While we’re all sacrificing during the current pandemic, touring musicians across the globe will continue to sacrifice once live music picks up again…
The sacrifices will be different, but still potentially painful. The touring industry has long been known for the long days, isolation, and all too often, low pay.
It’s part of the “dream” artists are sold. In the long run, those sacrifices do pay off – but even at top levels of touring, artists are away from their loved ones. They miss family events. They aren’t home half the year.
Listen now to find out how you can be prepared for the inevitable sacrifices any touring artist needs to make to have a successful business.
Note: this episode was recorded before the pandemic reached Europe or the US in full force. Please take that into consideration, and use this episode to prepare for a return to life as we know it.
What you’ll learn:
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No Money In Music? Think Again. Start Selling Your Merchandise!
Welcome to Episode 22 Off the Bandhive podcast.
Alright. It is time for another episode of the Bandhive podcast. My name is James Cross, and I'm here with Matt Hoos of Alive in Barcelona. How are you today, Matt James?
If I was doing any better, there would have to be two of me. Okay, well, good to know. Once science advances and we can get cloning, then we will have twice the brainpower on this podcast because there will be two of you sitting across from me on the video screen. That would be really intense to Mats is probably 1. 5 to many. We'll see right there. There's a joke, and there would be twice the jokes, so that's a good thing. I don't complain about jokes like 1212 punch. Exactly. That's a good way, the one to Matt Oh, gosh.
Oh, well, anyway, thanks as always for coming on the podcast to pleasure to have you here. And we've got a new interesting topic today, which is something that I know you and I have both dealt with, as has Aaron. And, uh, I think Aaron actually did like the most full time touring out of all of us because he was working with a major artist for like, six years, just touring practically nonstop. And when he wasn't on the road, he was preparing for a tour since he did production work.
And this is actually a listener requests by Jasmine. She's in the band Sharp violet as well as senseless to awesome bands out of Long Island. It's about the sacrifices that we have to make to go on tour, whether that's as an artist or supporting another artist, you know, being a crew member of things like that, I think we should just start off by saying there's a lot of benefits to touring. So, for example, Matt, what's your favorite thing about touring? Well, you know, there's a long list of favorites, but I would have to say, you know, waking up in a different city is pretty amazing because, you know, you get the chance toe.
If you're diligent, actually explore the city. You get to see new sites every day. You get to meet new people. You really get to experience different cultures and really kind of See that whatever small, little tiny sect of the country that you're living in or the world that you're living in, you really realize how tiny the world actually is. And I never knew how small the US waas until I drove across it three times in a single tour on Then you're like, Oh, wow, you know, this is not as bad as people make it out to be.
Which is why I laugh severely whenever I hear people complain about their commute to work. Yeah, it's like when you have an eight hour commute to the next show. That Z 20 minute commute downtown is nothing, totally a great point. And I think that's actually one of the My favorite things about touring as well is, you know, I remember from work tour. I just wake up and be like, Okay, you know, I have been to this venue before. What secrets can I find out about it like, what are the cool spots here?
Like there was? There's that venue in Maryland. Merriweather Post Pavilion were like half the show is in the woods. It's absolutely, but it's in the woods, right next to the mall. That's what's crazy. E never got to go to the mall. I was only there one of the years I did work tour. It was a really cool venue and like you're going up and down these hills, walking around, It's just a cool place. It seems magical. And then you go to somewhere like San Antonio, Texas, and there's just like these three massive Barnes and it's like, Okay, I've seen the barn.
That's it. Oh, but what about the dirt field behind the barn? James, Have you seen the dirt field yet? Probably. I know the dirt field across the gully. Yeah, that's the one. I played Twister in that field. Oh, nice. That was where it was. That's awesome. That's where it was. SAN Antonio, Texas. Well, if you go back to let's see what is it? Episode 18. No money in music. Think again. Start selling your merchandise. You can hear the full twister story. So if anyone wants to hear that story, just go back to Episode 18 and and dry.
Yeah, that was a good time. Yeah, So that could be found at Band. I've got rocks slash 18 anyway. Yeah, there's stuff like that. And then other tours. We did a lot of day drives, and we drove through Washington State, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and just seeing all the mountains was amazing. Like that was one of the coolest things. Because on work towards all night drives, you don't get to see anything like you wake up with the venue and you go to sleep at the venue. Most likely other tours.
