The 2022 Trail Of Dead Europe Tour

Okay folks, here’s the deal:There is nothing we love more than playing live for you, our audience. No matter how difficult things get, playing music for people is what makes it all feel worthwhile.But touring costs money. Now, more than ever.

A lot of bands are cancelling tours these days because of poor audience attendance and increased travel costs. We really hate cancelling tours—we cancelled a UK tour once for reasons well beyond our control, and that was a huge exception for us.Not only are we struggling with current touring costs, but we’ve also received no visible support from our (former) German label Inside Out (formerly known as Superball). Maybe they didn’t like the new album, who knows? For that reason we’ve had to manage the entire European marketing campaign ourselves (though we should mention the massive support we’ve received in North America from Dine Alone Records—thank you Dine Alone!)  Anyway, thank goodness for Instagram.

Sure, we’re used to losing money. We’ve pretty much always lost money touring; you might even say we excel in it, and could write a fairly comprehensive Idiot’s Guide on the subject. Some people might think we’re a successful band because we get to tour—maybe they mistake our carefree attitudes with success? But the sad truth is, we pay to play.Many of these costs are ones we have no control over—like the massive rise in fuel prices necessitated by bleak world events, etc. Post-pandemic ticket sales have slumped everywhere. This makes touring difficult for bands who do not have massive marketing budgets and huge sponsorships behind them.

So is the answer not to tour at all? For some maybe; but loath are the Trail to consider such defeat!Full disclosure, this tour will lose us (put us in debt of) around $30K USD, after factoring in the cost of the tour bus (do not presume we’re trying to roll in luxury with a bus—this is meant to house two bands and crew, and save on the rising cost of hotels), plane tickets (also more expensive than ever) and lower-than-average audience attendances across the globe.

We’ve never asked you (our friends, family, and fans) to help support a tour before, but… we could really use it this time. Though it pains me to disabuse people of their romantic notions regarding the decadent lifestyle of touring rock bands, the fact is a vast majority of bands pay to go on tour.  

We have rarely expected to profit or break even while touring. Usually ending a tour owing 4-10K is average—at least it is for us. Breaking even? …. when was that a thing?  (The two-week tour we did last month came to about $6K in the red; not bad). 

But $30K is a lot by any measure. And, this is assuming we are able to reach a high merchandise quota each night, which is of course no guarantee.  If all our shows sell out, that would actually help a lot too, but even if they did we would still come up short. We aren’t asking or expecting to raise enough to cover the entire fall; just asking enough to make it hurt less.

At the end of the day, we just want to play live for all of you. We’ve been excited for this tour for a very long time! So we hope you will understand our reluctance, but also our need to ask.

Our good friend Amanda Palmer (who sang one of the songs on our new album: Millennium Actress) once wrote a book on crowdsourcing called The Art of Asking; in it she outlines the power and importance of asking people to support artists in a world where large corporations monopolize the industry.In order to keep this world creative and artistic we’re willing to swallow our pride and simply ask.

We hope all of you will give us the opportunity to continue touring and playing music for you.

Every bit goes toward supporting the ongoing preservation of rock-and-roll.

Conrad Keely
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead

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Jason Reece 
Austin, TX