Come on, you want to make music partly – OK, mostly – to enjoy life on the open road, right? To be traveling by van or bus across the land and playing to adoring audiences wherever you go. What could be better?
Well, as you might expect given the excesses that such a life can lead to, touring is not always great for your mental health and those around you. But this new book has plenty of advice on how to cope and claims to tackle the issues head-on.
Touring and Mental Health: The Music Industry Manual has input from many musicians who have been there and done that but, importantly, also has the more sober teachings from a community of experts in the field.
There are contributions from psychotherapists, psychologists, doctors, dieticians, and sleep, sexual health and addiction experts – basically the entourage you'd want to take with you on tour but can't afford.
The book aims to help all musicians and anyone working in live music to identify any issues they come across and deal with them in as practical a way as possible. These include physical and psychological difficulties with guidance on mental and physical health, plus how to deal with relationships, performing on stage and even dealing with the media.
Touring and Mental Health includes chapters on mental health; anxiety, depression and crisis management; relationships; stress, trauma, addiction and eating disorders; and self-care, preparation and recovery. To be honest, then, this book could be a god-send to everyone, whether you're touring or not.
Big names like Nile Rodgers, Justin Hawkins, Philip Selway, Charles Thompson, Katie Melua, Kieran Hebden and many more share some of their experiences to give a more real-world insight.
Touring and Mental Health: The Music Industry Manual costs £40 and you can get more info and order from here. The book is also designed to look like a flight-case, which is pretty cool too.