Touring w/ a Band: The Handy Guide from A. Sinclair (Pt. 1)
A while back we thought it would be great to see the world from the eyes of touring Austin acts. We did a little run with our friends in Shivery Shakes, but now we’ve got some new insight from A. Sinclair, who are touring with their friends What Made Milwaukee Famous. Brendan Bond, one of the guitarists in the group, is filling us in with his insights from the road…or in this case…offering us a Handy Guide to touring with a band. Read on to see what Brendan has to say…and don’t forget to check out the recent A. Sinclair EP, Pretty Girls.
Take in the sights!
Oh what folly hath man wrought with the Buckee’s fucking superstore. As if the idea of leveling an expanse the size of four city blocks and turning it into enough gas pumps to fuel a mid-sized African city wasn’t enough, the store itself has a whole wall section dedicated to “Gummies” and a room the size of my house filled with those unicorn/wolf/starry night/rainbow shirts. When future residents of Earth look back on our civilization, academics will point to the Buckee’s superstore and ask the question, “How the fuck did they last so long?”
And as I contemplate the future end of civilization and after purchasing my Planters® spicy peanuts and lemon-lime Gatorade®, what do I do? I get back into my band’s gas guzzling fifteen-passenger van and drive to San Antonio to play music to no one.
Don’t be afraid to meet new friends!
The “no one” part might be an exaggeration; it’s not that I don’t think people will show up, it’s that I am so fucking terrified that no one will show up. This has become my routine while on the road – ride in the van, arrive at the venue, load in the gear, resist the creeping but relentless sense of despair, sound check, hide out in the green room. Invariably, people show up, but this does nothing to reassure my psyche the next time around.
The problem with this, of course, is that it becomes incredibly hard to meet and connect with the people that actually left their homes and paid to see you play. In an industry where success is inexorably tied to who you know and how well you can market yourself, I continue to be the piece of shit cowering (or, as now, writing a tour diary entry) in the green room so I don’t have to face the imaginary shame of an impending show.
I once tried to ask my brother, himself a touring musician, what to do about my pre-show anxiety. His response was, “Take drugs.” If only I could find some.
Expect the unexpected!
All things considered, tonight’s show went really well. Normally I would say something like, “it had a great energy,” but all I can really state for certain is that I didn’t fuck up that many times. People showed up, they bought merch, I got a little drunk. We move on to Dallas tomorrow.