How to Kill It On a Solo Tour As a Songwriter

When you write songs it is all well and good to sit in your bedroom or basement and record them for your ears and your ears only. But wouldn’t it be fun to get other people to hear them too? If you’re at that level and you want your music to be heard by more than just you and your family, it’s time to take the show on the road. A lot of people think that in order to tour you have to wait for the major record label to come knocking on your door, but that simply doesn’t happen anymore. It’s a sham. So what you have to do is put your money where your mouth is and hit the road. It’s easier to do than you think.


The only difference between a touring musician and non-touring one is the touring one is booking shows for themselves and doing it. It’s really that simple. If you have some basic recordings, you can contact venues (start small, of course – coffee shops or small indie venues) and see if you can play. You’ll be surprised how often they say yes. Not always, and in fact a 10% success rate of booking is pretty decent. But when you have someone say yes, by gum, you’re touring. Then you can route a tour around that and you’re in business. This will be not only be fun but also will get your name out there and start the process of becoming a successful musician.


It’s also important to think about what kind of wheels you’re going to use. You can’t just take anything. You need something that’s reliable, road weary, and good on gas. Especially when you are doing it solo, you need to maximize every penny. So before you go out on the road, head to a place like san juan capistrano jeep and get something that will be good for the long haul up and around this great country. Start scoping out a good car at OC Auto. If you have something that will get you to the next gig, you’ll be in business.


Merchandise is really important. You may think the Compact Disc is dead, and it is, since people can download your music and almost everyone listens on Mp3 on their computer now, or if they’re true music lovers, on vinyl, which is difficult to get when you’re at the very early stages of a career. But when you’re on the road, the CD is still very much alive and well. People who hear you will want to support you, and they will buy your CD, especially if you offer to sign it. Same with any other merch you can get, like beer koozies. If you give them something to buy, they will buy it, and you will get more gas in your tank. It may seem like a gimmick, or you may feel guilty selling stuff like that, but you needn’t – that’s the way it’s done these days. The money is actually made on the road.

Nissan 180SX RPS13 – Shako-Tan, Let Me Rock You


Two worlds are colliding in Japan, creating a controversial but exciting sort of breed; the ones that are slammed and can also dominate the drift circuit. As cool as it might be to see on a common basis, the truth is that they blend about as well as oil and water. If you want it to handle right, track fiends know that dropping cars down to the ground causes it to be difficult to drive on the daily, especially. After that, you have to think wisely regarding how you change your car’s frame and suspension, not to mention tedious hours of employment spent learning how to improve on these parts, that may only be done over time with a willingness to make mistakes. But that’s where these new-school drifters come in and discover the challenge as an opportunity to rise beyond and above the norm.

From the southern region of Japan, specifically Hiroshima, there are a lot of serious enthusiasts who are hardcore with regards to modifying their cars. One crew, Team Bad Quality, is the stuff of legend, and is widely respected due to one of its members, Shuichi Nakagawa. He loves to drive hard and possesses what might be one of the lowest RPS13s in the united states. Though if you saw his ride (like us and countless others on the Internet) simply at an event like Slammed Society, you’d have mistaken it as being another non-functional accident waiting to happen. Allow this to be the point where the shit talking stops.

Nissan 180sx rps13 engine

Nissan 180sx rps13 fuel cell

Nissan 180sx rps13 steering wheel

Nakagawa is a master of DIY and the proof is in this RPS13; the elite of your shakotan (super low cars that sport deep-dished wheels) world realize this. Actually, his mission in life continues to be to produce the world’s greatest shakotan 180SX, something he’s been focusing on since June 2012, and wishes to go as wide and low as possible for any drift car. The fender arches have already been cut as far as the hood yet the car still performs as if it were at a more normal height, something that’s normally impossible to accomplish at this low of a height. In comes the cycle fender, meaning the inner fenders have been widened to a drum shape. So, while the car sits this low, Nakagawa can still shove fat tires (we’re talking 215s in advance and beefy rear 245s) into the wheel wells while being able to retain the steering and suspension perfectly dialed in. It offers enough clearance to achieve an outrageous counter-steering angle as well as the tires won’t hit one particular thing as it bumps and drifts around. But don’t think this can be a simple weekend project: Nakagawa took the top end frame, cut a lot of it out and fabricated entirely new parts to help maintain or raise the rigidity from the chassis. That’s how Nakagawa likes it, though outward appearances alone are deceiving; one couldn’t tell how extreme its modifications are. Fat tires, light camber and proper alignment all mean a proper handling drift car.

