Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Off to Europe...

It's 12:40 AM and I'm sitting in my house in Sacramento, CA. My bag is packed and I'm ready to head over and start giggin euro land again. Being home for a few weeks has been pretty refreshing but getting back out on the road is just as refreshing. I have to meet up with Garrett at the Sacramento International Airport at 4:30 AM to get everything checked in and squared away. We all have some pretty neat flight schedules. I'll be flying out at 6:00 AM and heading up to Portland, OR. Garrett is going from Sacramento to Texas. From Portland I will be flying and meeting Garrett in Texas for our final flight out to Amsterdam. Unfortunately Spencer won't be able to make it with us on this trip. Our good friend Jared from RVA will be filling in on the bass strings. Jared and Rashod will be flying out of Richmond, VA at around 1 PM. I'm not exactly sure where they are flying to before finally landing in Amsterdam but I'm sure it's just as wild as our flight adventure. The plan is to all meet up in Amsterdam on Friday(the day of the first gig). Europe was gnarly last time. I'm really looking forward to the bizarre shit that is going to go down this time. Seeing Paint It Black every night is going to be killer too. They are all rad dudes to hang/party with. A lot of good people were involved in setting this whole tour up so it should be wild. I'm going to be keeping this blog updated while we are over there. I know I said I would do that last time but I fucked up. If you live in Europe you should come out to these gigs and hang with us. If you live in America we will be posting our Fall U.S. tour dates within the next few days so keep your eyes open for that. I'm going to go try and catch some sleep before all of this madness happens. We will be seeing all of you very soon. Be safe.



Monday, September 1, 2008

CALIFORNIA WEEKEND 8/29, 8/30, 8/31....

