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.
KevinLife on the Road: Touring Tips from Air Traffic Controller
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ReverbNation Sync Partner Hitcher Music Lands Placement for The Dead Heavys

Check out our latest featured placement secured by our sync partner Hitcher Music.

L.A.-based indie rockers The Dead Heavys landed a placement on Showtime’s Shameless. Their song “Liquidator” aired during the season premiere on October 2nd. Listen to the track below.

KevinReverbNation Sync Partner Hitcher Music Lands Placement for The Dead Heavys
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Artist You Should Know: Del Caesar

We caught up with Brooklyn trio Del Caesar to get the lowdown on their new single “Like They Always Say,” upcoming EP, 60’s garage/psych rock sound, and more.

Hey guys! Introduce yourselves – who are the forces behind Del Caesar?
We’re three dudes living around Brooklyn that love old school garage rock and the new psychedelia stuff coming out.  I’m [Aaron Lloyd Barr] on vocals/guitar, the rock solid Eric Arikian is on bass, and the animal Ben Reynolds is on drums.  

Describe your sound in ten words or less.
Del Shannon covering Ty Segall’s song “Caesar”

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Discover NYC Preview: Meet Jesse Ruben, Jaye Bartell & Henry Hall

October's edition of Discover NYC will take place on October 11th at Rockwood Music Hall featuring singer-songwriter Jesse Ruben, Sinderlyn artist Jaye Bartell, and alternative artist Henry Hall. Read on to meet the artists.

 


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Name:
Jesse Ruben
Hometown: Maple Glen, PA
Based: Brooklyn, NY
Influences: Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Ben Folds, Elliott Smith
Inspiration Behind “This is Why I Need You”: I got really sick with Lyme Disease back in 2012, and had to take more than two years off from playing music before I finally got better. “This Is Why I Need You” was the first song I wrote when I got healthy. It’s a song that acknowledged all of the people in my life who helped me get through that period. It is a song that means so much to me, and it’s been really great to see people have such a strong positive reaction to it.
Touring in Europe: There’s this great company that finds artists from the US and UK and brings them over to Germany to tour for a month. I’d never been, so it was a great way to see the whole country while also playing 25 shows in a month. It was really exhausting, but really fun. I may or may not have gotten too drunk and lost my passport my first night there (but then I totally got it back the next day!). I would love to do another tour in Europe.
Fun Fact: I’m never sure what qualifies as a “fun” fact. I have a twin sister. I’m really good at ultimate frisbee. And my feet are two different sizes, which makes buying shoes a nightmare.

KevinDiscover NYC Preview: Meet Jesse Ruben, Jaye Bartell & Henry Hall
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Artist Session: Holiday Oscar

A year after releasing his debut single, "Carousel," which racked up 200,000 streams on Spotify, Holiday Oscar is back with a delightful new tune. We chatted with him about his new single "Teething Powder,” influences, and more.

Hi Holiday Oscar! Before we get into it, tell us who is Holiday Oscar?
Holiday Oscar is a young man from East London.

Describe your style.
I’ve always felt very comfortable writing folk music and the older I get, the closer I feel I am to putting what’s going on around me on paper.

You elegantly craft raw and honest storytelling over warm arrangements — a Dylan-esque vibe. Who are some of your main influences?
My parents are probably the biggest influence. I grew up listening to Ian Dury, Bob Dylan and The Jam. I read that during the recording of Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited, a lot of the session musician’s were still learning the parts or just jamming along to what Bob had already put down. So we took that approach a lot in the studio. Gives it such a nice live feel.

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Artist Session: Yacht Punk

Long Beach-based post-punk alternative band, Yacht Punk just debuted their first single "Radar" on IMPOSE. Read on to get to know the band, find out what they’re working on, and more.

Hi Yacht Punk! Let’s start off with — who are the forces behind the band?
Graham Bockmiller – Vocals/guitar, Michael Pozzi – Lead guitar/vocals, Tricky – Drums

Where did you guys come up with the name?
A group of our friends were at party or something and for some reason almost everyone in our group was wearing denim jackets. So someone in the group was like “You guys look like you’re all in a gang or a punk band or something”, to which one of our friends sarcastically said “Yeah right, more like a YACHT punk band”. Kinda made me go hmmm, Yacht Punk, that would be a good band name. So basically we stole it. And no one will get the credit that they deserve. But I also think it’s kind of a good analogy for the music. It’s got some grit but it’s definitely not punk, and it’s got some polished hooks but its not nice enough to belong on a yacht either. Maybe we should’ve called it Shit Yacht instead.

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On Tour: Thee Phantom

Described as “part b-boy, part Beethoven,” Thee Phantom uniquely combines hip-hop with live orchestration. Read on to get the 411 on his upcoming College Tour that kicks off this week with a SOLD OUT show at the University of Texas, the advice he’d give someone who’s trying to break into the business, and more.

Hey Thee Phantom, thanks for being a part of our series! Introduce yourself – who is Thee Phantom?
Thee Phantom is the combination of all my childhood inspirations. Hip-Hop, Classical Music, Comic Books, Sports & of course my favorite Broadway musical, Phantom of the Opera. I am a Composer/MC/Producer who combines the raw energy and passion of Hip-Hop, with the beautiful melodies of live orchestral accompaniment.

KevinOn Tour: Thee Phantom
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A Non-Definitive List of Nashville Music Venues

Are you new to the Nashville scene? Our Nashville-based CONNECT Manager Daren, who has lived in Music City for over a decade, rounded up a list of venues that are establishing the current music scene. Read on for the inside scoop.

I think it’s important when embarking on new territory, or maybe when needing a change of scenery, to forge ahead with a solid understanding of the lay of the land. While I do realize that this post exists within my bubble of the city I’ve lived and worked in for around 11 years, I think it’s important for bands, songwriters, and singer/songwriters to play Nashville. Music City cliché aside, there really is a ton of music (so much so that some people specifically seek out places without music) and a ton of people that support it, fans and industry included. This inevitably means there will need to be venues to support these artists. Below is my list of Nashville music venues that are establishing the current live music scene:

KevinA Non-Definitive List of Nashville Music Venues
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