Thursday, June 25, 2009

So were home. Finally. I feel it would be wrong of us to end the blog without the last 10 days of the trip. Even though its been a week or two, I'm gonna try and remember everything that happened Post-Broadway Calls dates...
So After we said our goodbyes to Broadway Calls we took off for Texas. We drove through the panhandle of Oklahoma and stopped at the strangest gas station I've ever seen. See Eric and I love rednecks. Seriously they are our favorite people in the world. Whats better then getting drunk, supin up lawnmowers, and breaking things? Nothing. Everyone knew eachother at the gas station. I'm not just saying that. Literally everyone that walked in there knew everyone else there. My master plan was ruined of asking the townsmen if they wanna drink tonight with 5 guys from PA when the chief townsmen left the gas station with 1 thirty rack thrown in the back of the truck and the other in the front seat. Road sodas!
We left the gas station and drove for hours. We stopped in a small town outside of Amarillo, TX and got a crummy motel for the night. We watched Green Day on some late night show play a boring song about guns or about me being an American Idiot or something. Sleeep.
We woke up realizing we only drove 6 out of the 16 1/2 hours and were beyond bummed. 10 1/2 hours later we were in San Antonio sweating our asses off. It was our first night hooking up with O Pioneers!!! and were stoked on meeting them all. Last time we met them we got wasted with the brothers at Titan sometime during the winter... The show was fun. The Anchor and O Pioneers!!! were awesome and after the show we decided to stay in town at a super swanky Best Western. I got a bed and watched Rancid bum me out. Oh well.
The next day we went to Houston to play a loft show Eric from O Pioneers!!! set up. The show was great and the loft space was beyond awesome. We stayed at the I Heart You headquarters that night and ate pie and talked about screen printing. Good times.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June 16th Atlanta, GA

So this is pretty much the end of our first full US tour. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't tired at this point. The closest thing to home has been a spot in the van that rotates everyday from the back, to the middle, to the front. Lunch rotates to whatever fast food we didnt have the day before. Music selection is played to either piss everyone off or cheer them up. Regardless of these things, this has been the best experience of my life. In an old journal I wrote in when I was 15, I made a list of goals I wanted to achieve while playing in a band. I wanted to play a show one day then a show the next, I wanted to get signed to a record label, and finally to go on tour. The last two I wrote off as impossible. They were intangible. But here I am doing what I've always wanted to do. Its a good feeling. Its also a good feeling to be back on the east coast. Once Florida came around everything was familiar again. Its nice to see familiar faces. but lets get back to where I left off...

The desert was fun. Vegas was definitely an experience.
We played 2 shows that day with the first being at East Side Joes. East Side Joes is kinda a house/ kinda a warehouse. I dont know how to describe it but they have an awesome mini ramp inside the living room that I was beyond excited to skate. We played an alright show there and then had to pack up before our late show. I did forget to mention that a dude said he was going to "knock me in the face" if I didn't give him a free EP. Good start to Vegas....
Next show was at The Rockroom. The Rockroom is technically a strip club/venue. You have to go through another entrance to get to the strip club but yeah. Strange strange show. We played with The Voodoo Glow Skulls and at first (according to our iteneray) this show was gonna be solid. The promoter didnt show up and someone told us that they were giving all the money to Voodoo but we could have free drinks. We did some talkin and in the end we actually ended up getting more money then we were supposed to and hotel rooms. Funny how those things work out. The show was alright but the free drinks were better. After the show we packed up and went downtown. I cant remember all the casinos we went to but I do remember the Paris one. Eric won 60 and I won 50 by the end of the night. Around 4:30 we went to Dennys and Eric and I shared our earnings. While walking into the bathroom I saw a man hurling into a garbage can. I really love this town... After we ate way to much food for 4:30am, we went back to the hotel and got some much needed sleep.
Phoenix. Good times in Phoenix. We played an awesome show at The Phix and stayed with our new friend Erica. Us and BC all crammed into her hot tub and drank beers all night. The next day we played Tucson and again went back to Ericas in Phoenix.
After day 2 at Ericas house in Phoenix we took off for Albuquerque. We were playing a last minute house show so I didn't really know what to expect. Turns out the place was packed (cops came during the first band to basically tell us nothing but they're here) and the show was a blast. We hung out and made some new friends and then Tom, Eric, and I went out to eat with Broadway. They took us to an awesome restaurant before we went back to Jakes house.
The house was huge and everyone there was awesome. We passed around a guitar for a bit and Tom and I played some songs before going to bed. We had a long drive to Denver the next day.... So the drive was brutal but Denver was amazing. It was our last day of tour with Broadway Calls and it had to be a good one. We played at The Marquis Theater which was a really cool place. Tom and I skipped the pop band playing for pints of Guinness next door. Everyone assured us we didn't miss anything. I thought we played a good set. BC killed it of course. After the show we all went out to a bar and said our goodbyes. Well actually the goodbyes came at 8 in the morning when BC left for Utah but I was still half asleep and don't really remember that. The next day we had off and stayed somewhere in Texas. That state is too damn big.. More to come. Gotta grab a shower before the line starts....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

