Touring Well with Tom Anderson
What do you always do before you go onstage?
Playing: Always stretch and warm up playing through to loosen up as I'm old and make sure I've eaten at least an hour beforehand... Any closer and it can be a world of problems.
Working: Make sure I'm early and setup and comfortable in FOH/ Monitor/ Stage world. Running late means making mistakes.
How many days in a row can you perform? -before your voice/body needs a break.
About 25-30 is the most I've pushed myself working or playing on tour. Making sure I explore the places I'm visiting between soundchecks and sets means there's a break from the monotony of Venue/Accom/Van/Bus/Airports and helps maintain sanity.
What hacks do you have to make sure you get enough rest?
I sleep everywhere... Van/ Airplane/ Airport floor/ Green Room/ Venue stage... On most overseas tours I've done there are brutal runs -leaving venues after playing to head to airports to head to venues to setup and learning to get an hour here or there while battling jetlag is important to not going crazy. Having calming music or the headspace app in my headphones helps get some rest in strange places but causes sore necks and shoulders so having some selfcare when off tour like gym, float tanks and massages help maintain. Neck Pillows don't look that cool but they save lives. On one particularly brutal Scandinavian fly date run, we went from Copenhagen venue, straight to the airport and flew to Iceland. After exploring the amazing nature there before setting up, I fell asleep under a giant TV screen in the corner of the venue before the set and when staff tried to wake me to say I couldn't sleep there as punters were around, they accepted the vocalist proudly proclaiming "He's from New Zealand!" so left me be. We then went straight from venue to airport to setup at a Belgian festival and I passed out on the floor of the communal green room before the set...
If eating a balanced diet is important to you, how are you able to find healthy options while you are touring?
I've been touring as a Vegan for nearly 20 years and generally touring for me is 20% show, 80% finding great food. I use multiple apps like Happy cow to help me and touring party find nice food places and make sure we get out to eat properly. In the US stocking up for long travel days at Wholefoods is a must and trying to stay hydrated where possible and drink lots of OJ helps.
What do you enjoy most about touring?
The Food, the People, meeting like minds thousands of km's apart is super satisfying and learning about new places and ideas. I always try to make sure I talk to the locals about the history of the city or country and what's happening politically and socially to get an idea and then walk alot if possible to get a feel for the place.
Follow Tom Anderson on the road!