Canadian Musician


In the Van & On the Road post 1: May 3rd

Monday, May 6th, 2013


By Travis Miles

I woke up in a panic this morning. Utter confusion jolted my body upright as my eyelids rose off my eyes. This happens a lot on tour, waking up in a moment of ignorant mayhem. “Where am I? What city is this?”

This is all common, for the first minute after slumber on someone’s couch, floor, or in the van. This morning — May 3rd — I awoke in Pickering, Ont., and it slowly came back to me — as it always does — “Oh right I’m in Dave’s house, he’s cooking us breakfast. Sweet.”
So, I woke up chatted with all the boys, drank two coffees with rum, ate a very much appreciated breakfast, and me and the guys took off.

Now, as the sun sits high in the sky, the sounds of The Clash echo out of a brazen Chevy Astro. The gas tank is full, and the road ahead is a long one. As indicated in previous posts, my name is Travis Miles. I sing and play guitar in Punk/ Folk Rock band The Penske File and I am a correspondent and a freelance writer for Canadian Musician magazine and blog. In coherence with an upcoming Indie Insider series for Canadian Musician magazine entitled In the Van and On the Road, I will be updating my first hand accounts of playing in a touring band across Canada.

The first week of our two month Canadian tour is behind us, and the long drives are ahead. The horizon’s magnetic pull will dictate the following posts. Every day a new city to be in, a new venue to play at, connections to be made, fun to be had, and inevitable mishaps to endure.

We are on the road with our new friends in Fire Next Time (Edmonton), and have spent the first week buzzing around our homeland of Southern Ontario. Every show has been within an hour of the last and has been stellar. We kicked the trip off in Hamilton last friday at the Casbah to a packed house in celebration of our debut full length album, A Restless Symphony. Since then we have enjoyed shows in Brantford, St. Catharines, Waterdown, and Toronto. But that is all in the past, and we are on the edge of constructive summer — both as a band, and in our minds.

We are rolling down the highway 401 east to Ottawa. With many new markets to hit, excitement and wanderlust seep through the cracked window and wash over my tired eyes. We have never toured the Canadian east past Montreal before, and some of us have never been.

The next six weeks will take us through Quebec, the quintet of Atlantic provinces, northern Ontario, the plains of the prairies, and the mountains of the west. With fingers crossed, minds focused, and hearts rattling we edge closer to tonight’s show, and the best 35 minutes of everyday. So much goes into a tour, but we do it for one main reason, to play our music as much as possible, as many places as possible, as often as possible.

As I reach to the radio’s dial to turn up the music, a warm feeling rushes over me. So I roll the window all the way down to stick my head out, and let the rushing highway air cleanse my unkempt hair. I think it’s safe to say the road bug is starting to kick in.

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