Whether people realize it or not, while on tour, a band and its crew are greater than the sum of the band members alone. Show me a band that treats its crew respectfully and I'll show you a band that will persevere through any obstacle the road throws at them. When I run across a road crew that is unhappy and overworked I know there's more bullshit drama emanating from the band themselves than what's visible on the surface.
I've also witnessed people from the outside of a band's camp (i.e. crowd attendees, music biz schmoozers, entitled family and friends) treat their crew like shit trying to get to the band.
A band's crew should be treated with the highest regard. After all, they're the conduit to the group themselves and when everything is firing on all cylinders, the crew and band roll as one. When you're thousands of miles away from home together, whether you play on stage or not becomes indecipherable and extraneous because everyone, whether they realize it or not, is on survival mode. Anyone outside the circle can usually go fuck themselves, too.
And yet, however tight a band is with its crew, and despite it revolving in the loose carefree hang-ten world of Rock 'n' Roll, everyone's got their own bottom-line. And it's talk of the bottom line that snaps everyone back into reality. No matter how cool a band is to their crew and vice versa, no matter how many memorable times you've shared together, there is no crew if the budget won't allow for it. You can usually tell how well a band is doing by the size of their crew, too. If a band has a guy to open the dressing room door and wipe the crumbs off their face, they're probably selling out multiple nights in arenas months ahead.
In the rough and tumble transitory world of Rock 'n' Roll, we've lost crew guys to bands who were more affluent, but I'm proud to say that we've never had a crew member quit on us due to any grievance. Still, it does hurt a little bit when you watch a beloved ex-crew member teching for another band when they roll through town. The only consolation being that they put you on their guest list and you watch said roadie stealer's show for free.
But recently all my quiet worries about possibly losing crew have been cast aside. No matter how high or low we get as a band, from now on, I will always have a team of players ready to roll. In fact, I can even nudge them a little harder than our own road crew and I don't even have to pay them all that much. That is, unless you think $5 is a lot of money. What am I going on about? A website.
I am the newest employee on fiverr.com.
Fiverr.com is a website where people offer their services for the amazing low price of five stinkin' bucks. Of course anything adult themed or borderline criminal is disallowed, but if you want to learn Spanish, if you want someone to design your band logo or book cover, make a custom survival bracelet, dress up as Elvis to sing happy birthday, or give you pointers on your golf swing then fiverr.com is where you need to be.
Everyone and anyone can be either a seller or a buyer. I'm a buyer. For $5 I have a dependable staff that I hire to fulfill my requests. Of course, it's limited to what $5 can get you in 2013, but with a little imagination, a little know-how and a lot of humour, you can start building your own personnel.
I surf this site like a fiend and at all hours of the day. Out of all the time I've logged surfing and hiring, I present to you my Top Five Fiverr.com Crew:
Chip Wood (fiverr.com/chipwood)
Chip will record a 30 second testimonial that you write and make it look like you paid him a million bucks. He's by far my favourite guy on fiverr.com. Think of him as your very own Steve Carell who's probably an easier hang. I even got Chip to do a testimonial for my Huffington Post column.
10 Second Songs (fiverr.com/tensecondsongs)
If you can cram what you need to say in 10 seconds, this guy will hit it out of the ballpark. I had him do a 10 second song for my podcast paying extra for video accompaniment and it slayed! But it doesn't necessarily need to "slay" 'cause he'll do it in Rap, R&B and straight up
Rock styles too.
Andrew Reid (fiverr.com/andrewreidlive)
I hired Andrew to write a quick 20 second reggae song for me with my lyrics. Who knew what I'd get back but he returned two days ahead of time with a song that I have been humming ever since. The song's also about my Huffington Post column and here it is for you to listen:
Dude is sick!!! You give him the script and he adds his own background. His delivery is on point and I've hired this guy over and over again. I'll do it again soon, too.
Rin & Kagura (fiverr.com/rinandkagura)
These two ladies will deliver your message in an informal video chat style. Everybody wants somebody to talk about them but two people talking about them will send anyone over the moon. I hired them to talk about this column in the Huffington Post and they delivered spot-on!
Sure they're saying exactly what I want them to say. OK, I'm basically paying people to talk about how great I am. But for five bucks? Small price to pay for a little embellishment, a little self-esteem and a whole lot of amusement.
Follow Danko Jones on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dankojones