Raf was like, “Hey Mark, can we post our tour diaries on Funeral Sounds?” and I was like, “New phone, who dis?” How time flies. Spill is currently on tour with Straw Hats in support of their debut self-titled EP through Broken World Media. This diary covers the third date of the nine day tour.
“Just a F*CKED up kid…”
Richmond, Virginia -> Greensboro, North Carolina
February 11 + 12, 2016
All of the Twisted Sister and Whitesnake music videos I saw last night left me inspired. Deeply, deeply inspired. When we played that living room I was shaking my hips, lifting my bass straight into the air, truly KILLIN it. I mean, only like 10 people got experience it, but damn if it doesn’t feel good to unleash your inner stadium rocker.
Don’t get me wrong- poor attendance alone doesn’t make a show bad. In fact, last night kicked ass. The thing is, DIY tours are often a war of inches. You’re usually making just enough money to skate by and get to the next town- It’s never, ever easy to consistently play packed houses and come out on top. After going on just a few tours you realize that the Kerouacian/punk rock image of “life on the road” is unfortunately just a myth. It’s often more boring, exhausting, and draining than it is thrilling, affirming, and fun. So it’s important to measure expectations, make the most of the little bit that you can, and have a good time.
And to be frank, perhaps even uncomfortably pragmatic, these tours by themselves aren’t that helpful for people attempting to be “career musicians” . Sure, in aggregate they’ll give the impression to fans, booking folks, and label types that you’re a real band doing real shit. But it’s rare that you’ll get a record deal or a ton of die-hard fans from a single tour. The main focus should just be survival and having fun. Either way, I feel like people need to go through the grind and make sure that they love playing music even under the roughest circumstances. I don’t mean to make it seem like some macho trial by fire. But, as it turns out, trying to do music full time is kind of a hard thing. It’s easy to get exhausted, discouraged, and even question what the hell you’re doing in the first place. You have to let go and just embrace the grind for what it is. If playing in a band is something you truly love and want to do full time, you should be motivated enough to make it through despite the obstacles. That’s what keeps me going, at least.
Tonight, Spill and Straw Hats play in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: https://www.facebook.com/events/912905938780289/
On the 18th, they play in Philadelphia: https://www.facebook.com/events/927992630612787