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Road Burn

August 4, 2011

When traveling on the road there are loads of things to keep in mind and remember but a few of the oft overlooked and ignored ones include thing such as CAA, border laws and the regular rules of the road. Ignoring any of these things can cripple a band while out on the road, it can even cause a band to lose members or break up. At the outset of most tours it often looks like an enjoyable time that is well planned but by the end it can be a nightmare of poor planing and cramped spaces.

A major problems that few bands realize if the distance and strain a vehicle go through touring. Canada and the U.S.A. are massive countries and even a small tour across a few provinces can be thousands of kilometers and for a fully weighted vehicle the wear and tear to it is greatly increased. Adding a roadside assistance plan like CAA is a definite must for bands that can save a tour from going completely off schedule. It is almost certain that something minor but difficult to figure out or fix will happen at an unideal time such as midnight on a sunday.

Something people realize as individuals but not as a band is that border are not to be lied to or messed with under any circumstances. Lying to border agents will often end in failure, they know how to google search and trying to pretend you are not in a band or that if you are that you aren’t playing any dates almost always fails, especially with a van full of gear. If you are lucky lying will just result in a delay, fines or extra searches and stern warnings. At the worst you can be barred entry from the country for years or even life.

The rules of the road possibly the most important and the one that should be most respected. A quick search or asking someone else will give you the general rules like, passenger navigates, driver selects music, keeps your clothes clean etc. Ignoring these rules are often the ones that cause disputes and arguments between members, the simple way to avoid these is respect and full disclosure. If something someone is doing irritates you let them know, and if you are on the receiving end then accept their request and come to some sort of compromise.

The road is toughest part of being a band, more so than money, recording and legal matters it drives wedges between people and causes arguments. Living in a bus(if you are amazingly lucky) or a van for weeks or months is immensely difficult and no matter the space it will always seem too small.

-Hassan

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