Life On The Road: An Insiders Perspective
In the span of 11 years I have been involved in the music industry stemming from Los Angeles in one way or another. I’ve done everything from being the person musicians turn to in order to fulfill their body piercing needs, to being the one you call when you need live photos taken at your show, also to being the merch girl on the road with bands for months at a time all over the US and Europe. I work my ass off and am good at what I do.
Being a girl in the music industry is hard enough on it’s own but being the only girl on tour with a bunch of guys is a whole other story. I am almost always the youngest and only girl on a national tour. Which has its perks, mainly referring to the fact that I don’t have to deal with other girls. However, with being on the road comes the every day struggles like going days without showering, to late night partying and wondering when you’ll be able to do laundry next. For a girl, this can prove to be way more difficult to deal with and may not always be a good time. I’ve learned to adjust and do my best to survive.
I’ve been touring with bands both here in the US and Europe for roughly 6 years now as a merch manager and roadie. Every night is an adventure and you almost always have a story to tell in the morning. That is of course, if you remember the night before in the morning. My most recent touring cycle was with the national touring band 12 Stones. They were the absolute best group of guys I could have ever asked to be on the road with. Despite my tour with them was cut short because of an unforeseen family emergency, I grew very fond and protective of them in the 3 weeks that I spent living in the bandwagon with them. During my run with them we partied our livers out and shared the stage with the awesome bands 3 Pill Morning, The Letter Black and Letters From The Fire. I can honestly say I walked away with life long friends out of this tour.
On an almost nightly basis I am asked by fans of the band I’m working for what it’s like to be touring and partying like a rockstar every night. As glamorous as this lifestyle may seem to those who have never done it, it has it’s ups and down and major sacrifices that come with being gone from home and loved ones for the better part of the year. For example, if you have kids, you’re lucky if you are home for their birthdays. You can almost bank on missing weddings, funerals, anniversaries and sometimes-even holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. You may not always be working for a band that travels in a comfortable Prevost tour bus or Bandwagon, which then means you may be in a van or Sprinter. How is this uncomfortable you may ask? Well, you don’t get to lie down in you’re in a Sprinter or van. This line of work isn’t for everyone and sure enough not everyone is cut out to be on the road 9-11 months out of the year, never knowing what state you’re in and waking up in a different city every day. For those of us who have been successful enough to turn this into a full time job, we do it because we love the music and the experiences we will carry with us until the day we die.
Article By: Nadia Guardado