Vanlife and Other Tour Tips from In The Whale

Denver band In The Whale kick off a November tour Friday, November 9 at the Moxi Theater in Greeley

For those of you new to In The Whale, they’re kind of road dogs, having toured the country regularly over the past several years, helping bring national attention to Colorado music at SXSW, Lollapalooza, and rooms across the country. Their upcoming tour, kicking off Friday, is coming off the heels of their gripping new EP, Dopamine.

Ahead of their Moxi Theater show in Greeley, the band checked in with us about what makes a tour run, beyond the music – what to pack, where to stay, the importance of quality shoes, and some simple ideas first-time touring bands might overlook. 

After the band’s homecoming show in Greeley, the band will be in Canada, the Northwest U.S., and California. Find tickets for their Moxi Theater show here.

New bands, take note. Here’s their list:

1. MAKE THE VAN’S HEALTH YOUR #1 PRIORITY

Nothing can kill a tour faster than van trouble. Our running joke in the band is that the van is the highest paid member and that’s the god’s honest truth to this day. If you have to sleep on a friend’s floor instead of getting a hotel so you can change the oil or rotate the tires, it’ll be better for your band in the long run. 

2. ADVANCE THE SHOW

About a week before the show, send out an advance email to the venue/promoter with any questions you may have about the schedule, parking, load in time, etc. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page about the show and what is expected of you and what you expect of them.

3. PODCASTS AND AUDIOBOOKS

Great way to pass the time on long drives. Some of our favorites: The Ex-Man With Doc Coyle, Slow Burn, Sword And Scale, The Jasta Show.

4. HOTELS.COM

Sign up for hotels.com and every 10th hotel you book is free.

5. KEEP RECORDS OF YOUR SHOWS

Many times on tour, the shows can run together into a blur. If you keep records of the shows you played (how much merch you sold, what you were paid, how many people were there, etc.), you can look at that record later and see that if there were 300 people at the show and the promoter paid you $50, that maybe you should try a different place. Or if there were only 25 people at the show but you made $216 in merch, it’ll probably be a good idea to return and build an audience in that market. 

6. BRING A TOWEL

Have a towel on hand. You never know when you’ll have to load your gear in the rain or some drunk guy or girl spills beer on your merch table.

7. GET YOUR MERCH ON POINT

Speaking of merch, get it together people! Make sure you have good looking shirt designs on SOFT shirts! Make the display look good but simple, and have a variety of items to choose from. Not just shirts and CDs!! Get creative! It’ll pay off, financially. Trust us.

8. THANK YOU NOTES

On tour, you’ll end up staying at different friend’s houses a lot. Writing them a short thank you note is a nice touch and an easy way to express your appreciation.

9. CUT BACK ON THE SUBSTANCES

A six-hour drive with a hangover? No thanks!

10. INVEST IN A GOOD PAIR OF SHOES

You’re going to be on your feet moving heavy things, not to mention bouncing around on stage every day. Your feet will take a beating. Quality shoes make a huge difference.
 
In The Whale perform at 8 pm, Friday, at the Moxi Theater with Its Just Bugs. and Came And Took It.