This tour is going too fast. Today is June 4th and if my math is correct we have 17 days left. The idea of going home is freaking the hell out of me. Sure living with 4 other dudes in a van for 40 days can get rough. There are times that I would love nothing more then to snap everyone's neck. There are also times that everyone would love nothing more then to snap my neck. In the end I could never imagine sharing this experience with anyone else. That's about as sappy as I'm going to get with these idiots...
So whats been going on? Olympia was awesome. Tom busted his leg up pretty hard while playing Frisbee. I jumped on a trampoline with some fucks then we played a sweet garage show. We stayed with Ty that night and his mom cooked us some amazing food in the morning. I stunk up his bed along with Tony and Eric so Ty if you're reading this I'm sorry....
Portland ruled. I think out of everywhere on the west coast I'd consider moving there first. Well along with the bay area. Regardless the show was one of the best of the tour and the arcade/bar across the street was totally worth my 5 bucks. We stayed with our good friends from back home Colin and Nicole, which always is a good time. We stayed up all night talking politics, religion, and whatever we could think to compare between the east and west coasts. I love drunken conversations with Colin because unlike me and the majority of my friends, he has a really positive outlook on everything. Its a nice change from the standard defeatist attitude that tends to overwhelm drunken conversations.

Redding was wild! The Seperation dudes took us swimming at these cliffs called Whiskeytown Lake. We had a crew of about 20 in their van and I couldn't help but feel like it was the 1970's, sessioning classic rock while crammed on the floor of a van driving through Northern California. Or maybe that's the typical vision an east coast kid would have of Northern California in the 70's. Regardless I wussed out on the bridge but managed to get myself to jump off the big cliff. Of course I made Tom go first... The show sold out and it killed. The kids were insane and I dont think I've ever seen as much crowd surfing as I did during BC's set. They kill it every night and its so sick to see one of your favorite bands play every night. We've all come really close with those dudes and their crew (Erica is actually sitting right next to me at Eddies house fixin' up my horrible grammar). If we didn't mention it earlier... Erica and Eddie are from LA and they've been with Broadway Calls since the North West. Ericas been taking pictures and Eddie works for Adeline Records. Totally stoked on meeting both of them and having them on the tour.

I had no idea what to expect out of Reno. We rolled into town and it was super depressing. We went to a laundromat and the vibes were down. We rolled over to the place that we were staying and vibes were immediately back to stoked worthy. They fed us and gave us tons of beer. The show was great and good times were had. We went gambling and I won $45! Josh was up too but everyone else lost from what I remember. Now in Reno the bars are open 24hrs so of course we had to take advantage of that. We left the bar at 6:30am and watched the sun come up over Reno on a trampoline. I felt like hell the next day but it was worth every second. Cant wait to see all of them at Fest 8!
Berkeley was amazing. We played at Gilman and that was a childhood dream come true. Tom and I cracked the biggest smiles our stupid faces could conjure up while playing.
LA is sweet. We played another awesome show at The Knitting Factory and sold a ton of merch. We went out to eat at a great restaurant after the show where Tony and I managed to get a Ramones singalong going. LA was a blast. Definitely a personal highlight so far. Thats all I got. I'll leave ya with this.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Maggots, Michael. You're eating maggots. How do they taste?

