Life on the Road: Touring Tips from Air Traffic Controller

Boston-based indie pop band Air Traffic Controller are on the road Bronze Radio Return, have just been nominated for three Boston Music Awards, and have been touring nonstop for the last few weeks. Read on to get their top tips for surviving life on the road.

Air Traffic Controller’s Top Touring Tips:
  1. Know when you need your space.  It can sometimes be hard to be around people 24/7 for weeks on end, especially if you’re an introvert like me.  If you need to throw on headphones or go for a walk to recharge, do it.  It helps a lot.
  2. Pack as light as possible.  I don’t always take my own advice on this one, but I always end up trying to bring things that I don’t need and it only weighs me down.  I’ve worked over the years to cut down everything I own so that it fits in a small suitcase, and it feels a lot better.
  3. Be kind to everyone you work with.  Your band, the sound staff, the promoter, the bartender, everyone.  It’s so much easier for everyone when everyone is psyched to be there.  If you act like a diva, it just makes things miserable.  And what’s the point of that?
  4. Driver gets to choose the music and the navigator sits shotgun and stays AWAKE.
  5. Don’t make any rash decisions.  It’s not always gonna be a good day and you’re not always gonna get along with everyone at all times.  Let moods pass and give things time.  Vent to a neutral party if you need to, but arguing and complaining don’t really do any good when you’re traveling around the country for months in a little tin can.
  6. Live in it and enjoy it while you can.  I feel like the luckiest person in the world to get to travel and play music with my best friends.  I don’t always get to work with my favorite people in the world and it’s the best thing.
  7. Don’t let one sub par show get you down. When you’re playing every night it’s not always going to be magical. Maybe you have an off show, sound isn’t great, show isn’t well attended, you’re exhausted, etc. There are a so many factors that come into play. All you can do is try your hardest to give the best performance possible, support each other onstage, and remember to have fun. We’ve gotten into a really great habit of dissecting our performance after each show and figuring out what we can do to make the next show better.
  8. Take care of yourself. Your body is going to take a pretty good beating. Loading gear in and out of the van, not sleeping well, constant long drives, not to mention there’s probably a good amount of free booze around. Anyway, it’s helpful to try and eat well, rest when you can, and drink plenty of water. You might still feel like you’re not human most of time… but hey, you’re on tour with your BoyZ!
  9. Pre-Stage. Making sure that your gear is setup and ready to go off stage can be a huge timesaver and make your life a whole lot easier. This is especially helpful if you’re the opener on a tour.
  10. Make sure all your gear is tour ready. You really don’t want stuff breaking on the road. Especially if it’s something that’s not easily replaceable. I always try to go over all my gear with a fine toothed comb before we leave for a trip, and bringing some tools along for the ride isn’t ever a bad idea.
  11. Socks. Bring all of the socks.


See Air Traffic Controller on tour and get the deets on their 3 Boston Music Awards here.
Tues 10/11 – The Mercy Lounge, Nashville, TN
Weds 10/12 – Motorco Music Hall, Durham, NC
Thurs 10/13 – Vinyl, Atlanta, GA
Fri 10/14 – House Concert, Atlanta, GA
Sat 10/15 – House Concert, Wilmington, NC
Sun 10/16 – Diesel, Pittsburgh, PA
Fri 11/4 – Peppermill Casino, Reno NV
Sat 11/5 – Peppermill Casino, Reno NV
Tue 11/8 – Hotel Utah, San Francisco, CA
Fri 11/11 – The Satellite, Los Angeles, CA
Sun 11/13 – White Eagle, Portland, OR
Thu 12/8 – Boston Music Awards, House of Blues, Boston, MA

 

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KevinLife on the Road: Touring Tips from Air Traffic Controller

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