In this Tour Tips segment, Kyle Burgess of the alternative rock band, We Came From Wolves, gives you their tips for being on tour. You can check out the feature, after the break.
1. Vocal care: as the singer in the band, my tour experience is always a little more stressful than that of the other guys, I need to watch how much hilarity I have in the van, need to limit how much talking I’m doing with people before the show in a loud room, and need to take care on how many beers I sink afterwards which may all lead to me ruining my voice, of course touring should be fun, and it might not sound “rock & roll” but there is nothing “cool” about failing to replicate the songs people have come to see because you’ve hit it too hard, we are there to put on a show first and foremost so that’s always at the forefront of every show I play. Vocal care includes drinking tons of water through each day (which unfortunately means tons of service station/roadside stops) and ensuring I warm up during the day and right before soundcheck and showtime.
2. Know your limits: We set a 3 beer limit prior to playing, this can seem pretty petty if it’s a long day waiting for a show at a festival or on tour, but there is plenty of times where we are just showing up due to traffic or travelling and this would be a lot right before playing, so it’s a happy medium, nothing that is gonna get us drunk or sloppy, but also enough that we can feel relaxed and have a nice buzz on. As above, many might not think this is “rock & roll” however much like tip 1 this ensures the people paying to come and see the songs that they love are treated to a great show, and not a bunch of drunk guys who are doing it for themselves. After the show we can go to town on the drinks as we see fit, however, everyone is aware that we start all over again up and early the next day for traveling and then another show, so it’s all about balance.
3. Know your roles: This is important so that everyone is pulling together and ensures the risk of fall outs when everyone is tired and stressed are reduced. If someone is the designated driver, then the person riding shotgun in the van needs to ensure that the driver is kept entertained, great DJ skills with Spotify & an array of haribo usually does the trick, similarly at load in, all hands on deck, someone will go speak to the promoter and find out all the info for sound check and merch set up etc, where the dressing room is and the wifi passwords, for example, someone else gets merch set up whilst drums are being built, at the end of the show who’s job is it to get payment sorted, has social media been updated through the night, has every effort been made to all meet the other bands and thank the people who came along, it’s all vital in ensuring things run smoothly, jobs are delegated to share out the workload and that we give a good account of ourselves & make the most of the night, so when we come back to that venue or city, we can build on the last visit and grow things.
4. Vibe: This is an important one and links a bit to tip 3, vibe is a massive part of our band, good feelings go a long way and in a touring environment where sleep is minimal and sometimes rough, you spend all of your waking moments in each others company with much of it cooped up in a van and food is not always the most nutritious, tempers can flare and moods below at points, it’s important to realise this and not over-react if someone is a bit off, if there are arguments, brush them off and hug it out, if there are any issues, talk them out and then repeat the previous sentence, try to have fun no matter how tiring or ill you are (tour flu is inevitable due to the factors previously listed) make sure the tunes that are on in the van are tunes everyone is into or at least mix it up, eat somewhere everyone is happy with if there are different dietary requirements in the group, have each others backs when in strange places and just genuinely be excellent to each other, being in strange places and feeling low can be tough, the mind is a strange thing, but touring is also a great way to live your passion and meet people you would never have met if it wasn’t for your music and likewise with new places and sights. We also take our trainers, a football, and some weights in the van and try to be as active as possible every day we have some free time, finding a park or jogging around an estate or even just doing some weights in the premier inn room, it’s good for the body, the mind and the VIBE!
5. Post show comfys: ever come off a stage ringing with sweat after giving it everything you have for an hour…then sitting in a van for three hours to drive in the dark to a hotel or crash space…your soaking wet socks feeling like you walked through a puddle and skinny jeans & t-shirt feeling like a wetsuit…some people save packing space by putting up with this chaos…buy a bigger bag, pack some fluffy white sports socks, some flexible joggers and your favourite sweater, your post-show travel will now be luxury compared to the alternative…this sounds so obvious but the amount of bands I’ve met who don’t is crazy…hell, the rest of my band don’t…buy the bigger bag, pack the comfys, you’ll thank me for it I promise!
Source: Digital Tour Bus