This summer, it seems like more Twin Cities bands than ever are heading out on the road to play big-name festivals. Trampled by Turtles are playing Bonaroo this weekend, and joining Polica and Doomtree on the bill for Lollapalooza next month. Howler will once again ship overseas for a tour of the UK. Astronautalis is currently touring the Czech Republic. And of course many of these acts will reconvene at home for next week’s Rock the Garden.
To get a better sense of where Minnesotan acts are going this summer, our web team put together a series of interactive maps that allow you to follow the bands around the world. In the map below, you can see where Trampled by Turtles will travel this season, click on each of the festivals for more info, and even get a sense for how much total time they’ll be spending on the road (in this case, it adds up to almost nine straight days!). You can also use the slider at the bottom to scroll through their timeline of shows.
Since we’re mapping out Trampled by Turtles’ tour plan, I thought it’d be a good time to catch up with frontman Dave Simonett for some questions about their life on the road. You can catch Dave in town every Tuesday this month at the Turf Club for his Dead Man Winter residency, and with Trampled by Turtles next Saturday, June 16, at Rock the Garden.
Local Current: What’s your primary means of transportation?
Dave Simonett: The past nine years have been divided between a Ford Explorer, a minivan, and several 15-passenger vans. This year though we’ve graduated to a bus for the time being.
LC: What does an average day on tour look like for you?
Simonett: We get into town usually in the early afternoon. Sometimes there is a radio interview or performance to do during the day and then load into the venue around 2 or 3. After soundcheck it’s dinner and then the remaining hours are usually divided between playing some guitar, seeing friends, trying to see the town a little, and staying out of the bars as much as possible.
LC: Do you have any road rituals as a band? Tried-and-true ways to stay sane and fight boredom?
Simonett: I don’t think we have anything that could be called a ritual, but I think something that helps is making sure everyone has as much space as is feasible during the down times in a city. Everyone enjoys different activities (with some overlap, of course) and time to oneself is a rare and valuable thing on tour.
LC: Are you able to create or write while on the road?
Simonett: Sometimes. But, I’m also only sometimes able to write while home. My location doesn’t seem to affect my ability to write or my spells of writer’s block very much. It seems to come and go as it pleases. It’s a nice surprise when it shows up though.
LC: Is it hard to shift between “tour life” and “normal life”?
Simonett: A little. I think to stay somewhat healthy on the road “tour life” has to a certain extent be treated as normal life while it’s going on. Sometimes home life is in such a minority that it seems like the weird part. For me, with a family at home, the lifestyles and schedules are quite different from each other and each life takes a minute to get used to every time it’s turn comes around. It would be hard to enjoy one as much without the other though, I think.
LC: Where is the most unusual place the band has had to sleep while on tour?
Simonett: I slept under a pickup outside of Bemidji once. Things seem a bit mellower these days.