So we're a bit behind. Is anyone even reading this anyway? Well we're having a blast. The Broadway Calls dudes are such nice guys. Their songs are incredible, and they're hilarious. Extremely nice bunch of cats. Laser too, and Erica and Eddie.

Sooo we played in Santa Cruz (apparently where they filmed Lost Boys) and had a day off so we hung out pretty hard. We went down to the boardwalk and got wild in the arcade. Silent scope rules. We met up with Tallia, Eddie and Erica. We also ended up with some peeps from Hear the Sirens and made plans to go to the beach later that night and burn shit under the influence of cheap alcohol. Some of us rode a boardwalk roller coaster complete with a pretty gnarly "U.S.A." chant. After that some very nice ladies let us borrow their volleyball and the tournament was on!!

After getting wiped out at the beach all day we crewed up and headed to the beach. We bought beer and supplies then headed behind a dollar store to rob some pallets. Some security guard showed up to wag a finger but Oscar took off with some pallets before he had the chance to do anything. We rolled up to the beach around 20 deep and proceeded to get drunk and burn pallets. It was great, hanging out at the pacific ocean.

We ended up crashing in Eliott's dorm's common rooms at the University of California Santa Cruz. That college is really cool. Their were a bunch of overtly anti-political elite murals outside of the dorm and the university was set in the woods. It was really a beautiful campus. Everyone was so nice. In fact, everybody is really really nice out here. They seem to be more laid back and willing to help each other than the riff raff of the east coast. That could also just be the groups of kids that broadway calls hang out with. Those dudes from Redding were incredible.

So the next day we played in Fresno at the Chinatown Youth Center. The show went over well and the venue was cool. We ended up at Eddie's house and he rules. So do his parents. We'll check in again...

Kisses xoxo

Monday, May 25, 2009

5.24- Rainfest.

We left Chris's house somewhat early to get to Rainfest. Load in was at 1:30 but we weren't playing until 4:30. We waited around and then it was our turn to play. To all of our surprise the crowd filled in and the place was packed. Tom broke a string the first song in and personally the entire performance was an uphill battle. Sometimes you just have bad shows. The other 3 guys were stoked on it and it wasn't that I thought we played badly, I mean fuck I guess you cant really explain these things if you dont play in a band so I'm not gonna try and explain it. We played 6 or 7 songs and packed up our stuff. To my surprise a lot of people were into it. We met some awesome bands and the highlight of my night was definitely Dangers. My buddy Jesse recommended these dudes to me a while back and I knew this was exactly what I wanted from a hardcore band. They killed it. After the show we drove back to Seattle to stay with Chris again and while I passed out early, everyone else stayed up till 7AM. I cant wait till Insub. Fest to get wild again. Good Times.
So today our show is in Olympia, WA and its a house show. I don't really know what were in for but I never do and thats the best part of touring. I heard the house is in the middle of nowhere and someone told us that theres something in the water over there that makes kids go crazy. Nice. The 7" are getting shipped to us Thursday and I'm so excited to finally have a copy of it in my hand. Also we got the word on something I've always wanted to be a part of. Can't say yet but it involves Vietnam and a piece of plastic that measures 7 inches. More on that at another time.

"They say that on full moon nights you can still hear the feedback".

