So, once again I have been neglecting you and for that I offer 1000 apologies.
As many of you know, I recently went on a solo East Coast tour at the end of March and beginning of April. The tour started with the full band doing a double showcase for CMW in Toronto, and took me all the way out to Charlottetown, Halifax, and as many places in between that would have me. So what I was thinking was that I would add on to the list of things I learned on tour that I started last September. So here we go, starting with… 12) Too much caffeine is bad for Rory
– So, my first long stretch of driving was from Orléans (just outside Ottawa) to Edmundston New Brunswick. On this drive I consumed copious amounts of coffee trying to keep myself alert on the long drive through Québec.
This ultimately ended up with a great amount of pee breaks (where I stupidly would buy more coffee… common sense… where were you?) and the coffee shakes. Gotta love the coffee shakes. Like its cousin, the meat sweats, the coffee shakes come on without much warning. At first it’s a sensation, and then you sit and think, “Uh oh, that’s not right.” I then switched to herbal tea. This didn’t stop my pee break problem, but it did slow down my shakes. 13) It’s still winter at the end of March
– When I booked this tour, I thought, “It’ll be warm enough to sleep in my car!” Stupid Rory, you live in Canada. March is still winter, especially when you’re on the East Coast. I slept in my car in Edmundston and there was still 3 feet of snow. I had a -40 sleeping bag to sleep in, but I think I’m going to write the company who made it with a challenge to sleep in that sleeping bag in -15 weather and then think about relabeling it. 14) Northern Québec and New Brunswick are gorgeous
– Man, you want to see some beautiful scenery, drive through north eastern Québec
on the road to New Brunswick. Wow, absolutely breathtaking. 15) East Coaster’s love music
– Ever want to go to a place where people really love music? Just travel to the East Coast. I played at Plan B
in Moncton on a Tuesday night, a place I’ve never been to play, and the bar was busy until last call. I also busked on the streets of Charlottetown and people were actually thanking me for playing as they walked by. Not giving me dirty looks, THANKING me. 16) There are moose in New Brunswick
– So I had to get from Charlottetown, PEI, where I played one night to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to play at noon the next day. This left me with the choice to either sleep in my car for a few hours in Charlottetown and get up really early to drive, or drive through the night then park for a few hours in the morning to sleep. Seeing all the signs for moose in New Brunswick, I decided to stay the few hours and leave at 6:30 in the morning. This turned out to be a good idea. As soon as I got over the bridge into New Brunswick I saw a big honkin’ moose standing right next to the road eating. This is the closest I have ever been to and ever want to be to a moose. I then drove 10 minutes down the road and saw another one! I’m glad I wasn’t driving through there at night. 17) Turn signals are optional?
– This is one of my biggest pet peeves as a driver. Are you really that lazy that you can’t move your finger that little bit to turn on your turn signal? Ontario is awful for this, just terrible, but it was a treat compared to Québec
. I don’t understand why no one uses their turn signal anymore! Every time this happens to me, this clip
runs through my head… ONE OF THESE DAYS!
Anyway, I think I’ll stop there. This tour was one of the best experiences of my life and I am going to be going back out East as soon as possible. In the meantime I have new stickers available at the shows, you should check them out! Also, check the site for shows coming up in your area; I’m trying to get around to as many places as possible. If you want me to come to your town let me know and I’ll make it happen (hopefully).
Until next time, I leave you with a video of the lovely and ridiculously talented Keturah Johnson
covering Radiohead’s “Creep” with the Old Souls and I at the Cameron House a couple weeks ago.
I love you all,
First, as I’m sure most of you know, the next full band show is at the Gladstone Hotel on Friday October 19th at 9PM. It’s a free show AND it’s my birthday s come on out and party with us!
So, the original scheduled dates for the ‘first of many’ tour wrapped up in Kitchener Friday night at Lancaster House. I just wanted to say thank you to all of you made it out to one of the shows on the tour and everyone who housed/fed/put up with/hung out with/talked to me throughout the tour. I met lots of new people, made a bunch of contacts and learned a few lessons. I can’t seem to go back to ‘normal’ life now though, I’ve kept booking shows further and further away. This Friday I’m in Ottawa and then Montreal on Saturday. I’ve been told that there’s a “cream or ointment” for the touring itch, but as of right now? I love it and am going to continue to do it.
