Arejay Hale of Halestorm; Photo by Sammi StimpsonHello, everyone! Between RVs breaking down every other day, loading gear in and out in the freezing cold, and selling two to three hundred CDs a night, man, being on tour with Shinedown has been a wild ride! My band, Halestorm, and I are on our first major tour with Shinedown, Saliva, Black Stone Cherry, 10 Years, Trapt, Red, and more being added daily. WHEW! It’s almost too much to keep track of, considering being a drummer in a national band is a full-time job. My day is kind of like this….

Wake up in a Wal-Mart parking lot that we rolled into the night before, punch the next gig address into the GPS, get lost a few times, eventually get there, and try to park our RV (‘Stormin Norman’). After several hours of trying to squeeze a 52-foot RV and trailer into a 12-foot parking spot, we go in to check out the stage, chug some coffee, and scope the place out for any free beer or bottled water we can steal. Then I put on my ‘drum tech’ hat and start building, tuning, changing heads, etc. (I never polish cymbals, I like ’em dirty!) If there’s a rare occasion when we have time, and possibly a dressing room, I’ll take my travel guitar, Micro Cube amp, and little Pro Tools rig and try to do some writing and recording when I can. That’s right, fellow drummers: If you’re going be in a national band, you need to do more than just drum!

Once all the other bands are finished sound-checking, we cram the gear on what once was a big stage, quickly line-check, then run back to the RV to get ready for the show. Once the last note is struck I immediately switch hats from ‘drummer’ back to ‘drum tech’ again to pack up. My favorite part of the night is when we get to go back to where our merchandise is set up to meet, greet, hang with, and thank everyone who watched our show, or sign some CDs or T-shirts. It’s so much fun to just hang out and meet people who love music–cause I sure love music, and I know everyone who comes to a Halestorm show does too!

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Photo by Sammi Stimpson.