Maybe that's not the case. Maybe get to see a little more. You know, some tours, like man. I'm sure you've done tours where the venue is literally downtown and you can walk around the corner. And I've done that. That was one of my favorite things Is just saying Hey, like, look, this is around the corner. I got a half hour. I'm gonna go check it out. Absolutely Well, it's actually the last tour that we did. We did a full us and it was fun because a couple of guys and I like playing different games.
And so after we get there, load in, set up Murch. A lot of the time you have a bunch of time, you know? And so we'd go and find food or go play games or, you know, go to the beach or really kind of do whatever the local climate is allowing. So I'm a big fan of that. Yeah, that sounds awesome. That sounds like kind of my dream tour. Dude, I remember one time I think it was 2014. I woke up and looked out the bus window and we were parked on a beach in New Jersey, like on the Jersey Shore.
And I mean, say what you will about New Jersey, but it was cool to just be like I literally woke up on the beach like all those people who probably pay, like Million's for Beach House are further from the beach than I am. And I just woke up here and I'm paying nothing. I'm getting paid. Was that the Camden Day or was that handle? The work towards Service Day in 2014 we were cleaning up was it like Seaside Park, Seaside Heights? Something like that. Yeah. Seaside heights. Yeah, Exactly. Yeah.
So I just woke up on the beach, and then I walked around that area. There's actually you're on, like a, uh, sandbar. Essentially, I don't know what else it would be called. It is. It's a barrier island. Yeah, exactly. That's what it is. And so there's water on both sides. So in the morning, I looked out onto the ocean sons coming up, I'm like, Okay, sick and then at night because we were there all day till, like, nine PM or something. Our 10 p.m. I don't know.
We were there late. I went to sleep and we were still there. I went to the west side of the island and watch the sun set over the bay. And that was like one of my favorite moments of the whole tour on, and I mean, yeah, it was a day off, so we weren't doing a show, but it was still just like, you know, like, this is the kind of thing you see when you're on the road. Yeah, that's funny that you mentioned that there's a small little tidbit about that sector of the world.
My wife is actually from there. Oh, no way. And when they get heavy rain because it's a barrier island, the water level raises quite a bit. And so these islands that seaside and then Long Beach Island just a little bit further south, they flood. And so some of the some of the restaurants actually have signs on the front. Let's say occasional waterfront dining e love it. That's awesome. I feel bad for all the damage that the floods must do. But at least they have sense of humor about it.
Well, I think if you own a business or a house over there, flood insurance is one of those things that you are heavily invested in. Yeah, but it's probably also really pricey because, like, I know in California, earthquake insurance is super expensive and the deductibles like $50,000. So it's basically not even worth having hurricane insurance down in Florida. Yeah, anyway, before we get too sidetracked about insurance and all the evils of it, yeah, that's just one of the things experiences and travel. And, you know, I've made some of my best friends on work.
Twitter we met on work torment like That's awesome. And I've done other towards with friends and become even closer friends with them just because we're in a van for who knows how long. And so we get to know each other really well. And then one of the other benefits of touring, depending on how established your band is or what exactly you're doing on tour is also money. Like if you're a D I y band, I wouldn't count on it for income. But there were three summers where my income was from doing warp tour, and, you know, I was in a supporting role.
But I got to get paid to travel around America and Canada, and that was awesome. Toronto was another beautiful venue right on the lake. I love that. That was amazing. And they had free arcade games backstage. That was awesome. Yeah, it's like there was a racing game and a hunting game. So us Peter people stuck to the racing game. Yeah, I know. So somebody did. I can't remember who it was, but someone on the team and they got called out. It's like you can't be hunting and it's like, well, I mean, it is digital, but yeah, that's when you say no, this is I live vicariously through this game because I don't hunt.
And I don't eat me that I can kill these digital animals. This curbs my appetite. Uh, hey, I mean, you do you whatever works. Yeah, right. Whatever you need to make up. Yeah. Yeah. So those are some of the benefits of touring and honestly, like there are so many other benefits. But that's not what we're here today to talk about. We're here to talk about the sacrifices that unfortunately need to sometimes be made. So you know, Matt, I know that for both of us, a big one is just family and friends is a pain e No, I've missed family events.
