4 Ways To Prepare For A Show
As one of the co-founders of multi-influenced heavy rockers P.O.D., drummer Wuv knows about preparing for The Big Gig. Playing tiny clubs all the way through to arenas since the band started in San Diego in 1992, he’s made a science of getting there and being ready to take the stage. Check out what works for him.
1. Set The Mood
I’m pretty ritualistic when I’m on tour. One thing I do is I listen to a lot of reggae – that’s my favorite type of music. I grew up listening to it when I was a youngster, because my uncle was a reggae DJ in San Diego. I have a lot of reggae artists I like, but my favorites include a lot of Steel Pulse, a lot of Third World, and Black Uhuru. I like to put that on because it relaxes me, makes me more laid back right up to the show, and puts me into the pocket of things.
I go on tour with a lot of bands and see guys that stretch a long time. I don’t really stretch that much — I’ll do it a little, and then go on. Our last tour we did 47 shows and so I’m pretty loose already — the whole tour I’m pretty much in the pocket. I’ll do a ten-minute stretch before we go on. I usually only get a little cramping between my thumb and other finger— that muscle in between — so I pull my thumb back until I feel the muscle stretching. The first two songs we play I’ll feel that cramping, so I attack it.
3. Check Your Gear
When it comes to checking my gear, I’ve had a drum tech for the last six years. His name is Mike Kelly, and he knows my kit better than I do. By the time I jump on my set, there’s no disasters. He’s on top of it. It’s kind of busy before we get onstage — during the day we’re doing radio stuff, meet and greets, so I trust him. Before I had a roadie and we weren’t headlining, I was sitting around my drums all day long. I was well aware of my kit and all the working parts, and a lot of times if it was broke I had to play with it broke.
4. Get Driving Directions
Driving directions are important. Early on we owned our own independent label, so we pretty much had a good running machine for booking our own tours. We had promoters, six or seven employees who would map that stuff out, and we would play the venue two or three times, and then we’d get used to how to get there. If you’re a young band, hold on to those directions, because you don’t know when you’ll be coming through again! The contact phone numbers are the most important things, because if you come back to the city and the venue isn’t there any longer, the people can guide you to where you should go. A lot of bands now haven’t gone through what P.O.D. did — we did it for years, before we got big, so my advice is to maintain your contacts in those cities. Most importantly have fun!