Land Air Sea Garage Out in US Nov 1

donkey FB Hey Legends, I've touched down in California for the first west coast shows ever. Violent Femmes have been kick ass dudes in having me open their shows. "Land Air Sea Garage" US tour is underway, and the LP officially is available all over 'merica starting Nov 1 with US release shows below. Wear your 90's garage band gear to the shows yo. femmes-pomona

LAND AIR SEA GARAGE US 21 Oct | Pomona, CA Fox Theater w/ Violent Femmes 23 Oct | San Diego, CA Observatory North Park w/ Violent Femmes 24 Oct | Ventura, CA Ventura Theatre w/ Violent Femmes 03 Nov | Racine, WI George’s Tavern 04 Nov | Madison, WI The Frequency 05 Nov | Milwaukee, WI Cactus Club 06 Nov | Chicago, IL Uncommon Ground 10 Nov | Burnsville, MN The Garage 11 Nov | Minneapolis, MN The Warming House 12 Nov | Rock Island, IL Rozz Tox 13 Nov | Des Moines, IA The Basement – Des Moines Social Club 14 Nov | Cedar Falls, IA Cedar Valley House Concerts 15 Nov | Cedar Rapids, IA Mad Modern 17 Nov | Newport, KY Southgate House Revival Room 18 Nov | Toledo, OH Fleetwood’s Taproom 19 Nov | Pittsburgh, PA Black Forge Coffee House 20 Nov | Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom 22 Nov | Appleton, WI Stone Cellar Brewpub 23 Nov | Bloomington, IL Castle Theatre 01 Dec | New York, NY Rockwood Music Hall 03 Dec | Boston, MA Cafe 939 04 Dec | Philadelphia, PA Bourbon & Branch

West Coast Dates w/ Violent Femmes

14720591_1144561015636568_1176168996163345151_n After 8 weeks and 40 shows in Europe, Im trekking back to US soil to open up for the Violent Femmes out west. The only time I've ever been to LA I met Shaquille O'neal. I swore I'd never return, as it'd be impossible to top meeting SHAQ, BUT this MIGHT BEAT IT. I've been a huge Femmes fan most of my life, so this is one of the highest of singular honors for me. See you there pals.

Supporting Violent Femmes 21 Oct - Fox Theatre - Pomona, CA 23 Oct - Observatory North Park - San Diego, CA 24 Oct - Ventura Theatre - Ventura, CA

The One Year Anniversary of Getting Blackmailed

Hello from Prague. It's been a year since getting Blackmailed in Germany and morale has never been higher. After a blackmail-free Euro tour, I'm coming home to release a new record.

In the hyper speed world of 2016, I realize there are infinite albums coming out every year and I'm grateful for you guys that stick with me through the clutter. Entering the sixth week of European tour, I'm getting more and more stoked to get home and bring the new record, Land Air Sea Garage, to US soil on Nov 1. The second video/single "Mind at Large" features my scrawny ass cruising Germany on a Segway, pissing off locals and destroying pavement.

As Spotify pays roughly 1 cent for every 120 plays, we rely heavily on album sales to keep the ship afloat. To save us from Spotify, you can pre-order Land Air Sea Garage ahead of the release date–you'll also receive a free copy of the "Hi-Fi DIY" EP.

As Jack Black once said, "the road is fucking hard". Seeing your faces at these shows eases the beatings :)

Much respect,

Brett

The 7 Best Countries & 3 to Avoid for Traveling Musicians

Hello friends. My name is Brett Newski. Since 2010, I’ve made a living as a nomadic songwriter playing around 1000 gigs on six continents and 22 countries. While the road brings hard lessons, the glory and the novelty of seeing new places is truly invigorating. Below is one mans’ analysis of experiences playing these select countries. Hopefully this brings you insights on where to route your next international tour.

