Wednesday, December 2, 2009

FUCK!

Being on tour when something bad happens to your family really fucking sucks. You feel alone, distant, and overall just lost. As much as you love your friends they can't comfort you as much as being surrounded by your family when something tragic happens. I'm an open book most of the time when it comes to whats on my mind, I try not to hide to much when it comes to getting things out of my head, it feels a lot better t get thing's out. Most of my friends know that at this point about me, so sometimes things happen you have no control over.

I woke up in Jacksonville, Fl on the Nov. 29th with a voicemail from my parent's on my phone. I had a funny feeling about it, because I talked to them the day before. So I called right away knowing from the sound of my dad's voice on the message that this was not going to be good. My mom answered the phone and I instantly felt my stomach drop without her even telling me what was wrong, I just knew something was bad by the tone of her voice. So I asked what was going on and she told me, my mouth dropped and the only thing I could think or feel was FUCK! I was shocked, appalled, angry, sad, I felt so many thing's instantly and had no where to go with it. I was still in my sleeping bag on a pull out couch surrounded by people trying to take a shower. I hung up the phone and just pulled my whole body into my sleeping bag and just start balling. My mom just told me that my cousin John, his wife Susan, and kids Aiden (8), Gracie (5) were killed in a car accident coming home from a Thanksgiving trip. My mind was blown, still is and I can't do anything about it. Being home with my family would feel very comforting even though I wouldn't be able to be in California for the services and my cousin 19 year old cousin Molly who is the sole survivor of the family. My heart goes out to her, I can't even begin to know how she is feeling right now. So fast forward to tonight when I get a phone call from my cousin Cooper tonight with even more upsetting news. Apparently a couple decided to break into John and Susan's home late last night and steal their car, and other posses ions. This just infuriates me to no end. They saw the news and decided to find the house and break into their house and steal everything. In one way I shouldn't be surprised, but honestly I'm floored. Just when you're trying to get your head on semi straight this news comes in. On top of it all I also find out that the 19 yr. old kid who killed my family previously had his license suspended for a DUI. He was 19 and already had a DUI and was driving a brand new mini cooper. It's just so much intense shit to think about. My mind is swimming in all of this and I just feel so frustrated about it all.

For now i just have to keep pushing on and know that I'll be home soon and will be able to see my family then. I know I can't be there now and even if I was it wouldn't make that much of a difference because I can't be in California. It would just be comforting for myself. Times like this really make you feel connected and loved and I truly appreciate that, but it bums me out that these things have to happen in order for these feelings to take on their full sentiment. So now I'm in a random motel 8 spilling my guts to an extent, why? I want to and feel some need to, I don't know really. I'm not trying to gather sympathy or anything of that nature, I guess I just want to make people think about the disconnect we face in our lives, whether we are on tour or not. Please hold your loved ones close and value the people close to you. Life is fragile.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Genie Vocalist of Gather

I met Genie from going to shows/ being on tour throughout 2008/09, we've kept in touch and I'm excited to be friends with a person who has so much passion and energy. We never really get to hangout much in person due to always just being at a show, but the ideas and reasons transcend a show, so we've kept in touch. Sometimes you just feel really comfortable with certain people and you feel like communication is just there Genie is one of those people so I decided to ask her some questions about getting in that van.

1. Biggest thing you stress about while you are on tour and why?

I’m going to answer these questions based on my experience singing in Gather since my new band hasn’t done too much touring really.

Losing my voice was the biggest source of stress on tour. I developed vocal cord nodules a little before going to Europe in 2006 and I lost my voice after day two of a month long tour there and have never recovered since. At some shows I made our bassist, Randy, sing for us. Other shows I faked it the whole time and didn’t even sing into the mic, and often I couldn’t talk at all after shows which was really isolating because on tour I love meeting new people and talking to them! It still bums me out to no end that I have such problems when I attempt to sing or even talk now. So now I’m playing guitar, and it’s so much less stressful except for the part about me not knowing shit about guitar.


2. Personal space is limited on tour, being stuck in a van for hours at a time, and then having to be at a venue, housing with the same people for durations of time, what are some situation's that have risen from these constant surroundings and how do you deal with them?

For the MOST part, we’re all very close so we got along on tour and it wasn’t a big problem. But there were definitely times I got annoyed, like when Randy would wear super short shorts with no underwear and try to climb into the loft above me, oblivious that his balls were in my face, having not showered for days… Or when we toured with 7 Generations and Chris (singer of 7G) and my brother (drummer of Gather) almost got into a fist fight over bathroom breaks and Chris yelled at me when I tried to calm them down... Times like that made cringe when I’d count how many days we still had left on tour. But I’d just bust out a book and remind everyone that they couldn’t talk to me because I was trying to save my voice. That gave me a little “alone time.” And of course, each night when we’d play, no matter how many or few people there were, it was always such a great release so each day was like a fresh start.

3. What is/was the most important reason for touring for you personally?

One of the main reasons Gather started was so that we could help keep hardcore radical and spread awareness of things like animal, earth and human liberation, anarchy, and feminism. Touring was the best way for us to do that. We met so many inspirational people by touring too, so it was about learning from others as well. Personally, touring helped me overcome my intense shyness. I think it really helped me not give a fuck about some of my insecurities so that was a bonus.


4. How do you try and stay healthy while you are on tour?

Tour food is the worst--it’s hard to eat healthy on tour. Years later, I still can’t bring myself to eat a Builder Bar (or any food in bar-form really) and that was one of the things I said I could eat for the rest of my life. We didn’t resort to fast food thankfully. We would hit up grocery stores instead. I tried to eat mostly raw on one tour, but I just got gnarly diarrhea from detoxing, so that backfired. Dustin would always bring lots of supplements, but I hated swallowing pills, so that was no good either! I just tried to eat as many fruits and veggies as I could, and drink lots of water and tea after shows. I probably got sick a couple times, but mostly my problems were just with my voice from screaming.


5. What kind of connections and disconnections have you made from touring?

Some of my very best friends I have now I met from touring or bonded with the most from touring so I’ll always be thankful for that. Whenever I’m in one place too long and feel like I’m not meeting any people who challenge or inspire me, I know that touring would cure that. It’s just so nice to know that each night you’ll be in a room with people who are seeking the same thing, who are somewhat like-minded and appreciate that sense of community that the DIY punk and hardcore scene can offer. At the same time, you meet so many acquaintances that sometimes it seems like the bonds you make might be really superficial. But either way, they’re way less superficial than the bonds you make with normies that you meet at work, or at a club or some bullshit.

Day #7, Lincoln, Ne

Day #3 Cleveland , Oh @Now That's Class

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 2


Day Two in Rochester, Ny, I got to see friends and eat at some fo my fav. food establishments. Ming's sesame Tofu is one of the greatest things to ever enter my mouth. Im so happy that I got to eat some of that glorious food before I left that lovely city, I'll be back in a month! The show was pretty awesome, Like Wolves played and killed it like always, they got Trevor on bass these days and sounded good. Such Gold played as well, first time seeing them they didn't a nice Snapcase cover. But the overall mix of friends and everything else was great. I had am awesome night back in Rochester, wish I could have stayed a little longer.
Day one of tour in Albany, Ny, best part of the night our friends treated us with delicious cupcakes. They didn't stay together but they tasted great! Night Drive to Rochester,Ny to hang in the old stomping grounds.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

John Twentyfive, Wyld Punx, Not Sorry, How We Are, The Disaster, Break Of Dawn


John and I have been friends for a very longtime, we see eye to eye on most thing's involving this wonderful world we surround ourselves in. That doesn't mean we don't disagree and have our moment's, but that's the beauty of being friends for over a decade. John is a very compassionate, honest, and stubborn person and I truly value that in him. Never afraid to be the person to tell you how it is, espcially in a world where people are always trying to water down the truth. Currently singing in Not Sorry and formerly playing bass in a crap load of bands. John lives in Seattle,Wa and still inspires me to this day and I'm very pleased to have him in my life and to be one of my best friends. Wyld Punx always!

