 100 of those T shirts in San Francisco the day we picked them up and we were selling them, most of them in bundles. And so it was like this was the first day that I ever acted like a total loser and took a picture of how much money I had in my hands by the end of the day as I was sitting there holding $2000 on I'm like, This is insane.
I can't believe we just did that. We just made $2000 in, like, three hours like this is so cool. And so we slowly but surely went throughout the rest of the tour. We sold a ton more T shirts. We ended up making way more money than I. I don't even remember. But it was like an average of, like, $1500 a day that we were making on the warp. You're working the lines in the morning sleeping, I mean, and we literally got so tired that there's one time I literally fell asleep at the I want to say It's the Maryland Warped Tour.
There is a mall right next to the amphitheater. Amphitheater is kind of like hidden in a whole bunch of of foliage, and around the corner is the small, and I actually fell asleep sitting at one of the tables in the food court, and then all the guys from bless the fall came up and we're taking selfies with me while I was asleep on the table on and so just to put into perspective how tiring that grind Waas. It was, you know, literally not being able to keep your eyes open at all, you know.
And Jesse and I to this day have said so many times that, you know, like we could never, ever, ever do what we did again because like and it's a miracle that we didn't die that first summer, we must have been stopped by 10 to 15 different cops just for sleeping in random parking lots, Which was where we learned that. You know, if you sleep in a Walmart parking lot, nobody's going to mess with you because private property Exactly. I still remember one time we way slept in a it was a bank parking lot, right?
Because it was the only thing that was around. And I think we pulled in there like, two o'clock in the morning to take a close our eyes for two hours because it was a short drive. And then the cops come along like, 4 30 in the morning, knocking on the window. And Jesse was so tired and he was sitting in the driver's seat and I was sitting in the passenger seat. The cop knocked on the window and asked for our I D s and I handed mine over Jesse.
And it was so delirious he didn't know what was going on. I was like, Yo, give him your I d And he, like, pulled his wallet out of his pocket and then fell back asleep with his wallet in his hand and I let it was like, yo, i d And he was like, Woke up like, pulled his idea and didn't know what to do with it because he just didn't even realize that there was, You know, he was lethargic, you know, It just literally so exhausted. And so he eventually hey, got the i.
D. And you know, the guy was like, Okay, and I'll just Somebody called the cops because you guys were sitting in a parking lot. So no worries. Have a safe trip. You selling all this shirt? I was so hoping you were gonna say Jesse. So no, but I have done that quite a few times. I am actually kind of notorious in my band for selling merch to people at random places, gas stations, especially the last time we were in. Actually, we did a tour and we drove down through the Redwood National Forest over in California.
There is this random little no, I was, uh, it's a place where there's, like some strange magnetic pole on the area. And so there's, uh, like certain places. Water runs uphill because the basically the gravitational field is a little bit different due to the magnetic pole. And so this guy runs a little tourist attraction essentially. And he says that musicians stopped all the time, so him telling me that musicians stopped all the time. I'm like, Well, you wanna buy my record for 10 bucks? And he's like, Sure, And it was funny because the ticket to get into the place that he was selling was five bucks.
So it was like half of us ended up getting in for free, and we made a new fan on. And then we, you know, ended up having some fun stories with the guy. But I've sold merged two people at gas stations I've sold, merged to literally people at the on the side of the road, being like y'all a band. Yeah, yeah, totally. What kind of music you players like I got a record for five bucks, if you wanna buy it like, yeah, I got five bucks, like Boom!
Done. And so I couldn't tell you how many times my band mates would like come out of a gas station and I'm sitting there making an exchange of money for a CD, and they're like, you sold another one. Dude was like, Yeah, that's, you know, that's 20 on this tour. And once you get into that selling mindset, it's like it's easy, you know, because you're already doing it 4 to 5 hours a day and you're unafraid of people you've already like. You've heard every possible response from everybody, like and kids or savage, you know, like warped.
