In our talk with Shane Told of Silverstein, we have learned a lot from a musician’s perspective about how to make sure that your crew members are doing OK and that they are happy working with you. Silverstein’s approach to touring does not operate in most bands and that is understandable. However, they have found their own way to tour and make touring a safe place for their crew and we are here to talk about it.
Sense of Community
Growing up in the suburbs of Toronto, Shane tells how the sense of community became a huge part of him. They had shows where five bands from who knows where playing whatever kind of music, without caring who is the headliner or opener. He says he would go on stage to play his own music still sweaty from moshing for the band that played before. They were all just in for the greater good that is music and expression.
Repaying Old Favors
Typically, when you are a new band that only has your first record -or has no record yet- someone takes a chance on you and brings you on tour as an opener. For musicians that want nothing else than that, it is a huge opportunity, and everybody needs that opportunity to start somewhere.
A lot can change in a month and a half on tour – you can go on tour, and no one knows who you are. But by the end, you’ll be drawing people like crazy. If your band had that kind of a chance and became successful in time, when talking about going on tour you should repay old favors by taking chance on someone else.
Leave your rockstar attitude at the door. As a band member, it is important to notice that you are just another part of the crew. Being a rockstar is cool, but there is a fine line between being nice and having the ego thing. The awareness of how being nice will reflect on your crew and it is one of the key factors that will make touring easier for everyone.
We always say that mental health is important and while touring everyone feels down sometimes. As a band member, keep it down to earth and help with everything, especially with your crew’s wellness and mental health. Silverstein’s approach to this matter makes so much sense. They never had discriminatory rules, if band members can bring their significant other in on tour for a couple of days, so can crew members! They always make sure that their crew has that flexibility and let their crew do what they got to do for their own sanity and personal life. The awareness of “we are all in this together whether you’re tuning guitars or playing them” helps with everything.
Silverstein’s Rider Strategy
In terms of rider, Silverstein doesn’t have anything too crazy. They used to put a new DVD release on the rider but then they started to realize that they were the ones paying for it. So, instead of getting rider, they started to just pocket all the money and split up with the crew. Imagine, every three days someone would get an iPad or something – they call it super buyouts. This is how they use their rider’s money instead of getting snacks or anything.
Shane’s Tips for Touring
- Whenever you’re touring, or whenever you’re traveling always bring an extension cord so that you don’t have to move some furniture in the hotel room trying to plug your charger in.
- If you are a singer, you should be stashing water bottles just in case you run out.
- If you buy records on tour or collect the venue posters, under your mattress is where you should be keeping them. You don’t want to put them in a closet because something might bump them.