Ride Like the Wind Part III: Tips for Surviving Tour

So you want to go on tour, eh?

So you want to go on tour, eh?

The KVLT of Personality

While most people in bands like each other to a good extent, being in proximity to anyone for an extended period of time will test boundaries—pet peeves become liabilities, as everything is amplified.

Navigating different personalities requires a bit of shamanic savvy: I pull my advice on this from don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements.

The Four Agreements is tome of Toltec wisdom that can be applied to many different situations, but I find it especially useful when touring.

It is a little hippie, however, so please bear with me:

1- Don’t take anything personally

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”

In the midst of drunken verbal banter, it may be hard to call up your inner yogi and mentally levitate above the din, but it’s necessary.

Most of the time, someone’s beef isn’t about you—they may be tired, hungry, lonely, scared—touring pulls out many insecurities, and being in proximity to people at their most vulnerable can be challenging.

So, if someone lashes at you, take a deep breath, walk it off and let it go—according to Ruiz, it’s not about you anyway.

2- Always do your best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.”

There will be bad shows with low attendance; you’ll make no merch money; you’ll get drunk and fall down; you’ll lose sleep and be hungry.

The key is to show up, look nice, and, to throw in a little mom wisdom, just do the best you can.

Forgive yourself and forgive others for bad performances and drunken stupors—over look the things you can’t change.

3-Be Impeccable with your Word

Do what you say, say what you mean If you’re going off on a beer run before sound check, tell someone—and let them know what time you’ll return.

Touring is a team effort, one that requires every one person’s cooperation and communication, so be clear and concise—if you need some alone time, say something and then go clear your head.

Also: don’t be afraid to ask for what you want or need—you’re better off confessing you need breathing room or a burrito than carrying on begrudgingly.

Merch tables at MDF 13, by Hillarie Jason

 

4-Don’t Make Assumptions

Don’t assume the GPS is right; don’t assume the promoter will pay; don’t assume your shows are solid—and don’t assume your set time is.

Double check everything—call ahead and confirm: you’ll avoid many a-misery by simply ensuring everything is as it should be.

Most of all, remember to keep it light: you’re there to have fun! You’re there to bring music to the masses, get laid, maybe get paid—you’re doing something most never get the chance to, so look on the bright side to stave off negativity.

In keeping some of these Toltec tenants in mind, you can keep your cool, and as a result, you will find you’re better off and that your interactions with everyone else will be better too.

 

Ride Like the Wind”

Inevitably, touring will simply wear you down: you may catch a cold or run on fumes. Equipment may break or morale may be low.

The solution: Play “Ride like the Wind.”

 

Ride like the Wind,” the 1980 Christopher Cross masterpiece, carries in it the energy and inspiration to raise your spirits. Play it when you feel down or tired; play it at the start of each journey. Cross’ wise words and soft, affirmed vocal delivery is a comforting call of victory—an encouraging reminder that you. can. do. this!

Touring is a fun and challenging, unique experience. More than a simple test of will, it’s a lifestyle for many—for me, it’s a lifestyle I greatly enjoy.

My next stints include a summer and autumn excursion, respectively, with some great bands I’ll be sure to soon disclose.

But of all the things I’ve learned when touring, what I note most is how much I enjoy meeting new bands and Metal-head fans who quickly become new friends. I feel deep sense of camaraderie, as if part of a clan. Thus, being on the road is a kind of homecoming—I look forward a family reunion soon.

*Special thanks to Zack, Justin, and Jon of Neckrofilth

 

Ride Like the Wind Part I

Ride Like the Wind Part II

 

 

Follow Lindsay O’Connor’s adventures on the road through her Instagram at OSPREY_MM.

LINDSAY O’CONNOR

 

Works Cited

Miguel, don Miguel. The Four Agreements: a Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. November 7, 1997.

Get On The Submarine: Dave Wyndorf of Monster Magnet

Monster-Magnet (1)

Monster Magnet has logged the miles and clocking the sign posts all over the world since releasing Last Patrol in 2013 and more recently, Milking the Stars (both from Napalm Records). Led by the eccentric and mercurial Dave Wyndorf, he is always verbose and never dull. The band has seen it all and done it all in a 25-plus year career in rock that has seen the heights of commercial success and periods of toiling in the underground at times. Ghost Cult’s K. Thulu met up with Wyndorf for a backstage interview recently.

From the very first minute of talking to the mighty Dave Wyndorf, I am put instantly at ease. He is charming, funny and so easy to get along with. After making our introductions, he tells me how he has just fried a laptop by spilling an entire can of soda on it and it blew up like in the movies. When I ask him if he can hear me ok, ya’know checking the sound levels like a good little interviewer, he pulls the “what, whaaaat” skit on me and I totally fell for it. The shame.

Starting off by picking Dave’s brain about the endless touring life of a rocker, he commented about all the shenanigans he gets into still after all these years:

…Touring is like nothing else, I mean really. It’s like being in the circus. You got a show to do every night, and you set it all up, and you play, and you get the hell out. It’s really cool. It’s like every night is Saturday night.”

Aw it’s insane, it’s also the kind of thing that creates all kinds of disasters too, drives people insane, people can’t take it, it’s like Spinal Tap. It’s really funny. The stories are unbelievable because you get to do the kind of stuff… I mean, I get to get away with the kind of stuff that I could only dream about when I was 17. You can imagine it’s like the stereotypes are alive and well. It’s crazy, it’s just nuts. Nowhere else could I imagine this kind of stuff going on.”

I mean, you can only take so much before your mind just gets shot out, but I highly suggest if anyone gets the chance to do anything like it, anything like it… like travel fast from city to city, you should do it, it changes your life.”

Going deep on about travel, Wyndorf chatted about make-up of his roadcrew, and his most treasured places to visit:

Well, it’s planes, and trains, and automobiles. We take the old plane over there then take a smaller plane somewhere else, then get on a bus and then try to stay on the ground as long as possible ’cause planes will kinda wig you out. So then it’s a bus, and it’s jammed full with altogether around 13 dudes, 5 guys from New Jersey and then the crew will be like 1 guy from Germany, 1 guy from France, 1 guy from the UK, a guy from say Portugal or something like that, a guy from Sweden. It’s like a strange TV show, we stay in the bus which is kind of like a submarine by the way, it’s claustrophobic, it’s not like these super things that you see on TV, but that’s what you do. You just get on the submarine and you just haul ass.”

It’s weird, because I like it all. I try to not go to the places that suck. There’s different reasons to like every place. Like the UK is great because people, the audiences, they know what they are talking about. They know rock, they have a lot of the same influences. I go out there and I look at the crowd and I can see a lot of people in the crowd, they are the kind of people that I would want to hang out with at the record store. Like I could talk to that guy about Hawkwind or about The Stooges and so England, they know what they’re talking about. Plus, they’re responsible for about 75% of my record collection, so that’s cool. Germany is really good too. They just love to rock. I think they love to rock so much because they don’t make so much of their own rock. So they just want what we got.”

monster magnet milking the stars 2014

WORDS BY K. THULU