Behind The Music [Mandates] with Dustin Sendejas
Dustin shares some advice about touring.
We decided to check in with Dustin Sendejas aka Little Ghost who we interviewed late last year:
He's been braving the world of touring this year, playing guitar for Triple Crown Records artist Adjy and shared his experience so far with us.
Music For All: Practically everyone I've talked to has struggled with playing shows outside of their local area. How have your tour dates gone so far? Have y'all been able to play shows without vaccine, testing or mask requirements?
Dustin Sendejas: They've been pretty good. Although so far it's all been in the Southeast - TN, GA and FL.
With regard to restrictions, our approach has been not even bringing it up. We figured the worst that could happen would be they're a little pissy about it, but ultimately are you gonna turn the bands away? They'd probably just huff and say "don't say anything." That said, the venues never said a thing — special mention to Hooch and Hive in Tampa, FL, The 1890s Room in Hogansville, GA, and Inman Coffeehouse in Cleveland, TN.
We also played some private room/basement type shows, so naturally no restrictions there either. I don't know how it may change once we hit the Midwest or East Coast, but one positive note is that the shows are still populated by those one would expect to favor masking/"papers please," but among all the shows we played it's as though 2020 never happened.
Do you have any advice for a musician looking to book a tour without restrictions this summer? It seems like non-traditional venues, bars or houses might be an easier way to go. Has that been your experience? Things seem to be opening up more without restrictions, but I'm still so skeptical it could change overnight at any time.
Non-traditional venues are great for not having to worry about restrictions, and tend to be good spots to play anyway, with embedded local scenes or followings.
Even before any of the recent controversies, my bands usually had more DIY success at non-traditional spots. My recommendation is what I said above: Just don't bring it up. Book as though none of it ever happened. Not with intent to deceive, but many venues now are leaving restrictions up to the artist (a great step), and I think a venue not bringing it up is their way of saying "we don't care if you don't care."
Additionally, I think there's an opportunity right now to build relationships with other bands/artists that are of a similar mind. Feeling jointly on the outside is a good basis for camaraderie. On that note big shoutouts to Haedes in Hogansville, GA.
Do you or Adjy have any new music coming out soon?
Nothing new, but we've both released music somewhat recently. Adjy's record The Idyll Opus is still less than a year old:
I put out a single Hold on to Anyone in December:
Both acts should be around the country a lot this year, so keep an eye out.
+ some words of inspiration:
What is the government trying to do? Is it just a nebulous mass of incompetent bureaucrats bumbling their way through boring workdays, haphazardly cashing checks and making life harder for all of us, or is there some plan?
I go back and forth on this. Certainly conspiracies happen, in that people work together behind the scenes for their own ends. I'm not sure why theorizing about actors conspiring has become a smear. That said, I doubt these people have the capability of planning more than six months to a year out.
In 2016 they were defeated, embarrassed, and traumatized by a real estate impresario using little more than his Twitter account. Politicians and bureaucrats are generally spineless, stupid, venal, self-absorbed, and mendacious. Remember this while enacting your preferred method of pushing back against leviathan.
You're not dealing with impressive, competent, virtuous opponents. They're mostly pathetic, and can be bought with some cheap champagne and a bowl of lobster bisque. James O'Keefe has shown us that they'll often divulge their company secrets to a Tinder date after half an IPA — which is hilarious.
So be bold and take charge, whatever your sphere of influence.
Thanks for reading, and thanks Dustin!