I worked on the touring crew for the band My Chemical Romance as a guitar, bass and keyboard tech. I started working in February of 2007 and ended my job in July 2007. The tour was a headlining tour playing mostly Sports arenas in the USA, large arenas in Europe and the giant outdoor festivals of Europe. Im doing this because i know people are interested in the " behind the scenes" of how a large tour works. I will do my best to answer whatever questions are asked. -I will not answer questions about members of the band that i feel are too personal or irrelevant to the topic. I respect the privacy of the band members to the fullest so please also respect that.

other than that, ill do my best to make this interesting! thanks!

Edit to add this photo content that i took: Here are a few photos i have when i worked for the band and from a couple shows a few years later when i went to see them. They still let me have all access photo passes when i went to see them years later:

Boston 2011: http://imgur.com/SBxuQ2j

Mansfied MA 2011: http://imgur.com/CiW3ZV7

Budokan Japan: http://imgur.com/4omEjKn

mancester England: http://imgur.com/iSw4NNn

My Proof: http://imgur.com/kWypCPW

Comments: 174 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

Buddys_dad58 karma

why do people downvote an AMA? especially one where the person is answering 99% of the questions.

Daigeil27 karma

Sadly, Reddit users often fail to follow the rules a lot of the time, and downvote stuff on the basis of "I don't like that" rather than "This is not the content that this subreddit should contain." Given how popular it is to be positively vitriolic about MCR, it's no surprise you're receiving a fair few downvotes.

You should also be aware of "vote fuzzing," which is an automated reddit mechanism that adds downvotes and upvotes while keeping the same proportions. Nothing ever has 0 downvotes and a thousand upvotes or vice versa. That might account for some of it.

I hope any downvotes you did receive didn't put you off, and thanks for doing this! It's always cool to get a look at the lives of musicians from the eyes of the people around them.

Buddys_dad14 karma

thanks for explaining. im new here.

esiedlecki3 karma

I think a lot of it has to do with the person's interests. The way reddit works is by crowd-sourcing opinions essentially. The best way to make reddit more tailored to what you like is by voting. Perhaps it may have something to do with the person's opinion of the band, but more than that, it probably has to do with them not being interested in this AMA, so the best way to show things more relevant to their interests is to downvote it.

On a separate but similar note, thanks for doing the AMA, it's great!

Buddys_dad4 karma

thank you too for explaining. im new here.

Patonfarquar25 karma


Buddys_dad65 karma

Every member of MCR are the most down to earth, friendly, respectful and humble individuals ive had the pleasure of working for. They seriously are the most "normal" musicians that i have ever encountered. They are extremely talented and have created very significant music for the genre. But i have to say that it was an extreme pleasure to get to know these guys and see how appreciative they are for where they have gotten and they do not take their fans for granted.

your_ex_girlfriend-24 karma

As a huge fan, this makes me smile. I've only every briefly met Bob and he was sweet, but I'd like to meet the rest of them out and about one day and thank them.

Buddys_dad17 karma

im sure they would all appreciate you as much as yo appreciate them!

Rodnazics11 karma

Are they slightly crazy? They come off as slightly crazy.

Buddys_dad24 karma

While performing, they are a bit crazy, but its definitely because they love to perform. But on an off day, they are just fun and interesting guys.

Buddys_dad17 karma

Here are a few photos i have when i worked for the band and from a couple shows a few years later when i went to see them. They still let me have all access photo passes when i went to see them years later:

Boston 2011: http://imgur.com/SBxuQ2j

Mansfied MA 2011: http://imgur.com/CiW3ZV7

Budokan Japan: http://imgur.com/4omEjKn

Manchester England: http://imgur.com/iSw4NNn

DeathToAllFish-1 karma

You spelt Manchester wrong buddy.

Buddys_dad6 karma

oops. sorry.

KayJoRum16 karma

How does Ray get that beautiful guitar tone?

Buddys_dad22 karma

well, i dont remember Ray's exact setup, but it was a combination of vintage gibson guitars, Marshall heads and an extensive pedalboard. Ray and his tech were very meticulous about his tone and gear.

PoeticGopher14 karma

What was the most ridiculous fan reaction/incident on the tour?

