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Arkaea Exited Tour Early, Muse on Tour-Borne Illnesses

When Arkaea vocalist Jon Howard was sidelined by a case of pneumonia, it forced the band to drop off a few remaining tour dates. This happens often; a band is on the road, touring, supporting its music, and someone gets sick and dates get cancelled. Drummer Raymond Herrera commented, “I actually haven’t heard of this happening too often, This is the first time I have ever had this happen on any tour I have been on!”

Herrera is lucky. We constantly report on tour dates being axed when band members get sick, which prompted us to wonder: What about touring makes artists sick? Is it being around tons of new people, exposed to the germs of fans, club patrons and employees? The lack of sleep? Improper nutrition? Doesn’t anyone use Purell hand sanitizer?

Herrera said, “We do use it, and we were using it on the tour, along with hand washing often, etc.” So clearly, no matter what you do, you’re still susceptible to tour-bourne illnesses. “I have been touring for over 15 years, and I haven’t had any issues with meeting people, shaking hands and I actually eat pretty well on tour.”

Now, we’re starting to form a hypothesis. A seasoned touring veteran like Herrera, who cut his teeth in Fear Factory, knows how to survive on the road — and perhaps many new bands do not!

Perhaps getting some vitamin B12 shots before a tour might prevent or protect from tour sickness? Herrera said “I have never heard of any bands getting B12 shots before a tour, and I guess it wouldn’t be a bad idea. But I personally have never had any serious health issues on tour, and I have been doing this for a long time. Every person is different, and certain people react differently to weather or germs, so getting B12 shots or taking certain medicines may be something for certain people to think about before going on tour.”

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