THE BEST:

Switzerland

Exploring Basel, CH, pre show

Exploring Basel, CH, pre show

Hats off. One of the wealthiest countries in the world, no wonder they treat every artist like the Rolling Stones. Best hospitality on earth, hands down. The locals all look like super models. I’ve never had a soul-crushing gig in this country. It’s almost always open bar for performers and great pay. The clubs curate nights with passion and the sound guy is never a chump. The promoter cooks up a premium dinner, and we’ll sit around with the staff and eat family style. People here are reserved, but incredibly nice and stoked on live music. Nice hotels free of bed bugs. Lodging is almost always provided.

  • Artist Pay: 5/5

  • Hospitality: 5/5

  • Crowds: 5/5

  • Transit: 5/5

Germany

The third biggest music market in the world, Germany is a touring bands paradise. The most forgiving audiences I’ve ever seen. Dudes that would get booed off stage and pelted with tomatoes in the US are given a fair shot in Germany. There are so many cities that a band could play seven nights a week for a month if they wanted to. Pay is usually fair and listeners understand the value of art and contribute generously in pass the hat situations. Unlike Americas endless stream of jabroni promoters, Germany consistently has the best promoters in the world. Even the small towns have quality venues with promoters that take pride in getting people to your gig. Germans are notorious for timeliness and organizational skills, which makes their music industry ace. Mega.

  • Artist Pay: 4/5

  • Hospitality: 5/5

  • Crowds: 4/5

  • Transit: 5/5

 

Norway

Driving from Bergen to Oslo, Norway

Driving from Bergen to Oslo, Norway

Notorious for its government arts funding, socialist politics and blonde super babes, Norway is virtually unbeatable for gigging. The landscape looks like a myth. Every sight line could be a post-card. The air is just fresher up there. Locals are excited to see touring bands and the pace of life is slow and healthy. Norwegians spend lots of time in nature and it keeps them noticeably more human than us Americans who’s attention spans are fried by tech hyper speed. “Zen” would be the word I’d use to describe Norway. Pay is incredibly good, the food is deluxe, and artist hospitality is above-average. The only negative is that cost-of-living is absurd, so it’s best to be gigging every night. Roads are smooth like gravy, but pricey tolls.

  • Artist Pay: 4.5/5

  • Hospitality: 3.5/5

  • Crowds: 4/5

  • Transit: 3.5/5

First trip to South Africa circa 2012

First trip to South Africa circa 2012

South Africa

This is the first country I ever toured solo and probably my all-time favorite. The most welcoming people of all-time. Way above-average arts culture. Pace of life is sloth snail slow. Live first, work second. South Africans are genuinely happy campers in my experience. The indie music community is small but very loyal. Go there once and you’ll always be welcomed back (if you’re not a dickface). The touring circuit is generally a 7-8 markets for smaller bands. Bigger acts will come and play Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Food is fresh, tasty and dirt cheap. South Africans have massive hearts. Crime can be a problem but it’s easily avoided if you follow the guidelines. Recently, the currency in ZA has really plummeted, which makes touring more difficult these days.

White Mountain Festival, South Africa, 2013

White Mountain Festival, South Africa, 2013

  • Artist Pay: 2/5

  • Hospitality: 4/5

  • Crowds: 4/5

  • Transit: 2/5

 

Ireland

Sweet crap! Irish people are cool. I’m obsessed with them. The world’s top accent and they back it up with their kindness and character. The first tour I did there they were in a big recession, but they’ve since climbed out and morale is back up. People get hammered drunk, in a good way. Pay is generally fair, but not stellar. One doesn’t tour Ireland to make boat loads of cash, it’s all about the mythical green landscape and magical experience. The best beer in the world has got to be Guinness. It’s freshest here. Crowds are appreciative and amped on live music. Artists must keep ticket prices low, as there’s not a ton of cash to go around. Very short drives between gigs.

