Brendan Lynch Tour Manager, Arts & Crafts

Brendan Lynch Tour Manager, Arts & Crafts
Brendan Lynch is a tour manager who works with Amy Millan, Jason Collette, Stars, Feist, Metric and Broken Social Scene.
What should a band do to get organised before heading out on the road? Get all your contracts and any venue information you have, get all that stuff together. Make copies and put it in a folder or binder with any advance information inside. Make Mapquests — Mapquest sometimes sucks, but maps suck too and it’s a good source of arguments. If you go to the States, make sure you have all your visa shit together. Too many tours get sidelined because one guy’s visa isn’t in there. [For places to stay] use any contacts you have like that aunt you haven’t seen in five years — get in touch with her.

As a road manager, what's the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing before you hit the hay?
The first thing I do is sleep in as long as I can, then drink some coffee, check my emails, then get on the road. The last thing: I call somebody, like a friend back home, and give myself 15 or 20 minutes thinking of anything but the tour.

What are some essential items you take on the road to keep it together, both organisationally and recreationally?
I hate technology, but it amazes me that people ever did this before computers. So I take all my communications stuff, like my computer. I’d be screwed if I lost it, so I make hard copies and keep a backup of the folders, maps and everything on the computer. I have a Mac, so I use it to listen to music, surf the net for weird websites, and watch movies. [With Broken Social Scene] we travel in a 15-passenger van with a trailer, so there are bench seats, which are a great place to take time away from each other. My sister gave me a TempurPedic pillow, like a NASA space pillow, that I really love. The best things to bring are those adaptors you can buy at Canadian Tire that plug into the lighter socket, so you can plug anything into the van. And bring anything to help you keep fresh and clean, or maybe even better, to keep the people around you fresh and clean.

Care to share some road secrets?
If you ever play the 930 Club in DC, you have to go for the soul food on the campus of Howard University a couple blocks away. If you play the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, don’t get stuck in there when they turn the lights out. And last, as much as it seems a good idea at the time, don’t bring people from city to city. It might seem like a good idea at two a.m., but it’s not so good the next afternoon.

What's your best advice to a band about to hop in the van for their first big tour?
Do all the organising in advance. I know that musicians and organising don’t really go together; the first time, everyone’s really excited to go out, but do all the organising beforehand and you’ll have a better time. The more you have done in advance, the more fun you’ll have with the people you really want to be with. Tour with people you love and you’ll have fun. If you don’t love it, you won’t be good at it. The most important thing is, when you’re on the road you can’t control many things regarding your health. So take care of what you eat. Don’t eat at Harvey’s every day. That’s where I spend the most money — maybe $40 a day on organic food. On the road you’re putting enough toxins into your body and pushing yourself to the limit, and you’re probably going to get sick. So wash your hands and eat organic food.