Tour life might seem glamorous and fun, but it ain’t for the faint of heart. Between the homesickness and long drives, there’s also the issue of where to rest your head each night. Up-and-coming bands cutting their teeth playing tiny gig after tiny gig don’t get to ride in a lux tour bus much less stay in a hotel room every evening. Instead, they get to crash wherever they can while trying to save up gas money. Floridian metalcore crew Wage War are doing well for themselves these days, but it wasn’t that long ago that the boys were staying in some pretty shady spots while on the road. We caught up with singer Britton Bond to get a look at what tour life is really all about, warts and all.
1. Promoter’s kitchen
I remember the first time we did a DIY tour, we stayed in the promoter’s kitchen in North Carolina. I remember waking up on a deflated air mattress with a cat walking on top of me. Thanks for letting us crash in your kitchen, Chris.
2. Walmart parking lot
We stayed in a Walmart in Flagstaff, Arizona, and I remember it being very rainy and cold. We stayed the night in our van and we woke freezing. We went to get out of the van and we had to force the doors open because our van became encased in a thick layer of ice.
3. with a thief in a jumpsuit
The last European tour we were on with August Burns Red I remember waking up to strange man in a jumpsuit on our bus. Our bass player Chris woke up and asked the guy what the heck was he doing and he caught him digging through our pants pockets trying to steal our wallets. Our rig was locked. The thief asked our driver a question so he could get out of the bus and another guy snuck around back and hopped in. It was crazy.
4. on pool floats
This one isn’t a crazy place we stayed, but it’s a funny story so I got to tell it. One time in Europe we were in a sprinter van with bucket seats. Either you slept in your seat or on the cold floor. We wanted to save money by not staying in hotels so we toughed it out and slept in the van. We had an idea to sleep more comfortable so we all bought pool floats and slept on them every night. We had to deflate them during the day so we could have room to sit so every night you would see us pumping up our pool floats with a foot pump. I’m sure we got laughed at a lot.
5. Camden, New Jersey
I remember Warped 2016, we did it in the van, and it was the Camden, New Jersey, date. We drove all night to get there and it was my shift to drive the late one. I remember getting there so exhausted. I climbed down between the seats to go sleep and as soon as I closed my eyes I heard a knock. I ended up moving the van, like, every 30 minutes to a new spot. I didn’t get any sleep and we ended up playing first. I don’t think I’ve ever been that tired before.