“We’re busy getting the van in order and getting our T-shirts and CDs all packed up,” says singer-guitarist Jonny Q, whose band Privatized Air released their sophomore album Tomorrow or Something in February. “I booked us on two tours, going through June, to support the CD, which is almost laughable, since the CD is more to support the tour than the other way around. Like most bands, what we sell is what we live on.”
An April tour will take the band through Utah, Arizona, and Colorado, while a June trek with L.A.-based Sisaret will wind through Northern California, Portland, and Seattle. “We’re hoping to come home with a small profit. We sleep free in the van the whole time, and we mooch off anyone who will have it. Some gigs offer small guarantees, some [paychecks] depend on the door, but mostly it depends on merch sales.”
One new luxury this year is the band’s own driver, Mike Darrach. “He’s basically unpaid, other than an occasional five-hour power drink or Newcastle Ale. His only pay so far has been a crew edition of the Privatized Air T-shirt, but he’s a great friend, he doubles as a photographer, and he’s an all-around sober guy, which is exactly what we need right now.”
However, the road can be a cruel mistress. “I think our worst show by far was in St. George, Utah. We were booked at a large coffee shop that insisted our drummer play their electronic drum set. He is very loud, but he had no experience with those, and its sound didn’t come through the monitors. So we had to play to the clicking of his sticks hitting the pads because we couldn’t hear the drum sounds that were coming out front.
“By the end of the night, we were all ready to kill ourselves.”