This is part 2 of my interview with session/touring drummer and tour manager Elizabeth Chan. This week we continue our conversation about being a professional drummer and also focus more on being a road manager for different artist and what it takes to be success in that role.
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*Moriah Peters’ road manager moved on and her management asked me to step in an take over.
*I had to learn what a road manager did by watching her road manager for 4 months.
*What does a road manager do? It begins about 4-6 weeks out by reaching out to the promotor and working through details for the show – backline gear, hotel, travel, ground transportation, etc. All of this needs to worked out so when the band gets to the gig it is all sorted out.
*Being the drummer and the road manager, the advancing of the show is even more important.
*“Advancing a show” – After the show is booked, having all the travel sorted, having the schedule for the show, making sure dressing rooms are set, etc.
*It’s important to stay in touch with promoters and management when travel issues come up and make sure everyone is in communication.
*The job of tour manager is in direct partnership with artist management.
*I want to have a great relationship with the managers just as much as with the artists because I’m making decisive calls with them.
*When a problem arises on the road, you have about 30 minutes to come up with a solution.
*To be a tour manager you have to have: good communication skills, a good personality, be able to problem solve and troubleshoot on the spot, good relationships.
*As a musician, know your stuff.
*Some artists Elizabeth has tour managed: Ellie Holcomb, Hollyn, Abby Anderson.
*Know when to set limits and boundaries.
*Advice for Drummers and tour managers:
*Get to a music city where the work is. You have to be able to get to a call.
*You have to be smart with finances.
*Chase down the right fit for getting an income while also creating flexibility for yourself.
*As your income increases, allow your savings to exponentially increase.
*As a musician work is not steady so put yourself on a salary by saving your money.
*Get out of debt.
*Dave Ramsey’s book The Total Money Makeover
*It’s important to evaluate when it’s time to let go of extra work even within music so you can focus on what you really want.
*Take time for the things you love.
Elizabeth’s contact for people wanting a drummer or road manager: www.echanmusic.com or email email@example.com
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Elizabeth Chan is a touring and session drummer from New York City, based in Nashville,
Tennessee. She has worked with a variety of artists, including seven-time GRAMMY Award winner Carrie Underwood, country music legend Darius Rucker (of Hootie & The Blowfish), multi-platinum artist Keith Urban, powerhouse country trio Lady Antebellum, The Voice Australia finalist Ben Hazlewood, Billboard AC/CHR chart topper Hollyn, and 2014 GMA Dove Award “New Artist of the Year” Ellie Holcomb. Whether playing to anthemic rock and country melodies or accompanying folk and pop ballads, one thing is consistently evident: There is never a lack of passion in what Elizabeth does.
Music has long been a part of Elizabeth’s life. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Elizabeth became highly involved in the rich local music scene of New York City. Under the direction of drum teachers Paul Tso and Phil Bloom, Elizabeth began diving into genres from rock to R&B, jazz to hip hop, and gospel to latin.
By the age of 17, Elizabeth was offered a full-tuition music scholarship to attend Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, and travel as a drummer with their touring music teams. By the end of her college career, Elizabeth had graduated summa cum laude, played more than 270 shows across the United States, participated in 7 tours, garnered multiple endorsements, and worked with a number of notable artists and songwriters.
Elizabeth now resides in Nashville, Tennessee, where she serves as a touring/session musician and tour manager for numerous pop, country, and CCM acts. For further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.