Tell us about your tour vehicle.
Band: We rent! Usually a minivan if we drive, or a bus.
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
Marc Perlman: Not a money issue, I just have terrible eating habits on the road. Rest of the band is much more well-adjusted. I’m very picky and controlling about what I eat and when. Drives the band crazy. Like Keith RIchards and his Shepherds Pie or Ringo and his cans of beans.
How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?
Gary Louris: I rarely break a string (knock on wood!). I think it is because my style of playing involves a soft touch, which I believe gives me a sweeter tone. On electric I crank the amp up but hit the strings lightly….that way you don’t choke the tone.
Where do you rehearse?
Perlman: Nothing out of the ordinary. A building of rehearsal spaces. Spaces are expensive and at a premium in the Twin Cities so we share it with a couple bands. I’d like to say we practice and party all night… wine, women and song… but the truth is we start at 11am and try to be done by 3pm to avoid rush hour. Just us four. No wine but with Karen at least we got the women and song covered.
Describe your first gig.
Perlman: The first one was just before Gary joined, opening slot at a club called The Uptown. I had played bass for all of a week. Not enough crowd to make me nervous. We closed with a cool sonic version of “I’m Still Lonesome I Could Cry”. The next was with Gary soon after at an Oddfellows Hall a couple blocks from our rehearsal space. Bunch of local punk bands and us. Lots of dudes. Little odd but those very early days we played hard and fast enough to kind of fit in.
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
Louris: My last job was as an architect. That ended in 1991 when we signed to Def American Recordings. That was my favorite job, especially when I worked for an historic restoration firm.
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?
Louris: Well obviously my income has taken a big hit with Covid. All our shows have been cancelled and with people getting music for free the main sources of income for a musician nowadays besides sync rights are touring and merchandise. So all musicians who tour have taken a hit. Ironically the band had planned to tour quite a bit more than the last few years as we found we missed being out there. That plan has changed and hope to make up all shows as soon as it is safe….which will be quite awhile I believe.
I hope that in the future my income will increase with the discovery of a vaccine. Also I have signed a new publishing deal with a fantastic company (Wixen) and I believe this will be a boost for me.
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
Perlman:. That it was going to last this long. And that no one will hire you if you’re over 40 and all you can put down on your resume is “I played in a band for the last 35 years”.