Your kids are ruthless. Yep, Only place in the world I've ever been. Where I've been like, Hey, would you like to buy my c d for $5? And they'll just look you straight in the eye and be like, No, you're music sucks. I hope you die. I'm like, Whoa, whoa, Have a good day. Sorry, man. I'm just I'm just tryingto get some more music in your life. So long story short. We did warp tour for years and years and years and years got to be very close friends with, Ah, whole lot of people.
And even since Warped Tour's demise, we've even still been reached out to from people like Lisa Brownlie, who is the head of production for warp tour. You know, it's turned into, you know, other job opportunities tour managing, driving merchant, you know, working merch for people. So all in all, it was a wonderful experience for us because not only did we get to develop long lasting relationships with industry people further our knowledge and how the industry worked, give us a really solid fan base around the country. Give us the funds to continue doing what we were doing.
But and then it also it turned into more business opportunities down the road, which, you know, resulted in us, you know, doing this for a decade. So all in all, being on the warp tour was perfect. That's such a good example of the you know, First, they're gonna ask you why you're doing something. And then once you do it, they're gonna ask you Hey, how did you do that? Agreed. And I think I also should mention that in last week's episode. Episode 61 of the things we talked about was the first person you should hire When you're on the road is a driver like when you have the budget, hire a driver first?
And I think that your story here exemplifies that perfectly like I'm sure if you guys have the space in the car and the funds to do it, you would have hired a driver. Absolutely. We would have even brought along one of our other bandmates who and just told them they weren't. They didn't even have to sell. Just just drive like you can relax, you can hang out. You could go see landmarks in in the city that we're in. And it was actually I can't remember what year it was.
I think we did the first two years that we did it without a driver. And then after that we said no, Um, and the second year we did it, we did it in that Mitsubishi Lancer again, and there was no air conditioning on, and that was the hottest summer in U. S. History at the time. I think when we were in Vegas, it was like 117 degrees. There was, like 23 states that hit new record high temperatures that summer. And I remember driving through Death Valley in between Nevada and California with a bag of ice.
Okay, I had this bag of ice. We'd take a nice out of the bag and put it into a Styrofoam cups, and I was holding the remnants of the bag of ice and watching it melt, and I would hold the cup underneath it, and it was literally filling our water cups. And it was so hot and so. And the way that I could describe how hot it was is we had no air conditioning. So even with the windows down, you have the choice of basically just feeling like you were in an oven or you had a hot blow dryer on your face, eso with the way.
So we had the windows down all the time, and it felt like, you know, we're in a giant inside, you know, Just follow your inside of the blow dryer on. It was it was horrible. I think Phil got heat stroke that year, and we actually had to take a day off, I believe in Arizona. Phil got heat stroke in between Arizona and Texas. But it was, you know, and that was like the one day that we stayed in a hotel. But, you know, when you go out on the road and you do these, you know, these long extensive tours like this the really big festival tours as well.
There is, you know, work towards a traveling city. And the fact that, you know, for 22 years, Kevin Lyman was able to orchestrate, you know, ah, 1000 people from all different parts of the globe toe be traveling across the country together, all with union drivers, all with enough food for everybody, Medicine for everybody, E mean. And for those of you that have never seen what the inside or the production side of a warped tour looks like they offer yoga classes. They have a A meetings. They have. One year Kevin created the opportunity for people to go skydiving most of the times that we'd be at a venue that was located next to an amusement park.
Kevin had pre arranged for the artists to get into those amusement parks for free. I love those days. Oh, absolutely. San Diego, like we were talking about earlier, is one of those dates where you, you know, you're down in southern California. Let's go to this awesome water park right next toe. Whatever. You know, Riverbend Amphitheater, whichever Whichever amphitheater it was, maybe live nation amphitheater. I don't even know at the time, I think it was sleep train. But it's something else now, like mattress firm or something like that.
Donuts some other major companies coming and bought it since exactly warp tour is legitimately how we built our fan base around the country as the persevering promise. And then years later, we ended up rebranding and switching more to, ah, little more radio friendly style of music because I think we had all gotten what we had wanted out of music as faras the traveling goes the memories that we've had made the you know, we literally did things that we never thought we would dio. And that was amazing.
