Touring isn’t about writing music or getting a side hustle off the ground - it’s all about the gig, staying healthy for the gig, kicking said gig squarely in the keister and moving onto the next town more-or-less in one piece. Even with tour buses, catering and other luxuries, being on the road’s about survival, and energy allocated away from that results in gnarly colds and generally soured dispositions.
Time off the road’s different. You’re actually sleeping and, I dunno, growing vegetables? In this world of relative predicability and consistent nutrient intake, writing a song a day’s a fine goal, as is getting that online store off the ground, etc. No longer in survival mode, time off the road’s best spent daydreaming, planning, and tackling things that require long and undisturbed chunks of time.
As artists, in our crazy highlight reel and FOMO fueled world, it’s easy thinking the grass is always greener. Yes, we’re on tour, but holy shit is this my life? I gotta do this that and the other thing, like, right now, before I’m 40, because life hits a brick wall at 40, right? Before you know it, the tour’s wrapped without your having made any professional contacts, eaten a single piece of Nashville hot chicken, and you’ve probably gotten the entire touring party sick.
Similarly, we all get itchy feet when we’re off the road for any amount of time over, say, fifteen minutes. We were busy before, but will we be busy again? Rather than focusing on creative outlets or business opportunities (ideally they’re one in the same) outside our main gig, we stew in under-furnished apartments, yearning for the tour bus bathroom’s acrid embrace. Before you know it, it’s time to hit the road again and you never got around to recording those solo tunes.
Ours is a demanding and generally preposterous business, as anyone who’s experienced friends and family’s disheartening bewilderment can attest. It’s on us, then, to embrace the absurdity. The alternative's YouTube conspiracy theory rabbit holes and excessive carbohydrate intake, which admittedly doesn't sound too bad, but on balance I'd rather be kind to myself and content with where I'm at.