Life On The Road
|-Is there a routine while on tour?
||-Are groupies a fact of touring?
||-What is the worst thing about being on the road?
||-Why are shows so expensive and could they drive down attendance?
||-As for anecdotes...
|-MAX KOLESNE drummer KRISIUN
||-It is not the same. Every day is different. When we get to the club we load in the equipment, then we eat and drink, smoke some
weed and then do sound check. Every tour is different though. We
don't get a sound check if we are opening. If we are headlining it is
more work with equipment and sound. If we are opening we might share
equipment with the other opening act.
||-Oh yeah, yeah. Well, they are not really groupies. We get
some girls here and there, you know. They are not girlfriends; they
are girls we see when we are touring. They are not groupies though
that get in the dressing room and start sucking your cock right away.
We know them, we met them, we have a beer and sometimes get to fuck
or maybe not. It is not like hard rock groupies and that crazy shit.
We know some girls here and there.
||-I don't hate anything about being on the road. I don't even
mind the hours spent travelling. Well, one thing that really sucks is
when you become ill. For example, when you are in a very cold country
like Sweden and the weather is bad you might get sick which is bad.
You don't want to be sick on the road. You have to do a good show
every night. That sucks. Sometimes the food sucks too and sometimes
the clubs suck because they don't have good equipment. Overall, I
really love being on the road though.
||-I think shows should be cheaper. On the other hand,
sometimes you see some really trendy faggy band that pretends to be
heavy, like those big sissy mallcore bands that play gay music, they
charge like $100 and play in front of 15,000 people. Then you see
some really great band that is actually heavy charges $30 and plays
to 300 people. People have to choose sides.
||-There are so many crazy stories to tell. I know some
really fucked up shit. When we were touring Europe with Old Man's
Child, Soulreaper and Gorgoroth those bands would get out of hand
when they were drunk. I remember one day this guy who used to play
for them, not the bold guy, the guy with the long hair and beard was
really drunk. The other guys pissed in a cup and gave it to him. He
drank the whole thing. They joked like that all the time. I don't get
it man. If you do that to me I will kill you the next day. Those guys
are too crazy for me. The guy was cool about it. He was laughing and
telling them he knows he drank their piss!
|-HANSI singer BLIND GUARDIAN
||-It is close to a routine. The older you get the closer to a routine
it is. When you are young you have more energy to do a show, go
sightseeing and all that stuff. Nowadays it is like coming to a city,
hopefully getting a room, doing sound check, get another nap at the
hotel, do the show and hop into the bus and travel to the next city.
On the bus you can drink one or two glasses of beer or wine. Several
of our guys don't drink any alcohol. The next day looks pretty much
the same. You do that for four days in a row and on the fifth day you
have an off day and you stay in the hotel. You go out for dinner and
you go to sleep. You sometimes party but that means you are done for
the next two weeks. It is terrible. The next day is nothing but a
||-Groupies depend on the person. I have been married for ten years and
before that I was in a relationship for another ten. It never has
been an issue for me. Obviously, there are still fans around you who
are attracted by musicians. I can't say if there is more or less. I
don't have a clue. We have more fans so there should be more groupies
||-You cannot avoid cold or fever. That is the nightmare of a vocalist.
It is terrible when you are forced to sing with a sore throat. You
know that the sore throat won't go away for two weeks. You damage
your voice and you spoil it for two weeks. Then you start sucking
each night. People do not understand. They start thinking you are a
shitty vocalist. That is a terrible thing for me.
||-For example, the average price for our shows in America is $20. In
general, it depends on what you get. If you pay $25 for a club show
then it is too expensive. If you have a venue with technical
facilities and a big production then you might pay more.
||-What always comes to mind is the time we played in Japan for the
first time, Andre and I had known Japan already, we told Tom that
there are no post offices there. We told him that he needs to go to
an Italian restaurant and pass his mail to the waiter there. So we
go with him and Tom is giving his mail to a waiter. The guy was
completely shocked. He went to the waiter, and we had the privilege
of seeing it, and this Japanese guy is looking at the envelope. The
Japanese people are so polite. He probably took the mail and sent it
|-RIKKI ROCKETT drummer POISON
||-It can be whatever you make it. You can be the master of your domain.