You know, we were just kids chasing a dream, and it was, you know, so amazing. All the all the different opportunities and avenues that it opened to us and down the road. Even now looking back, it's like, you know, it's it's amazing that we lived. But what's even more amazing is that, Ah, full music career has come to fruition because of us working so hard grinding, hustling, you know, believing in our product, sitting there and saying, You know, when somebody like Well, why should I buy that?
And I looked at them and say, because I have spent $10,000 and the last three years of my life trying to make a product for you, and I believe so firmly in this that you're gonna love it and then just having that confidence behind yourself, to sell it to people. You know, we've made lifelong friends. Even now I'm sitting here doing this podcast with you guys, and that's because of the warp tour. A lot of people don't realize that cause and effect of things. You know, when they're doing them.
They just realize, in hindsight, all of the crazy opportunities that came from it. And so for us it was a perfect place to grind, to make some money toe, learn how the industry worked to make our mistakes because even when we made our mistakes there were, You know, we had a giant industry of, you know, safety net to help us. Even when we were screwing up, it was like, Hey, we screwed up and still made $1000. So at least we still have money to correct our mistake and carry on.
It wasn't like, Oh, we got these white T shirts and now we can't do anything with them now. We don't have enough gas money. Okay, let's call Mom. Let's see if she could give us 200 bucks so we can drive home from San Francisco. It was like, Nope, We you know, the Warp Tour provided an amazing hub for us. Toe have a lot of freedom, you know. And a lot of festivals are not as crazy as Warped Tour, but also they're fun in their own ways. But the Warped Tour is literally a traveling city.
You can do whatever you want on the World tour. It's the one and only punk rock summer camp, and unfortunately, that's gone until somebody brings something similar back, which I can only hope that you know, even if it ends up being a different genre or something, I could only hope that somebody brings it back in some way, shape or form. The problem is, is that with the Internet and with how many different lawsuits would come in each and every year and just got to the point where there was too much bureaucracy surrounding it and it was like, I mean, I still remember the first year they put up signs on the stages that said like no mashing If you mash, we get sued If we get sued, no more warp tour, that's what happened.
And that's exactly what happened, you know? And it was like people wouldn't even, like, really look into it. You know, they just think, Oh, you know, my kids going off to work, tour blah, blah, blah This and everything's gonna be okay. Well, then, like you know, their 14 year old girl would go get in a Chelsea Grin mosh pit and get destroyed. And then the parents are mad, you know, because this little girl like, broke her arm in a mosh pit. And that's that's for some reason, work towards fault.
Not the parent who let their 14 year old go to a crazy medal in punk rock show and so, like, it's kind of sad because, you know, Kevin ended up having a foot, you know, foot the bill for a whole lot of lawsuits. And he's really a wonderful, wonderful man who has done so much for the music industry. And so much for the artists that were a part of work tour that, you know, it's really sad to see something that you know. It was the longest running music festival in existence, and on top of that, it traveled, you know, and so like that.
That's just what's insane. It's not like, you know, riot fast, where it's always in Chicago, always in Toronto, always in Denver or whatever, you know. They have three dates, and they do it. The three dates once a year s O. That was always really cool. But the festival lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. Yeah, but it's amazing. And if anybody you know, anybody listening to this, if you have a chance to go and promote at a festival, I highly recommend it also, you know, follow the rules.
You know, be nice to security. Be a good person, but nobody's gonna chase your dream for you, So you gotta get out there and it's all about the hustle. It's all about the grind. If you're taking time off, that's money you're not making. That's fans you're not making, you know that's relationships you're not building. Uh, festivals literally changed the entire course of our career. Yeah, and I think a big part of that, too, was as you mentioned earlier when you guys were out there, you took care that the other people in lines you weren't stepping on their toes and you had mentioned that there were people who did step on toes.
