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Waterfall Wash on Reasonable Goal Setting for Touring Bands

Posted on 5 m read

Okay folks, listen up. Our name is Waterfall Wash and we want to talk to you about one of the less glamorous aspects of achieving modest success as a touring band: goal setting. It’s about as much fun as getting kicked in the mouth, but you have to do it.

Next time you find yourself in an Econoline with three or four other people and a pile of amps, consider the act of travelling itself. If you don’t constantly make forward progress, you’ll never make it to the next gig.

Deep, huh?

The way you get there, wherever that is, is by setting realistic goals and making plans to achieve them. We wanted to share some of our goals – some we have achieved and some we have not yet crossed off the list.

Maybe you’ll be inspired. Maybe it will feel like pointless bragging. We don’t really care. Waterfall Wash.

Waterfall Wash.

Be Friends

As a mildly successful band, it’s far too easy to get so caught up in your own fame that you forget the most basic aspects of getting along. After all, a band is one big relationship, and you have to nurture it.

Plan time to do fun things together on your tours.

Eat a Hot Brown at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, creator of the Kentucky state dish.

While you’re in Kentucky, have lunch at the original Kentucky Fried Chicken in Shelbyville.

Watch the ducks swim in the fountain at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. Have a nice cocktail. Then flip a table.

Record a live album. Bonus points if you have enough material for a double album.

Pick a fight with a shark at an aquarium. Or at an ocean. Just please, please be careful. They have so many teeth.

Visit Acworth, Georgia, home of a Shoney’s operated by wrestling superstar, Scott Steiner. The food is bad for you, and you’ll probably get in an argument about bathroom laws, but you’ll bond over recognizing that Shoney’s is an American institution.

We keep this on our list at all times, and so should you.

Play at a Wedding

You’ve made it as a band if you are invited to play at a wedding. It’s an important milestone in your career, and not to brag, but we’ve done it. A few times actually.

How do you do this? Well, for one, have friends. Be nice enough that people like having you around.

Wait for some of those friends to get married, and, you know, be available. Be less expensive than a DJ.

Next, maybe try learning some covers. Embrace the cheese. You are not above it. In fact, if you keep your collective mind open, you’ll learn a few things while learning a setlist someone else picked out.

We learned to stay out of the way and let others have a good time. We learned the value of surprising the father of the bride with his favorite song.

We’ve also experienced being the backdrop for a marriage proposal. You know, one of those things where a guy gets on stage and announces he has something to say to someone and the audience is treated to a teary-eyed “Yes!”

While it is magical for the couple and maybe the audience, nobody talks about how awkward it is for the band. There’s another milestone for us.

Remove it from the list, add it to yours.

Play at a Divorce

Weddings are fun and all, but wouldn’t a divorce be way more interesting? “Excuse me everyone, I have an announcement to make! I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE DAN.”  

We aren’t totally sure how to accomplish this, but we are working on it. If you have any suggestions, please contact us.

Add it to the list.

Open for Yourself

This is another on the list that we have not yet accomplished. It would be a great way to try out new material, wouldn’t it?

We’re the kind of band that want our name on the marquee twice. Add it to the list.

Dunk on a Motherfucker or Fool

This one doesn’t really need an explanation. List.

Tour in an Airplane

This is a big goal, one that will take some creativity to accomplish. We are approaching this one by designating a member of Waterfall Wash to take flying lessons.

One day we will trade in TODD, our somewhat trusty but lovable tour van, for an AIR TODD. For real, y’all, being in a van for a long time sucks!

Led Zeppelin had an airplane. So did Skynyrd. And the Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, and Ritchie Valens. It seems like a good idea. Dreaming big always works.

Add it to the list.

Play the Eric Andre Show

He would end up doing something like giving us all buzzcuts while simultaneously tattooing a “Cool S” (see fig. 1) on us while we play, but we would still love to be on this hilarious, chaotic nightmare of a show.

fig. 1

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Add it to the list.

Make a Dude Cry

We’ve actually accomplished this a few times. It’s such a great feeling to bring grown men to tears so it stays on the list. And it can really be about anything, not necessarily our music.

Bro, have you even seen All Dogs Go To Heaven? We just like knowing that, somewhere, a dude cried.

Check this one off, but keep it up.

Continually Collaborate

Going back to the relationship thing we mentioned at the top – if you’re going to move forward as a band, you have to create together. You have to be vulnerable with your ideas. Take feedback with a grain of salt. And always remember to have fun making music with your friends.

Waterfall Wash is a moderately successful band based in Nashville, Tennessee. Their friends seem to like them and usually come out to their shows. Their highest aspiration is to not have to play music after 4 pm

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