If you haven’t heard of Horse The Band, all you really need to know about them is on their myspace ‘about us’ bit. Here’s the first two paras, just so you get the idea:

“Hello. We are the coolest band in the world. Everything you have ever heard about us is true. We are fucking crazy and we are very brave. We booked a 45-country, 3-month world tour by ourselves and we didn’t die, although we almost did a bunch of times. We have played in fucking China, and Serbia, and we are the first American band to play in Belarus in 5 years (the band before us was Cannibal Corpse) and we had to sneak into the country on a World War II cargo plane. In fact, all the shows were fucking awesome except Turkey, Italy, the UK, and Scandinavia.

We party harder than any other band in the world and still play our parts perfectly every single night. Oh yeah did I mention Nathan broke his shoulder with 10 days left on the tour and played 8 shows with a broken shoulder and no treatment except alcohol? I think when other bands’ singers break their shoulders they just cancel the tour and fly home. Oh wait I think that is also what they do if they have a vocal polyp or gas costs $4 a gallon.”

See the rest here.

Anyhoo, they played the Borderline in London last night (they are fucking amazing live btw, youtube them) and they agreed to do a tour diary for us, like Invasion did the other day. But before they left, they left us a guide to touring in a handy dos and don’ts format, which I’ve obviously never heard of as a concept before. so without further aDO:

Stay at people’s houses
This will very quickly enable you to simultaneously understand how good-intentioned yet completely fucked people can be. It’s the best way to really capture a “slice of life” everywhere you visit. After your initial excitement of “being on tour” wears off and you have talked to enough people about how different ____ is from ____ yet all people are actually the same and sat there in awe for a while, just thinkin about life, you’ll start to be able to group people into a few categories and predict what kind of living situation they have crafted for themselves (and you!).

Eat animals and their various products (and take part in the local culture)
You can be a vegetarian at home in your silly little microcosm but out in the real world there’s too much culture and history to miss out on to bother with that shit. I mean, seriously, it’s not like YOU figured out what’s right and wrong out of the 6 billion different opinions. After all, even with all the reading you have done on the Internet, you are probably pretty ignorant in the “grand scheme of things”, right? Plus it’s fucking annoying hearing you talk about how no one knows what “vegan” means outside of LA or New York and how shocked you are when they ask if that means you can eat fish. It’s not like you know anything about their culture except that you like “Tofu Pad Thai” and have seen The Beach starring Leonardo Dicaprio, so go fuck yourself. Or, try their food and save your morals for when you get home.

Live beyond your means
Place yourself in crippling debt or else you will get too boring to be around. Nobody likes a poor person.

Wear your seatbelt
Dying on tour is sad. I mean, when it comes down to it touring is pretty silly and self-indulgent. No good reason to die.

Take care of your shit
Grease your trailer bearings Change your oil, get good locks, get insurance, deposit your money. When someone steals from you it says “I am stupider than crackheads and security guards” = no sympathy, dummy.

If you don’t sweat while you play or feel tired after your set you are in a band for the wrong reasons. Stand on the monitors and look out into the audience with a far off look in your eyes/smoke on stage/use beer as a prop/say “thank you” before the audience has responded to your song

Lower your standards to lower than they have ever been before
When you start laughing in the midst of a horrible, mind numbing, financially devastating, morbidly depressing and pathetic situation, you are living at the top when you’re at the fucking bottom.

Special Edition for American bands on tour in Europe:

Act apologetic
The way to make Europeans like you is to pretend you feel horrible for being an American and nod your head with a look of grave regret as Europeans (especially Germans, Island faces, and Scandinavians) sagely explain America’s problems to you. They have been there, they know.