Meet Your Modern Hobo: Chris

Chris and I met when Aaron from Billy Talent found this awesome drum cover he posted of "Viking Death March" when he was just 15 years old. Aaron suggested we invite him down to play the song with the band so I contacted Chris and he skipped school (with his parents' permission) and came down to hang in Moose Jaw, SK. You can check out that video HERE. It's always refreshing to meet young musicians excited about what they're doing and Chris is a hard worker who is always learning and creating. We've kept in touch over the years and his awesome band Surf Dads is taking the world by storm right now, having just confirmed a bunch of great festivals including The Great Escape in the UK. Read his story below and keep your eyes on Surf Dads!

Shop Modern Hobo gear HERE.


NAME: Chris Dimas

NICKNAME(S): Tito, Dingus

OCCUPATION: Musician

YOUR BAND: Surf Dads

BANDS YOU'VE PLAYED FOR: Despistado, Dagan Harding, Bleeker, Bermuda Love, Doubt It.

OTHER INTERESTS/SKILLS: Hockey, Audio Engineering.

YOUR STORY: I've always had music in my life with my Dad and Uncles being in a family band. They would let me come up and play the drums when I was little and that was it! Got my first drum set at age 2, and haven't stopped since. I currently play with a few bands, and have started to do a lot more studio work which I very much enjoy! My dream is to one day be able to make records for bands in my own studio.

FAVOURITE PART OF TOUR/TRAVEL: My favourite part of tour is seeing new things in a new city every day. When you are with good people it is even better. Getting to play music on top of that makes it the absolute best.

TOUR/TRAVEL HACK: I wish I had a good travel hack... But what I think is most important is to keep a positive attitude, always drink lots of water and listen to good music in the van.

BEST TOUR/TRAVEL STORY: One of my favourite moments from tour was when Surf Dads was stopping for gas in White River, Ontario, and somehow our drive side door broke and wouldn't stay closed. No one would help us, and so we had no choice but to duct tape the door shut. We left it like that for 3 days until we got it fixed in Ottawa. It was really stressful at the time but now I look back at that and laugh. 

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SAY?: Listen to Slayer!!!


Meet Your Modern Hobo: Tory

Tory and I met when we both worked at Live Nation, I was an idealistic kid fresh out of university working in the booking department and she was a super cool Production Manager that I looked up to. We became pals over our time there but our friendship and collaboration really solidified when we both left at around the same time to move to the Artist side and tour, her with Michael Bublé and myself with Billy Talent. I have always made it my mission to surround myself with smart, powerful, badass women, especially those that work in male-dominated professions, and Tory has been a valuable sounding board, collaborative and friend. Check out her tips and tricks below.

If you're interested in being a part of our girl army, keep it locked on Biz Girls Collective.

Are you a nomad, wanderer, Modern Hobo? Join us! Check out our gear in the SHOP.


NAME: Tory Class

NICKNAME(S): ToryOnTour - Munko San - Moses

OCCUPATION: Tour Marketing Manager

YOUR COMPANY: Tory On Tour

BANDS YOU'VE WORKED FOR: When I was working as a Tour Production Manager for LiveNation, I had worked with loads of acts, I have some very unique memories from that time. However, the past five years I have been working exclusively for Michael Bublé on his international tours (2010 - 2015).

OTHER INTERESTS/SKILLS: I rummage for vintage clothes. I partake in art collecting. I Love, Love. Eating great food & drinking wine (drinking is a skill, right?)

YOUR STORY: I suppose I got into the touring music business by happenstance, however I have always been quite transient by nature. I was raised in small town Ontario and moved across the country to Vancouver at 20. I had never been there, I only knew two people, had no job prospects... but I sold my belongings and drove my car out West and I am still here!

Many don't know this about me, but I was a Deadhead, which meant I spent many months of the year living in a van, travelling around North America seeing Dead shows. This is where I developed my inner hobo. It was some of the best life/business experience I could ask for, I followed my passion for live music, became an entrepreneur, an accountant, a negotiator and a lover of travel. Without realizing it, this was the portal to my future working in the music business in a touring capacity.

FAVOURITE PART OF TOUR/TRAVEL: The 5-star hotels... no... well, yes. But also it's got to be the BEST Clubhouse sandwich on the planet, at the Savoy in London!

But in all seriousness, I have seen some of the most amazing international art exhibitions and architecture. I have riffled through some of the most amazing vintage shoppes that I still dream of revisiting.. sigh.

TOUR/TRAVEL HACK: I have a few...

1) I travel with a silk pillowcase; it cuts down on bed head and face wrinkles... AND no one will know where you were and why you weren't answering your radio calls.

2) At airports, Global Access/Nexus is a MUST.