I've missed spending time with my family who's visiting from Germany because they would come to Vermont in summer and I would be out on the road. So I'm sure there's something like that for you. I mean, I know when you did a tour this past summer, you actually prioritized family, which I think is awesome, and you missed like, the first half of the tour and you guys had somebody else filling in on vocals. But I'm sure there are times where you would have liked to do that.
But instead you had to be out on the road. Yeah, absolutely. You know, I'm actually this last tour. Yeah, we had a few different trials to kind of jump over because it was everybody was kind of in a different place. And this was a really important tour for us to go on. And so we all kind of had to make different sacrifices and, you know, including flying into a weird places, flying out of weird places. Kevin LaSota from damnation actually came in, and he took over vocals for me for the first week of the tour, which was amazing.
Kevin is a phenomenal vocalist, and anybody who has, uh, has ever worked with him would absolutely agree. Anybody who's ever met him knows that he's a great guy. And so quick shoutout Kevin and damnation. You guys should definitely go check out their music. All Star Kevin is a whole bunch of stuff on the side, So check out all of his stuff. He's got tick talks and YouTube videos, YouTube channels like you name it he's all over the place. Some of you may remember him as the guy who started the controversy between he and Sean Span because they were both using the hashtag breathe their nation.
And Kevin was also from the band. It lives. It breathes, and Sean was from either breather. And so there was a whole Internet debacle that was covered by a lot of underground news sources. That was the beef between them, which was kind of funny. But if you have a second go check out Kevin stuff, but anyways, we he came in, he filled out and it was wonderful. I took over in Scranton, where we actually played a show together. What we did to vocalists and just kind of did a Colin response thing, which was a ton of fun.
And then the tour carried on. He flew home, and then one of our final dates was actually done in Florida, and that's where he's from, and he came out to the show. Our label came out to the show, and Kevin did the show with us, and it was just so much fun. Iand those air that's kind of one of the benefits and one of the struggles. You know, they're one of the sacrifices is because we're able toe like you were saying, create awesome friends and lifelong relationships with people, great memories.
And then at the same time, it's like, Okay, like we're on the road. I mean, I we were in Florida living as far as far as I possibly could be inside of the States. And you know, this last summer because of this tour? Um, it was very confusing. So I had just gotten back from Scotland. My guitarist Cameron had just gotten married, my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's and my mom slipped a disc. And so we ended up moving to Colorado to help out and also to have somebody to help us out with our two year old son.
And so it was like the whole atmosphere around the tour was very hectic and stressful. Eso finally getting out on the tour. It was both the sacrifice and kind of peaceful, because when you're a musician, you're supposed to be playing music. And so it was incredible toe finally get back to my creative outlet. But it was also tough to be, you know, leaving behind my father and my mother, who could use help. You know, my wife who is taking care of my two year old And, you know, I'm going out on the road to try toe, you know, further our brand until it was, like, happy medium between.
Like, I feel great about some things. And then I feel bad about some things. And these sacrifices air, something that every single one of us feels. Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, that reminds me of years ago. I can't remember who the band was, but I went in to get station ideas like liners, you know, like the band would say, Hey, this is so and so you're listening to, you know, it was wg are playing field 91. 1 FM and just those things where you hear the band talking about it.
I walked in and the lady has a baby in her arms and like, Okay, like it turns out she brought her kid on tour because her husband was the signal and the headlining band and I had no idea that they were together, but it was just like, Oh, like they literally brought the family on tour that's cool. But once kids get older, that could be tough because, like kids have to go to school unless they're home schooled. Which I mean, I was home schooled, so I had a lot of opportunities that other people my age at the time didn't like.
I would travel around the country doing interviews with bands just because I wanted to like I was lucky enough to be able to do that, and that was basically what got my start in the music industry. And it was awesome to do that. And I was kind of like being on toward, except I would only be gone for, like, a few days or a week at a time. But it was also interesting to see how people handle this. Like that one band they took their. I think their daughter was, like, 18 months or something out on the road with them.
Not everyone can do that. You know, for you that wouldn't really be possible to take your son out on the road. And ironically, we actually have before really, we put a festival in Texas at the end of our tour. We had, like, a couple of days heading back upto Idaho, and my wife and son flew out to meet us and we rowed back together. That's awesome. They were actually with us for the last couple days. It wasn't for a full tour, but, you know, and and even then, like for me, that was wonderful having you know my wife and son.
