Ride Like the Wind: Tips for Surviving Tour – Part I

 

 

Crowdsurfer at Neurotic Deathfest, by Susanne A. Maathuis

Crowdsurfer at Neurotic Deathfest, by Susanne A. Maathuis

Over the last few years, I’ve been roadie and slinger of fine cotton goods for a number of bands on tour, and each touring experience has afforded me many great opportunities.

My last tour tenure was as a merch maven with Ghoul, Phobia, and Nekrofilth; on this trek out, I decided to take special note some of the subtle nuances that make touring both challenging and rewarding.

 

Ghoul, by Hillarie Jason Photography.

At times rigorous, at times entertaining, touring requires a bit of savvy: below, I share some of what I’ve learned on how to survive on the road, as well as some solutions to common tour challenges.

First, Do Some Prep Work

Before you take off for tour, make sure your home shit is set—pay the rent, take out the trash, make the bed. The preliminary prep work ensures a peaceful return to clean, tightly swaddled sheets.

It also affords peace of mind and full focus while on the road: no back-home calls to landlords or bill collectors—when you’re on the road, full investment in the experience makes for a successful journey.

Then, Get In the Van

Most bands tour in vans: buses outfitted with showers and coffin-sized sleep stalls are a precious rarity.

Tours carried out in eight-to-twelve seater vans can quickly become packed and stacked with gear and personal belongings, so space is at a premium. Moreover, weeks of unshowered bodies and food, sweaty clothing and booze, turn most tour vans into acrid hauls of sour smells.

In light of this, I came up with a couple of simple solutions for surviving in these overstuffed stink tanks for a more comfortable ride.

Mutilation Rites, by Julian Thompson

Mutilation Rites, by Julian Thompson

Navigating the Funk

Post-gig funk is pretty palpable: Showers are scarce, and unwashed armpits donate a hefty scent—it can be quite heinous.

The Solution: Use deodorant, take an Irish shower, use soap.

Although showers may not be readily unavailable, Speed Stick solves at least the odor issue; baby wipes neutralize odor too.

Liquid Dial soap kills bacteria, so washing hands, face, and pits in the venue bathroom sink cleans you up well enough to cut the funk. Then, when possible, change your clothing. If all else fails, spray cologne or perfume on clothing, body, and hair to cut back the odor.

 

febreze

 

Getting Gas. Finding Food. Landing Lodging.

Scrapping by on a tight budget is pretty much par for most band courses: schlepping merch for tips, I’ve learned to hang up my penchant for hard to find, expensive, specialty vegan foods (fresh-pressed juices and gourmet treats) in favor of easy staples (Starbucks green tea and apples).

Even if you’re not vegan, find road-friendly, nutrient-dense staples, and stock-up on them.

Find foods that can nutritionally sustain you, like oranges, bananas, yogurts, as well as those that will hold-up in a variety of climates, like granola, cereals, protein bars. Clean fruits and store them well (bring a good-sized cooler), and wedge in a serving or two once or twice a day.

b0c41c9f6d10ff0c460f76dc4b9bffd8

 

 

Booze

Alcohol is another purveyor of the potent, pungent stench of van gone wrong. Cheap booze, expensive liquors— it doesn’t matter: beer spills and post-binge drinking thrills mar the olfactory—it’s enough to turn the tum of even the most adept imbiber.

The Solution: Febreze

Spray it, embrace it, love it— Febreze neutralizes most odors while imparting a pleasant powder-fresh scent, which helps settle the nausea-inducing pong of puke marinating in the cargo space.

 

Be sure to check back here tomorrow for Part II of Lindsay’s touring primer, helping you rule the killing road or touring life, and not die with your boots on.

 

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

LINDSAY O’CONNOR

Antigama – The Insolent

antigama the insolent

In an instant, I knew The Insolent (Selfmadegod) from Warsaw, Poland’s Antigama was a stellar pursuit—the seventh full-length installment from the avant-garde Grind act cracks open new dimensionality in their already complex and angular brutality.

The ten tracks comprising The Insolent play as the culmination of Antigama’s aural evolution, where their Napalm Death-style intoning is augmented by ambient qualities, which synthesize into an aura of hauntingly ominous hues.

Opening track ‘Reward or Punishment’ splays with righteous indignation, as vocalist Lukasz Myszkowski’s high throat barks and sneers grate atop guitarist Sebastian Rokicki’s asymmetrical chord progressions, materializing into a din of riffs and unpredictability.

Antigama cozies up to instrumental interludes on tracks like ‘Out and Beyond,’ which resonate with meditative impulses, while maintaining momentum and push via Paweł “Paul” Jaroszewicz’s consistent, atomic-tight percussive timing.

Focused and capable, The Insolent also proves Antigama has mastered the art of maintaining decipherability, which speaks to a maturity heard rarely in Grind: tracks like ‘The Land of Monotony’ impress breathing room between the impulses of Antigama’s cacophony, rendering the requisite sound all the more impactful, impressive, and harrowing.

Recorded in February 2015 at JNS Studio in Warsaw, The Insolent was engineered by Pawel Grabowski, mixed by Pawel Grabowski and Antigama. Mastered by the venerable Scott Hull (Pig Destroyer, Agoraphobic Nosebleed) at Visceral Sound in Bethesda, Maryland, the album also features a guest appearance from Władysław “Gudonis” Komendarek, and cover art from Bartek Rogalewicz.

8.0/10

Antigama on Facebook

LINDSAY O’CONNOR