And I can guarantee you right now that if you had been one of those people stepping on toes, you wouldn't be sitting here on this podcast, but because you were respectful and you participated as part of the community of people who were not in direct competition with each other because, like I wasn't selling anything, I was trying to get petition signatures from text messages and stuff and you were selling your music. But we both kinda commiserated with what we were doing. E like, Hey, you know, we're both out here doing the same thing.
We're not gonna make these talking to these kids any more difficult than it has to be. So we're gonna be respectful and absolutely be chill with each other. And here we are, five years later, doing a podcast together. It's amazing. The things that you know happen when you just work hard. You know, you work hard and strange things happen, and it's really cool because, you know, nobody can see into the future. You know, we as humans have the ability toe, envision something and then take the necessary steps to get there, which is something, you know, that that no other living creature has, which is awesome.
But the best thing about it is, is that you have to enter into it with a what I would call a servants heart and just willing to be supportive of everyone that is chasing their dreams. And that was like, I think, for us, one of our biggest success tactics is that it wasn't about us just making money. It was about everybody succeeding. A rising tide raises all ships. And when the music industry wins, if I'm a part of that industry than I win, you're walking down these lines even Now to this day, some of my closest friends are people that sold in lines for different bands.
You know, the music industry being such a tight knit community, very small community. It's really awesome to see, like where everyone goes and what everyone does. On our last tour, we happened to be to go through Canada, and at the same time a couple of our friends from a band called Defiance happened to be up there as well. And so, like we're on the other side of that. We're in a different country on the other side of the country from where we live. And here we are running into, you know, the guitarist from a band who worked the warp tour lines and also, you know, a finance went on to do some pretty awesome things in their career, including Touring with Kills, which engage all you know, all over Europe and all sorts of cool stuff like that.
It's amazing the relationships that we've built even now to this day, the people that I'll you know, like I find myself commenting more on Facebook statuses from people that I worked the lines with than people who were my friends beforehand or I go to a random festival and I'm like, There's Troy like, Oh, hey, like And actually, when I met my wife in Chicago, I was working for a clothing company, and right around the bend I went to walk through and look at all the vendors and lo and behold, then now always was there.
Troy himself wasn't there because he was like, down in Texas, working a different festival. But his sister in law was there, working that then now always tend there, too. You'll also find that when you do festivals like that, you find the other business minded people. Those are the wonderful people that you as, ah, you know as a business owner as a brand owner really wanna emulate. Like you mentioned. There was some people that suck, and I won't name names, But I will always remember the people that sucked.
And when they come calling to me about wanting help, I'm reluctant to give it versus someone like you, James words like, Yeah, we commiserated. We sat there and dealt with, you know, broken down bus is 110 degree temperatures. No air conditioning. We had you know, the crappy parking situations, the long mornings the quotas on was the worst. Then you you just found people that figured out what they needed to do and did it. Yeah. Those are the people that are still around today. Exactly. And after work tour, I know each of us because, Aaron, you're on warp tour as well Back in the day.
You know, each of us has taken a different path post work tour. But we still all have that common bond of we survived it somehow. Magically, I'll say, I'm having gone on to Cem. Very nice and very cushy. Um, yours. I'm so incredibly. You should have just by accident. I did work to her just really year work to her before these other opportunities doing something like that, she ate, get a little perspective. Yeah. And you can You can tell the people who haven't had that same opportunity whether it's on them or not happy and are not.
Yeah, and that's for me with warp tours. I was just stoked to be there, you know? And I went back and did it again. And then I did it again. He said, you know, what? I'm not doing my best job anymore. This is gonna be my last year, you know? And I think that's one of the things, too. That's really important is that people have to recognize when enough is enough. Like for you, Matt. You just kept on trucking pretty much up until the end of Warped.
Where I think, right? Yeah, I think we did all but the final year on. Didn't you know, each year we did different things, E. I did four years with the band and then I went out the following year with my brother and another guy just to sell sunglasses. You know, basically, my brother had never been on a major tour and it was something he'd always wanted to do. And he decided that he was going to pay for the van. He was going to pay for all of the product, and he just wanted people there to help himself.