So I decided to compile a list of things I learned on tour for my own entertainment and so people looking to go on tour can learn from my mistakes or experiences:
1) People are going to ignore you – A large portion of the e-mails and phone calls you do when trying to book shows will go ignored. Do your best to get as much information as you can over the phone by asking open ended questions. A lot of people on the phone will ask you to just send them an e-mail, but e-mails are really easy to ignore. Just keep at it though, eventually you’ll get your dates booked up.
2) Buy a tuner – Seriously, you can buy a tuner for $15-$20. At one particular show I played one guitar player of a band said to the other, “Are you in tune?” to which the other said, “I don’t know, let’s tune to each other.” They then proceeded to air tune on stage, not to mention leaving the bass player out of this “tuning” party. I wish I was making this up. Some may call me a dick for saying this, but I had to endure 45 minutes of terribly tuned playing. So who’s the bigger dick? Just buy a tuner… please…
3) There are still people who love and support music, you just have to dig for them – It’s hard being a musician in Canada. Some people may say, “boohoo, you’re playing music for a living” to that, but it always seems that someone is going to try to exploit you for money, not want to pay you, not want to pay to listen to you and own your music for free. This makes it hard to do as a living and puts a stigma on independent musicians as poor people who need to get real jobs. There are still people who support you though! There were a few venues I played where the owners really wanted to support music and make sure I was treated well, not just make some money off me. It never fails that when you think a show is a bust, that some stranger will come up to you when you’re finished and tell you they loved your set, making you remember how much you love doing what you do.
4) Trail mix is awesome – That is all.
5) Give yourself plenty of time to get to a show – There was one particular show where the drive should’ve taken me 1 ½ hours and it ended up taking 3 ¼… Fortunately I had left really early.
6) Be friendly – Chat with the people at the shows. Whether it’s the crowd, the other musicians, or the staff at the venue. Don’t act like a big deal, talk to everyone. People treat you better and want you back if you’re nice to them.
7) Don’t think you’re a big deal unless you are – Don’t tell the show’s organizer you’re going to bring a whole bunch of people out because it’s your hometown, and bring two. Don’t call your two friends that you brought your fans. Don’t compare yourself to Hendrix unless you’re an amazing/ground breaking guitarist. You will piss off everyone around you including me and you don’t want to see me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…
8) Don’t ever stop looking for more shows – Have a night off? Book another show. Hear about a venue in a town close by? Call for a show. The more contacts you have, the easier life is going to be the next time booking comes around.
9) Bring lots of extra strings – Those bastards always seem to break in the worst possible situations! (((fist shake)))
10) Don’t pay to play – This is reserved for high school bands that have no other ways of getting shows and those who don’t know any better. If someone wants you sell tickets for their show they should be giving you money from said ticket sales. Otherwise you end up paying someone for doing their work for them. People will try to make a buck off of you no matter what. There was a show where we were asked to sell tickets, but I said no and we were still put on the bill anyway. The show then, surprise surprise, ended up falling through. These types of shows and people are not professional, so don’t waste your time on them if you’re serious about what you’re doing.
11) Have fun – It took me a while to get this one down pat. Things go wrong, such is life. Even out of the worst situations, you have to see the good things. I played a show where there were very few people in the audience, but one of the people wrote a great review for the show in a magazine and another took my CD for his radio program. Make sure you are learning something from every experience and it will stay fun.
So that’s all I can think of for now, sorry about the lengthy entry, but I figured I was overdue for one. As for my usual funny picture, here is Spun reminding me why I don’t mess with him… I went with him because I wanted to live.
Until next time, take care, stayed tuned, and I’ll see you on the 19th!
