Tour Survival Guide

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Regina Spektor: Red Lipstick & On-Stage Burps

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Our Tour Survival Guide checks in with rockers about life on the road. Here?s Regina Spektor on honey, belching and her Russian-Jewish immune system.

Code Name: Lady Danger
I always have my favorite red lipstick on before I go onstage — It’s MAC and the color is Lady Danger. It’s awesome because it’s super bright red. It’s very spy-ish. No matter how I feel before every show I put it on and then I?m [ready] ?- it’s my “OK now I?m going to play my show” moment. It really changes everything.

An Army of Squeezy Bears
I could eat a bowl of honey. I drink hot water with honey, tea with honey, eat a teaspoon of honey. It really helps the throat, and it’s delicious. I try not to get the really crappy honey, I try to get organic. But I like all kinds -? the squeezy bears are really fun because they?re so cute. When I come back from tour, because I have so many honey bears from the rider, I have an entire army of them on my refrigerator, with different levels of honey in each one.

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Tour Survival Guide: Brandi Carlile

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Now and then our Tour Survival Guide will check in with rockers about life on the road. VH1?s You Oughta Know artist Brandi Carlile tells us about missing dogs, swallowing gum, and her groupies.

Gumming Up the Works
I used to really like Orbitz, but now I like that gum Stride. It lasts forever. It?s like the everlasting gobstopper in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. [I chew gum on stage] all the time. I get so much sh*t for it because I?m always chewing on stage and people can hear you chewing gum, which is not a good thing. I?m a total gum swallower too.

The Dog Whisperer
[The hardest part of touring is] not having animals around. I feel so much more like myself when there are animals around. If I go to the park [while I?m on tour] and I see squirrels I?m like, ?Oh thank god there?s animals.? If I could bring a dog on the road I would be so happy. Someday I will take my dog on the road.

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Tour Survival Guide: Plain White T’s

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Our Tour Survival Guide checks in with rockers about life on the road. Here?s Plain White T?s Tom Higgenson on electrocution, his Diet Coke problem, and bad stage banter.

He Suffers For His Art
One time I was plugging something in on stage, like an amp, and I got electrocuted. I didn’t fly off or anything, but I had to play it off like nothing happened, but it was terrible. It was in a college town in Illinois.

Drug Of Choice
There’s this thing called Throat Coat that I use. It’s a miracle drug. If I can’t even talk during the day, I have a little Throat Coat before we go on stage and I can sing. Diet Coke is very important [on our rider]. It’s not an addiction. There was a point where I was drinking a lot more. I switched to diet for my girlish figure. Since switching to diet, if I have a regular coke, it’s disgusting.

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Tour Survival Guide: Cold War Kids

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Now and then our Tour Survival Guide will check in with rockers about life on the road. We got the?Cold War Kids before they embarked on their tour opening for the White Stripes to find out about bootlegs, lucky maids and Wal-Mart parking lots.

Accidentally Tipping Maids Around the World
Nathan Willett: We had Jameson for three tours in a row. And that was no longer any fun. Now we just have water and beer. [Drinking Jameson] just gets gross.

Matt Maust: After a while we had six or seven bottles that hadn’t been drank. We left them in our hotel room once somewhere and the maid got them all. It was in London.

Post-Show Perambulations
Matt Aveiro:
I usually take a pretty fast walk after the show. Ten minutes away from everyone. I don’t think it’s really conscious. I just get off stage and I walk away from everyone, and I have my ten minutes away.

Orlando, Bootleg Capital of the World
MM:
I got a bootleg copy of The Wonder Years in Orlando, where all bootlegs come from. It’s the scam capital of the world. My mom told me that. My mom or my dad. You know [that movie] Matchstick Men? Orlando.?

Hiltons, Ramadas, and Wal-Mart Parking Lots
MM:
We used to not book hotels in advance, so we’d have to stay in the van in a Wal-Mart parking lot. There’s security, and it’s legal to stay there. We stayed there once, and I woke up to a cop and asking us if the pizza box and empty bottles were ours. I told him it was our recyclables.

Check out the Cold War Kids on tour:

9/13 Kiva Auditorium, Albuquerque, NM
9/18 Bayside Concerts, San Diego, CA
9/19 The Forum, Los Angeles, CA
9/21 Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA
9/24 William A. Egan Civic, Anchorage, AK
9/26 Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA
9/27 Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA
9/28 The Idaho Center, Nampa, Idaho
9/29 The E Center of West Valley, Salt Lake City, UT
9/30 Snowking Convention Center, Jackson Hole, WY
10/2 Rushmore Plaza Arena, Rapid City, SD
10/3 Fargo Civic Auditorium, Fargo, ND
10/4 Pershing Auditorium, Lincoln, NE
10/6 Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL
10/7 Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL

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Tour Survival Guide: Finger Eleven

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Now and then our Tour Survival Guide will check in with rockers about life on the road. Here’s guitarist James Black on how puppies and towels keep Finger Eleven touring.

Video Games Can Be Hazardous to Your Tour
Our other guitar player Rick broke his hand playing video games when we were touring on the last record. He got killed in the game, punched the wall of the bus and broke his hand. It f*cked the tour up for him for a couple weeks. We play four against four usually, and it gets aggressive. Once a year goes by [on the road] you start to put personal touches on everything you do in the game because you?re genuinely angry at the person. But that?s eight months from now.