3) If there is a sock on the floor of the bus and it's not yours... DO NOT TOUCH IT!! Boys, you know what I'm talking about.. Yuck :/

BEST TOUR/TRAVEL STORY: Perhaps it was my very first tour, which incidentally was with Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and the Dogg Pound. Uhhh, there were so many firsts on this tour, I learned a lot about Hip Hop idiosyncratic touring and so many unique and bizarre things happened that I seriously can't list them all and probably shouldn't. BUT, I really hit the ground running, developed the skills to think fast on my feet, always have Plan A-B-C in my pocket... because I likely would need them. It was a great and hilarious experience.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SAY?: I have recently wrapped up 22 months on this last record, hit 43 countries, circled the globe 7 times, and visited 6 continents. It's been full of life-altering experiences and enlightening moments in the process. I can't tell you how much I have learned about myself and other cultures. I have been exposed to some very privileged experiences and made friends that will last a lifetime. Although I also have missed many monumental moments at home (weddings, birthdays, anniversaries)... I have no regrets.


Find Tory:

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

PODCAST - Instagram Tips on the Studio 41 Creative Podcast

CBC - The Coolest Jobs in Canadian Music

NOMAD Design Now in the Shop!

This is a big one! Happy to announce that the new "NOMAD" design has hit the shop!

As a kid, I discovered a band called Thrice and they've always remained #1 on my playlist, even though we've both grown in the many years since that first listen. "I am a Nomad, a Wanderer" is a line from their song "In Exile", which has been the inspiration and theme song for Modern Hobo since its release. It is borrowed with respect and permission from a group of individuals I've always admired, and I look forward to seeing what they come up with in 2016, with a new record and tour!

The NOMAD design is available in men's & ladies tees, unisex tanks, we even have toddler tees and baby onesies for the little explorers in your life. Check it out in the SHOP.

Thanks to Thrice, and all of you, for your support of my little dream.

Jessica
MH


Meet Your Modern Hobo: Michael

Michael and I met on Warped Tour years ago when he was doing merch for fantastic band and friends, Moving Mountains. Fast forward to present day and he is taking care of the cloth business out on the good road for many fabulous artists. Always good for a show day lunch, Michael is another Modern Hobo I am glad to keep in touch with. Read his tour tips and stories below!


NAME: Michael Ricci

NICKNAME(S): Ricci, Riccipad

OCCUPATION: Merchandiser

BANDS YOU'VE WORKED FOR: Queens of the Stone Age, Beck, My Morning Jacket, Belle & Sebastian, Arctic Monkeys, Texas Is The Reason, et al.

OTHER INTERESTS/SKILLS: New York Rangers hockey, pro wrestling, The Simpsons, Futurama, coffee, vinyl records. I like collecting things from the road such as magnets, keychains and postcards. In my downtime at home I enjoy fixing/building/improving things around the house and catching up on TV shows with my girlfriend and our dog.

YOUR STORY: In a past life, I was an Apple certified computer technician. I was working at a repair shop in Manhattan for years out of college when my friends in a band called Moving Mountains asked me to go on tour with them. I cashed in all of my vacation and personal time to do it and caught the bug. Shortly thereafter, another band asked me to do a tour with them and I was pulling every favor I had left in the company to make it work. I returned to my desk a month later, this time to discover that I had been demoted from a tech to recycling old computer parts in the back. I yearned for the road, so I became so insubordinate that they finally laid me off, and a few weeks later I was on a two-month tour of Europe. That was seven years ago. Been at it ever since.

FAVOURITE PART OF TOUR/TRAVEL: Meeting people and making new friends. The relationships that I’ve made through this crazy lifestyle mean more to me than I can express here. There are so many quality human beings who do what we do. I love seeing friends around the globe and catching up over coffee/catering/boxes of t-shirts.

TOUR/TRAVEL HACK: Get a book of crossword puzzles, a good pencil and keep it in your backpack. I endorse this to all of my touring friends. Keeps your brain stimulated on travel days and during downtime at the gig. I recommend the New York Times collections, which can usually be found at any airport or chain bookstore. Bringing books to read on tour can take up so much valuable space in your pack and it’s refreshing to not stare at your phone or laptop screen for the duration of a flight.

