For most metal musicians in India, there is a great illusion of touring; of an almost rockstar life of going crazy on stage every night and then partying hard after the shows and getting wasted. However, the realities of touring in India and outside are a huge contrast.
For starters, in India, bands don’t quite ‘go out on the road’ and ‘tour for months’. They pretty much tour (if one can call it that) over the weekends. We have three kinds of shows here in India: the underground ‘kvlt’ club gig, which is probably hosted in a shady marriage hall or a discotheque in a five-star hotel that is rented out on one of their slow nights, or the occasional ‘music venue’ that also doesn’t mind giving the metal heads one night in the month. There is also the music festivals, which are mushrooming up by the dozen. And, finally, there is the quintessential college festival, which generally has a decent budget for the gigs. At all these events, bands travel light, with their guitars and basses, sticks, a few cymbals, double pedals and processors. All the heads, cabinets, drums and other backline is readily available and once you play the gig, you pack the little gear you carry and head home and sleep in your bed. If you’re playing outside your city, you head to the hotel/accommodation and return home the day after. Most of the time, you can really party hard and get drunk and pass out (if that is your thing) and leisurely return to normal life the next day./o:p
In Europe, however, you can do that, but once you realise you have to carry your own drum kit, cymbals, amps, heads, cabinets and pretty much all the backline and that you have to load, unload, set up and dismantle all that equipment when you play and then either head to some promoter’s couch or sleep in the van… then, perhaps, getting wasted and ‘chilling’ isn’t quite the thing to do. Sure, the story is different for all bands and some of them get far ahead enough that they have a crew and roadies to take care of these thing,s but they are probably still living in a bus and travelling and driving for hours on end. There is a long, long way to go to reach even that stage, so for the most part, the illusion of touring outside India is slowly being shattered by a number of bands making the trip, getting a heavy dose of reality and coming back and sharing the wisdom, so to speak.
The truth is, at the end of the day, it is the passion and the love of playing metal and seeing your fans go wild every single night that makes all this worth it. It is that which will keep you going on the road more than anything else. And coffee, of course,. Lots of coffee