The fall touring season is coming up very soon and many bands will be deciding what type of vehicle they’ll choose to put their money and their lives in. After years of touring in vans that have been spotty at best, The Rebellion, a hard working Canadian band (think Canada’s answer to the Muse) decided to purchase a proper touring bus. I spoke with Josh Palmer, the band’s lead singer, about what factors contributed in the purchase of their mean machine.
What inspired you to buy the tour bus?
We were sick of being crammed in a van full of gear. When you’re making long treks together, it’s good to be comfortable, otherwise people get on each other’s nerves alot faster.
What are the benefits of the tour bus?
The benefits of having the bus, is not only do we always have a hideout to go to, financially it benefits us because we can cook our own food and we always have a place to stay, so we’ve been able to cut costs on things we had to pay for every night while on the road. An unexpected benefit, is that whenever you pull up to a venue in a tour bus, there’ll be people curious of who you are and it’ll make that extra few people come in and check you out. And of course, we can’t leave out the post show bus parties!
What has it done for the band?
Since we bought it a couple months ago, we’ve already crossed the country from Tofino to Montreal, for the band, the trip was more enjoyable and leisurely than being in a van because people can chill out, watch a movie and hang out, so that’s been handy. We were even running late on the road for one of our shows, so instead of getting ready when we got in, everyone took their showers and got ready, all while driving on the highway.
Is this a one in a million find or could other bands do it?
Other bands can do it, but you really have to do your homework.We researched and checked out buses for a year until we found this one. Most of them were out of the province or country, but we had mechanics check out everyone we drove. The one we settled with is one in a million, not only was it in great shape for the year, but it was registered locally and needed no certification. We lucked out.
Why bands should choose a bus vs a van?
The comfort in a home on wheels and storage capacity was a big selling feature for us, but it’s not for everyone. We were used to driving a 15 passenger van, and it wasn’t a big increase on fuel price from that, but for bands that are used to driving a mini van, moving up to a 35 foot bus might not be a good idea, parking and maneuvering in a bigger city is a challenge. Everyone’s situation is different, and in ours, we decided it made sense to get the bus.
What are the bus rules?
We have a no farts policy… But that’s always broken, but more importantly, no cigarettes.
How has the bus changed the touring plans for the band?
It’s made it possible to be on tour for longer periods of time, so that’s the future plan for the rebellion.