Feature by: Mark Steinwachs
Gallery photos courtesy of Brent Baxter Photography &  Andrea Behrends
Video courtesy or Roadrunner Records

Mark Steinwachs spent 12 years on the road touring with all forms of music and theater acts and is now the General Manager at Bandit Lites, an industry leader in concert lighting production.

My post this week is going to be short and sweet, as most public service announcements should be. To all the new roadies out there, remember one thing …

IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.

You work for the band. The people are there to see the band. You are not a part of the band. I don’t care what your mom told you, you are not special.

There isn’t one crew guy in the world who is not replaceable. Will there be growing pains when the ten-year LD is gone? Yes.

Will there still be a show with the new guy? Yes.

The minute you forget your place is the minute that your gig starts slipping through your fingers. I’m not saying that all roadies are the same. A long-time road dog is worth a lot more than some kid out of school on his first tour, but there are lots of road dogs out there.

Even when people go to a show because it has great production (and trust me, that’s not the only reason they are going), it doesn’t mean they are going because it’s your production. Just because your mix at FOH is crystal clear doesn’t mean there isn’t another person out there who can do the same thing (or better).

Now, the alpha mentality you have to possess to be a roadie is screaming, “Bullshit, I’m great at my job. That’s why they hired me. I do the best I can every show. Why would they ever want to get rid of me?”

First of all, there’s more to touring than just your ability to do the actual gig (another post for another time). The other critical thing about our gig is that it’s almost all subjective.

Let’s go back to the beginning: it’s not about you. You aren’t the only one who can make a band sound good or look good. All it takes is for them to want to go with a “different feel” for the show and you are gone. And the fans? They want to see the massive production from their favorite band. They have no idea who’s behind it all, and there are plenty of people out there who can design a massive production (you aren’t that special).

Does a road dog with lots of experience bring something extra to a show? Of course, I already said that. So, to you road pups out there, remember that when you grow up and are a road dog, there are lots more of you out there. You are part of a team and …

IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.

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