On the Road with Renee Phoenix and Fit for Rivals

The touring experience is unlike any other. It requires that you think on your feet, improvise such things as where to take showers, do laundry and most of all, being willing to sacrifice sleep on the regular. In short, it’s not for the fragile-minded individual.

Fit For Rivals travels in a 15 passenger van with six people. Five of them being band members along with our friend Duke who assists us with merch, load in, driving and everything else that comes along.

The tour we are on now is called Snocore, which has us traveling to 29 different locations around the US in cold to downright freezing weather. We are from Florida, so basically anything under 60 is freezing to us, which you can only imagine how this tour has been. They truly weren’t messing around when they called this Snocore.

Over the years, Snocore has put on such acts as Less Than Jake, Blink 182, Incubus and Shinedown. Sharing the stage with Flyleaf, Framing Hanley and Adelitas Way this year has been an amazing experience as all of the bands I feel have something different to offer to the listener.

We’ve gotten to see parts of America I never thought I would be able. Ranging from as close to home as North Carolina all the way to where the tour stops at in Pomona, California. Living out of a van/hotels with five other boys during this experience has been interesting. We thankfully all get along pretty well with only minor disagreements or living accommodations. I am a vegetarian and have been able to keep it going on the road, which is something I was worried about when first heading out on this run.

Unlike other tours we have been on, showers have been frequent. Taking a bath out of the venue sinks, brushing your teeth, basically cleaning yourself up to not smell like the last show has been something we have all been accustomed. Learning to sleep well on a bench in a moving van barreling down a mountain is something I’ll never quite master other than with help of a sleep aid. I usually end up listening to songs that help me go into sleep like heavy rain or white noise to detune from everything around me. You get little to no personal time and with being as introverted as I am, which is funny in itself as what I do requires very extroverted behavior, it can be mentally taxing.

Most of all, I miss my puppy, Leia, back home and my own bed which I almost forget what that even feels like. It’s also a bummer not being able to play on my drum kit when I’m away as that’s been a great source for letting out some steam. They’re just the trade offs that you take when heading out on the road. You will miss your family, your friends, your pets, your loved ones, but in the end, it’s worth it. It has to be worth it and you have to have a speckle of crazy in you to do this for a living.

We’ve been on the road going on six weeks and every show has been incredible. I’ve seen a lot of familiar faces in the crowds from previous tours. I’m also seeing a lot of new fans we’ve since created or people have brought out to the shows themselves. It’s been exciting seeing the reaction from the other bands fans that are hearing us for the first time as well.

We’ve been making a lot of new friends on the road and our touring group has become a sort of road warrior family, helping each other out whether it be with load ins, merch, fixing equipment, sound, whatever it need be. Our label, Big 3 Records, has been supportive and downright fantastic with helping in our day to day. Truly grateful to have found a label we can call a home and form such a positive working relationship with when it seems that this quality is few and far between.

Framing Hanley and Adelitas Way have been great to work with and learn from. We are the only band on this tour that hasn’t had radio play until now, so it’s been invaluable having people who have been around the block aiding in whatever questions and sharing their personal experiences from within the music industry. Flyleaf’s crew along with the band have been awesome to work with. They are without a doubt some of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure to be on the road with and I’m excited to be on the road with them again in a month or so for Revolver‘s Hottest Chicks In Rock Tour which is kicking off April 8 in Sauget, IL with our friends Flyleaf, The Agonist, Diamonte and Falling For Scarlet. I am stoked to be sharing the stage with these acts and can’t wait to see some familiar and new faces out on the road next.

They say rock is dead. But seeing how much fun so many fans and all of us have been having this tour, I’d beg to disagree and would rather say, rock is only as dead as you are. Hope to see ya’ll out there!

Follow Renee on Twitter: @iamreneephoenix