1. What was it like leaving XHead OnX while on tour? (i figured this would be interesting because i really don't have any type of reference for this situation and well i was there and want to know your insight. plus it's been long enough and i think it's a cool story, although you don't have to tell the story)

That was a strange event. Jeff (our singer) and I were not really getting along around that time. Between the band and living together, on top of both being stubborn bullheaded people, it finally came to a head. Looking back on it, it was childish and I was in the wrong for bailing, but it's what I needed to do. I put a lot of time and effort into that band and to have him say, "I've been faking it for months and you haven't noticed" (something to that effect), really hit me hard. I took a bus from South Carolina up to Rochester, NY. It was a 24 bus ride, as well as 24 hours of my life I'll never get back. Ugh, it was the worst.

Though it did allow you guys to meet some cool people and make some cool friends. It could've been worse. Though I'm sure at the time, it was incredibly awkward.

(Editor's note: I was on this tour and not in the band, it was a very awkward moment seeing your good friends argue and have a band that you loved break up right before your eyes.)


2. You've been in band's that have played the same city a few times, can you tell me what it feels like to keep returning to a city and realizing it's just not the same anymore?

It's a total bummer really, but it happens. We both saw it living in Rochester, the turn-over rate of hardcore and punk kids is like a revolving door. But hopefully you've made some long standing friends in those towns and at the very least, they put you up for the night. So you get to see them and hang out, catch up, and talk about old times. I love meeting up with people I haven't seen in a long time and just bullshitting.

3. What insight has touring given to you in the bigger picture of life?

Hm, good question. It teaches you how to deal with people, both good and bad. It also allows you to think on your feet. While touring may not be as hard now as it was in 1982, shit does happen and sometimes you have to make decisions that aren't easy. But having that time to get to know the people in your band, learning to take things with a grain of salt, how to share space when you have very little, is all priceless. If touring doesn't make you a better person in some way, you're doing it wrong.


4. If you could choose one thing about tour and be able to change it what would you pick to change?

Feeding bands. Plain and simple. Now if you are doing a local show and ask a band from an hour away to come play your town, or they asked you for a show, there's no need to roll out the red carpet and fix them a 6 course meal. But for bands that have traveled most of the day and have been on the road for weeks at a time, throw some pasta in a pot, put some sauce on it and you've got an instant meal. If you've been in a van for 6-8 hours eating only gas station junk food, having some warm food waiting for you really hits the spot and does not go unappreciated. If it does, fuck'em and don't fix them food ever again, maybe even consider letting someone else book them next time.


5. Worst place you ever stayed on tour? As detailed as possible please!


The worst place I can remember staying on tour was this dude in New Mexico. We drove like 12 hours overnight to get to the show. It was summer so we didn't want to drive during the day, we ended up arriving at his house at like 5 or 6 in the morning. He told us we could have the house which was fuckin' dirty and stunk like shit, mainly due to the cat poop that was everywhere, along with a weed/stale beer combo. It was hot, 6 in the morning and there was not enough room for the 5 of us. He took a sleeping bag and slept under the hot sun on a plastic folding chair in the "yard" which was little more than dirt. It was so hot in his place, so that made the stench extra tantalizing. And to top if off, the show turned out to mainly be a party . . . cool.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ryan "Hex" Canavan a writer, show goer, band member, show booker, lifer

As long as I can remember Ryan has been a staple in the Syracuse Hardcore Community, his zine Hanging Like A Hex was the lifeline for those of us in the western/ upstate, New york area. Ryan has had his hands involved in many different projects over the years, zines, bands, shows, events, and a label. I have the utmost respect for Ryan for making his passion something truly resonating to me. He's a wonder in this world of lazy assholes and poor me attitudes. Ryan has also always told it like it is and I respect that more than anything. Without further ego boosting here ya go! Hex Records, Mistletoe, and Westcott Community Center.

1. The biggest mistake you have ever committed on tour?

Attempting to drive through a mountain pass between Oregon and Northern California in January... not expecting snow. The highway was closed and we had to cancel a show because of it. Total bummer. I'm sure there have been much worse atrocities- almost allowing a bum to knife us in NYC by engaging in conversation with him while in the van, going to the next show a day early when we could have relaxed in Vegas for an extra day, forgetting some of our gear at a show and not realizing it until the next day when we were 200 miles away from it (by some insane stroke of luck it was still where we left it). This is what comes to mind right away. I may have blocked out worse things.


2. With the vast amount of bands touring now, what are a list of reasons for bands to not tour?

There are so many. Seriously, most bands should just not tour. If you're a band, and you're itching to play out of town, stick to just playing some places where you have friends... preferably not too far away. Make it easy on yourself at first. Get good. Maybe record something, then give it a go. Don't bother touring in the summer unless you are certain that all will go well. By and large most bands aren't good. Also, you probably won't break even, so if you're already broke touring is probably not a good idea unless you're extremely crafty. If you're an obnoxious asshole who has an issue with being respectful in other people's town/homes/venues you probably should not go on tour. If you have a serious issue with showing up to anything on time ever touring is probably not a good idea (you'll just piss off promoters trying to run a smooth show). If you're in any band that takes more time to do their hair than they take to learn their instruments you probably shouldn't tour. In fact, you probably should just break up and spare everyone a boatload of misery.


3. What is one routine you get into when you're out on the road?

I've noticed that I tend to consolidate my stuff into a little zone wherever we stay for the night. Some people leave stuff in the van or whatever. I take everything, keep it right around me within easy reach, and essentially make a little nest for the night. I get real protective of all my things because I absolutely hate the idea of losing anything remotely necessary on tour. I guess it's not too weird, but when compared to my bandmates I feel like I might be a little obsessive in that regard.


4. You just committed to a long over night drive what is your first musical selection you go for?

Something that is both lengthy and interesting, so I don't have to change it up a lot and time goes by a little quicker. Perhaps Rush, "Chronicles"?


5. What are some of your favorite things to do while on tour?

I like being in a place that may not be too familiar to me and has some places to explore that are walking distance. It's better than the typical, 'show up, wait, play, find some cheap place to eat, watch a movie, sleep, repeat.' I like all that stuff too, but being in a new place with some interesting facets to the town/area is always really cool too.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nov. 10th - Dec. 6th

We are hitting the Road again in a couple weeks. This time we are going out with Outbreak from Maine. This is one of the first time's since I've been in the band where we aren't booking this tour ourselves. We'll see how things go, we are hitting up some of the same spots. Hoping to see some familiar faces and looking forward to playing some warm spots and some new places. Come hangout and show us around your city!

Tue, Nov 10
Albany, NY @ Bogie's

Wed, Nov 11
Rochester, NY @ Dubland Underground

Thu, Nov 12
Cleveland, OH @ Now That's Class

Fri, Nov 13
Dayton, OH @ C-Space

Sat, Nov 14
Springfield, MO @ Club Neon

Sun, Nov 15
Lincoln, NE @ Knickerbockers

Mon, Nov 16
Denver, CO @ Blast-O-Mat *pizza deal spoken for*

Wed, Nov 18
Reno, NV @ TBA

Thu, Nov 19
San Francisco, CA @ Sub-Mission

Fri, Nov 20
Fresno, CA @ The CYC

Sat, Nov 21
Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction

Sun, Nov 22
Riverside, CA @ Pharaoh's Den

Mon, Nov 23
Phoenix, AZ @ The Phix

Tue, Nov 24
Midland, TX @ The Ground Floor

Wed, Nov 25
San Antonio, TX @ Ten Eleven

Thu, Nov 26
Corpus Christi, TX @ Zero's

Sat, Nov 28
Jacksonville, FL @ The Pit *pizza deal spoken for*


Sun, Nov 29
Lake Worth, FL @ Club Eclipse

Mon, Nov 30
Tampa, FL @ Transitions Art Gallery

Tue, Dec 01
Atlanta, GA @ PS Warehouse

Wed, Dec 02
East Ridge, TN @ The Warehouse

Thu, Dec 03
Louisvlle, KY @ Skull Alley

Fri, Dec 04
Harrisonburg, VA @ Festival Conference & Student Center FREE SHOW

Sun, Dec 06
Worcester, MA @ London Billiards (Club Oasis)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Long Overdue


