Tell us about your tour vehicle.
We’re currently in a 2016 Van. We’re at about 125,000 miles. We bought the van in 2017 with 17,000 miles. Luckily it has been an absolute trooper needing only basic upkeep. With that being said, the 1999 RV we previously owned had us on the side of the road more often than not.
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
Eating cheaply on the road is very easy, but most of the time, it doesn’t also constitute as healthy. Often times we luck out with friends and family across the states fixing us meals. Bringing our own coffee brewing methods on tour has saved our coffee addicts quite a bit of cash!
How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?
On average, we probably change guitar strings every month and a half depending on how many shows we’re playing. It’s about $140 a year, not including mandolin, violin, banjo, or electric guitar strings….man we need a string endorsement don’t we?
Where do you rehearse?
Early on, our rehearsal space was the band’s Chicago apartment. These days the rehearsal space changes daily, from green room to green room.
What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?
‘The Robin’. “She soars across the sky. She flies above your hometown and tells you how to cry.”
Describe your first gig.
The Way Down Wanderers first official gig was at a small pizza bar in Peoria, IL. The band turned the show into a fundraiser for the city of Washington, IL, which had recently nearly been entirely wiped out by tornados. The show sold out, which was a strong start for us in our hometown.
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
The last day job I had was working a coffee shop in Chicago. Some of us teach private lessons while off tour, which is definitely a favorite.
How has your music-related income changed over the past 5-10 years? What do you expect it to look like 5-10 years from now?
The band is about 5 years in, when we started we all lived at home with our families. Now we each have our own places and are supporting ourselves. We only hope to keep growing at the same pace moving forward.
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
Some of the most important band-related work happens off of the stage.