Tell us about your tour vehicle.
Last band touring van was a white Ford 15 passenger van that had about 70,000 miles on it. Once the touring cycle ended as well as the band, we had to let the van go. It was very good to us with only a flat on the way to Tampa that had us splitting hairs for show time for the Tropical Heatwave Festival.
As far as currently, the touring cycle is about to start up with the release of my new record (Day Ain’t Done). I plan to tour in a variety of formats,full band all the way done to duo touring so I’m thinking instead of being tied down to a larger size van, I will look into renting options depending on the combo I am taking out.
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
That is the tricky part for sure. I have tried a bunch of methods on the road, anything from packing things up in a ice chest to gas station food (not recommended) ha!
I do make it a point to stay in motels or hotels that offer a breakfast so you have a somewhat decent start to your day if lobby call allows and some venues have food that also helps with another meal for the day. While touring Sweden we typically had a good breakfast and the venues provided a nice meal. I slept through the days off so that took care of eating on those days haha.
How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?
I go up and down with string breaking. I always like to have 2 full packs of Elixer’s with me and a back up guitar in case of any problems during a show but on the occasion that I do not have a backup, luckily I can grab one of the many that my guitar player has. We also tend to change a set of strings after a heavy week of playing, some times more sometimes less. We tend to to pay between $7-14 a set which gets a bit pricey over time so hey Elixer! Hook a guy up haha.
The drummers I have worked with tend to take very good care of their gig but the thing I see most common a problem for them is a kick pedal. Most of those guys travel with 2.
Where do you rehearse?
Currently we rehearse at our drummer’s place and he has a nice quaint little spot. Everyone is close together and that makes us turn down which is very helpful for working out dynamics and gives us a chance to really hear one another.
I have rehearsed in houses, RV’s (I kid you not) and, while living in Austin Texas, nice rehearsal complexes. The thing about shared rehearsal spaces that can be a bit distracting is the sound bleed from the odd death metal or industrial band next door. A great thing about it though is making friends with other bands that use the same complexes. A lot of real off the wall collaborations have taken place over the years, as well as the drunk upstart that wanders in your room for a run through of the Spirit of Radio!
What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?
The one that really sticks out in my mind which was the first “serious” song was called “She Said.” I think one of the lines went, “She said maybe with a little bit of time I could open up your mind, a new way of thinking, a drop of me for drinking, I’ll wash away your thirst.” Haha! Surprised I remembered that!
Describe your first gig.
First gig was in front of a jungle gym at a health club about 30 minutes from my hometown. Loaded with hard rock covers and bad clothes. A real mixed up message that was being put out into the world that day haha! Everything was very fast and it was over before I knew it haha! It was a hot time in a South Louisiana summer.
After that gig I remember thinking that was fun but it would be more fun to play songs I wrote.
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
I enjoy very much A/V integration, the field as well as the staff. Very fascinating business and over the years I have worked in a sandwich shop, coffee shop, done some general contracting and worked at a television station. They have all been really cool jobs but the two I have worked the longest were the sub shop and in the A/V field. Both felt like family and that means the world to me.
How has your music-related income changed over the past 5-10 years? What do you expect it to look like 5-10 years from now?
My music-related income has continued to grow as more people have become familiar with my work, as each album is released and reaches more people, that impacts the live shows in a positive way. I am pleased with the build and hope it continues to grow 5-10 years and beyond that. It has been a fantastic journey with new adventures around every turn.
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
Travel as lightly as possible.