Buddys_dad23 karma

i cant pinpoint one specific thing that happened because the fans everywhere were very....passionate haha. just the dedication of the fans waiting for hours before and after the shows just to possibly get a picture or an autograph was remarkable. But the guys always obliged when they could. One fan that i got to know who was from Wales traveled to Paris and Sweden shows also on one leg of the tour.

corbilm14 karma

I have a associates degree in film & sound production. I'm working on a degree in English, Theater tech, & Strat Comm. I was in a band that toured nationally and I helped manage that band. I'm 24 and I'm a hard worker, but I live in Oklahoma. How can I find a job like this? Where should I meet people? What skills should I become familiar with?

Buddys_dad16 karma

the best way to get into this industry, unfortunately, is to know people in the industry already. Thats how ive gotten the jobs ive had. Once you know someone on a professional touring crew, youre most likely going to meet people that can refer you to others that will need people for jobs. Its really hard to get into, but just making friends with those in and around the industry is key. Just get your name out there & network. The skills needed are dedication to working for a crew, always being on time and knowing how to problem solve in a heartbeat and being attentive to detail. Get your resume on Linked in is a good start as well.

guitarguy1213 karma

What is the craziest tour story you have? It can be at a show, on the bus, partying, etc.

Buddys_dad21 karma

well, the craziest incident was when 95% of the band AND crew in MCR and the band MUSE got food poisoning after eating some tainted catering at a show at a college in west virginia. Band and crew members were hospitalized and out of commission for days. Luckily i didnt get sick because i happened to not eat the same stuff everyone else had. We had to actually still travel to the next cities on the tour, set up the entire production and then get word later in the day if the show was on or not. for about 4 or 5 days we did this before the band finally got well enough to perform at the Bamboozle festival in New Jersey.

another was when a freak tornado ripped through Venice italy in the fairgrounds where MCR were about to go on stage at a big outdoor festival. It was sunny and perfect in the summertime and as the band before them was over it got windy and rainy out of nowhere. We began setting up and a small tornado literally ripped straight through the grounds. Most of their gear got blown off the 20 foot high stage and was majorly damaged. I think a couple fans were injured in the spectator area as well. Very scary experience.

As far as partying or things like that i dont have anything really because everyone was so tame after shows that we never had any real " rockstar moments"

available2tank16 karma

MUSE and MCR?! That show would have been bonkers. Poor guys and the food poisoning though.

Buddys_dad16 karma

Yeah they opened for a leg of the USA tour, then MCR was asked to open for them at Wembley Stadium. They were incredible every time.

available2tank10 karma

TBH, I've not really heard much of MCR past Three Cheers and that one video with Grant Morrison in it, (I do like Gerard Way's comic work though) I still would have loved to see both bands live! So jelly

What do you do while the band is performing?

Buddys_dad15 karma

85% of my job is during the actual performance. I watch every member I work for very carefully to make sure they arent in need of something or trying to tell me something is wrong with thier equipment. There was always a mic off to the side of the stage that the guys could talk into and only the crew would be able to hear it, so if someone had an issue we could address it. I made sure instruments were tuned and ready to go if they needed to be swapped out. I made sure the stage was clear of any obstacles that got thrown up there and overall i was the guys point man. Anything to make sure their performance went perfectly was my #1 concern.

available2tank6 karma

Whats the worst thing that happened at a performance?

Buddys_dad9 karma

i think the worst thing that happened was the incident i mentioned earlier when the freak tornado hit the stage we were setting up on in Italy at an outdoor festival. Gear was ruined, people were hurt, and it was all around a scary experience.

I was lucky to be a part of an extensive tour that had very minimal "bad" stuff happen during the duration.

smallstone4 karma

Did you have to deal with guitars tuned in alternate tunings?

Buddys_dad6 karma

only one song was in dropped D during the entire set so alternate tunings werent a bother.

millsmatt12 karma

Internet high five for a touring brother. Im a touring LD (3 Doors Down, Daughtry, Disturbed, Linkin Park, and currently Avenged Sevenfold). Keep on keepin on brother!

Buddys_dad12 karma

Right back at you! heres to the unseen ones that make the show go on!

Blackisblue10 karma

Does MCR have any bands they seem to despise? Or alternatively, that they love? Or alternatively again, what do they think of current "popular" music?