BEST TOUR/TRAVEL STORY: I once worked a show at a bike rally in Sturgis during a massive thunderstorm where no one should have been outside. You could see lightning crash around us for miles and miles. From a work perspective, it was dreadful. I was stationed under two mismatched 10'x10’ tents held up with zip-ties, displays clipped to a chain link fence, credit card machines couldn’t get a signal, etcetera. All of the merch was wet and I had to box it all up to ship out since we were headed to Edmonton for the next gig. At the end of the night, I had to hand carry every soggy box across the dirt lot as it became thick mud underneath my feet to venue’s office building. When I was finally done, soaked to the bone and filthy as hell, I headed to the bus to swap my backpack for my shower bag. As I came back outside, the sky was clearing up and the rain had stopped. I nearly lost it. I stared down at my muddy sneakers, contemplating whether or not to throw them away, wishing I did something else for a living, when a band member (whom I had hardly known at this point) approached me and said “You look like you could use one of these,” as he held out a couple beers. It was a simple gesture of camaraderie after a terribly testing day on the entire collective, band and crew alike, that reminded me why I do this. As a merch person on tour, you often feel like the lone wolf. It can be a thankless job and there’s usually only one of you while most every other department of the tour works in teams. Simple reminders that you are part of something more than just a traveling business make this all worth while.

(Reading it back, that sounds more like a worst tour/travel story, but I got swine flu on a tour back in 2009. I don’t think anything will ever trump that.)

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SAY?: Music should always be a community for all to feel safe and welcomed. Racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, sexual harassment… none of those things should be tolerated at a concert or festival. Whether you’re a musician, crew member, venue employee or just a fan — if you see something, say something. There’s a lot of fucked up shit going on in the world today. Let’s all do our part to preserve one of the few good things we share together.


Find Michael:

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

Meet Your Modern Hobo: Daniel

Daniel and I met through the music scene in Vancouver, mutual friends, mutual parties. He's since made the same move I have from Vancouver to Toronto and is killing it in the 6. Check out his story below and find and follow him on the Internet, he's always modern hobo'ing and doing rad shit around the world. It's so cool seeing pals grow and succeed and follow their dreams.


NAME: Daniel Bray

NICKNAME(S): D-Bray

OCCUPATION: Photographer and Filmmaker (also driver, merch guy, grip/gaff, party tech). 

YOUR BAND/COMPANY: Freelance.

BANDS YOU'VE WORKED FOR: Holly Springs Disaster, Emarosa, A Textbook Tragedy, Living With Lions, Structures, The Balconies.

OTHER INTERESTS/SKILLS: I enjoy spending time fishing, watching baseball, and hanging out with my amazing wife and our cat.

YOUR STORY: I'm your stereotypical small town prairie boy trying to find his way in the big city. I was born and raised in Saskatoon but moved to Toronto and then Vancouver to go to school. After school I ended up setting up camp back in Toronto. I'm still trying to figure out what it is exactly I do, however I'm really enjoying my journey. Capturing special moments and different faces are the things that make me happy. I'm really fortunate to have had the opportunity to see most of North America while riding along with bands that my friends play in.

FAVOURITE PART OF TOUR/TRAVEL: Meeting new people and exploring new cities. I like the little nuances that differ between communities. Two cities in the same province that are only an hour down the highway from one another can be so different. Each time you pass through a city for the second, third or fourth time you learn new things about it and experience it differently than the time before.

TOUR/TRAVEL HACK: Those little silica packets from shoeboxes are a lifesaver. Throw a hand full of those in your camera/laptop bag to keep the humidity and moisture down. Going from an air conditioned bus or venue to outside can create more moisture than you'd think in your gear bag. Keep that shit dry.

BEST TOUR/TRAVEL STORY: There's too many to count. It's a tie between getting peed on by Matt Postal (Living With Lions) in my sleep OR the infamous Stoufville brawl of 2008.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SAY?: Go Blue Jays!


New Gear: NFA Tank & Tee Now in the Shop!

Very excited to have the new NFA design finally hit the shop! It's designed by my friend Devin Sager & modelled by Dani of Dani Press fame. Check out both these pals and support some great artists!

One of the things that I love about building this little community is that I get to work with and showcase so many of my talented friends. I like to surround myself with creative people, and I jump at the chance to collab with or hire a friend and support their passion, and I hope that they do the same for me. There's enough love to go around, isn't there?

Meet Your Modern Hobo: Brent

Brent and I met through Teryn/Taryn, my amazing friends, one a fantastic photographer and the other an inspiring chef. We've stayed in touch over the years, though he's hard to keep track of because he's always on a nature/motorbike/foreign adventure! Check him out below!


NAME: Brent Akhurst

NICKNAME(S): B

OCCUPATION: I sell crazy robots that make people rich.

YOUR BAND/COMPANY: Akhurst Machinery Ltd.

OTHER INTERESTS/SKILLS: Travel, drinking beer, moto adventuring, wrenching, hiking, mountaineering, snowboarding, camping, sleeping, cooking, I make a mean pizza from scratch, dirt biking, excellent in high pressure "oh fak" kind of situations, fairly good at relocating dislocated joints, collected a couple good and bad tattoos, I have mastered the Negroni, I love cool old shit and did I mention I like cold cheap beer? 