Aaaaaaaaaaaand we’re back. Alright, full disclosure here, this one’s a little bit of a rant again. I’ll make up for it at the end though, I promise. Ok, so the other week I’m at a show with a good buddy of mine, and there’s this guitar player on stage setting up. The dude is cocky as anything; acting like he’s the cat’s pyjamas and treating everyone around him like they’re beneath him. Anyway, so the band starts playing and this dude not only forgot how to tune a guitar, but he sucks. Can’t keep time, keeps messing up parts, plays bad notes, etc. So my friend turns to me and says, “How come it’s always the crappy guitar players that are the cocky ones?” This made me think, because it’s almost always the case. In my time as a musician, I have played and attended copious amounts of shows. In that time, the biggest douche bags I’ve crossed paths with act as if they are best thing to come out of the world since sliced bread (I love sandwiches, so this is a big deal for me) and then they go up on stage and are just awful. Or there’s that singer who thinks he’s a rock star because he’s got a show at some bar, and then goes up and sings out of key and/or with an accent that he doesn’t have naturally*. Then you meet others who are super chill and totally awesome to hang out with, then they go up and make me want to quit because they are so amazing! Just last week, we had the opportunity to share a bill with a great Canadian Musician, Arlene Bishop. Arlene was so nice and very friendly with us before the show. Completely down to earth and easy to talk to. She then went on stage and blew me away. Her music was beautiful. It had soul that you don’t usually hear anymore. That and she was hilarious! I highly recommend checking out her music. Now if you don’t know what I mean, think of American Idol. I used to watch the auditions because it was hilarious to see all the people that were just awful and then listen to Simon rip into them afterwards. It was a little guilty pleasure of mine. Anyway, did you notice that it was always the people that sucked that had the worst attitudes? Where does that come from? If you’re going to be a dick, you should at least have something to back it up with. It’s not just music though! This can be related to many other things in life. Take art for example. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been shown paintings that are just God awful, but are being played off like they are the best thing ever and should be hung at the Met. Expressionist paintings are the worst for that. Someone will throw some paint or whatever on a canvas and say its expressionist, even though they are just too bad at art or are too lazy to actually try something. I’m not saying that expressionist art is bad. There are a lot of beautiful expressionist pieces, but they actually show an emotion. Jackson Pollock threw paint on giant canvas and it was an amazing portrayal of his insanity because (say it with me kids) the dude was actually insane! Now, I went to school for art, but I know I cannot paint all too well myself, so don’t think of this as me being on a high horse somewhere. I am just sick of people sticking feathers up their ass and calling themselves a chicken. If I’ve completely turned you off from me, I’m sorry. I warned you, this was an open window into my insanity. If you want, I’ll give you a hug if you come out to our next show. Anywho! I tried to find another picture of Boyes in a funny situation or pose, but I’ll have to keep looking. I did find a good one of Spun though, from the night we were setting up to play Horseshoe Tavern. Until next time! *That is one of my biggest pet peeves as a singer and a whole other article all together. If you’re not from a southern state like Nashville, you should not have a drawl. If you’re not from England, you shouldn’t sing with an English accent. If you’re not from Jamaica and are Caucasian, you shouldn’t sing with a Jamaican accent, etc. I think you get the point.
You came back! Once again, welcome.
Alright so this is something that’s been on my mind grapes for a while now. If you like something, support it. If you don’t, it will cease to exist. My buddy Sean showed me a video of Billy Corgan (singer/guitar player/songwriter from “Smashing Pumpkins”) putting this idea and a few other important ones into words. Now usually I don’t like watching Mr. Corgan in interviews, and it makes me sad that he refuses to play his old tunes in concerts, but the dude seems to know what he’s talking about. That and “Zero” is one of my all time favourite tunes…
Watch the video HERE
Now, I’m not trying to be preachy, and I’m not saying, “HEY YOU! BUY MY SHIT!” because I am also guilty of this sometimes. I look for deals on CDs when I go to a store. I have passed on buying a CD I really wanted because I could get two in a combo pack for the same price, but that’s not helping the artist that I really like. In that moment it doesn’t hit me that he/she has to charge that much because they don’t have an endorsement deal with that new 17G cell phone, or some sport sneakers that they have no need for. I mean you’re a musician, who gives a shit how high you can jump*? Anyway, all I’m saying is; as a whole, we need to start supporting all these musicians, artists, etc. that we really like. Otherwise, they will cease to exist. We might not be as lucky as we were with “Arrested Development” coming back after being cancelled. Artists can’t eat your “likes” on Facebook.
Alright, enough with my ranting. I’m sorry if I upset you. Next time I see you, I’ll give you a hug and I won’t tongue juice you. On a happier note, I found another fantastic picture of Boyes! So, a little back story… Most of RoRY went to Kingston for a show at Clark Hall Pub at Queen’s University, and our buddy Melcher graciously let us crash at his place for the evening. As we’re getting ready to turn in, we all start pulling out blankets and sleeping bags, and Boyes pulls this out of his bag. I love you buddy.
*That totally made me picture that scene in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, where Chapelle asks for a timeout so he can pump up his sneakers. Aw man, *insert knee slap* classic!