( Andrew + Helga = Metal Rouge )
A house party in L.A performing with my generous L.A hosts was a great way to end my first U.S tour. I learnt a lot on my travels.
– Pack as little as possible. This cannot be overstated. When you have an early flight a long time spent rearranging the increasingly futile logistics of your suitcase is simply not cool.
-Pedal chains seem to hate those power converters which allow you to plug your adaptor into a U.S socket . Use batteries.
-Just because you get a few drink tickets for some terrible lager on tap at the venue doesn’t mean you have to use them all just because it’s free. It may well be better “value” to not be hungover whilst waiting for the following morning’s delayed flight. (No offence intended to those people who actually consider PBR drinkable.)
– If a soundcheck is even remotely an option then bloody-well insist on one. Don’t let an apathetic sound guy talk you out of it. I let the dude behind the controls in San Fran talk me out of having one on the grounds that he thought we’d “be o.k.” I’m sure HE was, but playing borrowed gear on a new stage was hard going, and not familiarising myself with the gear and monitors didn’t make things any easier. Next time I will insist.
-Going on tour is a great way to see America. You meet people you’d never meet if you were simply visiting a city; more often than not you get some cash for your performances; you spend less on accommodation because performers on the same bill will often let you crash on their floors; you spend less on transport because people you’ve never met will pick you up from airports and train stations because they value music and appreciate you having come all that way to perform – etc etc. I feel more blessed than I did before the tour to be a songwriter with an original repertoire I can take on the road. It’s as a good a gateway as any to new people and places.
-I can’t wait to make a new album and have an excuse to book another U.S tour, but for now it’s time to book some shows that require a little less flight time. An Auckland City gig or two coming soon!