Life on the road: what it's really like?
Updated: Jul 26, 2020
I've been playing drums of various sorts for a really long time, and I've been on the road touring with various groups through the years. Mostly touring is fun for me, but there are definitely pros and cons to being on the road.
PRO: I've really lucky to experience the United States and much that it has to offer. I been to every continental state more than once and have seen such great landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Grand Canyon, Devil's Tower, Mount Rushmore, and Niagra Falls, I've seen gone to museums and seen presidential libraries too. And the food...what a treat that has been. Many parts of the country have such unique cuisine and whenever I've been somewhere that has "native" food, I've definitely had my share: Brats and cheese curd in Wisconsin, clam chowder in a bread bowl in San Francisco, gumbo and po boys in New Orleans, and shrimp and grits in South Carolina. So many cities in the country are awesome!
But the best thing about touring with a band is the performance! You get to play for a different crowd each night/afternoon/whatever and they are there to see you and only you. Sold out venues and great crowds really keep the energy going and ramp up the performance. I love connecting with the audience and entertaining people who truly love what you're doing. It's the best.
At the same time, there are cons
CONS: You have to stay in hotels for weeks on end and it never feel like you can truly relax. One night here, one night there, pack up and go to the next place. "Oh that was a cool place, I wish we could stay longer" is a very common thought for everyone. Also, while eating out is great, it does get old and you really long for a home cooked meal. That may sound crazy, but it's totally true.
And don't forget about the bus. On tour, you travel on a bus from place to place. That really get old...not having your own car. I wanna go somewhere but have to figure it all out.