Buddys_dad14 karma

every opening band they had on this tour were picked by MCR because of their liking of the band. I never heard them have any drama or " beef" with any bands but im sure there is personal taste to take into account.


How many tour buses did it require for the whole crew/how many per bus? How many trucks for the stage/production? Is it true you arent suppose to poop on the tour buses?

Buddys_dad20 karma

in the US portion there were 54 people in the entire crew. this includes drivers. there were 5 Busses and 7 Semis for all the crew and production. Band busses i think there were 5 people per bus with 2 band busses and then 3 crew busses with 8-10 people per bus.

And yes, no pooping on the bus! thats the #1 rule of living on a tour bus. if you have to, you have to take a plastic bag, put it in the toilet, and then...well, you know.

iheartdewey9 karma

Why can't you shit in a tour bus?

Buddys_dad12 karma

there isnt proper plumbing for shitting. Basically anyhting that goes into a toilet goes into a holding tank thats full of a chemical that suppresses the smell of urine. But that tank isnt emptied too often so if you shit on a tour bus it would sit in that tank for days and eventually just smell so bad the whole bus would stink. So to avoid that hell, theres no shitting allowed, only peeing.

KayJoRum3 karma

Does it sound weird that I dream to one day be in a situation where I have to hold myself for hours on a hot bus?

Buddys_dad7 karma

a little weird, yes.


So...Did you ever use a plastic bag?

Buddys_dad14 karma

unfortunately, when nature calls....yes. I did ONE time. you get used to timing your bodily functions properly when living on a bus.

Zaktillacus10 karma

Did you stay in the same hotels and eat at the same places as the band?

Buddys_dad15 karma

All of the USA touring was done in Tour busses so we lived in the busses from night to night, but if there was a day off we would get a hotel. They were always 4 or 5 star hotels and everyone in the crew got their own room. Meals and such were always catered by the venue where the show was so everyone pretty much did their own thing on show days for meals. Days off we would sometimes go out to the movies or shopping or whatever and have dinner together.

In Europe we stayed at more hotels each night but it was pretty much the same system as the US tours. Everyone in the band was really close with the crew members, especially those who worked directly with them, so i spent a lot of time with the dudes.

tomtheimpaler6 karma

How do musicians make money whilst touring? And how do promoters make money arranging that many tour buses and stuff? This is crazy.

Buddys_dad6 karma

Playing the show brings the band a guarantee of money for the performance. Then the merchandise sales is a large portion of income from a tour. Exact specifics im not sure, but They certainly have a gross income thats impressive after a tour.

CZbwoi9 karma

-Any thoughts/insight on the recent band breakup? That shit happened on my birthday. They're the first rock band I ever heard.

-Do you still keep in contact with any of them?

Buddys_dad13 karma

Bands break up all the time and they have been doing this for along time, so it was understandable when i heard.

i still talk to Frank and James occasionally. They are friends of mine.

sevpay9 karma

I saw them open for Green Day a few years ago. The guitarist did a trick on stage where he spit straight up into the air, spun 360 degrees, then caught it again in his mouth, all while playing. Does he practice this or is it just a "stupid human trick" that he has mastered.

Buddys_dad12 karma

more of a stupid human trick that he practiced to perfection.

VestaDear9 karma

How did you come into this line of work?

Also I just wanted to say that my first "big kid" concert was seeing MCR in Portland in the spring of my 8th grade school year. The time line is right, so I just wanted to say thank you for helping to make my first concert experience so cool (even if you weren't there that night, thank you).

Buddys_dad10 karma

may 22nd 2007? I was there and very much happy to make your experience a good one. thats really important to me, as i come from a musical upbringing where music means so much to me. Im glad you had a good time.

as for how i came into it, its just a string of events and knowing people in the music scene. I was in some bands with people who were friends with MCR. Those friends of mine contacted me when they had a position and the rest is history. In this world its all about who you know and timing.

VestaDear7 karma

Yep! That is for sure the date I saw them!

That is some awesome luck! Thanks for answering my question. =]

Buddys_dad7 karma

for sure, im happy to have connected with you!

ovstatape8 karma

How did you do your laundry?