Ireland tour circa twenty fifteen

Ireland tour circa twenty fifteen

  • Artist Pay: 2.5/5

  • Hospitality: 4/5

  • Crowds: 4.5/5

  • Transit: 5/5

 

Austria

One of earth’s hidden gems. A hot bed for indie music. One of the few countries I’ve ever crowd-surfed. Austrians are reserved until they start partying. Then it’s game on. Respectful, smart listeners that love songwriting and guitars. The people understand good music and the government gets behind the arts as well. I have nothing bad to say about this country.

  • Artist Pay: 4/5

  • Hospitality: 5/5

  • Crowds: 5/5

  • Transit: 5/5

 

Belgium

Belgians ARE NOT pussies. They love alternative music with an edge. You even hear it all over the radio. Friendly and unpretentious, Belgians are prolific beer drinkers as well. In my experience, the promoters are legendary. AB Brussels is one of the best venues in the world. The market can be tough to get a foot in the door but it’s certainly worth doing a few DIY shows there to get started and build up from there.

  • Artist Pay: 4/5

  • Hospitality: 4/5

  • Crowds: 5/5

  • Transit: 4/5

*If you’re an indie musician, check out the new online course called Tour Europe without an Agent or a Label. A step-by-step, proven strategy for booking a successful tour in Europe without an agent or label. Get better guarantees and more attentive audiences. 

MEDIOCRE:

America

Things in the USA have improved slightly since this post

Things in the USA have improved slightly since this post

Ah, the land of the free. The US has the greatest amount of opportunity in the world. The ceiling is infinite. There are countless venues, media outlets and listeners to reach. It’s extremely easy to book gigs and Americans are generally open to new things. Adversely, the clutter in the US is out of control. Everyone and their mother is in a band and the barriers to entry are almost zero. Audience attention spans are very low, so bring you’re A-game on stage. It’s certainly the most manic music market on earth, but if you can navigate the mayhem and persevere for some years, it can be the holy grail of rock n roll.

One-man Garage Band tour circa 2016 At Fort Kurz Iowa, USA

One-man Garage Band tour circa 2016 At Fort Kurz Iowa, USA

  • Artist Pay: 3/5

  • Hospitality: 2.5/5

  • Crowds: 3/5

  • Transit: 3.5/5

 

 

Australia

No place has kicked my ass more than Australia. All in all, flights to Oz are brutally expensive, local competition is fierce, and the exchange rate is terrible for the Aussie Dollar right now. The first time I went there was to visit my girlfriend and play a few gigs. She broke up with me on the second day and I ended up mucking around by myself for a week, drinking malt liquor out of a paper bag. Eventually I would forge a medical document to get a free flight home. The second visit to Oz came with a couple crappy club shows and ended with me getting kicked out of my friends house for stealing her bed. Fair enough.

On the contrary, Tasmania is part of Australia, and the MONA FOMA Festival is one of the coolest gigs I’ve ever played. Primo hospitality and appreciative, smart crowds. I played for several hundred people in a dark, twisted art museum that felt like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory on a double dose of Mushrooms. It was the greatest.

  • Artist Pay: 3/5

  • Hospitality: 3.5/5

  • Crowds: 3/5

  • Transit: 2/5

 

Netherlands

NL is perhaps my favorite country in Europe to visit, but toughest to play. The Dutch are totally legendary people; tall, friendly and attractive. But when it comes to buying merch and concert tickets, there’s a reason the term “going Dutch” exists. Taxes here are absurd so there’s a fair excuse for tight pockets. However, arts culture is fairly high. The festival circuit is extensive for such a tiny country and the government injects cash into some truly nice venues. There is a broad appreciation for more straight-forward pop music and cover bands. I’ve had my all-time lowest selling merch days in NL. But I did buy a bicycle for 12 euros from a junkie in Amsterdam, which is a victory that negates any bad gigs. ;)

  • Artist Pay: 1/5

  • Hospitality: 2.5/5

  • Crowds: 2.5/5

  • Transit: 5/5

WORST

Vietnam

Don’t get me wrong, I love Vietnam. I loved it so much that I lived there for two years. But Asia in general is a bitch for indie music. It simply hasn’t developed yet. The war truly killed the arts scene in Vietnam, as communism relocated the artists out of the cities and crushed creativity. I can’t talk smack about Vietnam, because it simply hasn’t had time to develop musically. I have played a few epic landmark gigs in Saigon, but all in all it is a cover bands paradise with minimal original music landscape. It’s been 3+ years since living there, so assume it’s improving.