This weekend was a wild one. I don't really know what happened but it worked. I'm writing this from my house in Sacramento. The city of trees is starting to turn brown and the leaves are all dying off. I'm only 20 years old but I feel like I've seen more than a person my age probably should. I look/feel like I just got into 10 gnarly fist fights and now I am recovering. It's weekends like this past one that make me remember why touring 9 months out of the year and basically throwing any form of a real life out of the window is more than worth it. We had 3 California shows(Ontario/LA/Berkeley) lined up for the weekend. Our friend Sean Carlson asked us to play the Fucked Up show at Gilman Sunday and he also helps put together LA's F Yeah Fest( so he put us on both of those and thats how this weekend came about. We needed a show on Friday to fill out the string of dates we had. After talking to a few local southern california bands we were scheduled to play The Granada Theatre in Ontario on Friday. This whole adventure all started on Wednesday though. We were supposed to be in La on Wednesday to practice with our friend Derek who filled in on drums for us this weekend. Our guitar player Garrett was coming down from Seattle so we could all meet up and head down to play the shows we had lined up. He didn't end up getting into Sacramento till around thursday evening. Right when Garrett got into Sacramento he came and picked me up and we were off. We had to make a small detour over to San Francisco to pick up our friend Jason T who was going to be road dogging for the weekend. After that we made our way down to Bakersfield to pick up our bass player Spencer. we caught word that the Negative Approach/Melvins show at The Glasshouse on Friday in Pomona was cancelled because The Melvins dropped off. Since they dropped off Negative Approach was rescheduled to play the Pomona Elks Lodge instead. We hit up Sean to see if there was anyway we could play the gigger since we were going to be playing in Ontario that night(ontario is about 10 minutes from pomona). Sean/F Yeah Fest put on the show so they made it happen and now we were scheduled to play at 7:00pm in Ontario and 8:00pm in Pomona. The weekend was turning out to be crazy. NEGATIVE APPROACH IN A FUCKING ELKS LODGE. That's not something that happens too often.We ended up getting to Spencer's house around 2 am. By this time we were running next level late. We should have been in LA a lot earlier to practice with Derek who had never played with us before. We got to Joe Harder/Maine Mikes house in Reseda around 4 am. We always stay at that house when we come down to Southern California. Garrett and I used to live there last summer so it's always good times when we go back. We all passed the fuck out the second we stepped foot in the house. We woke up bright and early so we could head over to the studio to practice with Derek. We were lucky enough to have Derek on the team for the weekend he nailed all the songs first try. He plays in a band called Violation they just released a new record on 1917 Records check it out. Anyways 2 hours of practice 4 hours before 2 gigs in one night. I was tired as fuck and we hadn't eaten anything. Spencer and I drank a few beers but that was it. I was feeling like complete shit. We packed everything up at practice and made our way down to Ontario for the first gig. The traffic was dead stopped for about 2 hours or some shit. It was an LA freeway nightmare. We ended up making it to the Ontario show 15 minutes before we were supposed to play. We loaded in our gear and hit the stage right away. The venue was pretty packed. The place is cool it's this old looking movie theatre type spot where they take rows of chairs out and you play on the stage. I guess all the bands so far had been playing on the floor but the stage looked ill so we wanted to try it out. From the first note to the last note it was insane. It felt good to be back in California. Tons of friends were in the house it was rad. People were flying everywhere off of everything. Right after the first block of songs I had to sprint for the back door and throw up really quick. I made it as quick as possible and got back to the stage. No food/long days/a few beers and gigs don't mix too well. I'm pretty sure all of Garrett's shit got stomped out every song from people on stage. I'm not sure if this place has had to many shows or not. The people running the place didn't really know what to do about people on stage/diving. They were cool about it though. They just stood in the middle of the stage for most of the set. Destroy everything mode was in full effect. Right after we finished we packed up our gear and made our way over to the Pomona Elks Lodge for the 2nd gig. I wish we could have caught Rotting Out at the Ontario show but oh well it's NEGATIVE APPROACH. We got to the Pomona Elks Lodge right when we were supposed to play. We immediately loaded our shit in and on to the stage. It sucks that we didn't make it in time for Bad Reaction. I saw them at Gilman once and they killed. Some people from the Ontario show caught word of the Negative Approach show and jetted over from The Granada Theatre. The 2nd set was cool. It was a diverse crowd. Young and old it was a good night all together. I was dead fucking tired from the first show. Rolling around and gasping for air. We got through it. I had a great time and met up with some old friends that I hadn't seen in awhile. A few of the Paint It Black dudes made it out for our set it was good to see those dudes and talk for a little while. Tippers Gore and Broken Needle both played after us and they both killed it. Southern California has a lot of rad bands that you might not have heard of. Check both of them out if you haven't already. Everyone in the building was waiting for NA to hit the stage(if you want to call it that? it was about a foot off of the ground). They set up and people started to pack up front. Right when they kicked into the first song you knew it was going to be wild. They sounded better than ever. John Brannons voice sounded fucking vicious. It was cool to see them play in such a small spot. Everyone in the building was losing their minds. It was almost as if no one could believe NA was actually playing a fucking elks lodge in Pomona, CA. It was rad to be apart of such a good show. Everyone was there for the right reasons. There was no problems. A crazy diverse crowd all going nuts to the classics. Here are some pictures from that gig check it out:
