Junius Offer Advice for Touring Newbies
When a band gets together and writes a few songs, records a demo and plays some local shows, they are typically pretty eager to move on to the next step, like buying a van and heading out on the road. While the allure of quitting your day job and being a full-time musician may sound pretty appealing, you might want to put a little more thought into it before telling your boss to get bent so you can go be a rock star. Noisecreep spoke to the seasoned road dogs of Junius about their experiences and when they think it’s right for a band to start touring.
“That kind of depends on what the band wants to get out of it. I almost feel silly giving advice like this since, really, everyone needs to have their own experiences, and what has worked — or hasn’t worked — for us might not apply at all to anyone else,” guitarist Micheal Repasch-Nieves explained. “For example, what worked for Dischord Records 25 years ago might not work for Equal Vision now.”
But Repasch-Nieves doesn’t think it’s all situational. “However, I think some basic values are timeless. Risks should be rewarded. Our experience was that when we started, we’d play Boston every other week and it wasn’t until we quit our day jobs and began touring that it felt like people started to take us seriously, which made sense to us. Why should anyone care about you or your art until you take some risks?
“Granted, it depends on what your goals and expectations are, but you shouldn’t expect a national following if you haven’t played outside of a 50-mile radius, you’ll most likely end up getting disappointed. We’re still struggling every step of the way, but we’ve never expected to get anything more out of this than we’ve put into it, and I think it’s always important to maintain that perspective. It also makes each step forward that much more rewarding.”
Vocalist/guitarist Joseph E. Martinez is quick to point the most important thing you can do to stay on the road. “Be nice to everybody. You have no idea how often it turns out that the people who you think are gonna be a total dicks at the beginning of the night end up being the ones who buy five T-shirts, feed you, get you drunk, let you stay at their house and give you an awesome experience you’ll remember for a long time. It always works out that way.”
To which Repasch-Nieves added, “Don’t stay at hotels/motels. Meet people, make friends with everyone and ask for a floor to crash on after the show. Build your community. In the long run, your community can keep you touring for a very long time.”