Brooklyn indie rock quartet Razor Braids have been one of Brooklyn’s hardest working up-and-coming bands since the release of their warmly-received debut album, ‘I Could Cry Right Now If You Wanted Me To,’ in 2021. Now, the band has released two new singles, a sentimental re-working of their debut single, “Nashville, Again,” and an ephemeral dreamlike cover of Weezer’s “Buddy Holly.”
As Razor Braids prepares to embark on a lengthy American tour along with a seven-day stop at SXSW, lead singer Hollye Bynum (and recent guest on my podcast, which you can listen to here) shares her go-to survival guide for a month on the road, in this guest post for A Grrrl’s Two Sound Cents. Continue reading for a curated road dog mixtape for the van, and Bynum’s advice on booking support and maintaining a balanced tour diet.
As soon as I saw Almost Famous, I knew I wanted to be a touring musician. Of course, I had loved and was studying music, but that damn movie made me want to be a “road dog”. It made me want to jump on a tour bus with my closest friends and get drunk and make out with hot people and play music to hundreds, thousands of fans that of course know all of the words to my songs. I wanted to dress like Penny Lane and live life on the edge – even if it broke my heart (apart from the whole stomach-pumping incident). Alas, here I am, years later, and ya know what, Mom?! I am a road dog! BUT, it is not like Almost Famous – which is crazy because usually fictional movies are always factual and true…
My name’s Hollye and I am the lead singer and bassist for Razor Braids, an all female/non-binary, queer, indie-rock band based in Brooklyn, NY. 2023 has been a trip so far. We have released not 1, but 2 singles we are super proud of, Nashville, Again and a cover of Weezer’s Buddy Holly. And yes, our zaddy Rivers Cuomo has heard it and wants us to know “it’s totally fire 🔥” .
Well in an effort to “go in on it” and in order to continue to make Zaddy Cuomo proud, we are heading back out on the road once again to attempt to fulfill my childhood dream of being Kate Hudson in a crop top. This Wednesday, February 22, marks day one of a five week tour. We are heading down the east coast, through the south, to SXSW, and then back through the midwest. It’s a hefty schedule full of late nights, Mcdonald’s, driving, and sleeping on any squishy surface we can find. And I know, I know… if you follow the industry at all you are probably also aware of the issues and lack of support in touring right now, BUT don’t fret. It might seem bleak from the outside, but touring can be extremely beautiful. My most palpable memories of touring are never of the greasy food or the backaches from driving all day. It’s the new friends in the audience, the goofy moments between me and my bandmates, the incredible people (and pets!) that graciously allow us to stay in their homes, the venues that go out of their way to support traveling artists and the amazing musicians we are fortunate enough to play with.
So, if you too are a victim of Almost Famous or the most recent A Star is Born and are itching to get out there and claim your “road dog” title, I don’t want you to be discouraged! I am here with a few tips, tricks, and tracks to set you up for a tour that Razor Braids, Lady Gaga, and Kate Hudson (coincidentally, we are all best friends) would be proud of.
No, it’s not usually a crop top. Unless, that crop top is paired with sweatpants or dickies and the crop top is actually an oversized t-shirt. Comfort is key. As a woman, I contain multitudes aka I can look like a sleek lil’ hottie onstage AND a large slug that has grown arms, legs, and luscious red locks in the van. Express yourself always just make sure that expression allows you to catch some zzz’s on a 6 hour drive and allows you to unload when you roll up to the venue.
It really is the easiest thing to eat fast food for every single meal. It’s budget-friendly, it’s quick, it’s easy, BUT the only thing is, it will make you feel like the slug I mentioned before. Trust me on this. You can look like a slug, but you don’t want to FEEL like a slug. It’s not super conducive to playing an hour-long set every night. Hit up grocery stores for healthy snacks. RB faves are bananas, granola bars, chips, and salsa, and sure, I’ll throw in the occasional chicken tendie. Moderation, right? I mean, don’t threaten me with a good time. Oh, and drink enough water that you’re always hydrated but so that you’re not asking to stop to pee every 30 minutes.
Listen, if you’re not the most tired slug (yeah, I’m going to keep the slug bit going) then live your life! Live your truth. Meet a cutie. Have a moment. Don’t pawn them for $50 and a case of beer though (AF callback). All you have to do is make sure they don’t have COVID. You don’t want to be the person that gives your band COVID. Not a good look.
Sleep as much as possible. Bring earplugs. Eye masks. Heating pads. Your blankie. Your teddy. I don’t care. This is not a drill. Kiss your cutie then SLEEP. GO SLUG MODE ON THEIR ASSES.
Get to know the bands you’re playing with. Do a merch swap. Learn what their favorite snack is and share it with them. Ask them what their favorite thrift store is and go with them. Spend $15 on that cute red blazer. It’s worth it (red is the best color – everyone’s saying it). Create a playlist featuring their songs and let it soundtrack part of your journey, OR listen to ours: Openers Be Like…. 2023 Spring Tour Mixtape
Road Dog Playlist
Speaking of, like any good movie, you have to have a ballin’ soundtrack. I have put together a little compilation of my fave songs to jam to currently and drive to always to get you started. Most likely not everyone in your band likes the same music, so just have fun with it, and don’t be sad if your song gets skipped! It might be a sleeper and I think it’s probably better for the driver to not fall asleep at the wheel.
Take a huge belly breath and be so appreciative that this is your life and you have the privilege to travel around with your best friends and play music to incredible audiences in cities you’ve never been to. You also scored a red blazer??? That’s perfect! You should definitely wear it to a Razor Braids show…
Razor Braids Spring Tour Schedule 2023
|Wednesday 2/22||Asbury Park||NJ||Bond Street Bar|
|Saturday 2/25||Washington||DC||Pie Shop|
|Monday 2/27||Asheville||NC||The Grey Eagle|
|Thursday 3/2||Charlotte||NC||Snug Harbor|
|Friday 3/3||Charleston||SC||Tin Roof|
|Saturday 3/4||Tallahassee||FL||The Bark|
|Tuesday 3/7||New Orleans||LA||Gasa Gasa|
|Wednesday 3/8||Houston||TX||House of Blues – Bronze Peacock|
|Monday 3/13 – Sunday 3/19||Austin||TX||SXSW|
|Wednesday 3/22||Nashville||TN||The Basement|
|Saturday 3/25||Toledo||OH||The Ottawa Tavern|
|Sunday 3/26||Detroit||MI||The Parliament Room at Otus Supply|
|Tuesday 3/28||Cleveland||OH||Beachland Tavern|
|Thursday 3/30||Pittsburgh||PA||Club Cafe|
|Friday 3/31||Brooklyn||NY||TV Eye|
KEEP UP TO DATE WITH RAZOR BRAIDS
ROAD DOG PLAYLIST
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[…] Razor Braids‘ magnetic, altruistic, and compelling frontwoman Hollye Bynum recently wrote a guest post for A Grrrl’s Two Sound Cents about the beauty, pitfalls, and highlights of touring in a […]