Ok, so you’re at a gas station…
Here are some tips for everyone, no matter if you are Fall Out Boy’s merch guy or if you sing for a band that is out touring with no label.
Always remember that you are what you eat…. and tour will put your body to the test. The better you eat, the easier it is to wake up for load in, the easier it is to have energy to run around on stage. It may sound cliche, but it is true! The healthier your body is, the more resistant it will be to injury and sickness. One back injury can ruin your touring plans, or one gum infection can slow you down quite a bit. It is vital that you try to be vigilant to keep you in top physical shape.
Opt to drink water at every turn!
Water makes up 80% of your body, it helps your memory, your muscle response, and it even fights fatigue!
There is a plethora of FREE water at every show… do not waste a drop! Make sure to throw the bottles away in the trash not on the floor as well.
Using your $7 dollar buy out at Walmart or super target can go a long way to getting you some quality nutrition. Not to mention if you have a larger buy out you can save more money from per diem or buy out.
The rule of 3s! If you can get 3 servings of fruits or vegetables you will feel better and have a better chance of fighting off that tour cold that everyone else in your van or your bus has.
Chose crackers! not sugar!
When you make that gas station stop, and there is no fruit, or it costs too much, then shoot for crackers or sunflower seeds. Sugar is important but not as important as carbs and essential elements. Also sugar will upset your stomach if you are beyond hungry and looking for some food. Most gas stations have ramen noodle cups that you can make at the gas station. Crackers are super cheap and 2 packs of peanut butter crackers can be very filling and will keep you going for a lot longer than a snickers bar.
This is one of the hardest areas to stay on top of even if you have a 9-5 job. Understanding how important it is to stay flexible and strong on tour is vital to doing your job. The more stretching you do the less likely you are to get “rock neck” or pulling a muscle while lifting that hardware case at load in.
- Get with a friend or a trainer who you trust to help you develop a program before you head out on your tour.
- Go on a 15 minute run after load in or after sound-check. Even if you are in Detroit, you can practice out running a bum!
- Bring a bike on tour! if you can fit one in, its a great lazy way to get some exercise in.
- Bring free weights and a bench if space allows.
- Pull ups in the trailer: Grab the top of the back of the trailer, lift your legs and go to it!
- Push ups, anytime, anywhere. All you need is a floor.
- Sit ups, anytime, anywhere! Stop, drop, and crunch.
- Do your your own research if you only know lazy people, only you can motivate yourself ultimately!
- Stretch, stretch, stretch! Every morning before load in, or right before sound check, spend 10 minutes stretching. It will make you more limber and more in control of your body to prevent you getting a “dumb” injury like tripping on the curb, pulling a tendon, or hitting your head. Develop a short stretch routine that works for you – i.e. toe touches, jumping jacks, hip bends, etc. +Pay close attention to how you areusing your back – lift from your knees! In the end, girls are not impressed by a limping boy with a back brace and crutches.
Vocal Chord Care
- Do drink plenty of water – moist chords make for healthy chords!
- Do make use of hot water steam inhalation or Vics Vapor Rub
- Do partake in gentle humming for 5-10 minutes at a time Rest!! 20 minute power naps here and there do a body good.
Don’t engage in unnecessary talking. Many musicians create and come up with a series ofhand gestures or sign language to avoid speaking. Get creative – wearing a laminate/sign around your neck saying you are not speaking for the day is not necessarily a bad thing – and it could save some potentially harsh words on absolutepunk.net about your behavior.
Do not whisper! Ever. Whispering grates the vocal chords together like sand paper. Avoid coughing and clearing your throat. Instead, try swallowing and sipping water. Never sing out of your range – even if you suddenly want to become the next FreddyMercury for the day.
Don’t eat heavy meals before a show. Your body will not have time to digest, and the amount of food in your stomach will make it harder for you to breathe thus affecting your vocal reach and projection.
Avoid liquids such as citrusjuice and caffeinated drinks as they all negatively affect your throat’s natural lubrication. Staying away from the free monster truck all day will save you a heart attack in the long run as well.
Hung-over? Late bus call?
What herbs help a hangover?Herbs that help ease the discomfort of a hangover include White Willow (Nature’s aspirin; the guys at GNC SHOULD know about this), Skullcap and Ginseng- they cool your overheated stomach acids, energize the nervous system and detoxify. But if you reallywant to take care of business, Milk Thistle is the king of liver detoxifying herbs.
Want to prevent a nasty hangover?Technically speaking, a hangover is a direct result of the alcohol dehydration… If you want to try and prevent that throbbing headache drink a bottle of water AND pop a vitamin C (OR you can drink a bottle of water with emergen-C) before AND after you go out and party. You’ll be amazed at the results.
Not only is sushi a hunger reliever…the ginger that comes with it can be added to regular coke to help simmer down an angry stomach. Ginger has enzymes that help calm down the acid in the stomach. Give it a try!
- FLAT COCA-COLA.
- Slice up an apple (LEAVE THE SKIN ON!) and sprinkle a little bit of sugar on top. Heat up for about 25-30 seconds. Eat. There are enzymes that are brought out and activated when an apple is heated, they can help suppress over active stomach acid!
- Eat a cup of yogurt.M
How can blisters be prevented? They can’t always be helped, however ifyou feel like your shoes may become troublesome try and put ToughStrip band-aids on the irritated areas (ToughStrips can save lives).
If you develop a blister you have a couple options- you can do like the gymnasts do and put a SMALL dab of Vaseline on the blister (popped or unpopped) and then wrap securely in medical tape or a ToughStrip. You should be good to go in a day or so.
**IF rockin’ out on the drums caused the blister- the best bet is to keep the blister in tack, DON’T POP IT! Try to dry it out by applying a small amount of alcohol (the rubbing kind, beer will not suffice) to a qtip and rub on the site of the blister. What will the result be? A small callus. (NOTE- IF THE BLISTER IS OPEN/POPPED, DO NOT USE ALCOHOL)
Muscle Pain? Don’t let it get you down!
Cramps can be caused by a build up of lactic acid in your muscles. DRINK WATER! The more liquids you can get, the better. Water flushed the excess lactic acid out of both your joints and muscle fibers.
If you haven’t noticed already, water fixes everything. It’s the body’s personal duct tape.
Stock up on those lovely cans of tour water!
Take care of yourself!
- If you take care of your diet and your body, you will have more patience with the stage hands and your singer. You will avoid small injuries because you have used your limbs before you went to work. You will have more energy, you will remember where you put your shampoo, and how to play that one drum fill exactly right.
- You only get one body, take care of it. You only get one back, one set of hands, so guard them and take care of them.
- You are what you eat, you cannot escape that truth.
- Talk to someone at ROCK FOR HEALTH to get some health care going for your band!