ON THE ROAD
Taking the band on the road takes some serious thought. It also takes sacrifice and money, and could spell the end
of the band. You could end up hundreds or thousands of miles away from home stranded, not knowing where your next gig is coming
from. You need to control expenses, file your contracts to make sure you get paid, know theres work coming in and have long-term
goals in mind. Ask yourself these questions before hitting the road:
1) Have you
exhausted all the possibilities of performing in your area? Have you saturated your own market? If the work is coming in regularly
and youre able to sleep in your own bed, I would seriously re-think going out on the road.
2) What is
your goal? Is your goal to get more exposure, sell more CDs, break into the big-time? This is not a time to shoot from the
hip. In fact, with A & R people cris-crossing the country all the time, youd be better noticed staying-put, building a
following in your home region so that anyone coming through the area looking for professional musicians will hear your name
first and foremost.
3) Do you have
reliable transportation? Do you need a truck?
4) Is everyone
in the band committed to this? Ready to quit their day jobs?
5) Do you have
the best-possible press kits, demos, website, and mailing list? If you want people in the music business to take you seriously
a professional image is a must. You wont make it with a cassette and a box of business cards.
6) Will your
gear take the abuse of the road? Do you have cases to protect them? Do you have enough back-up equipment when things break
7) Do you have
great networking skills? This is basic business 101. Being on the road is as much about who you know as it is who knows you.
8) Is there
enough demand for touring bands to keep you going? Are you mainstream enough to keep working?
9) ARE YOU
GOOD ENOUGH? If youre taking it on the road your chops better be there. Your
band better be tight. You MUST look good, sound good, be professional, and have TONS of business savvy.
There are a lot of places for you to play, but you have to be wired
for it. You must be prepared or it will devour even the very best musicians.