Things are always moving forward or setting us backward in some sort of fashion, after all that is life right? Well this picture sums up me getting a little McGyver on the Nugget. We were driving north on our way to Winnipeg when we had to pull over because something was scrapping underneath the van. I was just oping that it was the muffler because well we can deal with the loud noise and not miss any shows and spend money we don't have. So we pull off onto the side of the road and jump out of the van to check to see what the issue is, and I guessed it the muffler was dragging. Waiting for the muffler to cool, we see this older couple also pulled off the road smoking a cigarette and they decide to notify us "oh yeah you've been dragging that for a longtime". Thanks for letting us know something we figured out on our own, could of used some help before hand though. Once the muffler is cooled I use some of Eric's old bass strings and tie up the muffler so it no longer will drag on the ground. As I'm taking on this task and under the van some of the other guys decided to play kick the water bottle around while I'm under the van. As I'm finishing up a knot on the bass strings I get a water bottle kicked into my temple. Great timing and a wonderful shot, needless to say I yelled because a) it fucking hurt and b) I couldn't move when I got hit. Finished the knot and finished up that process. The strings are still holding the muffler up and the nugget is still cruising along just fine for our liking.

We've been playing some new spots on this tour and that's always exciting for me, I like seeing what and how people react with each other in different communities. We played this house show in Boise, Idaho and it was pretty funny to me. You could tell that the people at the show felt so awkward being there, in my eyes if that's the case break the wall down. It doesn't have to be nail biting silence and nerves, you don't have to always try and impress people with who you know and what new bands your into. Let that guard down and just be for a moment or two, it'll make things less tense in the long run. So I found that very interesting and we also ate some of the best pesto pasta ever that night.

Seattle and Vancouver were both collectively awesome, in Seattle we got to see and hang with so many friends. It seriously feels like home on the West coast. Mighty O Donuts, WOW bubble tea, and quality people made it just a wonderful time. Plus the show was fucking great. Also after show siting of Jeffery Ross( that comedian on Comedy Central). As we shredded down to California and met up with Dangers for a few shows I got excited. They are seriously one of the best bands playing hardcore music right now. The new songs they have are great, keep an eye out for that record.

We've come across an issue at two separate shows on this tour. The excessive drunk dude. What do you do when there is someone getting into your band, but in a very destructive manner. Bumping into/ knocking over gear and smashing into you as well over and over again. After some verbal warnings and so forth where do you go from there? Where is the line we draw in order not to be a dick, but still want people to enjoy what we're doing. I feel like the responsibility isn't just on the band our the people doing the shows. If you don't want security at shows then we have to be the security. If you see someone being a total annoyance, maybe we collectively take care of it. Both times on this tour it's gotten physical and that just bums me out. I guess this will always be something we have to deal with, but we should be able to find a middle ground. Excitement doesn't mean we disrespect and break a bands expensive gear.

Currently in St. Louis, Missouri hanging at Tony from The Effort's place. It's been a pretty chill day which is nice. Watching football and eating food, I can't really complain at all because well I love football and food. Plus last night we explored this crazy City Museum complex. It was pretty amazing, they created this park out of scrap from all around St. Louis and they had planes, buses, crazy slides, and wild spots to crawl through. It was awesome! So much fun, plus we snuck in so that makes it even more exciting.

More later.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


So I thought I had forgotten my camera until two days ago, not that I'd be going crazy with it, but since I've already lost an ipod and am without that I need to fill my technological void with something right? Well now that I have it I may just put it to more good use than previously sitting in a small pocket of my shoulder bag. As I wait for people to finish showering I figured I would throw up a quick update, It'll be the first time we've really had access to the internet and time to do so.

Well we have been loudly chuggin along in the Nugget the past 6 days now and well she's starting to get louder. I hope she holds together for this tour, I think she'll get through because I have some love there. She's made it this far and has gone 205,000 miles that's a hell of a lot longer than I ever expected her to last. The pillow palace has been a great addition to the riding in the Nugget, plenty of laying down and leg room, this is what happens when you don't bring anyone on tour with you, you have some extra room. But then again you have to do everything else the other person would, like merch, loading in and out, driving, organizing our messy lives, you know that sort of thing. Somehow we can manage ourselves though and it's going pretty well. Sure I may have to do merch covered in my own sweat and have to sit through bands that need to practice a lot more, but hey I could be home laying in bed listening to Frat parties out of my window.

We've had the chance to hit some awesome new spot's on this tour so far and we are excited about that. It's nice to play new places you've never been and have people excited that you came. So I would like to thank those wonderful people and places without naming them, well because you can check our tour poster and do the checking yourself. I will say this we did get to hit up the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago for free, our pal Pat hooked us up with that. How could we say no to that? We arrived with plenty of time to walk around and checkout all of the sea/ocean/river/amazon life we could want and still have time for the Dolphin show. I got to see some crazy seahorses and my favorite of the day was the river otter, to bad their was only one because I think if their was another that would make them a lot happier. So a part of me was a bit bummed about that at times, but I tried to not let it sour my experience. Aquatic life was pretty cool although the Dolphin show was lame, I'm very glad that I didn't spend any money on it, because if I had I would have been furious.

I almost lost my sacred Rochester Red Wings hat in Milwaukee. I left it hanging on a fence outside the venue after we played and I was changing out of my sweaty show clothes, hopped in the van and took off. I realized later that I left my hat hanging on the fence, I said fuck it we'll go back tomorrow morning and see if it' still there. If it was cool if not, oh well, chalk it up to another thing I've lost on tour. But it so happened that as we pulled around the corner of the venue my hat was still on the fence where I left it and I was really happy. I know it's a dirty peace of shit, but I love it.

Off to Winnipeg!

Friday, September 4, 2009

U.S Tour. . .


I know I didn't update much from Europe. Not as much access to the internet as I thought I might have. So I wasn't able to give you all the juicy details while on the road over there. I will say this, we had a blast despite having to cancel some shows because of border crossings and impossible drives, and we got some shows canceled on us as well which sucked, but we tried to make the best of any situation given to us. The Balance guys are a bunch of sweethearts and were very kind to us the whole tour, so I'm glad we got to meet and become friends with those guys. We also meet a ton of wonderful people from all over Europe, people that housed us, cooked us food, played tour guides, so many gracious smiles we can't thank you enough. So in between getting really sun burnt to the point of sun poisoning and spending 30plus hours in a van on a certain drive, plus some other long haul drives our spirits weren't broken to bad.

I ate plenty of Falafal, some good some awful, I ate plenty of bread and drank lot's of water. The rest of my band ate more vegan food than they were used to normally. Mushrooms were picked out of meals so I could eat. No big allergy flare ups. We got to hang with our friends from home a few times, Outrage, The Effort, On, Trash Talk, Polar Bear Club, and Wait In Vain. I will say this, that new Outrage is damn awesome and I want that band to conquer the world ASAP. We got to play with some sweet bands like Oathbreaker, True Colors, and Rythem To The Madness to name a few.

So with the very condensed Europe wrap up comes the new found U.S tour we are about to embark on. We are back in Providence,RI for a short time and hit the road again very soon. Come hangout if we are in your neck of the woods, We will actually have our new LP with us this tour, very happy about that. We will be using our own gear and I have lot's of hope that our van "The Nugget" will make it the whole tour.

I'm going to work on some new interviews and put them up, until then I'll update from the U.S tour more frequently most likely do to WIFI and more accessable connections to this wonderful technology.