5.21- 5.24 Spokane, Seattle, Tacoma, WA

Thursday was our first show since the previous Sunday and while we were all stoked on living like bums for the last 3 days, (eating nothing but beans and hotdogs)we were ready to head back into civilization and play a show. Thursday's show was in Spokane, WA at a venue called The Cretin Hop. We arrived early and went to a horrible sports bar that lured us in with a large advertisement for a happy hour featuring $1 beers. According to the sexed up bartender, we missed it due to "bar time". "bar time" is when bartenders miraculously send their establishments into the future so they can overcharge 5 kids from the other side of the country for a glass of PBR. It was 4:22 and happy hour ended at 4:30....Damn this hit list keeps growing... After that we played baseball in the parking lot then an aggressive game of wall ball. I think everyone threw their arms out. The show began and we met some awesome people. We played well from what I remember and the kids were stoked. I had a conversation with an older women dressed up like a cat and assured her I would see her tomorrow at the DOA show. Unfortunately I wasn't able to hold up to that promise...
After the show we stayed with our new friends in The Grocery Boys. Sid took us to his house for the night and we did our fair share of partying. After too much whiskey and AJJ singalongs, I decided to call it a night and grabbed a bed on the third floor. The next morning I washed my head in the sink for the 4th time in a row, ate another can of beans, and made a bunch of phone calls. We said our goodbyes to The Grocery Boys and took off for Seattle.
I forgot to mention that we played a show with a band from Minneapolis called BurgerThirst. They too were heading to Seattle until their van broke down on the side of the road. We pulled over and gave 2 of them a ride to the shop. We passed an old van and made a joke about how they should buy it. They did.... Mitch from The Grocery Boys was traveling with them to Seattle so he hopped in our van for the remainder of the ride. I convinced everyone to stop for ice cream and it was the best decision I've made all tour. Seriously. As we got closer to Seattle I forced Tony to listen to Nirvana and we talked about things you'd expect to hear from a bunch of guys traveling/living in a van for the last 8 days.
Our show was canceled in Richland, WA on Friday so we sent out a myspace bulletin and walaaa we had a place to crash in Seattle with our new friend Lee-Ann. We arrived around 7 and grabbed some beers and immediately started drinking. She had a comp. of over 500 90's songs so needless to say Joe and I were in heaven.... Tom Gabel said it best... "Sometimes the party takes you places that you didn’t really plan on going." Needless to say that happened and we ended up at a peep show. That was an experience. After that the highlight of my night came when Lee-Ann surprised us and took us to Kurt Cobain's old house. They ripped down the green house but everything else looked the same. Super creepy looking.... See along with The Clash, Nirvana got me into this crazy lifestyle and to be on the other side of the country staring at his house was an experience. Sounds lame but whatever. No one else was into it but they understood my excitement. We went back home and I passed out. End of story.
The next day we woke up and went to Rainfest in Tacoma, WA. Rainfest is a hardcore festival located about 40 minutes outside of Seattle. We had no idea what was going to happen since we are pretty far away from even being able to attempt to pass ourselves off as a hardcore band. Turns out everyone in the scene is super nice and really supportive of what we are trying to do as a band. We met some awesome people and I can honestly say I had a blast. Highlights of Saturday for me were definitely Ceremony and Cold World. They blew my mind. After the fest we took the drive back to Seattle and stayed with our new friend Chris who Broadway Calls hooked us up with. I knew we were gonna hit it off with Chris right when I called him about crashing. "you can only stay over if we prank Toby". Totally my kind of guy. Turned out to be an awesome night and we stayed up till 5 listening to Springsteen's live record (side 10 is clearly the best side) and every pop punk record ever made. Today is Sunday and I have no idea if anyone is going to like us or even watch us. That should be an experience.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

5/16-5/17 "Tonight we gon kill us some critters WOOOOO-OOOO"

We’ve been out in the wilderness for a few days, so we’re going to filter out all of the posts we missed over the next few days, bear with us!

I can't quite figure out the right way to use the formatting on this blog interface, so you'll all just have to guess where paragraphs end and begin.

Man, talk about an experience. I guess that’s what I’m attempting to do. We’re still at the beginning of this trek, but the last few days were themselves a microcosm of self-realization. I’m not hotboxing your computer screen. It’s just that a few days in the woods of Wyoming can do a few things to your sense of self. A couple thousand miles, way too many cigarettes, a whole lot of mountains, and a class B Federal Misdemeanor later we’re back in civilization.

So Carly left us for Wisconsin on Sunday. Everyone should have a friend like Carly. You know, the kid that cuts through awkward silence with the wit and finesse of a creative word machete. The kid with the quirky, catchy observations that don’t reveal their true genius until you kick them around in your head for a bit.