And so I said, Sweet, you're taking all the risk. I will absolutely go on, Do it all cell for you. We'll split the profit. And I was making, like, 2 to $300 a day personal profit at the end of that. I ended up buying the Mac book that I'm sitting here using. Now, Thio do this podcast with and you know so it created a lot of awesome opportunities that in retrospect, I have really been able to further my career with and really, they've helped me to succeed. They bought me more tools, They've developed more relationships.
And it was, you know, I have been to almost 300 warp tours. So it was fun. I had a conversation with the guitarist from less than Jake because less than Jake has played over 300 warp tours. And so I remember him and I talking. I think it's gonna be 400 by now because they hit 3, 65 2014. And then they came back and did 2016 as well. Yeah, maybe that's what it was they had. Actually, I know. I remember. I remember that because remember them making an announcement on stage about they had spent a year of their life on warp tour on on their 365th day playing warp tour, which is insane, Absolutely amazing.
I mean that, like for all of the younger artists, out there. I mean, that is fortitude. That is strength. Like to be able to do that. And until you see the parking lots that you're loading your merchant from a mile and a half away from where you need to set up until you're working with other vendors who were literally gonna fight you for a good spot inside of the inside of the amphitheater. It's like you don't realize what you're having to go through. Like, you know, I've never seen more people leave a tour mid tour than warp tour.
And that's from every single area, you know, like bands break up on warp tour, you know, because it's a hard tour. I think I love what you said earlier, Aaron about, you know, it kind of, uh, take something like warp tour to realize that, like club tours or nice, you know, like you have WiFi every day like, Oh, what's that like? There might be catering. Yo, you're inside where it's not 100 degrees. Have a bus to go back to. If I'd like yeah, like climate control, Like what?
Is this Air conditioning? What? Like what? What a novel idea. And so it worked or really does give you a lot of perspective into the music industry and on. And I would say anybody that thanks a club tour is hard. Go play a couple festivals and, you know, go play in Vegas at two o'clock in the afternoon with the sun on you. Like when you think performing inside of Ah House of Blues is hard or a knitting factory is hard. No, that's awesome. Go performing 120 degree weather outside with the sun beating on you and you're like, Hey, what's up?
Heatstroke? Oh, yeah. Well, Matt, I think that is a perfect spot to wrap things up for this introduction. But I know we're all super stoked to have you as part of the podcast, and we already have next week's episode with you planned out, which is going to be all about making your band or your brand visible online. That's why Matt is here because he is a branding and marketing expert, a guru of sorts, and Aaron and I both have experience in the touring world and logistics and things like that, and Matt, although you have that experience to digital media and just big picture stuff seems to be your thing.
So we're thrilled to have you here for that? It's my jam. I really can't wait. You know, for anybody listening, please go check out a live in Barcelona. If you're curious about you know who I am and what our music sounds like. I'm not gonna be offended if you don't like my music, but I would invite you to check out Spotify uh, take a listen to a few of our tunes. Check out our numbers. We released an album back in February. We just broke a million streams last month on that album.
So, you know, we've been able to do a lot of awesome things with the team that we have behind us, And I would love to share as much of my knowledge with people as I can in order to help you know, the new up and coming artists to achieve some of those awesome heights as well. Well, perfect. Thanks so much for being part of this Matt. We're really looking forward to it. And I think we're all around stoked. Thanks so much for having you guys. It's a blessing to be here.
Well, I hope you all enjoy the introduction to Matt were very much looking forward. Toa having his first episode with a topic which is very important and that is making your band visible online. That episode will be out next Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. Eastern time. As always, we hope you check it out. And if you have missed any of the past Bandhive episodes, they're all right there in your favorite podcasting app. So all you have to do is go and look and you will find them.
We do have a Facebook group that we'd love for you to join. Just go to Band. I've dot rocks slash group and that will link you directly to our Facebook community. We welcome anyone who is interested in the music business to participate. Hope to see there and thanks again. So much for listening. Keep rocking
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