But inversely that was a sacrifice my band mates had to make because they're not used to it, you know, a 1. 5 year old waking up in the middle of the night crying, you know, they're not used to wines and fusses and extra motion and things like that. And so, like, those were sacrifices my band mates had to make which, you know, was was awesome of them to do so, you know, because they knew that it was that important to me. And that's just kind of one of the biggest things you know about being in a band with people is that you wanna make sure you're surrounded with people that are invested in your lives, not just invested in your band, because if your personal well being is basically being diminished because of a business, you wouldn't change the fiber of your being for McDonald's, for Apple, for Google, for any company that you goto work for.
And so you shouldn't be emulating who your band needs you to be. Their sacrifices on both sides when it comes to family, anybody that is willing to make those sacrifices, like those of the people that air, you know, are able to take that extra step and really shine in the music industry. Man, that's a great point that I think a lot of people kind of see touring or being in his band is different, But really it is a business, and that's one of the main things we try to drive home on.
The podcast is that your band is a business. You have to run it like a business. So if you're not in the right headspace, you're not going to do a good job running your business. I think that's why one of the things that should be talked about a lot more in the music industry is mental health, and obviously it's becoming more and more prevalent that that's acceptable to speak of. But there's still are issues where people don't get the help they need and touring is probably one of the most stressful things I've ever done.
Aside from just traveling for the sake of traveling, touring is probably the most stressful thing, and it involves travel. You have to fly places you have toe do different things and I love flying. I've said it before. I'm a total aviation nerd, but I still get stressed out when I'm traveling because it's hectic. Things were going on like you never know how things were going to go. Your flight might get canceled or delayed. So imagine doing that every day in a van and going from place A to B and hoping that your show doesn't get canceled.
Yeah, with touring, there's definitely a certain level of uncertainty. You know your life is hurry up and wait. You know, you hurry to get to the next city so that you can wait for the promoter to get there. You hurry to load your stuff and so that you can wait to set it up. You hurry to set up your marriage so you can wait for people to show up. You know, the whole essence of the entire industry is uncertainty. you're uncertain if the promoter is actually worth assault.
You're uncertain if you're gonna get paid your uncertain If people are gonna buy merch, you reorder merchant. You tell somebody you need it shipped to a certain city, you're unsure if it's gonna get there on time. And so, like, there's a lot of faith that you have to put in other industries in order for your business to survive. And that's true of all businesses. But with music and touring, especially, there is a very, very small window for failure. There are a few years on pork tour where we had stuff shipped to wrong cities.
We had to pay an extra $500 to get a box overnighted or something like that. There's all sorts of things that it's a learning experience, but it's also like you're uncertain. And so there's a certain level of faith that you have to have another people. Yeah, you know, that's another thing. One of the years I was on work tour, my tour manager left their phone in an uber or lyft, and the tour manager didn't notice that their phone was missing until it was basically time for bus call, so there's no chance to go get the phone anymore.
And it's like, Well, that phone is basically gone. You got to get a new one because the bus isn't gonna wait for you. So things like that unfortunately do happen and add to the stress and chaos which basically compounds the effects of missing your family or missing your animal companions or, you know, worrying about money. If you're taking time off of a well paying job and not earning as much or anything on tour stressful things, they're just going to make it worse for you. Essentially, absolutely. I heard somebody say it perfectly.
They said touring and traveling is friendship fast forward. And you know, you develop relationships with people so quick that people who were inevitably going to become your friends become your friends almost instantly, and then people who you might be friends with now. But maybe you weren't supposed to be friends with them. They kind of get thrown into that like it just fast forwards the friendship unto the place when it's supposed to be, you know, and I still to this day. Even earlier on this morning, I shot a message off to Blake from Ah ha, baby. Yeah.
Who was out there at warp tour Every single day that I was And he you know, he posted a little funny Facebook story and I commented on it, and we had a little exchange. And no, I haven't seen Blake, probably in 23 years. But every time I see him, we always greet each other with a great big hug. Wonderful stories of camaraderie will share a drink or two and carry on. And all of these people, you know, I've always said I have family across the country because you travel across the country with all these people, and then everybody returns to their respective locations.
