Industry Insider: Tour Manager Tim Boardman [Tom Vek, Justin Hawkins, Third Eye Blind]

May 24, 2012

The Darkness at The Phoenix, Toronto, 1 February 2012 - photo by Brian Banks, Music ViceJustin Hawkins is just one of many musicians that Tim Boardman has worked with – photo Brian Banks

Hello Music Vice Readers! We are back with a second batch of Industry Insiders for you, with tips and stories from professionals on the inside of the music business. Ngawara Madison has been hanging round backstage rooms, chatting away at European music conferences, and sharing stories at industry haunts to obtain more inside knowledge for you on how the wheels of the tumultuous music business turn!

Industry Insider - Tim Boardman
Our Insider of the moment is…  Tim Boardman. Tim Boardman is a well reputed Tour Manager, who has worked with high profile acts such as Third Eye Blind, Justin Hawkins, Heather Nova, Tom Vek, The Hot Rats, Little Fish, Supergrass, and many more. A competent musician and songwriter in his own right, Tim was a guitarist and tour manager for successful teen pop group, Saving Aimee, before embarking on route to his current role. Ngawara caught up with Tim for a chat about his job, and the realities of his day to day, busy schedule.

Tim performing with Saving Aimee:

Interview below:

You currently work as a Tour Manager for Tom Vek; and have fulfilled the same position for a number of high profile bands such as Third Eye Blind; Justin Hawkins; Little Fish; and your old band, Saving Aimee. How did you come to work in tour management?

Tim: Like most crew guys – I was friends with a band. I went out on tour for no money and had a pretty good time – I haven’t really stopped since. I was promoting shows and running FOH at a local Youth Services venue and so knew what was going on at shows – I just then had to take that on tour.

You have worked with quite a range of acts since you first started out with your own band. Are bands really as misbehaved as the media likes to make out?

Tim: I don’t think anyone is as badly behaved as everyone thinks. Just think of a touring crew as a group of ten friends. In that group there will always be two or three that get drunk more than the rest. The only difference is people read about the guys in and around bands. It’s also weird to be in and around shows every night – the crowd all see that as going out, so often that is transferred to the bands. Imagine going out five nights a week and trying to hold it together!

Through your work you have had the opportunity to travel all over the world. How do you keep a good work/play balance in an industry that is often drowning in parties, alcohol, and distraction?

Tim: I think you’ve touched on it there – working out the difference between work and play. To be honest the job can get a lot easier when dealing with drunk band members – they tend to say yes a lot easier, and will get in a bus or a cab!! And they don’t really complain about being picked up and moved either!!

What advice would you give to someone fresh out of school, who was interested in getting involved in a similar position to yourself?

Tim: I think it’s just being prepared to not get paid for a while!

Find a band you are friends with and learn out on the road. If you aren’t good – no one else will employ you and you can go put on a suit and tie. If you are good, you won’t really have to worry about it.

What kind of personality suits the job of ‘Tour Manager’… and in your opinion what kind of personality does NOT suit the job?

Tim: I don’t think there’s a set type. You see a lot of American Tour Managers who are ex-military! But you also see a tonne of bands for whom having a stern army major as a Tour Manager would be completely wrong. It’s just a matter of the band’s manager finding the right fit for the band.

In your opinion who are the bands to watch out for in 2012? Do you have any predictions as to bands that will be the ‘Ed Sheerans’, ‘Rizzle Kicks’, or ‘Adeles’ of 2012? Who are you most excited to see live this year?

Tim: I think you can never really tell what is going to happen. It’s still the case in music where the major [labels] and the major indies just pick who gets big! It would be nice to see someone hard working get a bit more recognition. Guys like Tribes and Young Guns who have been in bands for years and got to a certain level but have yet to jump up and do something massive. Other than that I’m excited to hear the new stuff from both sides of Gallows: the original band with Wade and [Frank Carter’s new band] Pure Love too.

© Ngawara Madison, Music Vice

If there are any industry questions that you want answered – or maybe some suggestions for future Insiders – then leave a comment or tweet your questions to @ngawaram.

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