*Guest Post from Chris Fox
Hello, I’m Chris Fox. I’ve been playing music in punk rock bands since I was twelve years old. At thirty-five I still learn new things about music, traveling, guitar, and business every day. I’ve been touring nearly full-time for a decade, solo, and with my bands Vampirates and Boss’ Daughter.
One thing most people don’t realize when they start a band is that they are also starting a merch company. Having merch is the only way to survive on the road. We learned this early on during shorter regional tours. Always try to keep costs down while making your merch. I recommend learning how to screen print and printing your own shirts/patches/posters/record sleeves/etc. Carry your screens with you on tour so when you run out of shirts you can print a new batch between shows.
This basically applies to any DIY project, but putting the effort into booking your own tours often pays off. By being the person who books your band you know what to expect going into each show. When visiting a city for the first time, I find its easiest to hunt down bands that would be a good fit to play with. These bands typically will know the best venues in town for your genre and they’ll ideally know how to promote the show to the right people. This prevents you from ending up in the wrong venue with a sound person who asks you to turn down the drums.
One last piece of advice would be to plan to play every day on tour. I can’t tell you how many Monday shows we’ve played that were better than the previous Saturday. Also, days off on tour are expensive. You still have to eat, finding sleep can be more challenging, and can often lead to a hotel. It’s rare that you’ll successfully book every day on a two-month tour, so days off will happen, just don’t plan for them.
Oh, also, eat every day and make sure your band and crew are eating every day. Many issues I’ve dealt with on tour were the result of being hangry. Burritos are better than beers, don’t forget. Touring is a ton of work but the more you do yourself the more rewarding it will be.
Keep up with more exploits of Chris Fox and hear his music HERE.
—If you’re ready to take the next step for promotion, get in touch with AGR Publicity for a free consultation.