And that's one of the super awesome things about that during lifestyle is having family everywhere. Oh, absolutely, man, If I had to think of states where I do or don't know people, the list of where I don't know people is much shorter. Absolutely. Alaska, Hawaii, the Dakotas, like places where no one lives. Apologies. I shouldn't say that Hawaii is pretty populated, but Alaska, actually, no. What? I do know a dude who lives in Alaska, but not from touring. He just He used to be our neighbor across the road.
He's a Bush pilot, So, yeah, I can honestly say I don't think I know anyone in the Dakotas. Nobody does. Yeah, it's just avoid up there. The only thing up there is like the Black Hills in I 90. Yeah, so anyway, there are a lot of sacrifices that you make when it comes to your home life. And we've kind of already transitioned a bit too personal comfort, you know, losing the phone, things like that. But one of the biggest things is that if you're on the road, you're living in a van or a bus, and that's tough.
And, you know, like you're saying with the friendship accelerator, which I love that term. By the way, if you're living in a van or a bus, just imagine having like, 10 roommates in, like a one bedroom apartment. That's basically what it iss, except you don't have a kitchen. If you have a bus, you might have a living room, so that's awesome. You might have to living rooms if it's not a Nate Een bunk bus. But if it's an 18 bunk bus, you have like half a living room. Yep, People are like, Oh, I want to go on tour Touring sounds so awesome.
Like, really, You think it sounds cool to fit six people into a bread closet and sleep in different WalMart parking lots across the country, eat crap food pretty much every single day, not get good enough sleep and hope you get paid from a promoter. And then once they kind of get that list of things, they're like, Oh, wow, it's not necessarily as appetizing as I expected your like exactly. It's a very, very tough lifestyle. And like you mentioned earlier, if your mental health isn't up to par, or if you're not like talking with people about the things that you're going through, what you absolutely should, then it's really going to affect you in the long run.
Yeah, and, you know, I just want to make a shout out for anybody who is struggling with issues if you aren't able to afford mental health and get the support you need. If you're a musician, reach out to MusiCares. I don't know the exact qualifications of what you need to qualify through them, but it's worth asking them like they do a lot of great work for musicians. It's worth reaching out to them to see if they can help. And even if they can't help, maybe they will recommend someone who can.
The biggest thing is setting up a community of people that all understand and empathize with each other. That's I think one of the big things that we really are aiming to do is not Onley provide a awesome place with a bunch of great resource is for you guys, but also provide an open forum where people can freely talk about all aspects of the music industry, not just how to make money or how to play shows. Part of being a musician is taking care of yourself, which is very, very, very important because already mental health issues in the music industry are higher than I don't know how many industries, but it's definitely one of the most in the world.
As a standard arts are dying in the states. There are certain cities where they certainly thrive, and there's definitely some renaissance to it. But those of us that have to have this creative outlet that have toe have this artistic input in the world. You know, you have to be open and honest about the way that you're feeling the struggles that you're going through. And you know what? Believe it or not, there's other people out there that are doing the same thing. A za, long as you're actively searching, you will actively find something.
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, that reminds me of time. That well, I want to say, was warped toward 2016 in Orlando. I was just not having a good time on the tour that year. You know, I was having a rough time, and I didn't want to be there. I wanted to be home. I walked up Teoh, one of my friends prod the Hari Krishna monk. What an amazing dude. I'm sure you know him. He was the one who had the speaker s o. He just looked really bummed.
And so we just started chatting. And, you know, he had known me for about two years, and I you know, I had known him for two years and we're just chatting and it turns out there's some stuff in his life that was bringing them down. So we had a chat and both of us were like, Hey, you know what? We're both having a bad day, but it is my mission to make your day better, that I'm gonna have a good day and we went out and, you know, he distributed his books and I saved some animals.
So that's what we did that day. And it felt great just to, like, know that you're not in it alone. That was one of the main things. And I think that ties into it being a sacrifice, because when you're on the road, you can feel really isolated. Even though you're surrounded by people, you're surrounded by friends. If you don't talk with them about the stuff that matters, you might not realize that everyone goes through the same thing nine out of 10 times people will empathize with you. Remember one tour that we did a long time ago?
