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Author Topic: Update on our bus situation  (Read 1380 times)
ilyafish
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« on: March 03, 2010, 11:02:12 PM »

Hey all!  So I've been reading the board lately to try to fulfill my bus craving, so i figured i would give you all an update as to what is going on with our coach....at least for now.

We are about to sign management and booking deals and start touring in 2010.  However, since we are a smaller band and will be the opening act on bigger tours, our management actually said that they will not work with us unless we agree to NOT have a bus.  they dont feel like dealing with band egos of the headlining band complaining that they want to be the only band with a bus.  so for this year we kinda have to suck it up and deal with it.  in the meantime, we are still going to be paying for our bus to be stored and hopefully next year we will be in a position to do some bigger touring where we can use it.

also, in the meantime we will be purchasing a shuttle bus and using it for touring this year.  It is close enough to a van so headlining bands wont cry, and i can still do somewhat of a conversion right? i mean i can build bunk beds, install lighting, a fridge, 5 roof airs, a bathroo......okay maybe not, but its something.  Maybe ill post some pictures of that as i work on it....i mean its not a bus, and im still trying to get rid of 'try to cram what is inside a 40ft bus into a 14 passenger shuttle bus syndrome' but maybe depending on my luck i might.

one day ill be back asking for help, in the meantime....ill just keep reading up and getting my 'bus fix' hahaha

-ilya
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Songman
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2010, 12:22:45 AM »

Wow! That is a shame. What kind of music do you play? We certainly never had any attitudes like that in country music. Don't get me wrong. There were attitudes, but not about 'we want to be the only ones with buses'. What a shame. Remember when we all just loved to play music?

Good luck. Hope you can get past that silly crap and get back into your bus.
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1992 Prevost XL-45
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desi arnaz
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2010, 01:21:46 AM »

what a bunch of bullsh**  just park the bus down the street  or just dont play with these groups that cant deal with your mode of transportation.
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niles500
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2010, 02:17:37 AM »

Your management obviously doesn't care about your safety - Hope they're better at contracts than they are with looking out for your personal welfare - FWIW
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johns4104s
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2010, 04:53:37 AM »

I, 2nd that Niles.

John
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2010, 05:02:40 AM »

The featured performers might even look better if a non-personalized second coach shows their exaultedness of needing two buses and not just one.

I am amazed that you would be asked to downsize for someone else - maybe some day they will open for you. !!
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2010, 06:00:55 AM »

For what it's worth, I did a bunch of touring as a warm act for a way bigger band years ago, they had a bus, we had a van, and I think we got the better deal.  The big band had to arrive first at the gig to set up sound system and sound check, we only had to show up about an hour before show time to do a quick sound check.  The big band had to get back into the bus and head for the next show pretty much as soon as the show was over, + all the guys and management sleeping in the bus together, we could hang out as long as we wanted (girls) and would spend the night in a local hotel, have a nice breakfast and try to hit the road by noon (ish).  By the end of the tour I was in decent shape and well rested, the big band guys were exhausted and had developed some bad habits. 
Moral of the story for me was that I didn't actually want to be in a "successful" band and a couple of years later I changed directions.  It's a tough business and the real winners are management and promotors....the musicians are the worker ants.  Have fun and enjoy the ride.
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RickB
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2010, 06:11:37 AM »

Ilya,

Are you guys still doing Christian music?

If so, I have a friend at GOA {Greg Oliver agency in Nashville) their roster includes: Lincoln Brewster, Barlow girl, Mark Schulz.

I could give you his address and make an introduction if you think your music fits their roster.

Having toured extensively in buses in the secular market I never ran into what you're describing but I can only think of one band that opened for us that didn't have a bus it was a great blues band called "Indigenous". They used to follow us for a few weeks here and there with a van and man could they sell swag.

Good luck in your travels,

Rick
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Songman
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2010, 06:34:44 AM »

For what it's worth, I did a bunch of touring as a warm act for a way bigger band years ago, they had a bus, we had a van, and I think we got the better deal.  The big band had to arrive first at the gig to set up sound system and sound check, we only had to show up about an hour before show time to do a quick sound check.  The big band had to get back into the bus and head for the next show pretty much as soon as the show was over, + all the guys and management sleeping in the bus together, we could hang out as long as we wanted (girls) and would spend the night in a local hotel, have a nice breakfast and try to hit the road by noon (ish).  By the end of the tour I was in decent shape and well rested, the big band guys were exhausted and had developed some bad habits. 
Moral of the story for me was that I didn't actually want to be in a "successful" band and a couple of years later I changed directions.  It's a tough business and the real winners are management and promotors....the musicians are the worker ants.  Have fun and enjoy the ride.

I've never had to do the van thing so I can't say much about it but when you get in really big bands the equipment is handled by roadies who go in advance and get everything set up and do a rough sound check. All you have to do is go have everything tuned in late in the afternoon and then you are done until showtime. The roadies also break down after the show and head to the next show while you enjoy yourself. They have their own buses and/or trucks. We definitely didn't have everyone on the same buses. We always had multiple buses just for the band. The only time you have to leave the same night is if you have a very long distance till the next show. That is the same in a van or bus. The buses were made for traveling, not sleeping. Even if we did have to go overnight, we had hotels on both ends. In cases where you had a REALLY long distance we would even have hotel rooms partway just to stop for a few hours and take showers. Unless we did have those long distances where we had to go overnight, the buses pull out around noon every day.
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1992 Prevost XL-45
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2010, 07:09:30 AM »

lots of different levels to "big band" and touring arrangements.  Lets put it this way, they were bigger than us....I was just a hired gun and I know for a fact that at the end of tour I had made more $ than the guys in the "big" band.  Basically they had home rent and expenses and that was it, everything else was rolled back into the promotion budget and their ever rising debt to the record company.  Me I had my wage and my per dium.  Like I said many versions of "big" and the market is harder than ever, with more and more acts having to "pay to play" just so they can have a chance at the brass ring.
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Songman
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2010, 07:36:03 AM »

Yep... Lots of levels. I know quite a few young artists who were screwed over by labels. I guess I have been lucky and am a little spoiled. Never had that experience.

In just about all cases the 'band' is just on a wage and per diem situation. They get paid, and usually paid well. They are not held up by any of the business stuff. The artist on the other hand has to get into the black before they actually make anything. I have friends who as they were starting out had several number one records in their first year but made less than $10k personally. The guys who played in their band made more than they did. But that usually only lasts about a year.

In any case, I have luckily never seen the situation the OP described. If he plays Christian music especially, it is really a shame. I agree with some of the other people that I would be looking for new management. Sounds like their management is more interested in the 'bigger bands' than they are them.
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1992 Prevost XL-45
Nashville, TN
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