As I write this journal entry I have approximately 15 days until I leave for the 2014 Uglyhead Fall US Tour. I feel compelled to make a couple of journal entries before I take off in order to explain why I am touring, also to give you an idea of what goes into tour planning.
In order to explain the purpose of the tour you must know one basic thing: I am a financially poor person. Uglyhead albums and tours only happen at the speed in which I acquire money to make them happen. I need certain expensive items in order to make albums and to tour so it takes me a long time to work for those items and then longer to make a song or prepare for a show. It took roughly 3 years to record The Garden and I put almost every penny I earned into it. Once it was done I did not have enough money to tour or to survive living in the ultra expensive San Francisco.
The Garden was released in late 2012 and I did not have enough money to tour and support the album. It sucks to work on something for so long and have a release with no tour.
...so I moved back to Washington State and live in a garage. I took a seasonal job working at a beach, scooping ice cream and selling hot dogs over the summer to survive. I am currently in a unique position where I have cheap enough housing that I can save up money. Also, I have a job with no long term commitments. It puts me in the perfect position to fuck my life over again and attempt another US tour! The odds are against me completing this tour but if I even have the slightest possibility of getting to tour for The Garden, I have to take it.
...even if it means I can only afford to go out alone.
Why are the odds against me? Well for starters I bought a junky '91 Subaru Legacy wagon for $1000. It runs and I put new tires and did some minor work to it. I basically need $2300 to pay for gas and insurance to make it around the US. The $2300 does not count for food or lodging. It is gas and insurance only.
...so with that budget I only get to eat if I make money at a show and I only get to have lodging if someone lets me crash on their floor. I am currently only at $1400 (due to spending some money making sure my car doesn't fail me) but anticipate getting close to $2300 within the 15 days I have left.
I will most likely leave with $2000 to $2100 which means I need to make the difference by making money at shows or I will get stranded somewhere and this tour will have another shitty ending.
Secondly, I cannot afford to bring an entire band with me so I am booking a one man show. It has proven difficult to gain interest in booking a one man electronic act who is not an EDM DJ. So I don't have a ton of shows to make money off of. There are a lot of holes in my tour dates where I will just be sleeping in my car or being a homeless bum.
Thirdly, I don't have a budget for new merchandise. I have a few shirts and some CD's and pins and patches to sell. There is no money in the budget to make new T-shirts to sell. The less merchandise I have, the less the maximum amount of money I can make from each show.
All of these things are weighing down on me as the tour approaches and giving me terrible anxiety. But when it comes down to it, my options are: live in a garage and hope I get a terrible minumum wage job
go out on the road and take a chance at surviving a tour to promote an album.
I am probably better off not doing this but if I didn't, you wouldn't have another tour journal to read...
Anyways, I am going to do a one man show with a 30 minute set and sequenced light show. I am bringing the following items:
2x dynamic microphones
1 Novation Ultra Nova
2 Laptops (one for backup)
2 Native Instruments audio interface (one for backup)
1 Custom stratocaster (guitar)
1 Fender american Stratocaster (backup guitar)
1 DMXis breakout box for lighting controll
1 Line 6 Pod X3 Live
1 Mackie 12 Channel Mixer
2 direct boxes
1 15" powered Peavey Wedge Monitor
1 TC Helicon Voice Live Play pedal
7 flight cases
1 Ultimate 2 tier keyboard stand
7 DMX LED lights
1 box of Uglyhead Merchandise
a backpack full of clothes
1 sleeping bag
1 bag of Craisins (emergency food)
I am packing all that into a car and heading across the country not knowing if I will ever make it back to Washington.
Today I mapped out the first 26 days of the tour. Somehow compiling every day into a list makes the tour seem terrifying. I can't view it as one day at time. It is one horrific lump mass.
I have spent the entire summer working my ass off for this tour and I know I am going to go. Even if I shouldn't.
...and that is what is scaring me the most.