Smaller gigs of course aren't going to pay much, and a lot of the time this band is more of a passion project than a cash cow, but there are a few big venues where we will sell out the night and do well.
A rock/hip-hop band that isn't a cover band (this cover is the only song that isn't ours that we do) is hard to make money with, which is why we have to be aggressive about getting our name out and generating a fan base. Merchandise plays a part of that as well. We played a show this fall where we didn't think we would sell much merch, and ended up selling out of the 40 cds that we brought for the weekend. We didn't have any left for the second night. You have to be prepared for surprises!
We travel a lot on our tours. The farthest venue we have played is 8 hours away, but it is the drummers home town, so that is a guaranteed sell out. We bought a trailer for gear and take 2-3 cars on the road with us. We are all used to sleeping in crowded hotel rooms or friends of friends of the band's houses/apartments. Some venues have put us up in beautiful lakefront cottages nearby, which is always amazing. Nothing beats being on tour, swimming, playing a show, then waking up and swimming some more and getting back out on the road for more shows.