Also I got to swim in Europe alot and I was very happy about that. Thanks for all the sick oceans and lakes, plus the fucking bath house in Budapest, Hungary. See you again soon!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Europe 2009 post #1


We're in Europe, Currently in a town outside of Ipswich, England staying with some suckers. They told us we smell like feet, but hey hat do you expect from 9 guy's in a van, although it is only day 2 of playing shows. Eric decided to purchase this awesome hat for this tour, sometimes I forget he's wearing it and I'll just start laughing. So good! The Balance guys are stand up dudes, stoked to be sharing a van with a bunch of nice swedes.

We stayed in the red light district in Antwerp, Belgium that was pretty interesting and entertaining in some regards. We had balcony access so we got to watch some action from above and we got some snears from the ladies. One woman of the night yelled to us " This is not a cinema!" We didn't think of anything snappy to say until after the fact. It's just totally wild being in a a different country and they view sex as something total acceptable even if you pay for it. Just makes you think and wonder about how we Americans do things. I don't know it's always nice challenging your own thought's on things espcially when you're surrounded by it. Well thats about it for now. Who know's when I'll have access to the net again.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Europa Tour 09'


We embark on another tour this Wednesday, our first time heading over to Europe together. We'll be raging with Balance who are from Sweden. I'm excited to meet those guys and hopefully become great friends. I know Soul Control has toured Europe before, but not with this group of guys in the band, so I'm really excited to be apart of this trip.

Ryan and I are also moving out of our house this month and well it's a pain in the ass trying to get everything together. I'll be pretty much homeless until Nov. because I can't afford to pay rent while we're going to be gone and well one less expense to worry about really. It's a kind of freeing situation really. Plenty of great friends have offered me their couches in the mean time, so thank you so much to everyone. Also my friend Melanie is letting me store my meager amount of things in her basement so I'm very grateful for that. Honestly without our support network of friends I don't know where I or this band would be, so thank you to everyone who has really gone above and beyond for us, we really do appreciate it.

So these are the dates for our Europe trip.

EUROPE:
all shows with BALANCE (SWE)
31/7 BE Antwerpen @ Den Eglantier
1/8 UK Ipswich @ The Rose and Crown
2/8 UK Sheffield @ Upperthorpe Hotel
3/8 UK Stoke on Trent @ Harry's Bar
4/8 UK Nothingham @ The Old Angel
5/8 UK London @ Grosvenor
6/8 BE Izegem @ Didi's Kot
7/8 BE Ghent @ Frontline (W/ DYS)
8/8 GE Wolfsburg @ Jugendhaus Ost
9/8 GE Hamburg @ Hafenklang
10/8 SWE Malmo @ Utkanten
11/8 SWE Goteborg @ Nortgarten
12/8 NO Oslo
13/8 NO Stavanger @ Kvitsøygata 25,
14/8 SWE Lindesberg @ Musikhuset
16/8 POL Warsaw @ CDQ
17/8 NEED HELP EMAIL stief@poweredrecords.com TO BOOK US
18/8 SLO Kosice @ T klub
19/8 UKR Kyiv @ Sokol Café
20/8 HU Zamárdi @ Közösségi Ház @ Rise Fest
21/8 AU Vienna @ Centro Once!
22/8 GE Hohenstein-ernsthal @ Voice Of Art festival
23/8 GE Bochum @ Zwischenfall @ Light's Out Fest
25/8 SP Madrid @ Barracudas
26/8 PO Porto @ Pin Up Bar
27/8 PO Faro @ A.R.C.M.
28/8 FR Angers @ T’es Rock Coco
29/8 BE Ieper @ Ieperfest

Time to Rage!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mark Bronzino of Seasick & ANS


Mark and I got to meet when we were both raging in different rock outfits. Since then we've kept in contact through some form or another. I would like to think that we are friends and well when we talk it's usually about girls or punk. Both which beat us up pretty bad, but it's an addiction that we both can't shake really. In all honesty Mark is a very down to earth and compassionate person and I'm lucky enough to call him my friend. He shreds the axe in Seasick and ANS, So this is kind of a twofer. Go see one of his punk ensembles on your this summer while you.

1- How can a normal day of tour be described for you? Please describe
Seasick and ANS differences. . .

a day on the road is pretty normal for both seasick and ANS. wake up
on someones floor or couch that probably smells like cats or punks,
then start driving for about an hour before buying some chips or some
sort of "this happens to be" vegan filth that you find in rest stops
for breakfast. get back in the van and drive for a few more hours, get
to the show, load in, play as hard as you can, load out. then drive to
the sleeping spot, maybe cook ourselves dinner then hang for a bit
before sleeping under a table or on a blow up mattress next to the
bass player. repeat.
last summer on ANS tour we wrote our new LP and splits in the van and
thats sort of started a trend for all of my subsequent touring. on
this seasick tour we are going to be (finally) writing our lp, then on
the following ANS tour we will be writing our splits with ramming
speed and the rats from sweden. the biggest difference between touring
in the two bands is seasick usually wants to stop at cool vegan
restaurants and record stores while ANS usually wants to check out the
rad local skate spot. both bands enjoy partying quite a bit, but we
arent lucky enough nor do we have enough free time to "party all the
time" like eddie murphy's girl.

2- What role do you play when it comes to the band while on the road?
I.E organizer, song writer, motivator, money man. . .

i would like to think that everyone in both of the touring bands i am
in pulls their own weight while on the road. i play a part in booking
the tours and writing the songs in both bands, but everyone does their
fair share and we try to rotate responsibilities and distribute them
equally or to everyones ability/ time schedule. on seasick's european
tour i ended up having my passport copied and signing things when it
was time to get paid at state sponsored youth centers a few times.
that was really strange for us because we almost always get paid with
some sweaty bills and coins blended in with one or two guitar picks
handed to us in a man's top hat. one time in virginia we got paid in
pretzels with peanut butter in the middle... delicious! don't worry
kids they were vegan!


3- How fast does it take for the van to smell bad?

as soon as seasick gets in the van and gore rips one of his classic
potato chip farts (the kind one can only produce from a crude vegan
diet of lays classic original and cola), the tour stench begins.
however on ANS tour the van usually smells already, having just been
abused by seasick or whatever foreign crust band joe decides he wants
to be seen with that month. on the rare occasions we enter a clean
van, its usually within three days of not showering and hours upon
hours of intense driving and listening to power violence that ANS
makes quite a foul smell.

4- Can you explain the appeal of getting in a smelly van and sleeping
on floors to some that might not get it?

unfortunately i can not. my family thinks im crazy because i dont make
any money (in fact i lose lots on every tour!) and who wants to sleep
in a basement filled with rats, old pornography and used needles if
they can avoid it? i guess the best explanation i could give someone
is that this is my life, and this is what i have to do.

5- Most random person you've met while on tour? I.E bumping into
someone from home, celebrities and so forth.

in amsterdam seasick ran into a bar tender at the club we played who
was wearing a fun ghouls shirt (local new brunswick misfits cover
band). i had to ask about the shirt, and it turns out he was also from
new brunswick and used to play in SLAW (local new brunswick punk band)
and i think johnny hot dog and the condiments (pre-ergs). it was
strange being that far from home and meeting someone who was from our
town. he was also very nice. i would say he was the most random person
ive met, next to of course the dude we thought we killed in california
on seasick/ ANS tour. but thats a whole other story for another
time...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Danielle Allen of Offsides

Offsides is a fast hardcore band from Ct. and Fl. respectively. I've had the chance to get to know Danielle recently and since they're out on tour right now I decided to send her some questions. It's always funny to see or hear what touring is like from different bands. Not one band will do or act the same as another and that's what keeps me excited about interviewing bands about tour, plus half of tour is about the stories we encounter and people we meet. Enjoy and go checkout Offsides if they come close to you.

1- What are three of your biggest pet peeves while you are on tour? (this can include things from shows, band members, van, other bands)

Having to convince people that I am in a band and not just some girl along for the ride or trying to get in free to their show. Bands that don’t watch the other bands, especially at a show where only a handful of kids show up. Smoking in venues.

