THE TOUR MANAGER
Behind the scenes

by Dan Prince May 2017 MUSIC Read in PDF format N13/2017
THE TOUR MANAGER PRIVATE JETS, 5-STAR HOTELS, THE FINEST RESTAURANTS, THE CRAZIEST CLUBS. WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF THE DJ’S ESSENTIAL CO-PILOT…

Hardwell and Manny traveling the world together.

MANNY

ERIC MORILLO / HARDWELL

What is the secret of being a good Tour Manager?

You have to be loyal, hard working, have integrity, be resourceful and know how to pay attention to detail. When I first started with Erick nobody showed me anything other than him…my best friend was Google and YouTube! You also need to be as cool as the other side of the pillow when things get complicated, and never crack under pressure.

What is life like continuously on the road?

In my early years I learned quickly about time management and being organised. I have alarms set in my iPhone for different parts of the world. You need to focus on visas, vaccines for foreign countries and any other travel restrictions. You need to have patience and I never say no. I always say, “let me see what I can do.” It’s not always easy, but I try.

The biggest fuck up that has happened to you on tour?

Not many, but one when Erick Morillo and Steve Angello were playing back-to-back... During the set, I was installing Erick’s Vermona filters and I accidentally pulled out the wrong RCA cable and there was no sound for about three seconds. All the time with Steve Angello patting me on the head very softly as to say HURRY THE FUCK UP. In front of 7000 people all booing.

The most glamorous ‘work’ party you’ve rocked up to…

We flew from Miami in a G6 to a Royal’s party. We stayed in probably the most beautiful hotel I have ever been to, the food was absolutely amazing and we were treated like kings. My artist was paid around a quarter of a million dollars…and we only played for 16 people!

Have you ever used your position to pull members of the opposite sex?

When you’re the tour manager, everyone believes YOU are the gatekeeper to that artist. I’ve had girls throwing themselves at me just to get a meet and greet, autograph, etc. But there’s no time for distractions on the road. Well maybe sometimes... 

Alex and Jackmaster in complete harmony.

ALEX PÉREZ

JACKMASTER/DANNY TENAGLIA/SETH TROXLER

What is the biggest perk of the job?

Getting to hear amazing music night after night. I have been lucky to have only worked with artists who are often described as a DJ’s DJ or selectors, I’ve heard some pretty epic sets chock full of music that most other DJs don’t have the balls to play.

Your biggest fuck up on tour?

It was in San Francisco and Solar was playing before Seth. I was quite nervous and while trying to plug in one of Seth’s FX pedals I accidentally pulled out a cable from the mixer - just as the track was about to explode. I was standing there in front of the crowd with no sound coming out of the speakers and Solar giving me the look of death. I made sure that never happened again.

Has your boss ever sacked you?

No. And if I do make a mess of things I make sure to clean it up before they have a chance to find out.

Have you ever used your position to pull members of the opposite sex?

I have used it to pull members of both sexes honey…

What musician dead or alive would you have loved to road manage…

Hands down it would have to be Prince. I bet he was a crazy and demanding diva on the road, but to be able to watch that show night after night would totally be worth all the bullshit I would have to deal with.

Pedro, he doesn’t fuck up! 

PEDRO VILA

ADAM BEYER

What is the secret of being a good Tour Manager?

Being positive and polite are important, it helps to keep your artist happy while on the road as tiredness is a big factor. You need to be able to keep your eye on the ball preempting situations and reacting to them before they happen. I like to sum it up with ‘it’s not an easy job to do, but it’s an easy job to fuck up’. Maybe that’s the secret mantra?

Are DJs a pain in the arse to work for?

Artists’ egos do tend to get a little out of control but that goes for any person in a position where they receive such an amount of public adulation. Mood swings also aren’t just a DJ issue, anyone who is sleep deprived, hungover or on a comedown is at risk of getting a bit moody. You just got to roll with it, smile and fix it.

Your biggest fuck up on tour?

I don’t really fuck up, that’s why I’m very good at my job. The biggest fuck ups you have to deal with are often other people’s that you then have to clean up. If I had to pick a few, flights being cancelled last minute (Vueling), turning up to shows with the wrong technical set for my artist or a very inebriated Z list celeb puking on one of previous artists in the booth. That was pretty awks.

Proudest boss moment?

Every time I set my boss up to play in front of a crowd of his fans - no matter how big or small - is a proud moment. To see the way one person can cause such joy, ecstasy (ahem) and make people lose themselves is a pretty cool achievement in my eyes. 

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