When we met the bands at SXSW, we were curious to find out how they got to Austin. Some flew, some drove and some flew and drove (like the 4-piece band Mr. Bleat all the way from Medellin, Colombia). Others, like the rock band from Long Island, Blameshift, used a more unconventional method of transportation — a method that serves as an example for many on-a-budget touring bands out there: the super economical veggie oil bus. Watch the video for a tour on the bus and a small impromptu performance, then read what Blameshift members have to say about the life of a veggie oil bus owner.
We bought a Ford E350 Diesel Shuttle Bus off of Craigslist a few years ago. We found out that Diesel vehicles are capable of running on veggie oil, so we started looking into it. We ended up driving out to Salt Lake City on a tour and had the bus converted out there. We bought a 70 gallon tank which we house in the bus itself. We use a pump to transfer the used vegetable oil from the dumpsters behind restaurants to our tank. On a full tank we can drive 700 miles. It took us about 2 years of solid trial and error to perfect the art of veggie oil finding and filtering. It definitely is not easy, but with a lot of determination we now have it down to a science. It’s a great feeling for us as an independent band to be able to drive coast to coast on less than $100 and not participate in increased gas demands and rising prices. It really has allowed us the freedom to be able to tour full time which is our ultimate goal. We have logged over 100,000 miles in this bus… and counting.