After the gig we went and got some food at In N Out. Animal style fries you know what's up. We stayed at our friend Andy Russians that night he is a gnarly dude. Always a good host. If you ever meet Andy ask him if you can take a look in his drug bag. It will blow your mind. He is THE drug lord from Russia. One of the most insane people I know in a good way. We smoked too much and passed out. Woke up early hit the indian buffet/drank some whiskey and made our way out to Pasadena to pick up Garrett's friend Kellen. It's always good to see Kel cause it barely ever happens. Hardcore/Punk isn't really his thing but he enjoys gigs/music. Solid dude through and through. We pulled up on Sunset in LA around 3 pm. F Yeah Fest was already in full swing. There were people everywhere in the streets. We loaded in our heads/merch and walked around this wild fest for awhile. Jared from Paint It Black gave us the low down on drink tickets and where to use what. Paint It Black played right before us and they killed it. Dan Yemin is one of the best frontmen out today. He always has something thoughtful to say. I'm more than siked to be spending a few weeks with those guys in Europe. Right when Paint It Black finished we took the stage. I didn't know how it was going to be. We didn't seem to fit too well into the line up. We kicked into the first song and it went nuts. The venue did not expect what was happening to happen. Kids diving off of everything/singing along/slammin around. Stage Managers were shovin kids off the stage when they got up to use their throats. I saw groups of people running and hiding. Towards the end of our set some security guards and cops came in to try to stop what was going on I guess? My friend tried to get into the building when we were playing and he told me there was a security guard at the door not letting people in. The security guard said something along the lines of "NO ONE IS GETTING IN HERE RIGHT NOW WE ARE TRYING TO MEDIATE THE PROBLEM". I think the venue was shutting us down while we were on stage and slowly turning all the power off on stage. All the stage managers were freaking out after we finished playing saying the show is over upstairs and all this shit but it got worked out and the gig kept going. It was cool to play to so many different kinds of people. It was gnarly. Fucked Up played about an hour after us in the downstairs part of the venue. They sounded great. They played a good mix of songs old and new. The crowd was feeling it. The stage banter was at an all time high. They just wanted to meet some celebs. If you know of any celebs that might be into meeting Fucked Up you should probably contact them. NA took the stage after Fucked Up and killed it. They played Evacuate. People were going insane it looked crazy. I had this wristband thing so I could go wherever in the venue. It worked out perfect to get some ill dives in for NA. The barrier made the dives more fun and so did the camera people standing in the barrier. Jump high and far. Clear the barrier and get over the cameras. Paint It Black/Fucked Up/Negative Approach were the only bands I really wanted to see but I caught some other wild sets. Crystal Antlers killed. I didn't know what to expect because I had never heard them before but it was very entertaining. We were hangin/talking with their percussion dude before they played. Solid dude with the disneyland hook up. Check them out. No Age played last downstairs and they covered GG and The Misfits. They also threw out 78495032473598 ping pong balls. There were also a million people dancing around it was a cool sight to see. Monotonix played last in the upstairs room. It was insane. The band ended up on top of the crowd with all of their instruments still playing. Drums and all they were floating around on top of people still shredding. They ended up in the middle of Sunset playing. THEY WERE ON TOP OF THE CROWD STILL PLAYING WITH ALL OF THEIR GEAR AND THEN THEY SURFED THEIR WAY OUT THE DOOR ON TO THE MAIN STREET AND FINISHED OUT THERE? It was ill. Some random dude was painting on the billboard across the street while Monotonix was playing in the street. He was doing huge hollows. I guess he was smart enough to realize no one was going to be looking up at the billboard while there was a band in the middle of sunset going nuts with hella people dancing around them. Big ups to Sean Carlson/Keith Morris for putting together such a rad diverse fest and making it work. After the fest we went back to Joe and Mikes house and passed the fuck out. By this time we had played 3 sets in less than 24 hours. Sleep was more than needed. We woke up early and picked up Derek off of the freeway on our way to Berkeley for the last show of the weekend. We hadn't played the bay area since Allegiance's last show earlier this year. We got to Gilman around 6 pm. The show was a matinee show. All shows at Gilman on a sunday are matinees. On the ride to the gig we got a text from the promoter saying that the bus fucked up/the strange boys/crystal antlers were on was running late so right when we get there we will need to play. We set up on the floor instead of the stage. The first time we ever played Gilman was a Sunday Matinee show and we set up on the floor then so we figured why not do it again. Tons of my friends that I haven't seen for awhile came out. The north bay was in full effect. RIP Life Long Tragedy/Steel Trap. Our set was rad. Playing on the floor was ill kids packed up close. I could barely get any words into the mic without it getting ripped out of my hand. Playing Gilman is always a good time. Garretts guitar sounded crazy heavy during the set for some reason. I was into it. A bunch of our friends came out and missed us because they thought we were playing 2nd to last but we ended up playing 2nd. Since they missed us we played 3 songs in the middle of Fucked Up's set. You're not supposed to play Gilman twice in one month so we decided to play twice in one day. It was a disaster. Everything sounded off for some reason but it really didn't seem to matter. The people who were into were into it. The people who weren't into it weren't into it. I dove off of the stage right when we started and I end up on the floor. I got kicked in the throat right away. I look up and see some punker kicking meas hard as he can I got up and gave him two to the jaw. I don't know why seeing him kicking me made me so mad but it did. I was also a little bit drunk so maybe that added to it? I remember getting back to the stage after socking that dude and saying something along the lines of I dare you to fucking kick me while im on the floor again. Up the punks man. Right when we finished our 3 song/3 minute spazz out on stage Gilman turned on the lights as if there was something wrong? Who knows. I guess It was a clash of crowds. The lights went back off and Fucked Up finished their set. It was killer. They have a new record called "The Chemistry of Common Life" it is coming out October 9th. Pick it up I'm sure it is going to rip. After the show a bunch of random bullshit went down outside. It eventually stopped and everyone went on their ways. The weekend was over. We ended it by smoking two blunts with some kids who were nice enough to offer it up. We packed up the old yellow van and made our way to telegraph for some pizza. After that we headed back to Sacramento. My friend Carl needed a ride back to Sacramento. We told him he could have a ride if he drove the van. He was down but I'm not sure if that was too good of an idea? I woke up a few times to him full on sleeping behind the wheel. We worked through it and eventually made it to Sacramento. This weekend was great and I'm glad we were apart of it. Playing tons of different kinds of shows to different kinds of people in such a short amount of time. Hopefully we can do it again soon. We are leaving for another European tour in about 10 days. I can't wait to get back out there. A bunch of rad people helped put this tour together and I couldn't be more siked. Right when we get back from our Euro tour with Paint It Black we will be starting a Full U.S. tour with our friends in Alpha And Omega. The US tour is pretty much finished and ready to go I'm just waiting on some addresses for a few venues. Those dates will all be posted very soon. I don't really know what else to type. If you made it this far my hats off to you. Go start a band/write some songs/record a demo/book a tour and pile in a van with some of your best friends. You won't regret it. We will be seeing all of You very soon.

Live fast die young.