Dave the Traveling Music Man interviews Brad Elvis, the drummer for the band The Romantics about musicians and travel.
Author: Dave the Traveling Music Man
This is the first in the series of posts where I sit down and talk to legendary musicians about travel.
Each musician plays (or has played) with well-known musical groups and all have rather enlightening travel tales to tell. Although they encounter many of the same travel trials and tribulations as the average traveler when they are going from one place to another to perform, they also have some unique experiences and some fascinating stories to tell. The key is getting them to tell about it!
I have met some hard-working musicians in my lifetime. Musicians that have been in the business for years and have a resume that would read like a novel. One of them; who stands out from the others in that class is a drummer by the name of Brad Elvis.
Brad is a drummer’s drummer. With a long list of bands that he played in. He is currently the drummer for The Romantics (Talking in Your Sleep).
Brad is also the drummer for his own band based in Chicago called The Handcuffs (along with his wife, Chloe F. Orwell on guitar).
I recently sat down with Brad to ask him some questions about music and traveling on the road. I was eager to know what exactly goes on behind the scenes. Is being in music off-stage as glorious as it is onstage? Curious minds want to know! This is what he told me:
Brad: Airlines can vary but we do have our main preferences.
Brad: I bring my drum stick bag and a backline drum kit is always arranged and rented for me for The Romantics shows. With my band, The Handcuffs, I have my own vintage kit(s) that I travel and gig with. The guitarists travel with one guitar each. Our road manager, when setting up the gig and backline, arranges for extra emergency guitars (and basses) in case of string breaks or whatever.
Brad: My stick bag is in my carry-on luggage and the guitars (in pro-touring hard cases) are checked in .
Brad: I personally, generally have it down to bringing a carry on but I do check a suitcase if we’re out for more than a gig or two in a row. I mainly like a carry-on for fear of having an airline lose my baggage. Which has happened and thankfully, not to me.
Brad: We have personal credit cards but generally the road manager has a band card to take care of band-related business.
Brad: The Romantics generally stay in the main quality hotels and we each have our own rooms. No sleeping on friend’s floors or four to a room like the old days.
Brad: A bed and a clean room. I can’t tell you the last time I turned a television on in my hotel room. I like the quiet and the break from TV and the usual “on the road” stimulation. I get enough TV time at home and the hustle and bustle of on the road craziness with travel and shows.
Brad: There are the usual travel stories of the occasional noisy, bad service, ongoing construction, etc. of hotels. Then the same with crazy delayed flights, being seated to a bad or unusual passenger, etc.
Brad: I don’t recall anyone having any instrument damage on the road but sometimes the luggage gets lost or beat to hell from the airport loaders.
Brad: People can check out their website for upcoming dates at romanticsdetroit.com or on Facebook.The Handcuffs have a few shows in Chicago and we sometimes travel in the U.S. (by plane or bus, depending on the distance). That website is thehandcuffs.com or find us on Facebook.