I will give you two scenarios. You can do a show and then get wasted.
You take chicks with you and get them wasted and pretty soon we laugh
and then we laugh ourselves off into bed. Then we stay up late, do
more drugs and go to sleep around 5am. Then I will get up around 3 in
the afternoon. You do a sound check and there you go again. You can
do that. I can put together that kind of a schedule.
I can get up in the morning, have my breakfast and go work out in the
gym. Then I'll go see the town and do the sound check. After the show
I will say hello to a few people and then go to bed 2 in the morning
and not at 5. All the options are available. Every person in the band
does it differently. Some people party their brains off for five
years. You have to pace yourself though. You can't do that for very
long. We are known and notorious for our parties, but we are not
young anymore. We are not old, but we are not young either.
||-That is a huge scene still. It is different now. The groupies in the
'60s and early '70s were different than the '80s and definitely from
nowadays. It has attracted a different type of a person. Groupies in
the '60s were almost like gypsies. They would stay out there, do the
clothes or whatever. They wouldn't come to one show, do somebody and
leave. They would interweave themselves into the fabric of the band.
I am engaged now!
||-I dread getting sick on the road and I have been very lucky. You
don't want to have health problems on the road. It sucks to be sick
and not be home. I shake 100 hands a night minimum too. I remember on
our first tour, it was with Quiet Riot, I got sick a lot. I wasn't
eating right, I was partying my ass off and I was always sick. If
there was flu ten miles away I would get it. I have been mildly sick
once since 1999. I take care of myself.
||-I think some shows are too expensive, but ours is not. We sell $20
lawn tickets. When people buy tickets and resell them then things get
up in price. You cannot control that. There are some bands that
charge too much. When I pay a lot of money to see a band I want to
see ridiculous showmanship. I have seen some band just not work hard
enough for my money. I think the '90s was like that. Those bands
bothered me. When they say they don't need all that production, let
me translate that, they are putting the money in their pockets.
||-I have many. Off the cuff, actually I used to write my diaries all
the time. I have been writing a book for a long time. Once of these I
will publish it. It will be called Confessions Of A Fallen Angel. It
will be nothing but poignant moments in my life. Some will be funny
and some will be sad. Maybe I'll finish it on the road because I
really get thinking about stuff on the road.
|-RACHEL bassist SKID ROW
||-You have the long bus rides, which are fun for the first two weeks.
You get together with the guys again and hang out and rink beer. Then
the travel becomes the worst part of the whole thing. Then you get
two hours on stage and you go "wow, this is what it's all about." You
forget about all your troubles when you see people singing your
songs, fists in the air and banging their heads. That is what it's
all about. We are a little older, but we haven't grown up at all.
That's for sure.
||-Yeah. I can say that without hesitation, yes.
||-When boredom sets in. The travelling or just sitting in the hotel
room. You have a day off, because you have done six shows in a row,
and you called each other up and ask what the hell we are going to
do! You don't want to go to another mall. You are sick of the
restaurants, so you find some trouble to get into (laughs). The
downtime is the worst part. That is when trouble starts.
||-I think some people are definitely over-charging. Venues or clubs
have to make a certain amount of money to bring a band in. We try to
put together packages that are eclectic that people would want to
see. Nowadays when you go to a show the songs, the members and the
bands seem interchangeable. They look and sound the same. We want to
give value for the ticket. It makes the ticket price worthwhile.
||-If you want an on-stage experience then one time we came out and the
lights were down and I ran right off the stage! The next thing I know
is I am standing right in the middle of the pit with my bass. That
was really embarrassing. I have done that and I have walked backwards
onto the monitors, tripped and smashed my elbow against things too.
Man, I have met a lot of people over the years, but the funniest
experience is meeting David Lee Roth. I didn't know him at that point
and he is a character. He is really funny. My friends tell me I
should write a book and I get that from my dad who is a storyteller.
I think I will one day. There are classic stories I will put in my book.