Thanks to lead guitarist Timothy Hartman, the Terre Haute, Indiana-based metal quintet From These Ruins have shared with us their TOP 10 must-have's on a road tour! Get to know the band's music via their 2016 release, Advocate of the Unwanted, or by checking out a show during their fall "Rise of the Unwanted" tour.
- By this we mean read a book man! It's always great to take time and be yourself and escape to your own personal space. Grab a few books or magazines for the road and just read. We always have a few hours between locations so it's great for the down time. Personally we are all Lord of the Rings fans and also big gamers. So we compete often on the gaming system and some of us just take time reading articles or a good book. These are our top ten must have on road tours! We want to thank you all for your continued support and faith in what we do. We are forever grateful and we couldn't be doing this without you. So keep on supporting and we will stand by your side through the dark times.
- When you’re a traveling band, you have to be prepared to sleep in a vehicle if necessary. It's part of the glory of being in a band and being a road dog, like From These Ruins. We try to keep the stops on a tour between 4 to 6 hours from venue to venue. We stop about every 45 minutes to an hour for bathroom breaks and reload on drinks or food. So blankets and pillows are a must have, because sleeping in a van isn't always comfy. In the near future we plan on taking a tent on our next tour and do some camping while we are out.
- Each member has a bag or backpack of some sorts with the quick grab gear. Laptops, stage gear, cables, dry cloths and socks, body spray, chargers and the like. These things help keep us from running back and forth from the tour van and the venue. We take pride in being there for local bands and checking out the local talent. Plus it's a great advantage to be in front of people and be present so people know who you are.
- We are musicians and music is our life. We have to be jamming to some fat beats and all sorts of metal! One of our favorite bands we jam is Bless The Fall. Just imagine 'Wayne’s World' (the scene with Bohemian Rhapsody) and 5 guys just head banging acting dumb. That should just be our motto – 5 Guys Head Banging and Acting Dumb! We mostly do Pandora or YouTube. Our drummer Chad Anderson has a huge binder of CDs so when we don't have service we break out the DISK!
- Every time we visit a city, one of the guys will find something cool about the town and we will make it a goal to visit. A good example is every time we drive to Chicago, we will stop at this gas station and the sign reads "Eat here & Get gas". They actually have very good food! It's just fun things to do while we have down time. It helps keep the sanity of being stuck on a constant "move" schedule. So make it a goal to get to know the city you’re at. There are a lot of great things to see!
- Five guys in a vehicle sweating, hygiene is a must have. Shower gel, deodorant, body spray, clean cloths and tooth brush are all important because honestly nobody wants to stink! Dry shampoo is also really good to have in case it is a couple days without being able to shower. I love to brush my teeth every morning because it's a great way to start my day with a fresh kick! This is where a water bottle becomes important because sometimes we don't have access to a sink.
- We are a self-built business. The business never stops even when we are performing and traveling from location to location. So laptops, phones, headphones, chargers and cameras are crucial! We always take great pride in how personal we are and strive to maintain contact with fans. Headphones and laptops are great for designing graphics for merch/tours, video gaming and movies. Sometimes when you work hard you need to play hard so a good movie is always a must.
- This is beyond the most important, not only for the body but especially for what we do. Performing and gigging, spending time unloading and loading gear tends to take a toll on us and we sweat a lot. So water replenishes us and helps fuel us to keep moving forward. A big thing with us is Green Tea. My favorite is the peach green tea but everybody else prefers the citrus diet version.
- When it comes to long hours on the road with a fair amount of time between stops, you need some snacks. Each of us in the band usually has a variety of things but we make it a goal to try and stop at truck stops (it's where the best food is). A couple of members are diabetic so they usually snag granola bars, mixed nuts and fruit. I and the other boys usually grab a hot sandwich and chips.
- This band has 5 dudes, sometimes more, crammed in a van so let's be honest, nobody likes an awkward conversation. So be up to date with the current topics like politics, music and music videos, gadgets, gaming and tons of movie quotes. They can definitely bring up heated discussions, but we as a band are pretty open to everything so arguments over politics and religion has never affected our strength as brothers.
Listen to the band's entire 2016 release, Advocate of the Unwanted.