One of the commonalities of a DIY tour is the seemingly endless feeling of tiredness and exhaustion that one experiences. There is something almost divine about it; where constant work, with every aspect of your being, creates this feeling of fulfillment and exhaustion that goes beyond what one experiences in daily life. Such is the life of an indie tour musician.
AL1CE is still very much in a building phase, and as such, we’re putting in the groundwork to really create a solid foundation for the band to grow on. Part of that is taking the independent touring route. Without any tour support, booking agent, tour manager, etc., we’ve managed to do everything ourselves. A lot of the groundwork has been put down by Tash to make that all possible - everything from booking tour dates, routing, communicating with venues, etc. Beyond that, on the road we do all of our setups - this includes a full light show, and setting up multiple instruments per person, every night. Beyond that, oftentimes we are the ones running our own sound - which Gordon excels at. There are so many aspects that go into running a smooth show - and we treat every stage the same whether we are playing a 5k+ capacity convention center, or a local coffee shop.
Again, going back to the level of tiredness that one experiences on the road: there are many ways of fighting it, and working with it. It all comes down to how you treat your body when out on the road. The amount of sleep and food, what type of food, how much we’re driving, etc, all play into this. On this tour especially, we’ve found that eating clean, mostly vegetarian/vegan food has really helped all of our energy levels. Again, this is a largely due to Tash cooking food every night so we have the proper fun to get through the next day/night. Unloading, setting up, performing, tearing down, packing the van, driving, etc, all take huge amounts of energy, which needs equal amounts of calories for us to really keep up. A lot of band make the mistake of eating out a lot on the road- this is a huge waste both in terms of money, and empty calories. We have as a group a much larger capacity to keep going since we’ve been eating so incredibly healthy. As well, we’ve had a lot of parent/family stops on this trip, and that always helps :)
Beyond food, is sleep. I love sleeping on the road because it is so incredibly easy to get a good night’s rest. I can lay down at any moment, and be asleep within a minute. Being exhausted has its perks, and it certainly removes an y semblance of insomnia that I usually get while at home. We’ve been lucky to be able to stay at friends and family houses. Again, this helps the pocketbook of a touring musician. When you’re playing regions for the first time, oftentimes there is no guarantee of financial compensation, so the more you can crash on couches and floors the better it will be at the end of the day.
We’ve been very lucky insofar that people have responded well to our live music so far - plus we’ve made a point of really building up our merch presence. Gordon has spearheaded some incredible designs that really help - and masterminded the idea of the Moon Drop key. if you catch us n the road, make sure to ask about it.
It is just incredible what everyone brings to the table. Sasha literally pumps out new music videos from our workstations in the van and does makeup for everyone night after night; Steve is a driving beast, and offers a lot of insight when it come stop marketing, setlist order, and overall show flow (don’t forget his doctoring skills…). And this is all just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. In all, touring as an indie band is not easy, but the more each person uses their own skills for the greater whole, the easier it becomes. Like a well oiled machine.
Tonight we’re playing Santa Fe, and we’re about to roll up to the venue in 10 minutes. Then tomorrow is the last day of the tour in Flagstaff, AZ.