Any members who work full time but tour, also?

yammyfan

Senior Member
Folks, I have the opportunity to audition for a tribute band who tours Canada, the USA and Europe.

I'm getting way ahead of myself since I'm only an advanced intermediate drummer and probably nowhere near polished enough for the gig but I've leaned that biting off more than you can chew is one of the best ways to force yourself to grow. If I go through with the audition, I have to prepare for the possibility that I'll get the job, however unlikely.

What I'm getting hung up on is what to do about my career. I've been with my employer for nearly 18 years and I'm pulling in just shy of six figures annually. I enjoy generous benefits also. Not exactly something I can walk away from, in other words.

Has anyone else faced this dilemma, and how did you approach it? I've been working from home for 18 months so it's not like I have to go to the office every day. I just need a laptop and Internet connection in order to work. In theory, I could work from hotel rooms by day and gig at night. Exhausting maybe, but what an opportunity!

I'm really on the fence about this. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Al Strange

Gold Member
Smash it! (y) :D Get the job first, then worry about how you’re gonna pull it off! If you’re working remotely anyway it sounds doable; why not give it a go?!:)
 

Pootle

Regular Poster
Would your employer be open to you taking some extended holiday to cover the tour or a sabbatical for 6/12 months? 18 years in presumably a reasonably senior position must make you valued so a frank conversation may be the best approach. A lot of companies are looking at ways to cut costs at the moment so depending on what you do, they may be quite happy to keep you but save on a salary in the short term.
 

MazdaRex

Active member
Congratulations, Yammyfan! Both of these are great positions to be in - hooray for you! I echo what everyone has previously written.

Indeed - at 18 years, you should have enough seniority and street cred for a sabbatical. How fun is your job? How is your financial situation? How close are you to retirement? What's your family situation and your financial reality? (Rhetorical questions you should answer, but not necessarily publicly.)
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
This is so awesome! Following...

lol, thanks! My current career started a bit like this. I took on a seriously responsible position just a few months out of college when the guy who was doing the job got poached by a bigger firm. I had to get up to speed real fast. 🤗
Smash it! (y) :D Get the job first, then worry about how you’re gonna pull it off! If you’re working remotely anyway it sounds doable; why not give it a go?!:)

Thanks, Al! I don't want to waste the band's time if I'm not serious about going through with it, however. The ability to work remotely is what makes this more than a pipe dream. It's seriously tempting.
Would your employer be open to you taking some extended holiday to cover the tour or a sabbatical for 6/12 months? 18 years in presumably a reasonably senior position must make you valued so a frank conversation may be the best approach. A lot of companies are looking at ways to cut costs at the moment so depending on what you do, they may be quite happy to keep you but save on a salary in the short term.
I doubtful that touring could replace my salary and my savings aren't great as I'm just four years post-divorce but the bigger issue is that I work in IT security and nobody else at the company does what I do. I have five weeks of vacation annually which helps but I can't be away for more than two weeks at a time without exposing the company to some risk.

Good points, though. What you're describing could work for some.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Congratulations, Yammyfan! Both of these are great positions to be in - hooray for you! I echo what everyone has previously written.

Indeed - at 18 years, you should have enough seniority and street cred for a sabbatical. How fun is your job? How is your financial situation? How close are you to retirement? What's your family situation and your financial reality? (Rhetorical questions you should answer, but not necessarily publicly.)
Thanks! I answered part of your question above. My kids live with their mom but my son stays with me every couple of weekends. If I'm organized, I might be able to keep the family reasonably happy. They know how passionate I am about playing.
 

C.M. Jones

Drum Authority
I've never done a multi-continent tour or even a full US tour, but I have had some degree of run-in with the rigors of the road. My heaviest schedule ever was a year in which I averaged three shows a week -- roughly 150 shows in 12 months. Some performances were out of town and even in other states. The romance faded quickly, and it became an obligation like any other responsibility. For the most part, it taught me that I'd rather be home more often than not. Though traveling for gigs is still fine with me on occasion, I don't want nomadism to be my primary mode of existence. Gigging locally and doing session work at a few nearby studios is a preferable format for my interests.

I'm not trying to discourage you in any way, @yammyfan. I'm just imparting my experiences. If you want this traveling tribute assignment, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Go in and kill the audition, man. Stay loose and play like you mean it. Your drumming might be far more attractive to this band than you're anticipating.
 
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MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
If you refuse the drumming position, you may regret it down the line.
This was my thought also. At least go audition. If you dont at least attempt to do this, you will be kicking yourself later, and are wasting your own time now considering it.

Just go do it. It's what the dream is right? You are awake for this one, see it through.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I've never done a multi-continent tour or even a full US tour, but I have had some degree of run-in with the rigors of the road. My heaviest schedule ever was a year in which I averaged three shows a week -- roughly 150 shows in 12 months. Some performances were out of town and even in other states. The romance faded quickly, and it became an obligation like any other responsibility. For the most part, it taught me that I'd rather be home more often than not. Though traveling for gigs is still fine with me on occasion, I don't want nomadism to be my primary mode of existence. Gigging locally and doing session work at a few nearby studios is a preferable format for my interests.