Buddys_dad17 karma

most of the time laundry was done on days off at hotels or we would find Laundromats near the venue. Sometimes we were lucky to have a laundry at the venue but that was rare. When touring you get used to wearing the same stuff every day. Pants, a shirt and a hoodie was good for a few days during colder months. Summer clothes would always be basketball shorts and some sort of cutoff t shirt. People get used to it.

your_ex_girlfriend-8 karma

What was your most personally difficult day on tour like?

I remember going to a few stops on TBP tour. It was more like an opera than a concert in the sense that it was so theatrical with Gerard with the make up and props and such. Did any of the "production" make your job more difficult than other tours you've been on?

Buddys_dad24 karma

difficult days were just venues that had hard entrances for gear, or lots of steps and things that made it hard to bring heavy cases into the venue. Usually we were at places designed for these kind of shows so it was always easy and always had a local crew of loaders.

the production was huge on this tour. Changing backgrouds, fire, sparks, confetti etc but nothing made it hard for me.

the most difficult part was when Frank would kick his mic stand off the front of the stage during " Im Not OK" and it was my job to run out, get it back on stage and adjusted so he could use it again. He knew i hated that so he made sure to do it harder every night.

eifersucht12a7 karma

Is James Dewees as delightful to be around as he seems like he would be?

Buddys_dad13 karma

James is the fucking best. Always happy. always laughing and always has a funny story for ANY situation you may be in at that moment. Dude rules.

SpaceDingo36 karma


Buddys_dad10 karma

No one had anything out of the ordinary that i was ever asked to do. Mikey was very particular of his bass tone throughout the show so i was constantly tweaking his amp and EQ so he felt comfortable with his tone. Everyone else just got up there and played a great show every night without needing much from the crew.

lunagoddess5 karma

What is something about the members of MCR that most people wouldnt know?

Thank you for doing this AMA!

Buddys_dad23 karma

Gerard and James enjoyed playing Magic the Gathering on downtime.

ghandis_butthole5 karma

Which band member is the funniest? I've seen so many videos of the guys goofing off, I'm really interested to know who's the biggest clown.

Thanks for doing this AMA by the way!

Buddys_dad11 karma

Its been my pleasure to do this. It was a great experience and i know the band has a world full of fans that this AMA would be interesting to them.

As for who is the funniest... Id have to say Frank. He just has a great sense of humor, really quick wit and coupled with the fact hes always in a good mood just makes for a funny dude. James is also super hysterical but on another level.

Dont get me wrong, all the guys are a riot but Frank takes the cake.

Texanbass4 karma

First, thank you for doing this, MCR and Linken Park were the first concert I ever attended. What was the most memorable experience you had with the band?

Buddys_dad4 karma

youre very welcome. ive answered this question a couple times already so just take a look!

FireworkGrenadier3 karma

Were you drawn to My Chemical Romance because particularly like that sort of music, or is a gig a gig?

Buddys_dad8 karma

it was a strange road of how i got asked to work for them but in a nutshell I am friends with one of the band members and when their tour started the then bass/keyboard tech didnt work out and they needed someone at the drop of a hat, so my friend called me and the next day i was working for them. I honestly hadnt listened to the band much before i started working for them

harakirii1 karma

Now that you've probably heard theirs songs, do you like their music?

Buddys_dad5 karma

I'll listen to the black parade album start to finish still to this day. It's weird because I literally saw the record performed in its entirely for almost 6 months straight. Now when I listen to it I can picture all the stage effects and guitar changes that happened. It's like a cool flashback.

Naplato3 karma

Out of all the places you visited, which did you enjoy the most?

Buddys_dad13 karma

JAPAN! My god Japan was amazingly beautiful and friendly. We had 5 days there and 2 of them were full days off with nothing to do except enjoy the day. We saw a sanctioned Sumo match and had sushi. I took the subway to the electronics area ( i forget the proper name for it) and bight a camera because mine had broke. It was just such a different world and i loved it.

Second place goes to Russia. talk about different worlds. I never thought id experience Russia in my life. we had a day off during what i was told was the US equivalent to the 4th of july. we were there on June 12th and 13th. There were people partying and celebrating all over. Music and people all over red square and the surrounding areas. It was pretty crazy and kind of intimidating .

all of scandinavia was beautiful as well. touring the world is just so eye opening.

brett963 karma

Hey, sorry I'm late. What has been your most memorable experience while working with MCR?

