I am just waking up in the greenish pre-dawn light of rural Indiana before sunrise. We aren’t very far outside of Indianapolis.
The tour bus is a nice one according to all of the touring veterans on the bus. I wouldn’t know, it all seems nice to me, compared to the many vans of my touring history. Last night I fell asleep watching Lewis Black on the small flat-screen TV that folds down over my bunk.
Sleeping is done troop-ship style, with 12 bunks, six to a side in the middle of the bus. When sleeping on a tour bus, I learned last night, one sleeps with one’s feet towards the direction of travel. This is in case there’s an accident, you get broken ankles instead of a broken neck. There is a lounge in the rear of the bus and one ahead of the sleeping compartment. Both have televisions and DVD players. The bus has wi-fi that goes out on a cellphone network, which means limited bandwidth, but thank god there’s connectivity.
Everyone on the bus has a laptop. Mars and I are both traveling with ProTools MBoxes. We spread out in the rear lounge last night to make click tracks for me to use at the first couple of shows, until I settle into some working tempos. Mars has the patience of a saint when it comes to doing stuff on the computer. We struggled mightily to get click tracks that were only going to one side of a stereo signal. For some reason, when we were bouncing the tracks, we had a little tiny bit of click on the other channel as well. This won’t do for a live show.
Here’s a bit of Bus Touring 101: When touring on a bus, the band drives overnight and gets two rooms in the morning. One room is so that the bus driver can get some sleep, since he’s the Most Important Man after the gig. The other room is so that the band can troop through and shower and have a place to sit down for a moment, but it’s sort of assumed that the band will spend most of its time on or around the bus, or wandering town. With wi-fi and a coffeepot on the bus, there’s not much reason for me to leave except to play the drums.
Still a bit apprehensive about the gig tonight. I have some reviewing to do so that I really know my parts and also to make sure that I have a nice, solid click to play along with. I can’t wait until I have settled into my comfort zone with this gig.