We were scheduled to be on the road for three straight months on end After two months. Our drummer was experiencing marital problems because he had been away for two months and this was the first year of his marriage. That year, Chase sacrificed more than every other one of us combined, you know? And when we canceled the tour, when we canceled the final leg of the tour and and headed home, I believe we were in North Carolina at the time. So then we had to drive from North Carolina all the way back toe, essentially Washington State.
And because it was, you know, such a point of contention that we did everything that we could, not only to get him back there, but also to try to get him back there. By his wedding anniversary, he was going to miss his first wedding anniversary for being on tour. There are all caliber of sacrifices that you will have to make you know, It might not seem like much that you're like missing a birthday, but I was on warp tour and I missed my grandfather's funeral. You know, there's certain things that it's just like when you look back, you feel happy about some things.
But then there's also Ah, very deep seated feeling of regret in certain areas, and this is very, very normal. You know, it goes with talking to people. Some of the time you're you're not even necessarily restricted by an event or something like that. Sometimes your restriction is monetary. Your money is tight when you're on the road, you know, especially considering that you're relying on other people. Well, what happens if your merch doesn't come in? Well, there's a lost opportunity for money. What happens when the promoter doesn't pay you?
Well, there's a lost opportunity for money. One time we were on tour and you're in the Northeast somewhere, maybe Connecticut. I don't even remember our tour intersected with another tour and the headliner of the other tour got paid $3500 to play a show, and we were one of the openers on the bill, and our writer called for $100 and the promoter gave us like, $30 and told us that the rest of the budget went to the big band to which, of course, Jesse being are amazing, Manager said. So you can pay them $3500 but you can't pay us 100.
Why not give them $3400 and us are 100? That seems kind of ridiculous, and the only thing that the promoter could dio, or so they said, was they could give us drinks at the bar, which was absolutely ask tonight. But again, it was something that, you know, it was those punches that we had to roll with, and it made us angry, and it made us never want to go back there or work with that promoter again. But it also made a stronger in the long run because now we're like, No, you're gonna pay us our money.
And if you don't, then we're not gonna leave your property. It's a contract dispute. That's all it comes down to. Really? Exactly. You already played the show. They're not living up to their end of the bargain by paying you what was agreed upon. That's just how it goes. And I mean, yeah, they could try to get you in trouble for trespassing, but guess what? The police you're gonna be like, Well, they have a contract that says you got to pay him. So have you paid them? No. Why haven't you paid them like this?
Seems pretty simple. If you pay them, they will leave. Exactly. That's all it comes down, to. And it's really unfortunate when those situations happen, but if you're prepared for them, it's so much easier to handle, just having the mindset. And sometimes you gotta be tough. Like I know there is one venue in San Diego where the owner did not want sponsors to be there. And it happened previously, where the owner relented because the band's tour manager had said, Look, it's in our contract that we can bring our sponsors, so if you don't let our sponsor be here, we're not gonna play the show.
And you still have to pay us because you're breaking the contract by not letting us have our sponsor. Months later, same thing happens. Different band, different tour manager and the tour manager says, Yeah, sorry. You guys should probably just leave. It's all about having a good tour manager who knows when to stand up and how to stand up. Because if it's in your contract and you haven't played this show yet, you could say, Well, yeah, if you break our contract, we're not gonna play. You still have to pay us.
Oh, yeah, and you have to refund all the fans to because we didn't play the show. So you're gonna be out a ton of money and a lot of the time. You know sound, guys are contract it out as well. Most venues don't have a house sound guy that's on payroll, and so they get paid per show. And so not on Lee is the venue losing out on an opportunity for sales bar money, any of the things that actually makes hosting a show beneficial for a venue.
But also, they're probably gonna be losing money. And they are sacrificing an opportunity tohave that band to come back. And some of you know, some bands come in and they bring a big crowd. So I remember when the last time we were in uh, we played the Thompson house in I think it's in Kentucky, technically just over the river from Cincinnati. And the promoter wasn't at the show, and he relayed one piece of information to the sound guy who was telling us that we couldn't play the big room and it was like he's like, Oh, you have to play the room upstairs.
But this is a really old building, so you probably won't be able to use all of your equipment. So you're saying, Are you kidding me? Like, how do you expect us to play and not be able to use our equipment. And literally those floors were I mean, there are signs everywhere that say no mashing, no mashing Building is old. No mashing. I'm like, dude, as soon as we start jumping all of us, we're gonna come to the floor, you know? And so it was just like it took a strong tour manager, and Jessie went in and he was like, No, this is the way it's gonna be.
