For our second ‘behind-the-scenes’ feature, Alter The Press spoke to Indy Powers; best known for being Brand New's tour manager.
Over the course of eight years, Indy has managed tours for the likes of: The Movielife, Thrice, Say Anything, Motion City Soundtrack and Senses Fail.
Alter The Press: How did you get into tour management?
Indy Powers: I was living/working in DC, and I had known The Movielife guys for a while. I told them, if they ever needed a merch person, to hit me up. I went to a show they were playing with Good Charlotte, and they asked me to go on tour with them as a merch person. I met them at the 9:30 club (famous DC venue) the next day to start touring. After a few months, I was learning more than just merch, like advancing, accounting, and settling shows, so they started calling me their tour manager. When they first called me their tour manager, I was like what does that mean?
Indy featured on Brand New's 'Your Favorite Weapon' tour documentary DVD
ATP: How long have you been tour managing for?
Indy: I started touring in 2001, and started really tour managing in 2002, so eight years.
ATP: Describe a typical day for Indy Powers.
Indy: Wake up, eat some breakfast, answer calls from management, start advancing some shows (while traveling to a venue). Talk to the band (when they get up), arrive at venue, start loading in and going over the day with the promoter or production manager. Next, get everything ready for sound check, then round up the band for sound check and make sure the support bands are set up, ready for doors, then get doors open. Make sure to keep everyone on time. Get the band on stage, settle the show, get on the bus and wind down; then get ready to do it all again tomorrow.
ATP: Worst part of the job?
Indy: Being away from my wife, son and dogs.
ATP: Best part of the job?
Indy: Being around music, my friends, and traveling. "Living the dream".
ATP: What is your best tour story?
Indy: A long time ago, I was on tour with Brand New and we were out with Moneen. It was the Fourth of July and we were driving overnight from one show to the next (we were both in van's and trailer's.) Both bands had fireworks for the Fourth of July. Anyway, we are driving on this two-lane highway (don’t remember where we were going or leaving) and we decide to start shooting roman candles at each other. So, to do that, we had to be next to each other on a two-lane highway. We did this for hours. The reason it stopped, was because we were in the wrong lane next to their van, (I was driving.) I was watching what was going on, with them shooting fireworks, and we were headed right at a car. We pulled back behind Moneen, and when the car passed it was a cop, so we just pulled over and waited for him because we knew we were done. The cop comes up to the van and everyone acts like they are a sleep (besides me because I am driving.) He says they have been getting calls about us for hours, so I knew we were going to jail. He tells us to give him all the fireworks, so the guys start handing them up. After he gets all of them, he says: if I check this van and find more fireworks, you are all going to jail. All of a sudden, more fireworks start getting thrown towards the front of the van. So then he asks who was shooting off the fireworks. Jesse (Lacey, Brand New front man) took the blame and got a ticket for shooting rockets out of a moving vehicle, for the life of me I can’t remember how much it was for. In the end he let us go, and told us never to do it again, but I honestly thought I was going to be spending the night in jail.
ATP: Have you had to deal with any crazy "superfan" or groupie situations? If so, the best story please…
Indy: One time, Brand New was in Kansas City, I think. The guys were outside the bus, signing and talking to kids, and this girl came up to me and asked if I was the tour manager. I said yes, and she then told me there were two girls writing on the other side of our bus. So our sound guy, and me, went over, and they were writing theirs names on our bus with "we love Brand New" under it. We both started screaming at them and made them clean it off, (luckily it all came off.) We stood there giving them the big deal about how messed up it was to write on the bus; so, when they were done, my sound guy asked if they had a car. One girl said yeah, so my sound guy asked where it was so we could write on it, to show her how messed up it was, they both just ran off.
ATP: If you weren't tour managing, what would you be doing?
Indy: I like doing accounting work, or maybe just a simple warehouse job. Just do your job, and go home.
ATP: What has been the best tour you've done?
Indy: I don’t know if I really have a favorite. I have good memories from all of my tours.
ATP: When not touring, how do you spend your downtime?
Indy: I spend time with my wife, son and my dogs. And doing stuff around the house.