2- Do you have any tips for other vocalist that tour on how to not blow out their voice?

If you are using a PA that just doesn’t cut it, don’t try and yell to be heard. It is the main way I always blow out my voice and every time I should know better. Throat coat tea is also the best measure for keeping what is left of your voice.

3- What do you think the biggest misconception of being in a touring band is?

That tour is one giant party. People don’t realize that while it is a blast, the majority of the time you are dirty, hungry and stressed on money (which is something you see little of while on tour). You drive hundreds of miles to play shows where sometimes no one cares that you are playing, then get to sleep in your smelly, hot van and wake up to do it again. I guess all of that is part of the charm and challenge that makes me love it, but in the end tour is not the all hours rager people think it is.

4- What are some ground rules you have set with the band while on tour? I.E phone use while driving, what happens on tour stays on tour, merch trades and so forth?

1. Always give me a heads up before you get naked. This is usually done by someone saying “If you want to see me naked look over here right now” or “Getting’ nake”.
2. Do not eat other people’s food (that’s a law, not a rule).
3. Don’t drink the rest of someone’s “apple juice”.

5- Sketchiest place you've had to sleep at on tour?

During our tour last summer, we had a show in the Midwest and had a ridiculous drive ahead of us. It was one of those staggering drives where just looking at the map is giving you cabin fever. We made the choice to drive after the show as far as we could before being too tired to continue and then just find a place to sleep. A quick fact about our bands is that we can sleep anywhere, and have done so, without complaining. We sleep on cement, sitting straight up in the most uncomfortable chairs, wherever. Anyone that has ever toured knows that driving at night after driving all day and playing a show sucks. Everyone is tired, sweaty, and usually smells like a men’s locker room. Around 3AM, Matt, the singer of No Harm Done, decides this is the end of tonight’s journey and we needed to get some sleep. We pulled into what appeared to be a closed down steak house. Our van, at the time, was a conversion van with seven seats, four of them being captains chairs. There were seven of us in the van, so we decided that some of us would just sleep outside. We filed out, laid out our tarp, and started to get some sleep. We laid out, looking at the stars and enjoying the cool night air and realized there was something amiss with our cool night’s air. We look around and realize there is a full grease trap very near where we are laying. The air was thick with the scent of thousands of old steaks, burgers and whatever other animals were being fried at this restaurant. After getting a few hours of sleep, I awoke to the sound of a car engine roaring into the parking lot and a fellow with some very heavy boots making his way into the steakhouse. In my sleepy state, I was able to also realize my sleeping bag was moist. It was drizzling and we were all just getting soaked. I rolled over and tapped Charles, our guitarist, to tell him someone just showed up and I think we should probably head out. He rolls over, half asleep and really not listening, and tells me “It’s just rain. Stop being a girl. Just go back to sleep.” I tug my sleeping bag up over my head and drift back to sleep. A few hours after that, I am woken up again, but by a much more urgent sound. An enormous crash comes down and wakes up everyone. A garbage truck is just feet away from us emptying the dumpsters. I poke my head all the way out of the sleeping back to take stock of the situation and see a gathering of leather-clad bikers and some cooks, complete with bloody aprons, giving us the eye from not too far away. They are discussing something together and I feel this is probably a good time to go. I jumped up, got everyone up and we broke down camp and headed off.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rounders


Another tour ends :(. Rotting Out and Backtrack have been awesome, tour has been alot of fun with these fools. We crammed Ten motherfuckers in one 15 passenger van. If anyone has done any touring you know what kind of situation that might lead into, oh yeah no trailer. Tonight we play our last show in Providence,RI. I can't say enough good thing's about the Rotting Out Crew great kids, great band. Kids are starting to come around, it's fucking great to watch it happen. I didn't post about this tour much, just not enough internet access and well to busy hanging hard. Whether it was at some crusty party or raging hard in a river in Alabama. Things needed to happen.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Alex Kerns Drummer/ Vocalist of Lemuria and Art Of The Underground head honc

I've had the pleasure to be in contact with Alex over a certian number of years. Him living in Buffalo, NY and me living in Rochester, NY we ran into each other pretty often. Alex has always been a very sincere and hard working individual within the Buffalo hardcore/punk community, whether he was booking shows, running/owning a record store/ venue, playing in bands. SO with Alex being a very passionate and genuine punk I thought it would be great to ask hime some questions about tour life. Alex still keeps himself insanely busy with Lemuria and Art Of The Underground Records.

1- You've been in a few different types of bands, all based in the D.I.Y ethic, what is one of the most rewarding parts of being in a touring D.I.Y band at this point in time?

- It's a very rewarding feeling when you arrive to a city that you've never lived in and you feel at ease, and nobody treats you like a stranger because you've been rolling through frequently. Every band I've played in fits into a different sub-genre of punk which makes booking shows for my current band very interesting because we play poppy indie tunes and we'll be on the same show with brutal grind, folk punk and youth crew bands. It definitely helps the shows on tour feel less monotonous and it helps me stay connected and up to date on what is occurring in the DIY scene at the moment.


2- Besides playing shows what else do you look forward to on tour?

- Everyone in the band is always concerned about what they're going to order at our favorite restaurants in each city. Do we play it safe and get what we always get because we can only get it once a year and we know we love it, or do we take a risk and try something new. Any opportunity to visit regional historic sites is a bonus. I'm always curious to become acquainted with local dialect and slang. For example, in Wisconsin "bubbler" is another word for a drinking fountain. Then again, somebody could've totally been pulling my chain.


3- What is the longest streak you have gone without changing your clothes while on the road?

- I think the first tour I ever went on back when I was playing in The Young Ones I might have went the whole month without changing anything but my underwear. I was 16 at the time. It's now a decade later and my social skills have developed a little to recognize what the dirty looks in the van mean.


4- So Lemuria has gotten to be a part of some pretty wild fest's in the recent years, what is one that stands out in your mind?

- The Fest in Gainesville, FL is always one of my favorite weekends of the year. People from all over the world travel to it, and you can't take more than a dozen steps without running into somebody you want to catch up with. Berea Fest is also a good time, which is right out side of Cleveland. It's always the pinnacle of my summer. This is For You Fest is excellent because it refreshes me on today's best hardcore. I'm looking forward to this years Best Friends Day in Richmond because I think we're playing the day that is actually at a waterpark, which will be pretty unreal.

5- The day before tour, what's that like for you? Can you describe it?

- It's terrible. That was actually yesterday for me. I run a record label called Art of the Underground and it's almost impossible for me to ever completely catch up on everything that I need to accomplish with it before I abandon it for the month. I always have somebody help with the mailorder aspect while I'm gone, which means I actually have to organize the distro in a catalog system that any person walking into it could understand. I always want to catch up with my friends before I leave, but really all I have on my mind is a checklist of tasks where every time I cross one out, I think of two more to write down. Then I get in the van and I remember, "oh shit, i forgot...ah, fuck it".

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Insight. . .

Wondering why I didn't update on tour? Didn't think so, anyway. Downtime, wasn't available which I'm fine with. So in that case thing's must have been crazy, awesome, wild, stories galore? Not really. Tour was cool, I'd rather be on out on the mistress that has more holes than swiss than at home sitting in my room eating cookies and vanilla soy delicous by myself. Everything before the Burning Fight show was good, nothing great, but good.

108 was great everynight, so much energy and passion within that band. I Rise with yet another new line-up but this seems to be the one for now, I hope they stick. Sounded better than ever.

Chicago and Burning Fight was magical. I can't really shed much more light on it. I got to see Unbroken, the end.