You have too many bands on this bill. Well, here's what the schedule is gonna look like. He took control the situation and everything ended up working out. Great show ran a little bit late because the sound guy ended up kind of screwing up a little bit, But it wasn't even his obligation to do that. The sound guy was being cool about stuff, and it wasn't his show. He was just there working, but he was trying to be as accommodating as possible. And so, like, you know, in the music industry, you're gonna face all sorts of sacrifices.
You have to roll with the punches. You have to be malleable. You have to be firm. But understanding There's nothing wrong with telling somebody that you deserve the things that you're written signed, Contract says. If you didn't deserve them, then the contract would have never been signed to begin with. So get your contract signed. Make sure that everything's lined up ahead of the time. If you had a bad interaction with the promoter, message them a week beforehand. Ask about getting paid in advance things like that. You know, there's there's lots of things that you could do to kind of like limit your risk.
But no matter what, you are going to make sacrifices, and you are going to have to change your presuppositions, your pre conformed bias as to what is going to happen. Sometimes you show up at a venue and somebody forgot to hire a sound guy. Crazy things happen out there. You have to be like water. You have to be fluid like water. Doesn't argue with rock about how the river flows. It just does what it has to do to get where it needs to go on DSO for you and me and everybody else out there who sacrificing, you know, like have open communication with your spouse's with your families.
Make sure that other people that are sacrificing that are outside of your band also know exactly where your commitment lies. Make sure that they're 100% of part of your brand and bandas Well, you know, a lot of us in the live in Barcelona are married and all of our wives support and push us for success. And so, like, that's a really, you know, 50% of your life, and it's gonna be more than 50% of your life. But 50% of that sacrifice, a little stress, is going to come from home, and the other part is going to come from the road so long as you have all your ducks in a row, which you never will.
But if you're fluid, then you'll have most of them in a row. It's much easier to roll with the punches when one or two ducks air out of road than when your whole life is in disarray and you're not getting paid and your wife is mad at you. You miss your kids, you missed a birthday. You know, these are all very real things, and it's okay to talk about them it's OK to reach out to people about him. It's okay, Toe have an open conversation with somebody, and if they're not willing to have an open conversation back, then just find somebody else.
I guarantee you every lead singer on the planet suffers from the same types of emotional stress. So reach out. Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I think one thing for people who haven't experienced this, they might be thinking, Well, you know, why don't you just book a tour so that you don't miss birthdays and anniversaries? But here's the thing. When you have two or three or four or five people in a band, guess what. They don't all have the same birthdays and same anniversaries. Like, if you do that, there's gonna be, like, two days a year that you can actually play a show, and you also can't tour during the same times every year.
It's like, Oh, every year we're gonna tour in April. Every year we're gonna tour in June. That doesn't happen. Yep, they're bands who tour 8 to 10 months out of the year or Mawr. There plenty of bands who just casually say, Yeah, we played 200 shows last year. Okay, you played 200 Chose figure in, You know, let's say after every four shows you have an off day, so that's another 50 days off in between. That's 250 days. You're on the road out of 365. So you're looking at 8 8. 5 months on the road. That's insane.
That's a full time job that's working five days a week, five on two off. That's really what it comes down to. And there are people who you know, I remember they would be on tour right up until the warp tour hop on warp tour. And then as soon as Warped Tour ended and that radius clause was no longer in effect, like, I'm sure you have noticed that every year after work towards the next Monday like 20 towards would be announced because the Radius clause was no longer in effect.
That's just how it goes. And that would be for like October tours, so bands would finish Warped tour in early to mid August, have a month off if they weren't going to like Australia, Europe in between, and then in October, do another full US tour. It was BONGers Remember Mayday Parade, leaving Warped Tour one like they had, like a month tour before Warped Tour, then did the 45 days of Warped Tour and then had, like another month tour after that. On top of that, they were one of like the headlining bands on worked for that year.
So they were playing like an hour and a half set every day. E think they were playing 18 songs were just just something astronomical like that the following year. What's that metal band from Australia? Parkway Drive, Parkway Drive? Yeah, So Parkway Drive. They were in respective locations all around the world, and they all flew to ST Louis because they were the headlining act that night. They came in two hours before they were supposed to play no practice, and they killed it. Then they did the whole tour, and right afterwards.
