So, the open road is long and winding, and not going insane along the trail is a key part of survival in this semicharmed existence that we call tour life. Obviously none of us have had a lot of sleep, though the bands frontman, Nature seems to be taking advantage of a long drive to knock out a few hours of sleep. Meanwhile our driver has never actually handled a fifteen passenger before so we’re hoping that he doesn’t die and accidentally kill us all. The copilot seems to maybe be a murderer and is extremely tired, and he might pass out, leaving us without a real navigator which might end up being a problem. Suffice to say, we are loving it.
The main thing we’ve learned from tour thus far is that focusing on packing stuff into your van is crucial. We ended up on a street in South Philly desperately trying to figure out how to fit all of our stuff into the back of our fifteen passenger. The problem was that people packed to much and didn’t realize how little space we would have. Somehow though we managed to pull through. Sure – not all of us have quite as much leg room as we would like, but it looks like we are going to be able to survive. We have 19 more days of this madness and morale is high, as are rations. Here we are now young men preparing to cross the country and find ourselves.
And that is where things really start to become interesting. There is a zen of touring, a sense of male bonding and self discovery that you really need to get into if you want to have a good time. You are going to be stuck in a car with the same people for hours on end – you need to get used to these people and have a lot to talk about. Sure there is a far amount of weirdness early on, but eventually you just become super comfortable with each other. Even now, a mere 48 hours in, we are laughing, joking and bonding in a way that we never have before. In other words – the way forward is simple, it comes through kindness and peace. Self control above self indulgence, and a willingness to take one for the team.
A lot of these lessons can be hard to learn. We haven’t been out for too long and the guys still aren’t necessarily used to the early mornings and long hours in the car. Things are going to be a lot more trying a week or two down the line. As for now though it seems like we have a sense of forward momentum that is going to keep us fresh and excited for a few days. I think one of the keys in any tour is to have easy days set up every so often such that you can find a piece of peace for yourselves. A day off in a friends wooded hippie commune is going to be a lot more helpful for your sanity than a thousand dollar gig. After a certain point you need to consider the merits of resting over hard work. Tour is grueling and finding a path is crucial.
One thing the guys have found really fun though is the beauty of the landscapes. The world is a beautiful place and it’s crushing how much we are destroying it. Yet you can lose yourself for hours just staring out, looking at the people you see when you pass through those small American towns and watching the farms flash by your eyes. There is a lot of interesting stuff to see as you cross the country with a group of your friends, and figuring this out, and embracing the inherent value of these things is going to keep you excited and interested in the world of heavy touring. Maybe the appeal of this goes away after a while, but if you can embrace it for the first few times, then you are doing something right.
So now we beat on, lost in a storm of guitar solos, half drunk tour managers whining about a lack of country music and extremely sore butts. Ultimately that’s what tour is about, finding a weird way through a world that only gets more bizarre as you advance. Here we are, trying to pull of eight hours straight in the car, a group of dudes who until yesterday probably had never spent more than eight hours around each other consecutively ever before. And some how we are finding out how to do it, because like the open road, we are infinite.