LIFE ON THE ROAD
So after you gather a group of friends, write some songs, put out a demo, and then finally get the idea to get in the van, that's when your life on the road will start. It isn't for the weak of heart I must say. It's rough and those who aren't ready to sacrifice the basic necessities of life will never truly experience what it's like to be out on the road in a hardcore band. There is nothing luxurious about touring. If you are in a hardcore/punk/indie band and you aren't signed to a major label, then you aren't reaping the benefits of touring. You have to go into the idea of touring with a one track mind. You have to lose a lot to gain a little. You don't start off seeing the good side of being out on the paved paradise. I've been doing this touring thing for about a year and half and I am in no way in a better spot or making the money I should be as a 23 year old human being. Whether it was roadie-ing and/or playing bass with The Mongoloids to roadie-ing for Trash Talk and War Hungry, nothing that I've gained from doing this has ever helped when I arrived home after being gone for 2 months. But, that doesn't mean there aren't amazing aspects to getting out and seeing the country.
If you've surrounded yourself with good friends, then the times you will have will only be those of laughter and joy, and they will be unforgettable. Maybe you'll be driving all night, you've been behind the wheel for 9 hours and all of a sudden the passenger turns to you and says, "yo, put on Mariah Carey." Or maybe you've been to so many spots in the country that you know some of the locals and you treat them as good friends. I live in New Jersey, but i have friends in almost every state. From JP to Daylin to Joe Harder to Jason T. to Andy to Ian to Alex to Hoodrack to Riley to Rossman69 and so many more. These people share the same mindset as me and in a classic quote i must use right now, "real recognize real." I've stolen from gas stations to eat because I had no money. I've driven a van full of sleeping people 10 hours because no one else wanted to wake up and instead of pulling over, I decided to push on. I've sang songs for the bands I've toured with and have somewhat made a name for myself. You may not know who I am, but that isn't what matters to me. What matters is the memories I'm making for myself and the ones around me. I've been thrown off a jet-ski because Ian and I thought it would be a good idea to play who could knock the other person off the jet-ski first. I almost died from that but I took it in stride and was more worried about Mook. Nothing ever changes with tour. You line up shows and you drive to them. You load in, you set up, you preform, you load out and then it's back to driving to the next show. If I thought I'd be seeing huge arenas packed with thousands of people, I might as well hit up my friend who plays drums for the Jonas Brothers and ask if they need any help. The thing is the same routine never gets old to me, because no matter the situation, you're in a new part of the country every single day. In reality, though you do the exact same things each and every day, no day is like the last and that is the best part about it. I've been across the country about 4 times and I still get excited every time a tour approaches.
I love music. Not just hardcore music, but all types of music and I decided that instead of doing what a normal person my age does, I'd rather be in a van with good friends all the time as much as possible, touring the united states of america. If you're reading this and you're thinking, "Hey I want to do something like this," then get off your ass and do it. Find a band, make friends, and fucking roadie. It's a decision you will never regret for as long as you live. If you can't roadie for a band, then like the first sentence says, start a band and get noticed and bring your act on the road. I had a near brush with death with this line of work (i use the term work very loosely) and I thought I'd never be the same again, but here I am. I don't want to be remembered by anyone, but I do want to remember these times for the rest of my life. If I've ever hit you, punched you, stage dived onto you, jumped on top of you, choked you, held the mic for you to sing along to, or anything else, just know I did it because in some weird way we're all the same. Whether you look up to any bands currently or in the past, never forget that those people were just like you at one point, no better and no worse. They were just regular people who decided to get in the van and change some people's lives. They changed mine and now instead of talking about the drama and bullshit that surrounds us on a message board behind a computer, I'd rather carry on, in the long tradition and just making the road my life. Here's to seeing you when I get there.