What is success? Is it achieving a goal? Making tons of money? Getting radio play? It’s different for everyone, however one thing we can all agree on is that opening up for a well known band successful. How about going on tour with a well known band? I agree… pretty damn successful.
Against the Wall, a NY based band, who toured with Red and is currently on tour with Framing Hanley, gives us an insight on how their life is on the road. I got a chance to speak to Daniel, the band’s front man. You should read this article and then go to their MySpace, look through their videos and read through their blogs to see how much work it actually is to be in a band with a bright future.
Sanja: How long did you guys wait before you set off on your first tour?
Daniel: We’ve been a band for almost 5 years. The first time we went on a national tour was a year and a half ago, in the beginning of ’09, that was with Red.
Sanja: What was your reason behind waiting to go on tour?
Daniel: Well we weren’t waiting… We were playing overtime like locally in NY and around NY, CONN, NJ, Philadelphia, PENN, anywhere that was like… around. We were also working out a bunch of other stuff and we got a really good opportunity to go on a good tour. So we went out actually at the right time and the band was good in the beginning but when we went out on tour it was really killer so it’s good that we went out whenever we went out.
Sanja: How many times have you toured so far?
Daniel: This is our fourth tour.
Sanja: Does Against the Wall always tour the same routes or do you kind of change them up?
Daniel: No, I mean, it varies. A bunch of cities we’ve been at this time we also came thru last year… last summer, so some markets we are hitting again for sure and some are new markets. It’s cool because every time you hit a new market we get new fans and the next time around we come here they’ll come again and bring their friends so it’s pretty cool. Everything’s growing.
Sanja: How did you guys land a gig with Framing Hanley?
Daniel: We just got it thru the agency that we get tours from. They just offered it to us. We waited for a good tour from them for a while and they got it to us and it was an awesome opportunity basically. So we took it. It ends for us in July, we’re on the tour until July.
Sanja: How long have you been on this tour?
Daniel: Three weeks.
Sanja: How do you like it so far?
Daniel: It’s insane; absolutely insane. The shows are just crazy, the crowds are crazy and the 3 bands that we’re traveling with are all awesome guys and we all have a really great time together.
Sanja: Do you all do something together as far as promotion goes or do you guys do your own?
Daniel: We do our own and some are together. I think we share the same promotional company with a bunch of the other bands so everybody’s getting their PR.
Sanja: What kind of things on your part, as far as you as a band, aside from your promotion company do you guys do to make sure that people show up to your shows?
Daniel: I mean besides the collects on MySpace and Facebook for years, every time we go thru like a local mall we sell CDs, walk around, talk to people, give out cards… It’s all good.
Sanja: I don’t know if you can narrow this down to one thing, but what is the best thing about touring?
Daniel: The best thing about touring? The shows. The shows for sure. So being like in a different city or meeting the new people as far as the shows go. Yea of course, most of the touring is not the shows, most of the touring is the traveling and the hustling and the breaking down, setting up, carrying gear, being with your band 24/7. As amazing as the people are, you need your space or whatever you know… The moment you get on stage for that half an hour, 45 minutes, whatever it is- it’s just enough you know. That’s what makes everything amazing.
Sanja: What’s the worst thing about touring?
Daniel: You don’t get to sit on your couch at home as much.
Daniel: Yea, I always have visions of my couch running thru my head, ya’ know? I see the couch, the iced coffees, ya’ know? Sometimes it’s a routine, you drive and drive and drive and you’re like ‘I’m tired of driving.’ Drive, drive, drive and I’m tired of McDonalds salads or whatever it is, ya know? There’s nothing really horrible about it, I mean it’s all fun, it’s all a good time. I mean, we’re very close, we’re like brothers (the band), so it’s all good.
Sanja: And what do you guys usually do about your sleeping arrangements, do you use any friends, family or do you guys sleep on the bus?
Daniel: No, no, no we do motels. We always do the whole band in 1 room.
Sanja: Awesome, and what is the one thing if you had to give advice, what is the 1 thing you should never go on tour without ,of course asides from your equipment?
Daniel: Marijuana?(laughs) No, besides that, 1 thing you shouldn’t go without, I think is sleeping arrangements. You know, having a motel at night to go to after you’re done with all the madness and the gig and the driving and the show, sleeping in a bed and having that form of humanity is important. Having that 1 thing. If you give that up for sleeping in the van, you know , you’re like constantly in each other’s assholes and eventually you’re going to.. you know you need to get some sort of space… of chill vibe, ya’ know?
Sanja: Definitely. And what advice would you give to someone that’s just going on tour for the first time?
Daniel: Be mentally strong. You got to’ be mentally strong and you got to just enjoy yourselves. Just enjoy it. Also, do the work …but enjoy it at the same time. It can’t all be business. It’s got to be a combination of everything. And of course, meet the people, enjoy yourself, you live once. That’s the idea, ya’ know? Play fucking great. Kick ass.
Sanja: What are your guys’ plans this year? Are you promoting a particular album? I know you are playing the Club Firestone on June 24th, right?
Daniel: Yea, I mean, what are the plans… We’re promoting The Truth, our first album, debut album. We’re working on another one, so it’s going to be probably done by the end of the year. Also, I have a Hebrew album coming out. I’m from Israel, actually, and I have a Hebrew album I just finished and we are going to go promote out in Israel; do a few big shows in October. Yea it’s pretty sick. Other than this album, I’m working on a bunch of projects. There’s a lot of shit to do. We’re gonna’ be touring, we’re gonna’ be playing, we’re gonna’ make another album and another one and another one, as far as this goes, that is the deal.
Join the Against the Wall MySpace posse at www.myspace.com/atwband
To get the tickets for their upcoming show at the Club Firestone, go to www.firestonelive.net