24 Jan

Rules of the Road

So, on the Primitive Screwheads’ last tour, we compiled a list of shit to do/avoid like the fucking plague the next time we hit the road. You, Constant Reader, may take some little entertainment from our observations…

In the order they were written:

1. Rehearse each day – Hey, it was our first tour tour (4 cities in 3 states on 4 consecutive nights), and while the first night was flawless, the subsequent nights were… less than fresh.

2. Bring your own fucking amp! – We and the other bands on this tour played through a shared backline* in each city, to better move ±6 bands on and offstage in 2-odd hours. In theory, it’s maximum music with minimal fucking around with the bands doubling as roadies. In practice, well… trebly guitar through a keyboard amp pointed at one’s head makes for bleedy eardrums… and having a band go on before yours and dial the knobs on an already unfamiliar amp to maximum distortion can be a nasty surprise when you hit the stage, too. Kids! Your pedals will sound extremely different through different amps!

*backline – the amps, drums, mikes, cables, &c. on stage.

3. Be polite! – Shit goes to hell real fast, but don’t take it out on anyone outside the “van”. You can be an asshole, sure, but be the asshole the venue(s)/audience want to come back and play the next time you’re passing through.

4. Especially to your native guide – Maybe this should be 3b. Locals know where to get beer, &.c in town. You only know where your bed is. Even if they keep you from getting it due to their own previous encounters with the clerk that results in your being thrown out of a late night convenience store sans beer (you know, what you were looking for in the first place!), and sets you on an hour-ish half-drunken slog through a city that shut down hours ago in search of a seemingly imaginary Piggy Mart (really? Piggy Mart?) that your pregnant-junkie-hooker residential-motel-dwelling native guide insists is around somewhere.

5. Don’t Stop! – The audience, ‘bless their hungry hearts, don’t know that there should’ve been another verse in there. And they’re not listening to the words anyway, they’re waiting for the crowd around the bar to thin out.

6. Loud! Fast! – When in doubt, this helps. You, I mean, not the audience. Just make sure the rest of the band knows about Loud! Fast! too.

7. Have a driver! – It’s more relaxing that way. And you can drink more, too.

8. Get some fucking sleep, you jackass! – This should be self-explanatory. Especially if you’re the driver, heh.

9. Always carry extra beer for the show, &c. – See rules 4, 7, and 8. Life’s easier if the beer’s already at hand and doesn’t have to be hunted down like some elusive creature from The Lost World (Harryhausen, not Crighton).

10. (added by Albatross) Know your venue’s surroundings, and lodge accordingly – You’re playing in a town you’ve never been in.  You look for a place to spend the night after the show.  You notice a motel very close to the venue.  You book a room for the added convenience.  When you arrive, you discover that the show takes place in some antiquated downtown area – and your motel is a complete rathole. You really wish you had been more in touch with your local contacts and asked them to suggest better accommodations.  You just hope to survive the night without incident so that the lesson you just learned isn’t an expensive one.

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