Nakagawa’s SR20DET is fairly stock but carries a few bolt-ons to help push it up to 350hp, similar to a Kin Pro-modified CTS turbo, GReddy QUO and intercooler-NET muffler. The front crossmember was modified to raise the engine by 20mm and works along with the new cycle fenders. The intake and exhaust manifolds were murdered out for a more unique look and the bay has had all of its harnesses tucked for the epitome of cleanliness. Also, he installed the lowest-profile gas tank since ground clearance would become more important, so it not just was raised up and also replaced with an increased-temp, polyurethane; it also clears the twin-pipe exhaust that runs right below it.

Style reigns supreme for the shakotan, and so Nakagawa went for any custom-modified Rocket Bunny, his dream body kit, that he had hoped would be the first of its kind on a car of this caliber but Bensopra beat him to the punch. Painting the car in bright, two-tone fluorescent colors almost held him back further but his friends helped out with the bodywork, paint and interior customization to assist bring the car together. QUO-NET, the Hiroshima-based shop that’s responsible for a lot of the custom work to Nakagawa’s 180, says it cost well over $11K USD in fabrication to get it to his liking, and we’d agree that it is money completely well spent.

The way Nakagawa sees it, Skinny, stretched tires on fat wheels with lots of camber is a thing of the past. Going fat and low is the way to go! If his style catches on (we’re talking proper execution and design), the stance scene could see aLet Memuffler and surge tank; Toyota Altezza electric fan

Footwork & Chassis 326Power inverted dampers with 18kg/mm (front) and 16kg/mm (rear) springs; custom QUO-NET rear crossmember, stabilizer bars, front knuckles, front tension rods and subframe; floorpan integrated frame drop (channeling the back cross frame); 20mm bottom frame trimming; custom cycle front fenders; all frame joints re-welded and reinforced

Wheels & Tires 18×11 -3/18×12 -15 Work Equip wheels; 245/35R18 front Federal tires and 275/35R18 rear Nexen tires

Exterior modified Rocket Bunny body kit

Interior custom gas tank


Nissan 180sx rps13

Nissan 180sx rps13 cage

Nissan 180sx rps13 keys

Proper Stance: What Industry Pros Think

I think this is just what the industry must see. You may already know all of my current cars have a focus and are adamantly designed to be appropriate on the streets of LA, both coming from a performance aspect and usable end result. I have and believe been doing car stuff long enough to believe that any creative modifications, even with minimal budget should have a singular focus and functionality. For a guy to spend $11,000 on frame and chassis mods so extensive just to have an ultimate drop while functioning as a Pro-Drift car is a very commendable thing. It’s also a few things i had at heart when I secured a budget around $30K to start with an AE86 frame again to make my eighth AE86 project for Club4AG. As a Japanese enthusiast because the ‘70s, I am just sort of past the point where looks and copycat styling exercise isn’t my focus. Not to say I had my days in the ‘80s where I tinkered relentlessly to crash, bang, break and dysfunctionalize anything on four wheels, having said that i am with a point where I can plan well and begin with a lasting vision. This Nakagawa (at age 23) is absolutely impressive, with regards to creating something this cool. -Moto Miwa, founder of Club4AG

As both an owner and a driver to get a very race-oriented shop, it’s stupid whenever we see cars come in that were chopped up just to fit some ridiculous fitting wheels on, particularly when it’s a sports car. It’s completely ruined because of that. But here (with Nakagawa’s 180), since it’s engineered to function, it’s cool, whereas most stance guys don’t value suspension or performance. You can still have an auto that has good drives and stance well, so don’t lose sight of methods a car drives.-Mike Chang, Evasive Motorsports.