John No (Street Eaters)
SPB: How different is touring as a two-piece as compared to your previous projects?
No: Touring as a two-piece has been really liberating for Street Eaters. Both of us have been in many bands with 3-6 members, and such combos of many volatile personalities can grow very unwieldy on the road. Obviously, it is easier to communicate and compromise with one other person rather than multiple ones who all have their own dynamics between them.
Physically, touring as a two-piece is easier in many ways and a bit more tiring and complex in others. We are a pretty staunch DIY band that prefers to drive ourselves (including in faraway places like Europe) and play every day without breaks. This is awesome for us because we are both in sync with this mindset, but it can also be difficult -- we have to both stay awake, since there needs to be a driver and a copilot at all times while driving, and there is only one person to share the driving duties with. This limits us to 8 hours of driving per day max, for the most part, but we've gone as many as 12 hours a couple of exhausting times.
We don't have to have a gas-guzzling van, which is a major plus. At home and in Canada, we drive around in a 1996 Toyota T-100 pickup, a 4-cylinder 2-seater with a camping shell into which we have bolted sheet-style razor wire covering all the windows on the inside - no smash-n'-grab. The back gate is held shut by two armored padlocks. There's no a/c and the tape deck barely works, but it is a perfect size for the two of us and our multi-amp setup - the camper shell is crammed full of equipment, because as a 2-piece punk band we've gotta be pretty damn LOUD to match the bands we are playing with.
In Europe, we leased a Peugeot box truck, kind of like a Ford Transit: a short enclosed pickup with a tall boxy back end. It was way more affordable than a van, that was for sure, and we were on the road there for a month and a half so it really helped. It, too, was packed to the gills with equipment and merch, and there was no way we could have fit another person. I guess as a two-piece you kind of learn to modify and build the touring architecture around the band's needs, and we've definitely fallen in love with the compactness of two-seater vehicles. Still, who knows what we're gonna do when we get that 4x12 cabinet to go with the 2x15, the 1x15, and the 4x10? Maybe a trailer? Or maybe we'll just strap it to the roof...