We also jumped on a Bane show the next day in Indy, IN. That was a lot of fun then we drove home to start recording.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ryan Patterson of Coliseum


Ryan at first is a very intimidating figure. Black Clothes, gnarly beard, southern accent, and just his very confident stature. I've gotten to know Ryan a little bit through the years and he is one of the most honest and forthright people and I love that about him. I know I won't get some bullshit answer from him, he doesn't need to beat around any bush and he's not trying to win any dick measuring contests. He also happens to be in one great hardcore/punk band called Coliseum. Ryan also manages Auxiliary Records and does a hell of a lot of design work for all of your favorite bands. To keep up with Ryan stop by and checkout his blog that he updates with pretty awesome introspection's on releases he's been involved with.

1. You've actively been touring in band's for a decent amount of time now, what has changed for you when you first started getting into that van 10 years, and getting into the van now?

Things have gotten easier overall, although there are still struggles. I have more responsibilities at home and the biggest difference for me now is that I don’t tour to escape, I tour because I love it and because it’s what I do with my life... It’s much harder to leave now since I own a home and have a great life with my girlfriend there, but it’s what I do and that’s that.

2- You start getting sick on tour what is your solution to get better?

Generally, Emergen-C every day, as much fruit as possible, lots of rest... But it’s hard. I’ve had a number of little issues that wouldn’t have been a big deal at home, but on tour things get bad quickly and I’ve had to visit immediate care locations on the road... Which is inconvenient and expensive.


3- Coliseum has been on some pretty diverse tours, one wonders how you transition yourself mentally from playing on the floor to 60 people in a community center, to 500 at a club? Do you have a different mental preperation before these different types of shows?

It’s more or less the same. The number of people matters less than the willingness of the audience to be excited and engaged by the show. The vibe is impossible to define, but it is what makes a show good or bad for me. The amount of space on the stage makes a big difference in terms of how you handle yourself, monitors and PA’s can be very helpful or extremely difficult... I actually find big club tours with a package of bands to be pretty relaxing, there’s less pressure and things generally run very smoothly. It’s not as fun as, say, the recent Converge / Ceremony / Coliseum / Rise And Fall / Pulling Teeth tour where you’re psyched for every band and it’s small venues that are packed to the gills... But it’s also cool to play early on a metal tour then leave the venue, go eat and see a movie, then come back and the headliner is still playing. It makes for an almost normal life within the confines of a long tour.


4- Pre-tour rituals? Do you make a list and check items off or do you just wing it and hope for the best?

There’s all the usual crap... Printing tour books, making sure all the gear is in order, making sure the van upkeep is good, ordering merch, etc. Most of this is pretty much second nature at this point. I write lists to remember the other small details, but for the most part remember all the little things I need to pack or just leave them in my bag from the last tour. My one and only superstitious thing that I always have to do is bring along a Mickey Mouse pillowcase that I’ve had since I was a baby. It has been on every single tour I’ve ever done and I don’t leave home without it.

5- You play with some random touring bands when you’re on the road you realize that they just don't get it, do you placate them and try to ease out of the situation after they say "Hey man, that was an awesome set. We should play some shows together" or are you honest about not being into their band and you really don't want to tour with them?

This doesn’t really happen that often... The dreaded “let’s trade shirts” thing happens and if we’re not into it we just tell them we can’t do it. I generally don’t get into conversations like that luckily. If I tell a band I like them or would like to tour with them, it’s absolutely sincere. I do my best to never say anything I don’t mean, I don’t bullshit a band and tell them I thought they were great if I don’t like it. On the other hand, I don’t go out of my way to bring anyone down either, just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not valid.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Q&A with Zak Drummond formerly of Verse

Zak and I used to look lie weirdo brothers, but now we don't. He's a sweet dude, and a sick guitar player. Plays music in some sweet bands. Let' hear what he has to say about some things. Let it Ride. . .
1- What drives you to play live music in front of people?

I just really love playing music. Whether I'm in a room with just one other dude just screwing around with riffs or I'm playing a show I'm just happy to be playing. Especially if I get to be really loud.
2- Do you enjoy playing sober, buzzed, stoned, or wasted more?

I don't have a ton of experience with this but so far I can say that I don't love playing wasted. I did that once and it wasn't sweet. I remember sweating a lot.

3- What do you normally worry about when you are on tour?

How many days in a row I'm going to eat Taco Bell, how many times I'm going to overdraw my bank account, when and where will I lose my phone charger or wallet and how will I get it back, how many days can I wear the same pair of underwear without feeling like a piece of trash.. you know, usual shit.

4- Did you come across any convicts or Koala's while you were in Australia?

Koalas, yes! I held one and it was named Pepsi and that dick tried to steal my glasses but I was too fast for him. Convicts no.. unless those Comeback Kid dudes kept shit from me. Actually wouldn't surprise me: Casey, I'm looking at you.

5- Your on tour, you arrive at the venue and you have to take a shit, but there is no toilet paper and the bathroom is definitely not shitable, what do you do?

From being on tour I've learned to shit practically anywhere. For example we were staying with a girl in Texas and I reaaaaally had to shit. Both of the bathrooms were occupied and I knew there was a roll of toilet paper in the van. I grabbed the roll, leaned against the exterior wall of this house and shit in this poor girl's front yard. I tried to pick as much of it up as I could and I threw it in the neighbor's garbage pail and this doesn't answer your question.. Let's just say I'll do whatever I have to do to shit. Nothing will get in my way.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Upcoming Tour in April




Soul Control w/108


Apr 24 Boston, MA @ ICC Church
Apr 25 NYC, NY @ Santos Party House
Apr 26 Doylestown, PA @ The Mooselodge
Apr 27 Baltimore, MD @ Talking Head
Apr 28 Pittsburgh, PA @ Roboto Project
Apr 29 Toronto ON, Canada @ Adrift Clubhouse
Apr 30 Romeo, MI @ Static Age
May 01 Cincinnati, OH @ Warsaw Arena

May 02 Burning Flight Book Release @ Chicago, IL @ Metro
May 03 Burning Flight Book Release @ Chicago, IL @ Metro

Monday, February 16, 2009

The end of 7 weeks. . . 09'


After Seven weeks in one van we played our final show of toue in Providence, RI. The show was a lot of fun and we are very grateful for all those people for coming out. Thank's to all the band that played with us and helped us out with this show.

Being home from tour is a mix of emotions, for me anyway. It's nice to sleep in a bed and see some friends, but it also means work and some sort of crash back to "real" life. It's bittersweet. I've been spending sometime with friends, but mostly sitting in my room not doing much of anything. I've also been working already, I've only been home for 2 and a half days. That is the life, I've got to pay that rent somehow.

One thing I will say with this group of individuals, I think if we can do this tour without much of any head butting then I think we can a bunch more. It's pretty nice feeling that way.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Q & A with Eric "Ace" Wallace of On, Black Breath, Get The Most and former guitar shredder of Go It Alone

So I got to know Ace a little better on this current tour so I felt he would have some knowledge to drop so I decided to bring him in on this blog. Everytime we have been in the northwest we crash at his house and well he's been in a few touring bands so he knows whats up. So besides gathering as much gear as he can from craigslist and printing shirts he shreds on his guitar.

1. What keeps pushing you to write and tour in a hardcore band?

Well for one, hardcore ain't gonna write itself. Plus constant aversion to having a real "job" and more than $50 in my bank account go well with an insatiable taste for fast music and sleeping on floors.

2. Biggest miss conception of being in a hardcore band that you have encountered?

That it's cool. This shit isn't cool, it's just what we do. Cool would be having a ton of money and blowing it on rad stuff. You can't get that by playing in a hardcore band.

3. The item that you will most likely lose on tour?

Towels. Luckily I figured that out and now just run in place really fast until I'm dry.

4. If you could choose a preferred method of raging for any of your bands what would it be? Diving, Moshing, Fist Pumping, Fist Pumping with Beer in hand, or Singing Along?

Stage dives for everything. Hardcore shows, metal shows... stage diving always rules. Check out old Obituary videos, I think they cover four or five of those options with each hesher that appears on stage.