Then they flew over to Europe and immediately started another tour. And it was just insane to see the fortitude that, you know, it's like fly here, do this 45 day tour and I think they came in, like, two weeks into it. So I was like you know they did 35 days of it. Then they immediately left, flew over to Europe and got right back to it. And it was just like it was nothing for him. They just showed up. Essentially, they rolled out of bed and we're just a professional, is it?
Could be. And it was amazing to see. Yeah, I remember that. That was right after the rest of us had the two J drive from Portland. Yes, it was a two day drive from Portland to ST Louis. Yeah, I have to wonder if they just planned it that way. So they didn't have to do the two day drive. And I doubt that's the actual reason. But it would be funny if they were just like, Nah, we don't want to do that. We don't need the first two weeks.
We're just gonna fly in. That would have been really funny. That was also the year that we went from, like San Antonio, Texas, up to Michigan and then back down to Houston or something like that. I don't remember exactly whether it was like Dallas, San Antonio or Houston, but there were two stretches on that particular warp tour. That was the Portland ST Louis, but then one. It was like Oh, cool halfway across the country And then later on, it was maybe it was like Texas up to Minnesota and then back to like Kansas or something like that.
But it was just another one of those super silly routing things where you sacrifice sleep, you sacrificed time, space, comfort and you know, a little bit of sanity as well. Yeah, and that's one of those things that, as unfortunate as is, you know, no Twitter manager wants to do that because that costs a ton of money. But guess what? Sometimes there's just no other way to do it aside from skipping that city entirely, because if that venue is booked on the day you need and you don't have much flexibility because the other venues in the area, like the night before and after are already booked, or have a conflict like, you know, if you're playing three shows in Texas and City A and C are available on like the 11th of the 13th, but not vice versa, and neither of them is available in the 12th.
Well, then city be you have to play on the 12th, and if they're not available on the 12th, either you don't play there or you come back at some other time. It's awful when that happens, and tour managers do their best to avoid situations like that. But sometimes it happens, and that's another sacrifices. You might literally be sacrificing money just to go play a market that you know is going to perform well. So I think, you know, kind of in closing. I think the big thing that James and I are really trying to hit home is that when it comes to touring, there are major and minor sacrifices that you have to make every single day, and they're very riel.
They're very common amongst industry of people, and so we encourage you to reach out to people. We encourage you to analyze your sacrifices, figure out ways around them, keep open communication with people and especially with your bandmates, because if your bandmates don't know what you're going through, then you know they might be having the time of their lives and you might be having the worst time of your life. Ah, lot of these types of problems and issues will be resolved simply by reaching out and keeping open communication with everybody around you.
Well, that does it for another episode of the band I've podcast. And of course, I do want to remind you that this episode was recorded before the Cove in 19 Pandemic really started hitting us here in the United States. So apologies that it's not directly related to the current events. But we do have a couple episodes. Be one with Adam Loki from Pickwick Commons and be too featuring Shawna Potter off War on Women that you can go check out in your favorite podcasting app to see how the Cove in 19 crisis is affecting artists just like yourself.
I think the take away for this episode really is that touring is a sacrifice, and as much as we all want to get out on the road again right now, we have to remember that when we go back on the road, we have to be prepared for it. So now is the time to spend as much time as you can with your family and just be there for them and make sure that they understand that when you go back out on the road, you're not abandoning them.
You're actually doing what you love and they should be supportive. And hopefully that's something that you can come to an agreement on. And that's of course, just one of the many sacrifices you make. There's so many other things that we covered in this episode and so many things that we can't even get to because the list just goes on and on. Next week we've got another new episode, which is all about tour routing. And so now is probably a decent time to start thinking of future tours.
As we see that this pandemic is somewhat showing signs of slowing down. Just being prepared to get back out there when it's safe to do so isn't a bad idea. So check that episode out, and I believe that is the last episode we prerecorded before we even got to march. So after that, we'll have some episodes about the current situation about the pandemic in the crisis and what the music industry can do to rebuild. Thanks again. So much for listening. Having awesome week stay healthy and, of course, is always keep rocking
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