April Fools Day is a day to play fun, harmless pranks on the people around us, but when bands are on tour, every day is prank day. Brandon Roundtree of Conditions has had his fair share of pranks pulled on him, and pulled some of his own. Check out what his most memorable was!
I have been part of Conditions for almost seven years now. Seven years of inescapable close quarters and shared unique experience is a sure shot catalyst for cooperatives to become brothers. That is what we are, and this is what will inevitably happen to any band who shares the subculture “touring musician” for long enough. Vans become family vans, touring becomes family road trips, and….enough sappy poetics…allow me now to shed light on the perpetually immature yet whole heartedly beloved and strangely full of genius space race of tour life…the tour prank.
The daily life of tour can be extremely monotonous. Wake up, drive for hours, load in,hang around, play show, load out, sleep, wake up, repeat. Lots of free time. Lots of space for imagination to blend with brotherhood and create a desire to spice things up a bit. There are day to day pranks with your brothers, like Saran-wrapping the toilet seat or hiding something of value, but the band vs. band bond that is sparked from months and miles spent together is really where the ingenuity has a chance to blossom. Very much so like fraternity vs. fraternity in the midst of a hazing war.
We did one tour where every day for a week there was a mobile battle of liquid bombing. Each band would try to out-do each other with a nastier concoction created to coat the opposing van. The white flag was waved with the arrival of various forms of human waste.
There is our short stint of ketchup art. Our red period if you will. Whenever the touring package of bands would stay together at the same hotel we would make it a point to rise earlier than all of them specifically to paint on their rigs with condiments. Huge phallic depictions, pentagrams, anything offensive really to start the day off with a bang.
I conspired once with a member of a different band to shut up our old guitarist and his constant complaints of “loneliness” by taping the pages of porno magazines all over his area in the van. Literally every inch was covered…much like every inch of his cheeks were covered in red when he saw our masterpiece.
We once locked our tour manager in the trailer and drove a few miles to eat food to the sound of his screaming. We’ve left members behind on purpose. All in good fun and with mutual understanding that this is just the way it goes and how it has went for generations of road warriors.
A lot of the pranks target the opposing van. That is, after-all, the haven of tour. The one place that will feel most like the continuity of “home”. I’ve seen entire vans and trailers wrapped in inches of Saran-wrap, Fish hidden in vans to pester poor souls with foul stenches, entire layouts switched, and the list goes on and on. We once planned to take the tires off of a rival van and roll them across the stage as the other band was playing their set! We had a lot of flat tires on that tour and I guess just got the fever. We didn’t get to do that one yet…
As long as there will be touring, there will be tour pranks. And boredom will forever spark ingenuity in this area. My band and I have a running subliminal
tour prank called “working out on tour”. Let everyone see that you lift occasionally, and you tend not to get attacked first. It sounds pig headed and comically ultra-masculine…but it has worked. Anyway…to everyone reading this: I know I know…we’re children. To any touring musicians reading this: we welcome the challenge brethren.