Brett Newski has played shows all over the world – Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland, Italy, Vietnam, Germany, Hong Kong, Australia, Sweden – you name it. So if there’s anyone who can give a little advice on finding places to crash while on a DIY tour, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone more qualified. Read some of your options below while streaming a few tracks from his most recent release, Land Air Sea Garage.
ASK FROM STAGE
Once upon a time in the Netherlands, I asked from stage and wound up in an ancient Dutch attic watching a tiny Jewish girl and three hairy Irish guys do whippets out of big red balloons. The weirdest tour stories typically come via this option. I recommend it highly. Sometimes it’s important to sacrifice comfort for blog content.
On the contrary, fans have also offered super clean mansions with giant king beds and seafood feasts. The unpredictability is fun, and artist murder-rates are almost zero. ;) Make sure to ask the crowd toward the end of the set, after you’ve formed a connection with the audience. Often, you’ll find your hosts to be friends and fans for life. I still keep in touch with many of these good folks I met haphazardly. And if you ever want to do whippets in Utrecht, Netherlands, I can tee that up for you.
POWER OF FACEBOOK
Okay, so it’s just before gig time and you’re a sad homeless band in Toronto. Searching “friends who live in Toronto” in the Facebook search bar will yield all your Toronto friends. Send them personalized messages and see if they can help out. Offer something in return, like taking them out for breakfast the next day.
I’ve also had success making a public post from my personal page with a picture of me sleeping on the sidewalk. Friends will come to the rescue to help a buddy in need by connecting you to their pals in that town. If you’re a more established act, make a boosted post from your fan page targeting the city. It will also be good day-of-show promo.
WAL-MART PARKING LOT
Bob Moore, a great friend and touring ally of mine once found himself homeless after a gig in Portland, Maine. His bandmates went home with hot French-Canadian girls and left him for dead. He drove his crusty tour van to the nearby Wal-Mart and had a deep drunken sleep under the parking lot floodlights. Bob informed me of the brutality of the bright lights and recommend “party executing yourself with a bottle of whiskey” after you park. It is legal and generally safe to sleep at Wal-Mart.
Let’s be honest, radio interviews can be real snoozers packed with stock questions about your influences and where you’re from. If you have a radio appearance, bring up your dilemma to the DJ. He or she will be stoked to have an off-kilter topic to talk about on air. People love the starving artist stereotype, but don’t milk it to the point where you look like a broke-amateur band. There is a line to walk.
Maybe you had a good night and sold a couple hundred bucks in merch. This warrants a celebration. Look no further than Motel 6, a two-star sleeping establishment garnished with free parking and a hearty corn syrup breakfast. Upon check-in, the desk clerk will likely want to kill you. He or she will despise your presence and check in will be a big process. They were having a genuinely nice time drinking liter-a-cola until your bum ass showed up. Why did you have to interrupt? Ya jerk.
There will be surprises when you enter the room. There will be anywhere from 3 to 29 pubes on the toilet and at least one (1) cigarette burn in your sheets. Once upon a time in Pittsburgh, I experienced 7 green and gold boogers smeared on the bathroom mirror. It was a work of art.
ASK THE BAR MAN
Definitely a last ditch resort, but it’s better than sleeping outside. While your bartender is likely a legendary dude or dudette, they are often a professional party machine, so don’t be surprised if their place is a one-star rat hole. One night in Kansas, I utilized this option and found myself sleeping on pizza boxes between a pitbull, tank of poison dart frogs and two former Levenworth high security prison inmates. The good news is you’ll likely be offered a beer and sloppy seconds on the showcase bong.
PUNCH A COP
I truly DO NOT recommend this option. But if you are completely out of luck and stuck in the freezing cold, this will get you a night in the slammer. Jail generally has heat and often a small bench to crash on, which is better than an icy sidewalk in Chicago.
CUDDLE A HOMELESS GUY
Tour is lonely. Kill two birds with one stone with this option.
Help make sure Brett always has a suite at lovely Motel 6 every night on tour by grabbing his latest album ‘Land Air Sea Garage’ here.