Now, here’s a candid look into the decadent and debaucherous life of a working musician: it’s 10pm on Friday night and I’m sitting in my stepdad’s home office, getting all the business-y crap out of the way for our tour that starts in six days. I always come here to print out everything we’ll need for the trip (hey, free paper and toner) like itineraries, immigration stuff, and the bane of my entire fucking existence, roadscans. For all you normal people out there who are lucky enough to never have to deal with these things, they are these sheets you have to fill out at each show on tour to track how many CD’s and LP’s you’re selling so they can count toward Soundscan, which dictates how big and bad you are in the eyes of people who care how many records you sell. Anyway, you have to fill out all this crap and have a venue representative sign it, and then fax them all in by 9am each Thursday morning or else you get guilt tripped by the label (fuck you, Jon Hughes!!!!). I know it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of work, but getting someone to sign something and looking for a fax machine totally sucks when it’s 1 a.m. and you’d rather just be hanging out or whatever.

Anyway, I just discovered and downloaded this app for my phone that takes a photo of a document, turns it into a PDF, and either emails or faxes it to wherever you want it to go. This will put an end to so much of my stress on tour. I haven’t felt affected by any technological breakthroughs this greatly since Intronaut started touring in 2006. At this point, touring in the pre-cell phone and email age seems so impossible to me even though I did live through some of that.

One of the first “real” tours I ever did was back in 2002 or 2003, playing guitar in a band called Crematorium. We were supporting the newly-reunited Nuclear Assault for the West Coast leg of their tour. The opener on that tour was some new band called All That Remains. Anyway, there were definitely no scan apps, and there certainly weren’t any cell phones with GPS. Back then we had to follow printed out mapquest directions and hit pay phones to call anyone. You couldn’t use Google to search for a nearby Motel 6 after a long night, and you certainly couldn’t be in close touch with anyone back home.

I don’t even need to go into how easy it is to book a DIY tour these days, but just imagine the fucking work that people did booking one by phone not more than ten years ago. I had to do this in my old band around that time as well. Calling, leaving messages, mailing out cds, following up, sending out posters etc. was not easy, and I bet it really “separated the men from the boys,” so to speak. I can’t even imagine how it was done back in the 90’s or 80’s, when it really took work to create a network of people and resources that takes 30 seconds now.

I guess the internet has affected most aspects of our daily lives. You all know this and have discussed this subject into the ground, I’m sure. But how different is the music industry, and more specifically touring, going to be in another ten years? I’ve heard – and it’s obvious – that technology advances at an exponential rate. Like, it took humans so many thousands of years to develop standardized methods of documenting information (writing things down), then however many thousands of years to invent the telephone, about a hundred to invent computers, then thirty years for cell phones and the internet, and then ten to put them all in one little device that fits in your pocket from which you can manage everything in your life, including making and faxing PDFs to Jon Hughes. Will we even need to travel to play shows in ten years? Will we need to move at all to do anything? Aren’t some of you in college studying this kind of thing?


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