Post-show, “In Between Exits” Asia Tour 2011

Post-show, “In Between Exits” Asia Tour 2011

Hard Rock Café Saigon, Vietnam 2012 - "Tiny victories" album release show

Hard Rock Café Saigon, Vietnam 2012 - "Tiny victories" album release show

  • Artist Pay: 3/5

  • Hospitality: 2.5/5

  • Crowds: 2.5/5

  • Transit: 1/5

 

Sweden

As the creators of Spotify, no wonder nobody buys records here. The Swedes have incredibly high intellect and breed incredible bands, likely due to generous government arts backing. Crowds appreciate a good live band, but I’m not sure they respect it. Artists must keep ticket prices low even though income is good. Taxes are mega high, which likely plays a big roll in the tight-pockets of audiences here. Toughest country to sell merch. Long ass drives and expensive petrol. Cool people but dismal artist hospitality.

  • Artist Pay: 2/5

  • Hospitality: 2/5

  • Crowds: 2/5

  • Transit: 2/5

UK

Outside of my home state of Wisconsin, the British are the drunkest people I’ve ever seen. Generally they are cool but the ratio of meatheads to common folk is extremely high in my experience. Architecture is amazing and there’s great exploring to be done. There are loads of places to play, but patrons have seen it all and attention spans are almost as low as America. I’ve had a few glorious gigs in the UK, but competition is fierce and pay is dismal. Riding the train in London is mad pricey. It presents the same challenges as America, but drive times are shorter.

Artist Pay: 1/5

  • Hospitality: 2/5

  • Crowds: 2/5

  • Transit: 2.5/5

*If you’re an indie musician, check out the new online course called Tour Europe without an Agent or a Label. A step-by-step, proven strategy for booking a successful tour in Europe without an agent or label. Get better guarantees and more attentive audiences. 

"Mind at Large" Video Premiere from Germany

The world is big and mean. There are infinite directions one can take to victory, but there's no reason to get bent out of shape. It's the little things in life that should be cherished: drinking juice boxes, lighting fireworks, playing street basketball. To me, these are all small victories that boost spirits. Life is a joke most of the time. If we treat it as such, it'll be way more fun. While in Berlin last year, I met a group of bad ass German video men who helped me make this. I love them.

Only 10 days remain in our Punchstarter campaign for the new album "Land Air Sea Garage". This video cost us a butt load to make and the Punchstarter is there to help cover it and keep us moving forward and producing anti-crap content. If you'd like to help a little indie band like us, please share the video or pre-order the album. Much love.

Sidewalk Rock: "Stranger"

20 days remain in the Punchstarter Campaign for "Land Air Sea Garage" and here's where we stand:
  • 50 Supporters
  • 3 Patrons
  • $5628 raised (23% funded)

Thanks to massive support from you, we surpassed our first goal of $5000! So, as promised, we present "Stranger," shot in magical Sturgeon Bay Door County. The next milestone ($7500) unlocks the official music video for the 2nd single, "Mind At Large" and we're already well on our way.

