The Trials of a Touring Band

Words: Liam Sumnicht
Photos: Jodie Platz Photography
Feb 18th, 2012


Update Feb 19th, 2012: WE GOT TRUDY BACK! Florida, it’s ON.


Original post:

Today is the third day of tour. Unfortunately, instead of sitting in the van flying past road signs and blurry country scapes somewhere between Cape Girardeau and Cleveland, I am sitting in my kitchen at home, on the computer, while Nate and Bill sit in the living room discussing the tightening up of songs (above). Nobody said the life of a young touring rock and roll band was glamorous. Let’s back up a little bit.

Before this tour, our trusty van Trudy got a little shifty out of the blue and took a turn for the worse. We got access to an incredible new-used ’87 Chevy G10. The thing is huge, and exactly what we needed. It wasn’t quite ready yet, though, and the mechanic didn’t have time to do the necessary repairs before we hit the road. So we worked it out with him that we’d drive the 2 hours to Columbia, play the first show of tour, then head home, wake up early and take the van in first thing to finally get her road warrior worthy.

Our plan was set, and we hit the road to the first show. About halfway to Columbia, out of nowhere came a terrible, loud, “THUMP! Thump, thump, thump.” We got out to discover a blown tire.

Not the worst thing. We have AAA, after all. We got the tire switched out and the spare ready, and waited.

The AAA truck showed up, the kind worker put extra air in the spare we’d popped on, tightened ‘er up, and we were back on our way. Life was good!

Within somewhere around 5 miles, we had deja vu; Another “THUMP! Thump thump thump.” The spare had blown. This time, we were out of tires. Jodie Platz, with us on tour, taking all the photos and video, was able to save the day with help from her friends, two of which were already at the show. Mackenzie and Jenn hopped in their Tahoe, and put the pedal to the metal to come the 60 miles and pick us up, along with our gear. In the meantime, the same AAA guy came back, loaded the van up for a tow, and took us to the next gas station. Mackenzie and Jenn showed up, drove 60 miles back to Columbia, and we got there just in time to hop on stage and play a 45 minute rock’n’roll show.

After the show, we rode back to the van, moved our gear back into our broken down van, and slept in it till the morning, when we would be able to get a new tire.

We woke up, and the tire was a sight for sore eyes.

We made phone calls until we found the guy with the right tire that was close enough to come to us, and went inside the gas station restaurant for some much needed coffee to fuel our next steps.

The gentleman arrived, got the tire replaced, and we topped off her oil.

We hit the road again, back to KC to get this thing repaired. Life was good.

…Or so we thought

Massive oil leak.

So we found a mechanic, and promptly got to waiting.

By the time we got  back to Kansas City, it was afternoon, and not enough time left for the repair. So after racking our brains for every possible option, it became inevitable we had to cancel the show, and stay here. That was yesterday. Today, we got it in early in the morning, and it turned out, there were more problems, and the van couldn’t make it to Florida without a few days of work.

So, we have once more returned our love to our old van, Trudy. We have asked her mechanic to make her happy again, and we will leave tomorrow for Florida.

This time, we shall make it all the way. Come hell or high water.

Please, send us good juju.


SWSV Tour Blog, Day 1, Warrensburg, MO

Day one. It barely feels like we’re on tour so close to home base, but it doesn’t change the fact that Warrensburg has awesome music fans. We got to meet a few new folks who heard us at our previous show a week back.

The Neptune On Pine has a great new system that we’ve gotten to enjoy lately. It really helped us bring those three part harmonies through the mix. Not to mention those oh so delicious hot tamales. They sure do fill you up right and complement the whiskey nicely.

After the show, our friend Melissa invited us to hang out and stay at her place. We had some beers and made some friends. It was a really cool first day and we hope many more come.

In the morning we awoke to the red glow of the sun, illuminating the room through the curtained windows. We made a few calls and proceeded to fix Trudy’s brake lights with a little help from our friends. We just cast off on our way to Cape Girardeau, MO. A first for us.

Exclusive Free Download: “Turn Me On”

As always, our email family comes first for free, new music.

Well, it’s not quite Friday yet, and while our schedules might be a little different, I’m willing to bet we’re both waiting for the weekend. So here’s a little something to get you ready: A free download of our new, unreleased single: Turn Me On. This is for emailing list members only, so if you’re not a member yet, get some! (membership, that is), and grab your free copy. Enjoy!

Download “Turn Me On” here, now.

You have the power to help the NAP family grow, and the boys in this touring rock band need your help. As the song downloads, click the share button to give your friends the chance to get it for free, too.

Radio Debut of “napsack ep”

Unreleased tracks off of our upcoming EP will debut on the radio tonight for the first time ever. You can hear it sometime before 9pm Central. Pull up or 96.5 FM if you’re in Kansas City.

This is the only place you’ll be able to hear this right now. Enjoy!

Nate, Liam, Ryan
Not A Planet
“This is rock and roll, baby.” -Casey Osburn, Popwreckoning


We love being a band. And everyone knows it, but doing so is incredibly time consuming. Scratch that. Start over. Not everyone knows it, but being in a band is incredibly time consuming. Especially an independent band. And we like to do things right. We create our own merchandise with our hands, book our own tours, create our own promotions, manage our own websites and blogs. But one part of being in a band is standard across the board when it comes to time. And that’s recording.

For anyone who hasn’t recorded an album in the past, I’ll quickly break down the steps. Recording starts with pre-production, or improving the songs you thought were already perfect (ha!); then on to tracking, where you play all of your songs perfectly all the way in one take (or 10); then mixing, or adding pixy dust; then mastering, or adding magic spells and ancient potions; then getting artwork (that should be already prepared) and replicating the album; then, finally, release of the physical and digital copy.

This is why it takes a while to finish a record. Now, finishing tracking puts the record in “so close you can taste it” territory. And that’s the territory we’re in (as in, within a few months). And if you’re reading this, you might just be one of the people that’s been waiting for a long time. We couldn’t be happier to bring you this news. And boy do we feel like a real band! So get stoked. It’s coming your way soon.

P.S. We have a pretty sweet deal to go with this record that we think you’ll dig as much as we did. It involves free music. And free choice. What? Prepare yourselves.

Liam Sumnicht
Not A Planet

Music in Motion, By Ryan Martin

Robert Francis has something to say. The classic idea of respecting the song for the simplicity and beauty of words and melody. His first record, “One By One,” has moved me more than any in the last decade. It comes from a place in the human heart that you really have to suffer to tap. Honesty in emotion with the nerves to become totally vulnerable and expose painful truths about love and what it means to lose it as a young man. If you like Townes Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, The Band etc. I think you should probably have a listen. Above all he gives me hope by reminding me how the American songwriter still has a powerful voice in contemporary music.
-Ryan Martin, Music In Orbit

Introducing Ryan Martin

Introducing Ryan Martin, our newest band member.

Read more…