One thing they don’t teach you at Sound School (and yes there is such a thing, I graduated from Ex’pression College), is just how much flying and driving you will be doing on tour…and best practices to keep yourself entertained and out of trouble! Here are a few things I keep busy with to make best use of the free time…
- Write music on my laptop, using Ableton, my QuNeo and a plethora of plugins. This is a great way to hammer out ideas without being too critical of your mix right off the bat, it’s always best to work in stages!
- Reading a book, Non-Fiction during the day (Think and Grow Rich, The 4-hour Work Week, and Blink have changed me for the better)
- Reading a book, Fiction before bed (Fiction helps to sleep, fuels creativity, and is generally better than a video game for releasing tension, as video games are inherently designed to push-pull tension) – (Game of Thrones, Sandman/anything by Neil Gaiman, Otherland and The Dark Tower are some favorites)
- Writing this blog! Keeping a blog is a good way of keeping your sanity, and having some way to remember the times that are flying by faster than the speed of sound…
- Playing video games on my laptop (I’m a huge fan of the Elder Scrolls games, Mass Effect, Final Fantasy series, A Virus Named Tom which is a fun game I composed the music for)
- Playing video games on my phone (Android phones, and crafty iPhone users, can download emulators for Genesis, Super NES, and Playstation, so you can replay your entire childhood library! There are also tons of games on the market…)
- Jam with other crew members, and exchange tracks to collaborate on
- Discuss production techniques with crew/band members
- Eat delicious food
If you have any to add, feel free to comment in the section below! We last left off somewhere near Vienna, Europe:
Our show in Hamburg was in a venue (Uebel & Gefärhlich), a converted military bunker:
Upon arriving and finding the main doors locked, we proceeded to find the nearest open door and climb a few flights of stairs (that became roughly 16 flights of stairs) to the back door:
Naturally, the doors at the top were locked also…once we’re finally in though, the view from up top is quite stunning:
Soon after, we played at Centralstation in Darmstadt:
I would especially like to thank one of my new favorite clubs, Roxy, for taking care of us and providing an amazing club atmosphere. Although we did have to carry the love of our life Kim up and down multiple flights of stairs (see previous entry), it was all worth it to be part of the architecture that has been around longer than any of us have been hogging oxygen.
Roxy is in Prague, capital of Czech Republic and home to some of the best Drum & Bass I’ve experienced. One of my favorite record labels, Hospital Records, who represent favorites Netsky and High Contrast, have thrown many shows there in the past…and it’s in an absolutely gorgeous area of the city:
Our hotel rooms were:
It was with some sadness I had to leave, as it was great to see a place still thriving with Drum & Bass. I will be back soon, and vow to play Roxy personally! For any venues I forgot to mention – thank you! Everyone took good care of us, and made us feel welcome in their home, I managed to forge a lasting connection with nearly every sound engineer who helped us out…
One rather large thing to remember, for all touring engineers…remember that when you are working with an engineer at their home venue, you are working in their house…which is to say, be respectful and always remember they know the venue 100x better than you do. This is not an approximate number…they have probably mixed the venue at least 100 times, to your 1 time. They know how the room resonates, where the system bites, and where it doesn’t…all things you will need to learn within the next 8 hours, if you want your mix to sound good!
Treat the house engineer with respect, and as your trusted ears, and they will generally be all the help you need. Treat them otherwise, and, well…good luck. I’m sure most of us touring engineers have been house engineers at some point or another. We all remember what is was like. Be cool, and the favor will be returned!
On a lighter note, here’s some candy – specifically chocolate:
Cute local pug:
Of course, no trip would be complete without restocking the essentials:
This is our collective luggage; far, far more than should ever need to be kept track of:
We played some fantastic festivals in France:
We’ve reached our final destination, the train station we left from on our last day in Europe. The trip has left us battered and bruised, yet happy and hopeful for future stops, sustained by the opportunity to share the music and positivity that drive The Glitch Mob’s Love Death Immortality tour, world-wide and to your doorstep!
For the closing sentence archiving our first trip as a team to Europe (and employing futuristic technology to stay frozen in time indefinitely), I leave you in a panorama of Somewhere Beautiful, France.