With your backing, "Land Air Sea Garage" will see a proper release and we'll tour the world with it, making Crusty Adventures and fresh music videos from foreign lands. While The Danimal and I do what we can DIY, nothing helps us more than when friends and allies share our stuff–as so many of you continue to do. So thank you for supporting rock n roll and keeping the dream alive.

choop, Brett

Crusty Adventures S2 E4: "Brett Goes to Vietnam"

While living in vietnam, I spent a lot of time loitering in saigon convenience stores for the free air conditioning. On this evening, I worked on my improv skills by endorsing low quality Asian food products

Our new album, Land Air Sea Garage is currently under construction via a Punchstarter Campaign, where you can pre-order until Aug 12, helping us to recoup production costs and continue making episodes of Crusty Adventures.

much respect, Brett

The DIY Musician (cdbaby): Musicians guide to touring Europe without a booking agent or label

*If you’re an indie musician, check out the new online course called Tour Europe without an Agent or a Label here. A step-by-step, proven strategy for booking a successful tour in Europe without an agent or label. Get better guarantees and more attentive audiences. 

*If you’re an indie musician, check out the new online course called Tour Europe without an Agent or a Label. A step-by-step, proven strategy for booking a successful tour in Europe without an agent or label. Get better guarantees and more attentive audiences. 

Crusty Adventures: Season 2 - Brett Interviews the World

For the first time in my life, I've put my journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin to use. While killing time in Sri Lanka, I surveyed locals about my lack of hit songs, the past, the future, and the state of my touring career in Asia. This is one of my favorite episodes so far. The Danimal manned the camera while we interviewed the good people of Sri Lanka (and Italy). Along the journey, we were finishing the new album, "Land Air Sea Garage." Our Punchstarter Campaign for it runs until Aug 12, where you can pre-order the album, helping us recoup production costs and continue making these Crusty Adventures episodes, for a smorgasbord of sweet rewards.

Become A Patron

Land Air Sea Garage European Tour Announced!

After three months of laying low and getting dominated by paperwork, booking emails and general admin, I'm excited to announce our return to Europe at the end of summer! The people there have been good to us, so we're back in force starting 18 Aug in Norway and then moving into Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, Ireland & Austria. The Danimal will be returning with me and we're bringing Land Air Sea Garage, a fresh new album for your earballs.

Live now, we have a Punchstarter Campaign to bring this new album to life. We don't have big label money or angel investors to help us fund a big release like this, so support from our friends, fans and allies are the only way we can make it happen. Pre-order is available for LASG–along with many other rewards (slap Brett with a salmon, burn Chuck Ragan: The Car)–until the end of our campaign on 12 Aug.


TOUR DATES

17 Aug | Tollboden | Flekkefjord, NO 18 Aug | Centralean | Drammen, NO 19 Aug | Festiborg | Sarpsborg, NO 21 Aug | A Very Secret Festival | Brussels, BE 24 Aug | Rossli Bar | Berne, CH 25 Aug | Treppenhaus | Rorschach, CH 27 Aug | Clanx Festival | Appenzell, CH 31 Aug | Café Galao | Stuttgart, DE 03 Sep | Domham | Wuppertal, DE 04 Sep | Storytelling @ | Culemborg, NL 09 Sep | Keuchensessions Fest | Hamburg, DE 10 Sep | Extra Blues Bar | Bielefeld, DE 7 Sep | Private Show | Brussels, BE 14 Sep | Sunflower Public House | Belfast, UK 15 Sep | Roisin Dubh | Galway, IE 16 Sep | Clon Guitar Fest | Clonakilty, IE 17 Sep | Dolan's | Limerick, IE 18 Sep | Clon Guitar Fest | Clonakilty, IE 25 Sep | Welt Theatre | Frankenberg, DE 30 Sep | JUZ Hängematte | Rosenberg, DE 01 Oct | Jan's Toolshed | Tubingen, DE 05 Oct | P.P.C. | Graz, AT 06 Oct | Rhiz | Vienna, AT 07 Oct | Anziehbar | Dornbirn, AT 08 Oct | Bart | Timelkam, AT 10 Oct | Tak | Hannover, DE 12 Oct | Fyal Central | Münster, DE 13 Oct | O' Reillys | Dusseldorf, DE 14 Oct | Altes Museum | Bad Bentheim, DE 15 Oct | ToneToaster Presents | Ladenburg, DE

*look for dates to be added in East Germany and Luxembourg