5. What is one of your favorite memories that you've had on tour?

Probably one that wouldn't be interesting to read about because I'm not articulate enough to relate its magnitude. Instead, I'll choose one that has proven to be a crowd pleaser. This one is from the Go It Alone summer 2007 tour, just after we headed north, alone after a three week U.S. tour with Verse, Soul Control, and I Rise:

Since the ferry rides to and from Newfoundland are 7 hours or so they are fairly expensive, and more expensive depending on how many passengers are in the car. We had 6 in the van including a roadie, and naturally we were hiding everyone but me. Ghost riding da whip hadn't been invented yet, so the zero passenger car had yet to come. The hiding trick had worked well every time in the past, with 100% success rate on the Washington and B.C. ferries, topping out at about 15 hidden people on a bremerton ferry once.

The return trip from Newfoundland back to Nova Scotia started like any other. Everyone got in the back and concealed themselves with sleeping bags, nary a murmur could be detected, and they didn't speak until we were through the queue and I had purchased and handed off the boarding pass. The boarding pass handoff was critical as it had a oversized, bold 1 in the center, indicating I was alone. I drove up, paid the lady, and did my best to engage her in a conversation about my dealings on her island. We concocted this story on the way to the ferry about how I was researching snakes and the trailer was full of instruments such as heart rate monitors and measuring sticks and whatnot, to try and get some amusement out of the otherwise stale interaction we expected to have at this place. On the way in it got some laughs and a "good luck." See, the story was funny because it is well known that Newfoundland has no snakes. She was less receptive to general conversation than the lady at the incoming ticket office on the way into Newfoundland, but she did admit she hated snakes. I told her I was doing research on snakes in Newfoundland and didn't find shit, and with that I drove on to the next step: agricultural search.

I wasn't too worried. It was a little garage where I pulled up and saw a few officials milling about. I started to get nervous when I saw them opening the trailer in front of me and poking around, but maintained my cool. Time to put the lies to the test. We hadn't been pinched yet, and I wasn't about to deal with that embarassment or paying an extra $100 or more for the added passengers. An agriculture bro walked up, said hello, and went immediately to the back of the van to opened the door. We'll call this guy Todd. Now, there were four benches in the van, and every one of them had someone laying on it, covered with a sleeping bag. It looked slightly suspicious to say the least. Todd started to poke around so I jumped out and ran back to distract him, which worked pretty quickly. I claimed there was nothing back there but the two boxes he could see, and closed up the back. He wanted to check the trailer.

Todd wasn't the ripest grape on the vine, so I figured I had the advantage there.

"What you got in there?" he asked.

"Oh, just some gear." I wanted to leave my options open. I opened up one of the trailer's back doors to show him just enough to know it was mostly "plastic and metal" and then closed it back up. At that point it seemed he was going to pass on a more thorough van search. We were in the clear.

"Yeah, so i'll just take a look in the side door and you can be on your way," said huge-head Todd.

Shit.

I walked up to the passenger side of the van because luckily it was locked and required my keys to open it. I positioned myself in between him and the van, figuring my ability to keep him away from the van was going to be the determing factor in whether he found everyone or not. This was going to be a difficult position to maintain considering his job was to look for plants and animals inside of everything. After four weeks eating nearly every meal in the van, he would have a lot to keep him occupied. I jiggled the keys in the door (Ace Ventura-style, so as to alert the secret cargo in the van) and kept reassuring him that all I had were trash bags and some cooked food I was planning to eat soon. Nothing fresh. No animals. My heart was racing, partially because I was on the verge of being caught, and partially because I had to think a million miles an hour to try to make everything seem normal while convincing him not to touch the people hiding on the benches inches away from the door. My pulse is quickening just re-telling this.

I opened the door and no pee bottles fell out. Weird. I wildly threw up empty paper bags and discarded boxes of potato wedges (or jo-joes depending on where you're from) from the floor thinking it would provide a bit of a smoke screen. Maybe if he couldn't see past the flying debris and garbage everywhere he wouldn't look any further. I didn't mention the 10 personal bags and big heaps of body on every bench. Oh man...

At this point I was still between Todd and the van, but he kept looking over my shoulder with equal parts suspition and curiosity in his eyes.

"There's no people in here right? Just you?!"

"Yep, just me."

"What's on that bench, under the bag? That's not a person?"

It was Kari, our roadie, laying on the bench closest to the side door. Her feet were facing the door, less than arms length from Todd and me.

"Oh that's nothing," I said as I started to lightly punch her feet, trying to make the pile of bag seem fluffier than it was. Sleight of hand was all I had going for me because with even the slightest probing of his own, the jig would be up. While I ruffled her sleeping bag and poked at Kari's feet, Todd was distracted by something else.

"That one's moving!" he yelled, looking terrified.

"What?!" I yelled as if he were crazy. "That's not moving."

Clearly it was moving. Russell was breathing and it was all too obvious.

"What, yeah! There it is again!"

Todd was proving more observant than I had hoped. I poked at Russell under the sleeping bag as if I didn't know whether there was a person there or not.

"Nope, nobody in here. That's just... I was doing snake research," I explained. Seemed reasonable.

Todd snapped back away from me and looked like he saw a ghost.

"That's... snakes... you got snakes under there?!"

"No no no! I don't have any snakes in there! There aren't any in newfoundland, that's why i'm going home." Todd had apparently never heard about that. He looked relieved enough to keep moving with the search, but not enough to let me go. I had more explaining to do.

"Yeah, I have a bunch of equipment in here, for my snake research." This just seemed to interest him more, but I had to go along with the lie.

"What kinda equipment?"

"Well, that one is like a uh..." My mind was racing.

"That one is like a blood pressure reader," I said as I grabbed his arm and squeezed, blood pressure-reader style, hoping it would distract him from looking any further. I was still between him and the bodies on the benches, but he was still looking past me wide-eyed and curious.

"So it's just you in here?" Todd still needed more convincing.

"Yeah yeah yeah, just me. I just gotta get this equipment back home."

"There it is again! It's moving!" Russell's breathing was escalating.

"Yeah... that one doesn't have an on/off switch and sometimes the equipment just moves on it's own. I can't turn it off." It was pretty bad, but he was dumb.

Todd started to reach for Russell, and I cut him off again and started poking his leg, trying to ruffle the sleeping bag to conceal his fucking breathing. But poking him was just making him nervous so he was breathing heavier.

"Yeah, it's all light sensitive, so I gotta keep the equipment covered up." I was pleased with that one. Finally, that should back him off.

"That's not a person?!"

Todd reached forward and I couldn't really stop him from lifting up the corner of the bag and revealing Russell's shoe and leg. Todd stepped back a bit and then yanked the sleeping bag off to uncover Russell's whole body.

"That's a person!" he exclaimed.

"Oh that? That's just russell. He's basically a robot." The guy looked legitimately terrified.

Russell faked waking up, sat upright, rubbed his eyes, and asked groggily, "Yo, are we back yet?"

"No no, we're not even close," I answered as I turned to Todd, trying not to miss a beat.

"He's been in a coma! We've been working so hard and he's just passed out."

Todd was frozen with bewilderment and I saw my chance to escape.

"So am i still gonna make the ferry?!" I shouted, hoping loud sounds were distraction enough for old Todd, as I slammed the doors on him and my instruments. Just then another agriculture lady walked up to assess the situation with her co-worker, clearly overhearing my web of lies. I was already on my way out, and ran around to the driver's side to start up the van as they started talking. I saw them staring with their mouths open in the side view mirror as I handed off my 'one passenger' boarding pass and got on the ferry.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Few Questions with Dan Bress of Dead Mechanical and formerly of Bad Business

Currently in Baltimore,Md at my friend Dan's house. Dan is one of the best guys around and he's been in some amazing bands. He's spent some time on the road so I caught up with him and did a live 1 on 1 with him at his dining room table in his awesome house. Dan currently rages in Dead Mechanical on the bass guitar, check them out.

