Pat Maine on Touring as a Way of Life
Posted by Justin Boland on Mar 11, 2011 | 0 Comments
Pat Maine has built a name from non-stop, high-energy touring. In fact, I wound up doing this interview with him while he was on the road. We’re talking about preparation and planning, budgeting and Bozeman, and the art of staying sane when you wake up in a different state every single day…
AH: What keeps you motivated? Like, seriously.
Pat Maine: Like for reals tho? Lemme take my current scenario. Right now I’m in a gravel parking lot in downtown Las Vegas at a graffiti art show. Drinking on a small bottle of tequila filling out interview questions before I perform in Vegas’s first Friday event. I really can’t imagine a better situation I’d rather place myself. Between these kinda moments, the fact I gave up a regular life to go back to and the steady path of progression I’ve been on. I’d have to say most motivation stems from somewhere in between those three.
AH: Are you doing all the booking yourself or do you work with an agent? Do you have any tips for artists getting started with DIY booking?
Pat Maine: Between myself, MC Pigpen, Street Jesus and our combine networks is how all my booking happens. DIY booking eh? Be very open minded to sodomy… Wait? Yes I did mean that. In a deep metaphorical way. I’d say be very open minded to playing anything you can. Pigpen and myself started with doing out of state weekend gigs til we networked enough places weekend by weekend to string a tour together.
AH: What are the most essential items for making life on the road awesome — or at least civilized?
Pat Maine: If you find out, let me know. I leave on tour with a box of merch, backpack with a weeks worth of clothes, tooth brush and a razor. I will say that a clean tour car/van keeps the morale up. But I have yet to be on a “civilized” tour.
AH: What’s a realistic bare-bones budget for a weeklong tour expedition?
Pat Maine: Fuck a hotel first of all. Secondly, this is a very open ended question. There are lots of things to factor in. But assuming all goes well I can do 20 bucks to food a day. Some drives can cost up to a hundred bucks. It could be from like 300 to 850 depending. Promoters treating you right: priceless.
AH: What are your favorite spots to play these days?
Pat Maine: BOZEMAN, MONTANA. Don’t knock it til you try it rappers. The people there get the fuck down.
AH: What kind of vehicle are you guys generally using?
Pat Maine: The last year it was a 2005 Kia Spectra Sedan. Very close quarters. When I think about it, I basically sat 2 inches from Pigpen for a year straight. The daily awkward elbow fight over who uses the center console for an arm rest is over though. NOW I traded the car for a 2004 Nissan Quest. 2 DOPE BOYS IN A MINIVAN. When we first got in Pig looked so far away, that’s when I realized how small the Kia was.
AH: As a business, is your focus on albums or touring in 2011?
Pat Maine: Both. MC Pigpen and I gotta keep up our rep for heavy touring. But the last two years we have toured with out pushing a project. (we don’t count mixtapes as projects, just gas money.) Peers say we are doing it backwards. So we just recorded an album in New York to spite them. Not because we like rapping. Release date coming soon for MC Pigpen & Pat Maine “The Last Year” LP
AH: What was the NYC recording experience like? How did you prep for that?
Pat Maine: Recording in New York was an incredible experience. I had never been there before prior to recording. We got to record with Dave Darr who is Talib Kweli’s on tour sound engineer and also recorded the Black Star album for them. We were right in the middle of Harlem. I really wasn’t prepared to be honest. I had done most of my writing in the two month prior on the road leading up to this. I don’t think anyone knows how to prepare for their first time in New York nor would I suggest preparation.
AH: How long did it take for your website to reach it’s current format? I’ve definitely recommended your site as an example of Doing It Right to artists I’ve consulted with before.
Pat Maine: Rhyme don’t pay! Well that’s my case at least. So to answer your question. Webs.com it’s a free site building website that offers templates and a place to launch from. I recommend every baller on a budget to fox with it.
AH: What are the most common mistakes you see opening (and headlining) acts making — both onstage and on the road?
Pat Maine: Alright! I like this one. KNOW YOUR ROLE IN THE SHOW. As an opener, you are opening it up for the next guy and more importantly the headliner. IT’S NOT YOUR SHOW. Nobody is there for you,, no matter how dope you truly are. STOP ROCKING A LONG SET. Try relating with this strange new audience by giving praise to the headliner as a fellow fan. HYPE FOR THE HEADLINER. As for headliners, a common mistake I see is too much talking, not enough performance. Better flow in the show. On the road? I’m not sure of others mistakes. My mistakes include lack of budgeting and planning ahead financially, giving women false impressions, and not filming and editing enough to build my YouTube up.
AH: What are the Danger Signs that anyone doing DIY booking should be aware of? What kind of signals in a negotiation tell you there might be a problem with the gig?
Pat Maine: I like this one too. Be aware of communication. If you realize most of the time you speak with a promoter is based on your efforts of contacting them you may have an issue come show time. Stay aware of the simple promotions. Such as a Facebook event. If you don’t see something like that…which takes very little effort…then you can expect they haven’t done actual footwork. Pay attention to the small things cause they reflect the over all! Common courtesy.