YOUR STORY: Born on a cold foggy January night in a sleepy fishing village called Steveston. Grew up and honed my love for the outdoors in the Garibaldi mountain range. Started skiing at the age of 3. Crafted the art of carving bow and arrows by the age of 5. Got my first girlfriend at age 10. Did not get past the holding hands stage :(. Gave up skiing and started snowboarding at the age of 12. Got lost in the mountains for two days and made the front page of all the local papers when I was 13. Saw my first band play "Bad Religion" at the age of 14. Got my license when I was 16 and crashed a couple cars. Finished high school. Went to BCIT to learn how to fix anything. Spent all my free time traveling and exploring the outdoors. Life Rules! I take on every opportunity to travel and experience what is out there. you won't catch me on the couch unless the Bachelorette is on. J/k ......maybe.    

FAVOURITE PART OF TRAVEL: The Unknown! At any moment you can be blown away by a stranger's generosity or the beauty that the world has to offer. When everything goes wrong, you meet the best people because they take the time to stop and lend a hand.

TRAVEL HACK: Doritos are great for snaking on and they have to be one of the best fire starters on the market.

BEST TRAVEL STORY: My lady and I took a nice little 20 hour train ride through northern India in general class. We were the lucky passengers that got the seats next to the crapper. We pretty much got slobbered on, pissed on, poked and likely shit on for 20 hours. That was cool.     

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SAY?: "People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things." - Sir Edmund Hillary


Find Brent:

WEBSITE

INSTAGRAM

Meet Your Modern Hobo: Drew

Drew and I met at the beginning of the tour I'm currently on but we became fast friends, sharing a love for cool glasses and buttoning up shirts all the way. Drew left practicing law to tour the world playing drums for a living, proof-positive that no matter how conventionally successful one might be, it's just as important to follow your dreams and be happy.


NAME: Drew Shoals

NICKNAME(S): #trueshoals #drummerdrewsview

OCCUPATION: Drums

YOUR BAND: Train

BANDS YOU'VE WORKED FOR: Tony Furtado, Curtis Salgado, Ben Darwish, Matt Sheehy (Lost Lander), max basic.

OTHER INTERESTS/SKILLS: Lawyering.

YOUR STORY: I grew up in Portland, Oregon. After graduating in 2005 from Whitman College, a liberal arts college in Washington state, I moved back home to Portland to work as a musician. I ended up touring and recording playing drums with a number of bands, including Tony Furtado, Curtis Salgado, Ben Darwish and Matt Sheehy (Lost Lander). I also toured with Pat Monahan, the lead singer of the band Train. In 2008, I took a break from music and moved to New York City to work as a court advocate for a legal nonprofit organization called Fortune Society. In 2009, I moved to Philadelphia to attend University of Pennsylvania Law School, where I served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Law. Upon graduation in 2012, I moved back to NYC to work at an international law firm called Shearman & Sterling, LLP. In May 2014, I returned back to the music industry when I joined the band Train. We released the band's seventh studio album, Bulletproof Picasso, in September 2014, and we've been touring all around the world in support of that record since then.

FAVOURITE PART OF TOUR/TRAVEL: My favorite part of touring is making new friends and meeting fans of the band in different cities and countries. I'm lucky to play with a band whose music and lyrics really touch a lot of people and the fans have embraced my new role in the band with open arms. It feels great to be welcomed into the Train family because the band really does have some of the best and most loyal fans in the world. 

TOUR/TRAVEL HACK: I find that it's easier to stay sane while touring if you leave the venue to explore the city that you're visiting. It becomes pretty easy just to stay onsite at the venue all day, but then every city starts to look identical. I try to make plans with my friends and make sure I get out and check out the awesome places we get to travel to.

I've also found social media as a great outlet for sharing my travels with friends and family and connecting with new people I meet on tour. I'm not the best photographer, but I love looking back at my Instagram feed and having a photo journal of the places I've been over the past year or so. It keeps me focused on capturing a little piece of documentation everywhere I go.

BEST TOUR/TRAVEL STORY: Train had the chance to play the V Fest in the U.K. in 2014. We played a set right before Chic and Nile Rogers, the famous guitarist and producer, watched our entire set from the side of the stage and took pictures the whole time with a huge smile across his face. Nile is a music legend and he's also one of the most humble guys I've ever met. He recently beat cancer and has had a bit of a resurgence due the success of Daft Punk's hit, Get Lucky, on which he played guitar. He shared with us that given his close encounter with death, he's made it a priority to fearlessly play on as many records and play as many shows as he can now. After chatting with him, he invited us on the stage with Chic to dance along and sing We are a Family in front of a massive crowd of about 50,000 people. Meeting Nile and learning from his courage, talent and humility has been one of my favorite touring moments so far. 

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SAY?: I hope I get a chance to meet you someday, somewhere! And I hope you'll be wearing a Modern Hobo shirt.