I'm not trying to discourage you in any way, @yammyfan. I'm just imparting my experiences. If you want this traveling tribute assignment, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Go in and kill the audition, man. Stay loose and play like you mean it. Your drumming might be far more attractive to this band than you're anticipating.

Thanks, C.M. I appreciate your insight and these thoughts have crossed my mind as well. I'm in my mid 50's and not as carefree as I once was. My reach still exceeds my grasp so there's that to contend with. :giggle:

If you refuse the drumming position, you may regret it down the line.

Without a doubt. This is my first and possibly only opportunity like this. I'll kick myself if I don't give it a shot. Thanks!
This was my thought also. At least go audition. If you dont at least attempt to do this, you will be kicking yourself later, and are wasting your own time now considering it.

Just go do it. It's what the dream is right? You are awake for this one, see it through.

Well put. I've always wanted to play bigger stages and this is clearly a great opportunity. I really appreciate the encouragement.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
My biggest concern, if I'm being honest, is not being polished enough. I'm self-taught and there are definitely holes in my game. I've listened to the artist we're covering and his material is melodic and straightforward but the drumming is all Nashville and as disciplined as anything you'll ever hear.

Who is the band paying tribute to?

I'm going to be weird about it and not say at the moment. I don't want to jinx/dox myself. :ROFLMAO: It's a male country artist, that much I will say.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
I work full time and have toured The States, Europe and South America. I never go out for more than three weeks or so at a time so I don't have much to offer in the way of longer term situations.

Working from the hotel room is possible, but it is exhausting so beware.
 

Bozozoid

Silver Member
You get the gig..you leave your job..one of the guys becomes difficult to work with..being on the road becomes a pain..you get the gig..everyone is fun to work with..being on the road is a great experience..which one will it be?..guaranteed one or the other.
 

Chris Whitten

Drum Expert
Yeah, I've never known anyone make it work.
Being on the road is pretty much full time. I've done a tribute band situation and you can be travelling for 12 hours.
I've had flights cancelled and you are sleeping in the airport lounge. You get to a gig or hotel and the internet is unreliable, or very slow, or expensive. Your main employer decides to have an important office meeting and it clashes with a band gig you've already agreed to.
The tribute band I know has two drummers, two bass players, back up keyboardists JUST for the times the day job gets in the way of the band.
Bands are also not covered by employment law. You can lose the gig the day after you get it.
Your regular job sounds amazing - with the certainty, the pay, and the important benefits. I would be VERY concerned abut placing any jeopardy on that.
 

Chris Whitten

Drum Expert
In theory, I could work from hotel rooms by day and gig at night.
It ain't going to happen.
You travel to the gig by day. Afternoon soundcheck, hang around at gig until show. Rinse and repeat the next day.
How do you fit in your son staying with you at weekends. That is exactly when most tribute bands are busiest. No one plays on Mondays and Tuesdays. Bands are playing Thursday through Sunday usually.
Mid-50's?
It's exhausting doing a reputable tribute band, let alone fitting it in around a full time IT job.
The travel is exhausting and all the hanging around. Gigs come in randomly. the band won't thank you if you say you can play a show because that's the weekend you see your son, or there is a required meeting attendance at you main work.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I don’t have any experience with it. Always struggled with bands and my regular job, because setup/tear downs and playing all accosted for a 10+ hour day. When I was doing this every weekend, I just ran out of enthusiasm, not because I didn’t like the band, music or playing. Quite the contrary, it just wore me out.

With IT and IT Securiy, you have to be ready to go at a drop of a hat and bad things happen at the worst times. It’s effectively not an 8-5, mon-fri job when things blow up. Those days combined with band obligations just destroyed me over time. Once I quit my band, blowups at work slowed way down too. Murphy’s Law is always at play. You’ll have two full time jobs to answer to and there will be overlap. Just be prepared. You’ve of course thought of this. Hard not to and be in IT.

I like the sabbatical idea. That would be ideal. I’m certainly not saying don’t do it. Just saying be prepared. If you can hang for a year, it may be the best dream fulfilled.

So far as your skill level, advanced intermediate is far good enough for the task. I bet you’re better than that. We always like to beat ourselves up, because we see someone do the one thing we can’t and that becomes the main focus for why we aren’t good enough. Alas, nothing like a good need to advance in skill!
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Fabulous insights, fellas. Much to think about here. Chris, I especially appreciate your candidness.

Some early positives emerging; the band is aware of the need to have a couple of drummers on the roster so two of us are being auditioned with the goal of splitting the work. That takes a bit of pressure off me to say yes to everything. The guys seem very professional and systematic about running the band. Lots of communication and helpfully - I'm being copied on everything.

I created a Spotify playlist and ran the set they're focussing on right now. Lots of changes and plenty of starts and stops - but lots of money beat too. I kept up pretty well so that was encouraging.

As unbelievable as it sounds, I have never been freer to do this kind of thing than I am right now. The stars are aligning for at least a stab at it. I think the band is willing to bring me along gently, as well. I'll be honest with them about my availability but I'll try to knock their socks off during my audition so they'll want to use me anyway.

I'll update the thread as things go along. A huge thanks to everyone for reading and responding. I feel better prepared to handle the situation already. At this point I just want to nail the audition and see what flows from that.
 
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