Toddler-Touring Tips From Mates Of State

Today, the folks at Nerve launch Babble, a site devoted to “the new urban parent.” And while that doesn’t quite include us yet, it does mean we get cool child-toting tips from indie-rock couple Mates Of State! Kori Gardner writes about road life before (and after) child, and we figured her tips would be worthwhile advice for our touring, indie-rock couple readers. Here is Kori and Jason’s life pre-kid:

An hour before you leave, pack backpack with three outfits. Sleep on floors. Party every night. Get a cold. Take two-hour nap in the van before the show. Drive ten hours a day, get to the club, eat. Wait. Wait. Wait.

Get very bored. Load equipment into club. Wait. Wait. Wait. Get even more bored. Find clean place to use a public bathroom in private. Go back to stage. Wait wait wait. Read books like The Dirt by Neil Strauss. Search in vain for a TV. Talk to other bands (who are also bored). Smoke cigarettes. Sound check. Kiss sound guy’s butt so his attitude doesn’t ruin sound for the night. Eat again. Drink. Wait. PLAY! WOO-HOO! ROCK OUT! Unplug. Load equipment out. Drive and find cheap hotel. REPEAT.

We love that you get to repeat! Sounds fun. How about with a kid, Kori? She writes:

Find hotels ahead of tour with adjoining rooms and a pool. Rent van, pick up nanny, sound guy and merch guy. Drive no more than four hours to first show while child naps and then watches The Wiggles DVD in the car three times in a row. Check into hotel. Let child ride on luggage rack and make loud motor-type noise while pushing her and ten pieces of luggage into hotel. Walk around hotel and race with child to let her burn off energy. Find pool. Go swimming. Bribe child out of pool with gummy bears.

Find good restaraunt while others load in equipment. Convince child to sit down and eat noodles, because she’s a noodlehead and that’s what noodleheads do. Go back to club, do soundcheck while nanny plays hide-and-seek around dirty rock club with child. Stop sound check for a minute while child plays drums and sings songs for the opening band, who think it’s amazing. (It is amazing. She sings about the birthmark on her ankle to the tune of “Where is Thumbkin?”)

REPEAT. Except add in dirty diapers, car-seat-in-rental-van problems and the occasional bookstore, library or playground stop.

Next week, we go to . . . Australia!

“Repeat” doesn’t sound quite as “cool” this time around, but more power to ‘em for being able to pull that off; it’s hard enough to blog and take care of our pets! The Mates will be checking in with weekly installments, and Babble’s also got this interview with young-dad Ben Kweller. Any other indie rock ‘rents worth knowing about? Wait, what other indie rock couples are there? Jimmy and Emily Metric are doneski (we think). They should talk twins with Elvis and Diana!