Bath Towels: The Ultimate Rock Star Extravagance
We ask for seven to nine towels. Sometimes you show up and they give you these little square, face towels. It?s gotta be a nice clean towel — I?d love a bath towel. Usually it?s a hair towel sized-thing. Sometimes [I steal towels from the hotel], if it?s nice and soft, it’s like "I gotta take this." There?s a drawer in our bus for those towels.

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Tour Survival Guide: Brandi Carlile

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Now and then our Tour Survival Guide will check in with rockers about life on the road. Here’s Brandi Carlile on putting makeup on boys, fishing and whiskey. Find out when Brandi’s playing a town near you, and buy tickets now.

Teach A Woman To Fish…
I can’t tour without a fishing pole. On days off, you can find a lake almost anywhere, and for anybody who hasn’t ever gone fishing, there really isn’t a better way to wind down whether you catch a fish or not. It’s just good to go spend a day by a lake.

Thread Counts and Highways
I also can’t live without bedding. Bus bedding is never good enough. That’s one of the only things I’m a snob about. I have to have comfortable sheets and blankets.

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Tour Survival Guide: Rooney

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Now and then our Tour Survival Guide will check in with rockers about life on the road. Here’s Rooney‘s Robert Schwartzman and Ned Brower on mainlining sugary cereal, getting decked in England and forgetting where you’ve been.

Music For Celebs To Do Drugs To
Ned Brower: We played four nights at the Roxy just before we left. Mischa Barton showed up in our dressing room on psychedelic mushrooms, which was really weird. Needless to say she loved the show.

Wherever You Go, There You Are
Robert Schwartzman:
I remember we were playing Austin, and I said, "It?s so awesome to be in Austin for the first time." The band was like, "Dude, we?ve played here before." On the mic. Like, "Robert we?ve played here." And I was like, "No we haven?t." Then some fans were like, "Yes. You have."

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Tour Survival Guide: Fiction Plane

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Now and then our Tour Survival Guide will check in with rockers about life on the road. Here’s Fiction Plane‘s lead singer Joe Sumner, currently on tour with the Police, on buccaneering, Wendy’s and Dave Navarro

Jack Sparrow Envy
We [asked for] plastic swords and eye patches for acting like pirates. We put on our eye patches, brandished our swords and went around going "Arrrr!" I kept hold of the sword for a few days. We’ve only gotten them once — it happened in Vancouver. They?ve got no problem providing you with fifty bottles of Jack Daniels if you want it, but plastic swords, they?re like, "No! You?ll get it once. Then suffer in swordlessness."

Like Swimming, No Eating Two Hours Before Playing
We had traveled from Ohio to Wisconsin. There was terrible traffic and we didn?t have time to get any food, so right at the last minute we got Wendy burgers and stuffed them into our faces. It didn?t feel good. I?ve got a two-hour rule now. I think I cramped up at one point. No eating two hours before, even if I?m hungry.

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Tour Survival Guide: Hinder

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Now and then our Tour Survival Guide will check in with rockers about life on the road. Here’s Hinder’s Cody Hanson on what keeps them running: booze, porn stars and the fans.

Diet of Champions
We took most of the food off [our rider] because you can only get so much [alcohol], and if you have food on there, it’s taking up your alcohol money. Now we get a loaf of bread, and peanut butter and jelly. I’ve been on a cottage cheese kick lately. It’s amazing what you’ll eat at the end of the night when you’re all f*cked up.

They can Time Travel to 1986
Ron Jeremy
came to Oklahoma City and introduced us — we had two hometown shows back-to-back. One night was Ron Jeremy and the other night was Jesse Jane. So we had two different porn stars introduce us two different nights. That was the second time we’d met Ron Jeremy. He’d introduced us in L.A. We were doing an Eddie Money cover and we invited [Eddie Money] to come sing with us on stage. And Ron Jeremy called up the club and asked if he could introduce us — he’s a big fan. Then we all went out and got sh*t-faced at the Rainbow.

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Tour Survival Guide: Page McConnell


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Our Tour Survival Guide checks in with rockers about life on the road. Phish’s Page McConnell is starting a solo tour to celebrate the arrival of his new CD.


GOT GOOD PLUMBING?

One time in Atlanta we were putting together the set list, and as we were writing, it fell in the toilet. And it was a harbinger for some kind of plumbing problem that happened later. It?s a small theatre and a water line broke up near the concession area; ultimately, it came down through the seats and filled up a section near the stage. We had to cancel t he second set because of electricity dangers. As I recall, we sang some a cappella songs. The set list and the set itself were both under water.

SHOP TALK
Doing interviews on the road is interesting. They can take you anywhere. Recently I did Public Radio in the morning and a local shock jock thing in the afternoon. Before they had me on, they had to tape up the windows of the studio because they had two strippers in there playing a game. They?d take questions over the phone and for every right answer they?d disrobe to another level. It was different than earlier in the day; I?d played a couple songs on a grand piano in a nice studio, being introduced by a guy with a deep voice. It?s funny being out in the public eye again.

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