The next fifteen hours were spent in the van. Iowa has cows and farms. A lot of cows and farms. The same goes for Indiana. South Dakota was full of….well….of nothing. I’m pretty sure we also drove through Minnesota. It’s all a blur of gas stations and rest stops where everyone talked like a cast member of Drop Dead Gorgeous or had a southern accent, or both. Everyone was absurdly polite though.

We arrived at Mt. Rushmore at like 3:00 AM and drove straight to the top only to find it was closed. A park ranger whom (go ahead and correct me I dare you) we assumed was a police officer ever so humbly followed us around then back down into the town, if you want to call it that. Our assumptions of the humble, submissive, environmental studies major total pushover federal park rangers were to get turned on their heads a few days later…

So we crashed in the van across from the holiday inn at the foot of the mountain. I had too much caffeine and wasn’t about to sleep sitting up so I read “ISHMAEL” on a park bench dressed all in black listening to Chopin (snob alert) on Eric’s ipod. I was concerned about looking like a total creeper all hood up and mangy hanging out at a picnic table at 4 o’clock in the morning in a town with a population of 311, but believe it or not 3 cars continually drove around acting way shadier than myself. Ishmael is an incredible, and thus far has shown to be strangely relevant to my current situation (Thanks Larson!).

I went to sleep for about an hour, then woke up and indulged at holiday inn’s cont. breakfast. Greg and I walked around the mini-town while everyone was sleeping.

Some dude who was more appropriately framed at a Larry the Cable Guy listening party than where we met him walked in on Greg and I in a public bathroom charging cell phones while Greg washed his hair in the sink and I was rolling a cigarette.

“You travelin’ boys?”

“I saw an Indian doing the same thing in the sink last week, and I walked out before he took his shirt off.”

“My Son plays in a band in Omaha, his band Go Motion plays with the Faint down there.”

“This is the greatest town in the world.”

“Don’t worry, them tight pants, nobody here will call ya a bum or a queer.”

He said a lot more, but I can’t really directly quote him and he rules.

We did the tourist shit, Joe conquered a mountain goat, and we saw the beginnings of the Crazy Horse monument and its going to rule when its done in 2050. Then it was off to Wyoming.

On our way to Yellowstone we took a route recommended by my friend Larson who claimed it was the most beautiful drive he’d seen in America. It was. It was breath taking and incredible. It took us all completely by surprise. It was part of route 16 in Wyoming.

It became apparent that we weren’t going to make it to Yellowstone, so we got a bit nervous. We grabbed some supplies in Cody, Wyoming and decided to try and find a campsite before dark.

We stopped at a bar/campsite and I got out to ask some local people where a cheap/free campsite may be where we could get rowdy. I love it how rednecks hear “any of you guys from around here?” then flock to you like seagulls on a hot dog bun. Turns out one of the overly southern accent-laden caricatures spent some time in D.C. and won a prize from the Bouncing Souls at a B.S./ Groovy Ghoulies show in 1993. Crazy. They also liked FEAR. Either way, they gave me directions to a rowdy friendly camp ground, then tried to get us to stay. “We gon’ shoot us some critters tonight, WOOOOOOT” He may have been putting on a show for the yanks from PA, but he may not have been. I hope not. There are few other things in the world I would rather be doing than shooting at ‘critters’ in a field with some drunken Wyoming boys.

We found the campsite. It was a half hour away from any city, no one was there, and there were at least a dozen grizzly warnings posted all over the place. We managed to get a bitchin’ fire going (thank you Troop 50, West Scranton, booya) and we cooked some burgs and drank some beer. The highlight of the night was when somebody thought they heard a noise then started a chain reaction of all of us running to the van in fear of being mauled to death by a large bear.

We got drunk and slept in the van. Greg and Joe stayed up and finished a flask talking about life and girls and it ruled to listen while trying to fall asleep.

I was thinking about how we hadn’t had cell phone reception in a while, and that no one that we knew had any idea where we were or where we were going. On top of that we were on the other side of the country viewing strange wildlife and landscapes left to the movies. It was heady to say the least.

We’ll talk about Yellowstone tomorrow, for now I need to take in Seattle…..

Much Love,