“If we don’t provide a good service then it’s not just the band that’s let down, but hundreds of fans…”
Chris Rouse is a manager at Vans for Bands, the company started out in 2006, when they saw a gap in the market. The industry had plenty of companies with expertise in touring and those who understood the vehicle and transport sector. So they asked, should they be mutually exclusive? And that’s when the company started. As a business they understand that touring artists rightfully expect and deserve service to the highest standard. Comfort, reliability and safety, and they deliver this to more than a thousand acts a year.
Rouse explained the job to be enjoyable, but as it’s a rather small company it can be hard work and involves a lot of time and effort.
“We’ve worked with everyone from Cliff Richard to Slipknot. We cover bands that are well established, as well as bands who are up and coming that you might not have heard of yet. It’s important for us that the bands get to the shows safely and without and issues” Rouse told me.
I spoke to him about whether a band could be successful without tour bus companies and he mentioned that touring and record sales are what brings bands recognition, although if a band is on tour – the tours going to go a hell of a lot better if you have a bus driver who knows what he’s doing and is good at his job!
Rouse enlightened me on the highlight of his career. “A highlight would be the perks of the job, we get the odd guest passes for shows, and we have made lots of friends from all over the music and touring industry. Two bands that have made a particular impact for me are Reuben and Billy Talent. I toured with them a few years ago, and it was one of those tours where everything goes great, everyone from band to crew is awesome. It’s how touring should be all the time!”
Rouse also told me that he’s happy to do his job in the background and it helps that the company has a good reputation. “But if someone wants to give me a big cash prize for being good at my job I won’t turn it down!”