JUMPING DARKNESS PARADE: EYAL ON THE LOCAL BAND WEEKEND TOUR
The local band weekend tour. We used to do these back in our DIY days and I recommend that any band that aspires to touring full-time do some of these as well. The point is to get you ready for what you’ll encounter out there on a real tour. So you start with a weekend tour. If that goes well, see if you can handle a week. If that goes well, see if you can handle a week and a half. All this time keep doing little weekend runs in your region.
Now here’s some things I need to point out that will fuck you up. I don’t want to see you guys make these typical mistakes. These weekend runs are NOT family vacations. They are not an excuse to get away with the wife and friends. DO NOT take three vehicles for your band. Figure out the most intelligent way to pack all your shit into one vehicle and go as a band with maybe one dude to help you out. Leave the girlfriends behind. Again, this isn’t party rockstar time. This is learn how to tour time. On tour you will be in one vehicle and your girlfriends and wives will not be there to tell you how amazing you sounded in front of all the other local bands and the bar tenders.
Okay, so you’ve got a vehicle and you’ve got your weekend run. Call the place in advance. This is what’s known as advancing a show. Start calling maybe two weeks in advance because promoters are notorious for not answering their phones or not calling back. You have to stay on these fuckers.
Find out the following – When is load in? What time are we playing? Can we backline? Confirm the amount they’re going to pay you. Ask if there’s anything extra, like drink tickets or food. Find this all out in advance so that there’s no funny business at the club, and so that you can get there at a reasonable hour. If load in is at 6 pm, why the fuck would you want to stew in your own juices for six hours by arriving at noon? When you load into the club, designate a spot that is OUT OF THE WAY for your gear. Consolidate all your gear there. Set up as much of it as possible. Whatever you can do pre-loading it to the stage. Drummers especially. Have your shit ready to go prior to stage time. Nothing is more FUCKING ANNOYING than a drummer that sets up and tears down his drums onstage. On this last tour DAATH did, we had Zack Simmons from Goatwhore on drums for us, and he had his shit up and running in three minutes flat every night. That’s what you should aspire to.
Once you’ve found your corner and you gear is prepped, have some fun. Enjoy the night ’til the band that goes on before you starts playing. This is when you make sure your shit is ready to go. Again, get as much of it as pre-prepped as possible so that your changeover is quick. This may not seem like such a big deal to you now on a DIY tour, but if you aspire to get to real tours, I implore you to realize that how quickly you move your shit can determine many things, from how you are treated by the other bands all the way to possibly being kicked off a tour.
That said, get up there quickly. Rock the fuck out. And then get your gear off stage fucking ASAP. Don’t wrap up your cables onstage, don’t’ tear down the drums, don’t take apart your rigs. JUST GET YOUR GEAR THE FUCK OFF THE STAGE AS QUICKLY AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. Let me repeat: GET YOUR SHIT OFF STAGE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!! And if the venue allows, get it as close to your vehicle as possible. Load it ASAP. As soon as you can be loaded out the better. Okay dudes? That’s how the pros do it when they’re in opening bands.
You should aspire to be this way or you will have a very very very hard time touring. ‘Til next time…
Once you’ve gotten your shitt off stage, visit Daath on MySpace.