1. When you first started touring I remember stories of you sleeping in awkward places, what are some of those places?

- The infamous one is probably a utility closet in Memphis,TN. Where I slept curled up around a hot water heater while Shawn, Brandon and Jeff went to an abandoned Insane Asylum. I also slept in a closet at Red Tim's girlfriends place, I slept under a pullout sofa mattress in Greenpoint, Ny.

2. Did the idea of touring and the actual event of touring correlate at all when you got out on the road?

- No, the idea of touring is having fun and partying and staying up late, and driving with the wind in your face. But in reality it's not being able to sleep and being hungry, and getting sick, and riding in the van curled up trying to sleep, which makes you anti-social at shows.

3. If you could pick a time period to be in a touring band what would time would be that?

- 1982 US tour with Minor Threat. 1982 be in Another State of Mind. Booking Tours with phone callas and showing up in towns you've never been in and showing up to shows with hundreds of kids and a line of cop cars in front of the venue.

4. Shittiest place you have ever stayed on tour and or jaw dropping I can't believe I'm in the house?

- In Myrtle Beach on the last Dead Mechanical tour we stayed with this dude Carl at his parents beach house. We each at our own bed and we went to the beach in the morning. On the first Bad Business tour we stayed in Manitoac,WI stayed at this kids parents house, and the kid slept on top of his sheets with all of his clothes on and we ate his parents food. The night before we stayed in Traverse City,MI and Shawn was naked in the basement. Trying to play a joke on Brandon, but it backfired and the guy's house we were staying at ended up seeing Shawn naked.

5. Have you made any self-imposed challenges on tour?

- Usually makeout with as many girls as possible, but that ends up with usually about one, see how long I can go without masterbating and that usually ends up lasting four days, I try not to get sick. My cousin and I have a bunch of challeneges like, who can run faster, or who can do more push ups, who can climb higher ona wall, stuff like that.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cough. . .


Getting sick on tour is a huge pain in the ass and bummer. It always starts with one person and then spreads so easily. It makes sense why it work's out the way it does. Five people in a close space together for days on end, plus sleeping on random floors and wearing yourself out every night by playing show after show. You end up not being able to rest your body the way it should be rested when you normally start to get sick. You can only do so much when your on tour to take care of a cold.
One main reason why I'm discussing this is because four out of the five of us right now have a cough that sucks. I would have to say that mine is the most annoying and painful, well at least that's what I have gathered. It prevents me from sleeping at night and just hurts my throat, neck and chest. When your throat is your means to communicate and also your role in the band, it starts to take a toll. I get very annoyed and pissy at times. I know I can only do so much, but it's one of those things that keeps nagging me. Kind of like a hangnail that keeps getting caught on the sleeve of your sweater. Well I'm hoping to kick this cough soon, I'll keep taking some medicine and try to take it as easy as possible on top of drinking plenty of fluids.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Up in them Guts. . .


I think when your traveling with a group of people for a certain period of time you create this unspoken bond. It's pretty cool, the push and pull of everyday life is a bit different because no matter what you have to be around each other at some point through out the day. When your touring with a band I think that is maximized because your together most of the time unless you decide to go off on your own, which happens less than you would think. You take mental breaks from each other, but other than that you don't really manage to get tons of alone time.

Today is a day I would rather slip away from a lot of things. I would like to be alone, but I can't. Not because of anyone in the band, things are great in that regard. I am just used to being by myself a lot and we'll I haven't had much of a chance to do that. I also just really need to think about a bunch of things going through my head right now, I feel confused and lost within myself sometimes and well, today is one of those times. Without an ipod I feel like I can't put on my favorite record and slip away. Time to try and focus on my thoughts and sort my head out. Only if I had "Life of a Spectator" by Silent Majority.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Q&A #1 - Chris Browne of Polar Bear Club



1. So being on tour is pretty much like being in a relationship with four or five other people. Who do you find yourself spending the most time with while on tour and why?

Hmm...that's tough because most of the time we're sort of traveling in a pack, but I guess I'd say our drummer Emmett. Not even really sure why. We piss each other off plenty, but we also end up sticking together alot of the time and generally enjoying each other's company. I guess it probably has to do with the fact that the two of us handle most of the "planning" type stuff with the band, so we have a good deal to talk about. Although the real answer to this question is definitely myself. It's crazy how quickly touring can become your comfortable routine just like school or work if you give yourself enough alone time -- it's also really to spend TOO much time with everyone and get sick of each other, but as much as we joke about it, I consider us to be about as close as a band could get. Those dudes are my family, whether we all like it or not.

2. When your on the phone how many miles do you think you walk while talking?

Obviously it depends on the length of the conversation. It probably ends up something like this, according to who I'm talking to:

Rob Antonucci - 0 miles (some day we'll remember to return each other's calls)
A catch-up sesh with Rory - 8 miles (about a solid hour of constant pacing in a parking lot, most likely)
My mom - 0.1 miles
A hot babe - 37 miles

I know your readers can't possibly be educated types, so to spell this out, the joke here is that I frantically pace back and forth whenever on the phone and it annoys the hell out of Rory. Good one, Rory. Tell it again.

3. Who's the first person to fall asleep when you get in the van to drive and how long does that take?

Definitely Goose. He's asleep before the van even moves; it's just an instinct of his. The kid is like an infant. All he does is eat, sleep, take dumps, and not shower.

4. How is touring in PBC compared to touring with Achilles, the Breaking Project and or your small stint with How We Are?

It's always been a lot different, but it's more different now than it's ever been. It used to be that PBC was the only band I've been in that really "partied" non-stop when we had the rare chance to tour, and none of the other bands were big drinkers or anything like that. These days we still do our fair share, but it's especially different because touring has become the norm rather than the break-from-the-norm. I always wondered what it would be like to tour full-time, and now I'm finding out. Luckily it's still as fun as it's ever been, but I definitely take it easier and don't treat it like a vacation anymore. And just in general I think every band has its own dynamic and is fun to tour with in its own way -- Achilles had Rob's personality to entertain us, Proj were childhood best friends, and HWA was a totally different style and group of dudes than I'm used to, and also a cool opportunity to just enjoy the ride rather than being the planner or business guy of the group. I've loved every band I've been a part of for very different reasons.

5. (this doesn't have to be PBC, out of any tours so far) Most memorable tour moment?

I almost just took the easy way out and named a few of them because there are just so many and it's hard to choose. But I think I like this question because it forces me to really think about all the amazing experiences touring has given me, and actually reflect on it all for once. And that's something I don't think people do enough (or at least I don't). That being said, if I really had to choose just one, I'd say probably The Fest 7 this past October. Our set specifically was easily the most fun I've ever had playing a show, and just the whole weekend was great and filled with old and new friends from around the country and the world. That's almost cheating because I feel like the fest is just this giant conglomeration of everyone's best tour friends and moments, but it was definitely special. Either than or Fat Chicks At The Snack Table from Columbus, Ohio.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Q&A #1 - Ben Krueger of Like Wolves

We recently played some shows with Like Wolves
from Rochester,NY. I've liked this band from the first note I heard when I saw them play. The energy and the passion these guys put in their music shines through with every note. One of the best kept secrets in punk and hardcore in my opinion. Here's the vocal and skateboard shredder Ben.

1. It's the morning of tour and you forgot to pack, what are the first five thing's you think of and take with you for tour?

-My skateboard is the first thing to always go in the van
- Notebook
-Cellphone
-Book I am currently reading
-Hard edge.

2. Pissing in Bottles an art form or just one more thing that could get ugly on tour?

-For me, it is an art form/comedy routine. During those long cramped van rides, there is nothing like taking all of your clothing off to pee in as small a bottle as possible. The art form comes from the 80 mph no hand pees behind the wheel while everyone is asleep.hahahah

3. The best part about being on tour from your perspective?

-Coming back home with good stories, strengthening my friendships with my bandmates, reading, seeing friends in faraway places.

4. When your not driving what are you doing in the van?

-One of three things:Peeing in bottles, yelling about bad music or reading

5. What is the first thing you do when you get home from tour?

-Tell my dog about my trip.