Zone Recording: Tour Preparation

Wow. I'm exhausted. The more days that pass, the more I wish there were two of me to take care of everything.

I have been organizing the upcoming tour for the Canadian dates in support for Joe Satriani's tour as well as a zillion other things.

First off, I did not know it was possible to wear so many hats at the same time! WOW! I have a new respect for tour managers.

The first task was organizing the transport and accommodations. Before I even get into that... knowing your budget is quite important. And I can say this - everything costs!

We needed to arrange transport first for us, and also for the gear. We worked it out that the backline is being shipped to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and then transported on the Satch trucks for us. WHEW! That saves tons of money. I had to contact all of the bands including my companies to help with the gear. This is still being worked out at the moment, but if all goes well, it should all be there waiting for us. I had some issues with my control pedal that runs my rig, since I left it in Romania on my last concert. What an idiot! It cost so much to get shipped over. I had to scout Ebay and Craig's List to find another! Found one in Long Island, NY. Thanks a million Steve Booke!

Next was organizing our own transport. I had to price out what it would cost to fly, then rent a truck. It has to be a 4x4 because we are going through the freaking Rocky Mountains! One of the band members offered us his 4x4 extended cab... DONE! Saves some money on flights and van rental. Knowing how much we can fit in the truck is another thing. We actually had to get all the gear together ahead of time (besides the backline) like guitars, pedals, hardware, computers etc., and make sure it would all fit!

Next was booking the hotels. Sounds easy enough, but do we all share a room? HELL NO! We each got our own room. I had to hunt around for some deals, and thanks to Jen Lewin for the hookup. I tell you, knowing the right people sometimes makes it all a little easier.

Next is hiring a tech for the band. Do we travel with one, or hire them in each city or what? I spoke with Daniel and he suggested hiring Satch's crew and that happens all the time with the support act. So, off to figure that out. I had to send a tech requirement list to production to get approved. That is still in the works as we speak! Next is merchandise. It sure would help to sell some merch! That all started with getting units from my record company and working out a deal with them as well. Everyone is making money on this!

I have yet to arrange how the merchandising is going to work. Possibly contact the Satch merch guys to have our things as well. I'll have to get that one sorted out.

Then it's figuring the set list for our 40 minute show. Picking the songs was the easy part, learning how to play them again is a fun ride! We are all working on that right now separately, and will start rehearsals in the next few weeks.

Then there is setting up click, and/or some backing tracks, for the show. We might run some along to fill the sound out - possibly all my solos so I don't have to play them and air guitar them! BHAHAHA! Kidding of course!


Then if this is the case, we will be using in ear monitors to hear click. I'm not a big fan of this, but we will see in rehearsal how that all works out.

The most important thing we need to do is just have fun. We will play our asses off - and look forward to it!

I'm sure I will learn other things as I go through it, and will let you know how it all turns out after the tour!

May the tone be with you.

David Martone is a guitarist from Vancouver, Canada who has released seven solo CDs which showcase his musical diversity and brilliant guitarmanship.

His 2007 CD is entitled "When The Aliens Come", which features a progressive sound incorporating jazz, rock, fusion and metal influences.

David Martone