In This Moment Guitarist Chris Howorth Gives Tips On Touring With A Metal Band
Chris Howorth of In This Moment has written an article about how to tour for two months with a metal band. An excerpt from the article follows:
1. Packing – Clothes/Toiletries/Shoes
Most people have no idea how to pack for a 2 month tour. When touring in a van you have to pack guerrilla style because the first thing you realize when everyone in your band shows up with a huge suitcase is that you have no place to put everything (on our first tour at every venue we had to spend 10min unloading all the suitcases before we could even start loading gear) For a van tour I recommend a medium sized suitcase and a backpack. Pack a couple pairs of pants and as many socks,underwear and t-shirts as you can cram in your bag. Socks and underwear are key here. Put your computer, iPod and other related items in your backpack. Get one of those little toiletries bags (with a hook for hanging) for all your bathroom stuff. This way you can run in and out of truck stop, hotel and venue bathrooms without dragging your whole suitcase everywhere you go. On our last tour I brought my big suitcase (we were on a bus) and I counted to make sure I had at least 30 pairs of socks, 30 pairs of undies, and 30 t-shirts. That way I am not always concerned about when and where to do laundry (Sometimes doing laundry on tour can be a huge pain in the a**).
SHOES: Bring a pair of show shoes, a pair of everyday shoes and a pair of flip flops, and use gold bond foot powder every time you put them on. Shoes have a way of taking over bus hallways or van floors so a cheap shoe rack is a worthwhile.
Obviously you need to bring whatever gear is necessary for your band to put on the best show possible but first timers always bring too much stuff. WARNING: anything you bring that you aren’t using onstage will become a problem. You will be loading and unloading things you don’t even need. Just think about what you are bringing and make sure you really need it because you will be dragging it all over the country for the duration of your tour.
This topic varies from band to band , and varies depending on the level of success of a particular band. Most bands touring in a van give themselves $10 or less per person per day to eat on and basically eat the worst and cheapest food there is. These bands are very opportunistic. Most times there is no catering and no deli tray and you are lucky just to get water. In this scenario you are pinching every penny and eating whatever, whenever you can. (TIP: if you are nice and make friends with the headlining bands, sometimes they will give you extra food and water and let you raid the dressing room for leftovers at the end of the night. The dollar menu at fast food restaurants helps stretch the budget – or not eating at all, a pure Monster Energy diet works too).
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