Buddys_dad16 karma

The bond the band has with itself and the crew was the most memorable overall experience i have. They made me feel at home and a FRIEND instead of an employee. I did my job and made them happy and we all were able to feel more lke friends working with each other rather than a stale separated relationship.

The best AND worst show memory i have is when the band opened for Muse at Wembley Stadium in London. That venue is so historical and it was a once in a lifetime moment to be on the stage working for the band. it was the WORST because during the last song, Mikeys bass went completely dead out of nowhere! i could NOT for the life of me find out why it died out. Mind you these guys are playing Wembley Stadium! They want the bass working just as much as me. Luckily it was the last song and it went for about1.5 minutes but it was the worst 1.5 minutes of my life. All i can hear in my in-ear monitors are BASS IS OUT BASS IS OUT LETS GO !!! and i couldn't fix it. i was certain i would be fired. Luckily everyone understood i did my best and later that day it was like nothing happened.

brett965 karma

Wow, well at least it seemed like it turned out ok. Did the bass work for Muse?

Buddys_dad10 karma

Oh yeah everything that Muse used was their own and they have a crazy instrument technician who makes sure everything is flawless. Bur regardless, our stuff wasn't related to theirs at all. Muse doenst just put on a rock show they put on a spectacle.

smallstone1 karma

Did it turn out to be a really stupid trouble, like he forgot to open his volume knob or turn off his tuner?

Buddys_dad4 karma

With Mikey, i wouldnt be surprised it was a volume knob or something but honestly the next day i went through everything to see what cold have been the problem and everything worked fine.

connorclockwise3 karma

This is awesome. Just curious, what is your personal favorite MCR song?

Buddys_dad15 karma

My favorite song grew to be Helena, only because it was the last song during the set and i knew my day was almost over. haha. But seriously the entire Black Parade album i can sit through listening it all the way through. I love every song on that record. Also if i was to just go listen to one random song, The Ghost of You would be it.

HpWw3 karma

I'm probably late to this and won't be responded too but you had the best job ever and im mega jealous!! I just wanted to know if you still this job or if you are in a band! Thanks for sharing your awesome stories!!

Buddys_dad2 karma

Thank you for your comment. I still say that this job was the most fun I've ever had. I wish I was still working this kind of job but currently I am not. Although if the opportunity is presented to me I would do it again.

nrspinney2 karma

1) on that particular tour, what was your average per diem?

2) if you could spend a year working as a multi-tech for any current artist/group/band, who would it be and why?

3) Favorite venue in the USA you've encountered on the road?

Buddys_dad6 karma

1- if i remember right my per diem was $20 a day

2- hard question but...id probably want to work for the band At The Gates, Slayer or Black Sabbath. And the only reason is because those bands influenced me so much when i was younger, i feel like id owe them some hard work for all they have done for me.

3-I think my favorite venue(s) are the House Of Blues chain of venues. everyone is friendly and efficient, the bands are treated great and the venues are always sounding great. as for independent or small venues AS220 in Providence RI is great as is Chain Reaction in Anaheim CA

thekidfromyesterday2 karma

Favorite song off TBP

Buddys_dad3 karma

Mama or This Is How I Disappear.

oneburntwitch2 karma

Did you ever catch anyone sneaking backstage, and if so, what did you do with them?

Buddys_dad7 karma

i never did, and i dont think we ever had anyone infiltrate the secure areas of a show. We had a full security team that were always aware of what was going on so incidents like this were not likely to happen. The only incident i remember is a girl fan got on stage during a show in one of the Scandinavian countries and ran towards Frank and either hugged or grabbed him. That was a rare incident but it did happen. She was quickly caught and put back in the crowd.

harakirii2 karma

Well, there's this. http://youtu.be/MdRbKH3dByQ?t=3m9s


Buddys_dad2 karma

Ugh that's embarrassing for her. Nothing worse than a fan flopping into the stage and quickly dragged off while she reaches for members of the band. She could have gotten really hurt and messed up Rays equipment. It's their stage not the fans.

