For Jared Leto, frontman of 30 Seconds To Mars, life as a frontman will always be better outside of America than in. On home soil, he’s just Jordan Catalano from My So-Called Life. While the band has been struggling to make it in America, they seem to have a strong following in Australia, Europe, and South Africa. While this is not the norm, there is no denying that being exposed to the international music circuit has its rewards. But traveling to distant countries takes some homework, and here’s what you need to know before you go.
Networking Is Not Just For Sales Reps
Access to great gear right on your doorstep such as Fender and Gibson doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll outshine the competition abroad. Stacks of talent and the right connections go a long way. While abroad, it’s important to market the band and make good contacts. Relationship building is a key component in getting into all the good festivals, bars, clubs, and arenas. It’s not uncommon for the same group of people to arrange a number of gigs, which provides a foot in the door if the relationship is good.
Prepare For Weather, Bugs, And The Other Kind Of Bugs
A band from Maine, for instance, will find traveling India or Vietnam to be difficult and tiresome due to the heat and humidity. It’s important to pack the right clothing and remain hydrated with plenty of water. Bottled water that is, as it takes some time for a tummy to adjust to the food and drink of a new region. It’s also important to ensure that vaccinations are up to date and that any additional vaccinations, such as malaria and hepatitis are done so you’re fully protected before traveling. Find out whether the organizers will cover travel and health insurance. If not, ensure this is in place for each of the band members to ensure every aspect from gear through to medical treatment is covered.
Ensure Your Travel Documents Are In Order
There is nothing worse for a musician than getting to the destination country only to have their gear confiscated or sent back home on the first plane. Take the time to read through the various visa options to ensure that the right one is in place, for instance, entertainment and work visas might cross over a little. Accommodation and travel arrangements once the band has landed is also critical, as it’s difficult to cart around luggage and gear. It’s also important to note down accommodation details when applying for the visas.
A trip abroad is the ideal opportunity to make new contacts and get inspiration for new tracks. Once all the groundwork is done, it’s also pretty easy to get going.