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Autopilot List the Top 10 Differences Touring in the US vs. Canada

Saskatchewan rockers Autopilot join us today for a rundown of the Top 10 differences between touring in the U.S. and Canada.




It’s been a busy fall season for Autopilot, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a common attribute of Canadian rock acts that they have a strong work ethic. That they are willing to work hard and perform for as many people who want to see them. The Saskatchewan rockers have made their way around North America many times and have been doing so since right after Labour Day Weekend. Their tour continues right to the end of November, with fans getting to enjoy the band’s new singles live. The band has recently released “Unwound,” along with “Say Something” and “Feverish Dreams.”

With such a busy touring schedule, you’d think it’d be hard to fit in some writing and recording. But not for Autopilot, who are working towards releasing a brand new album. That is their next goal on the horizon, which will obviously come with a lot more touring. They are not content with playing it safe and really embrace the challenge of being a band that people eagerly anticipate new music from.

With touring such a huge part of Autopilot’s identity, it seemed obvious to connect with them for a feature about, you guessed it, touring. Today, the band joins us to share with us their Top 10 differences between touring in Canada and the United States. If anyone is going to know about this topic at length, it’s going to be Autopilot.

Autopilot’s Top 10 Differences Touring in the U.S. vs. Canada:


1. The Traffic

“The traffic is insane in the States. Driving on the interstate is so different from State to State. Driving in North Dakota is similar to Saskatchewan, except a much higher speed limit. Then, getting through Chicago takes three times longer than you think.

“The closest thing to this in Canada is Ontario’s Highway 401. I have gotten used to it now, but playing shows from Florida up the coast to Jersey is always crazy. Manhattan and LA are a slow go. But the best part of any drive is seeing the awesome country whether in Canada or the U.S.”

2. Grants & Funding

“In Canada, we have the opportunity to apply and get tour grants from agencies such as Creative Saskatchewan and Factor. There’s a lot of support for artists where we come from. A lot of U.S. bands don’t get this kind of support and government funding, unfortunately.”


3. Earthquakes

“Earthquakes happen in Canada, but not very often, not big ones, and not where we live. We were playing in LA in July 2019, and I felt my first 7.1 magnitude earthquake or something like that. I was at a bar across the street from the venue when I was thrown off my stool. Like someone pulled the rug out from under me. Everyone around me was really good when they found out I had no idea what to do. Luckily, everything turned out fine other than a few prairie guys a little shook.”

4. Work Visas & Taxes

“The big one is needing a work Visa to tour in the States. Some tours, we cross back into Canada and back to the U.S. We always have everything in order, but the Canadian border security likes to check the van for extra beers and cigarettes we might have. So we can pay more tax on it, of course.”


5. Pricing & Cost

“Prices of everything in the States used to be much cheaper than Canada. But these days everything seems to be more, and the exchange rate is so high. Gas, smokes, and beer are still cheaper depending where we are, but the cost of touring sure has increased.”

6. Gasoline

Buc-ee’s is always an experience that we don’t have on the road in Canada. I’ve never seen hundreds of people at a gas station before. Also love the signs 500 miles to Buc-ee’s. So much time spent looking at things we don’t buy.”

Autopilot “Unwound” single artwork

Autopilot “Unwound” single artwork

7. Land Mass

“The population of Canada is under 40 million. Driving ten hours in Canada from Saskatoon will get us to the mountains in B.C. or on the other side of Winnipeg. Driving ten hours in the States, you can cross several different States and different landscapes.


8. Food, Food & Food

“The food is mostly the same, but there’s so much fast food compared to Canada. A lot are awful, and some are really good, like Whataburger and In N Out Burger. Then there’s the different regions. First time I had grits on a southern tour was amazing. They had a free buffet at a venue we played in Texas for everyone. You don’t get that southern hospitality where we are. Fresh-made tortillas at a street taco place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, hasn’t been topped yet. The BBQ in Austin was amazing. Also tried chicken fried steak for the first time.”

9. Laws & Legality

“The laws are mostly the same. Canada has strict liquor laws compared to most States. Bringing a few drinks of our own into the green room at the venue is okay in so many States. You definitely can’t do that in Canada. We found a small pub you could still smoke in next to the venue in Pittsburgh. Just felt wrong. Also got our first speeding ticket in North Dakota, 500 meters from the Canadian border. The cop reduced it to 15 dollars.”


10. People & Music

“A different place. Whether it’s Canada or the States, we have so many similarities. The awesome bands we have been able to play with and the rad people we have met, including staff and sound people. Everyone has one thing in common. We love music. It’s just in a different place.”

Tour Dates:

11/07 – Kansas City, MO @ miniBar
11/08 – Memphis, TN @ Growlers
11/09 – Dallas, TX @ Sundown at Granada
11/10 – Houston, TX @ Big Top
11/12 – Austin, TX @ Sofar Sounds
11/14 – Tempe, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room
11/15 – San Diego, CA @ Til’ Two Club
11/18 – Sacramento, CA @ Old Ironsides
11/20 – Redding, CA @ The Dip
11/21 – Springfield, OR @ The Spot
11/22 – Seattle, WA @ Funhouse
11/23 – Vancouver, BC @ Roxy Cabaret


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