Sophielovespewdiepie2 karma

What pedals do mcr use?

Buddys_dad4 karma

tons of different ones. I cant really recall specific ones but they had a very big selection of them

befitty2 karma

i have to ask, are back stage crazy drug induced parties still happening either before or after the show. im not asking about MCR but in general since you have been in the business lol

Buddys_dad5 karma

In my experience that cliche is really something of old rockstar legend and lore. Bands these days know they need to be in good physical condition to travel every day, put on a great show every night and. Repeat it for weeks on end. I've never been with a band that goes all out. Maybe once every few weeks people will get a little crazy but only when they know they can. I'm sure it still happens but I've been lucky enough to work for bands that respect themselves and their fans so they don't put on a crappy show because of excess indulgence.

nikekid5002 karma

I am a huge fan of this band and I was really down after they broke up. Do you still talk to members of the band and if you do, is everyone in the band still in contact with eachother?

Buddys_dad4 karma

i still talk to Frank and James every now and then. for all i know everyone is still friends and concentrating of future endeavors.

rambogizmo2 karma

Next time you talk to James, tell him I said "hey". Also I kickstarted his ass.

Buddys_dad8 karma

" Hey dude how are you? cool cool....oh Rambogizmo from the internet says 'Hey'... "

Anal_Wrath1 karma

Have you ever taken a look at the fanbase MCR has on Tumblr? What do you think about it (scary, amusing, anything)?

Buddys_dad3 karma

"dedicated" and " unique" are words ive used...amongst others. haha

PowerKiegal1 karma

Are there a lot of backing tracks? Do they make all the noise that we hear on stage?

Shameless plug www.thebellmen.com

Buddys_dad8 karma

James has a laptop or two along with his keyboard and digital piano setup. He runs all that sound effects through those. So all the bombs and stuff before Mama starts is all James. The guys play all of their instruments and sounds. Theres no sounds thats come off the stage that dont come from a member of the performing band.

[deleted]1 karma


Buddys_dad3 karma

every bit of important information about the tour, venue, people, hotels show dates etc are in there. Its so everyone knows whats going on at all times they can refer to the tour book.

zombietobemine1 karma

I think I went to one of the showings in Maryland. It was in the Maryland University basketball stadium. Was this the tour you're talking about? I remember they leaked the new song 'Disenchanted' at the end of the show.

Buddys_dad4 karma

it was definitely in West Virginia. I have a tattoo from the incident of the state of WV on a hospital gurney with the words " Black Plague" around it. A play on the black parade.

bassguy1291 karma

As somebody in the tech world who is about to graduate: How did you get your job? I work with touring crews all the time, and would possibly like to go that route as a career path.

Buddys_dad2 karma

make friends in the industry. if you have a friend who does it for a living or knows someone who does, network, get your name out, email, just be driven to want to do it. all the jobs ive gotten were because i networked and had people i knew put my name out there when they hear a job was available or i just kept letting people in the industry know i was available and wanted to work.

Eat_Piss_Shit0 karma

Did you get laid off the strength of the band? /endama.

Buddys_dad1 karma

nope. not at all. haha

Nazi_Jew0 karma

I know a young woman who is a huge fan of Gerard Way. Would he mind giving her a call?

Buddys_dad5 karma

I'm sorry but I can't help with something like this. Way out of my realm of ability.

[deleted]-1 karma


Buddys_dad5 karma

I stated in the original post that i thought people and fans of the band would like to know what goes into the behind the scenes of a large scale rock tour of a popular band. I know ive answered hundreds of questions over the years about it so i decided to do an AMA. Thats why.

br1dgetglassey-6 karma

Is the band sad that they arent relevant now? I mean they were pretty big back in the day, and now, idk what happened to them. I loved them!!

Buddys_dad6 karma

unfortunately i cant give an answer for this but i do know they all are still creating new music and going forward in their musical/non musical careers.

your_ex_girlfriend-6 karma

Have you checked out Danger Days, their last album, at all? I think it's a huge departure from their last (but they're all very different), but it's so upbeat and dancy that half the album is on my gym playlist. If "Na Na Na" and "Planetary (GO!)" can't get you moving, you're probably dead.

Buddys_dad3 karma

that album is great. very different but i got hooked on it.