Sonntag, 27. Februar 2011

Colorado Springs- How well you treat us.

Wow...what a night.

We arrived at Colorado Springs' Sunshine Studios at around 5pm. Upon entering the building, we were greeted by extremely friendly people from some of the other bands. We eventually linked up with the promoter and he gave us a tour and run-down of the evening. Everything about that place was professional. Every single member of the staff knew EXACTLY what they were doing. No one was phased by any of our requirements. They had a small table with ass-loads of hotdogs set up for the bands along with ice-cold water and snacks. Within the first 10 minutes there, we could feel something awesome was about to happen.

Sunshine Studios is an all ages venue, so many of the band's family members came with their children in tow. Kids running around a dark venue with extremely loud music playing and adults throwing around the "f-bomb" like it was a requirement isn't something I'm used to seeing. One of the bands drew another kind of crowd we're not used to playing for: about 20 13 year-old emo girls screeching relentlessly for their friends on stage. We were all curious to see if they'd stick around for our set, too....

We set up all of our gear backstage and patiently waited for our turn to take the stage. After the first two bands (out of 6, I might add...) had finished their sets, we were up. We had everything figured out prior to taking the stage, so it didn't take us very long. After being informed that I am in charge of not only drums but of samples, synths, and visuals, the lighting technician commented on my gear and referred to me as "a swiss army knife". He and the other sound-tech were initially a little bit confused by the set-up, but understood everything pretty quickly after I explained it to them. After 15 minutes of setting up, we were ready to rumble. The show itself was pretty epic. They had two screens projecting our visuals and a massive light-rig which was pretty much on strobe and flood lights throughout the entirety of the performance. Anyway, the music was received EXTREMELY well (the young ladies in the front row were particularly supportive of us...and Joel's lip ring and tight pants.). The only person who didn't care for us all too much was the wife of a man who took offense in one of the lines out of "What Is In The Air" ("forget Jesus Christ, now you're organized). Marty did a good job at explaining that that line is by no means a slight against God as much as commentary on the many, many "Christians" doing a fantastic job at taking the Christian faith and turning into something not at all Christ-like. Anyway....we won't get into that just now. :)

We tore down our gear after and gathered backstage hugging and high-fiving each other. Good times had by all. Once again, Josef managed to sell a sizable amount of merch. In the meantime, Joel and Marty were being ambushed by parents and their kids begging them for autographs on their CDs, Shirts, and arms. Yes, their arms. After a few more pictures with the staff, we loaded out and set out for Lawrence, Kansas (where I'm currently sitting in a Starbucks).

The night drive was long and arduous for Joel and Marty. Fog blanketed the landscape throughout the entire trip. Not exactly ideal conditions for driving after a show, but they managed to get us here safely nonetheless. This place looks like something out of Silent Hill. If it weren't for some of the friendly people, I'd probably be sitting here waiting for sirens and for everything to go black.

Now we're just killing time before we play what may very well be another epic show. Elevator Action and Actors and Actresses are sure to kill it on stage with us. We're all pretty excited. So, my report on the first show of the long leg of this tour comes to an end. Being out on the road like this is interesting. I personally struggle with feelings of homesickness and missing friends and family, but this time around I'm really learning to enjoy the company of my close friends and the many, many people we're meeting along the way. We're not getting rich out here, that's for sure. Still- this feels right. Music feels right. I can feel the passion running through my veins and the veins of my band-mates, and that is something I wouldn't trade for all the money in the world. Thank you all for your support. We love you!

Stay tuned,

Dienstag, 22. Februar 2011

USA Tour, the Second

Well- waiting to inform all of you of the goings-on with this tour and all things surrounding until now may have been a bit unfair, so, again, I apologize. There are a few things I'd like to say before telling you about some of our plans and adventures we've had up until now.

First and foremost we'd like to thank everyone who donated so generously to our Kickstarter fund. My God, people: $3,200 in donations. That's INSANE! "Thank you" doesn't really do your kindness justice. Now that we've used the money to fly over and buy supplies for the road, I suppose I should let you know what's up with your rewards, ay? We were planning to send those out as soon as the new EP was finished, but the truth is the EP is not yet finished. We decided to take our time with it and make sure it sounds as good as humanly possible. We will be "releasing" it on April 29th, and upon completion, your rewards will be sent out in the mail. PROMISE!

Now, on to the tour:
As many of you may have heard, we were actually planning to do a considerably larger tour starting with the west coast this time. Well, without blasting out potentially self-destructive information and opinions into the world-wide web, let me just tell you that not everything always goes according to plan when dealing with certain government agencies. So, regrettably, we were forced to cancel the first half of the tour. It wasn't an easy choice to make seeing as Joel and I have numerous friends and family all along the west coast. Oh well. It is what it is, and I'm sure we'll make it out there some day. Eventually, not knowing when we would depart for the new world began to wear on us psychologically and we decided to throw caution into the wind and just book the damn tickets (best decision we've made in a long time, I might add). Joel and I flew out first and began getting our gear together, trading new tires for old ones (ha- trade...for a nominal fee of $720...), redecorating the merch stand (with new and bad-ass T-Shirts featuring the cover print from "We Were Made For Destruction"), and arranging for things like sleeping bags, air mattresses, and pillows. A few days later the time came for us to pick up some Austrians. Marty and our good friend Josef (who is assuming driving and merch-sale responsibilities...and doing a fantastic job at both) arrived unharmed and unhassled. The next few days were spent practicing and running the last few errands before we set out for our first 4 shows (we were able to do the last 4 shows of the first leg of the tour).

First up was Amarillo, TX where we once again played at the 806 Cafe. Such a small yet welcoming place that seems to be filled with nothing but kind and enthusiastic people. Despite technical difficulties with our projector, the first show was a great success. Afterwards, we spent some time with our local friend, Levin, who treated us to surprisingly delicious beer, lessons on insane Christian conservatives, and his personal gun collection. I don't think Josef figured he'd get to hold an AK-47 on the first night of our tour. Land of the free, what can we say???!!!???

Next up was Colorado Springs where we played for a good handful of people in a coffeeshop called Jive's Lounge; a family owned business run by sincerely warm-hearted people. Technical difficulties had so much fun with our projector the night before that they decided to switch to my sampling rig. The set was therefore cut a bit short, but good times were had by all nonetheless. The following day, we got up pretty early and drove up to the Garden of the Gods (which is as bad-ass and as pretty as it sounds).

After that we made our way over to one of America's finest establishments: Wendy's! If you have never tasted Wendy's Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger I can assure you you have yet to discover the true meaning of beauty. With our stomachs full and satisfied, we drove a short hour and a half up to Denver. We arrived several hours too early for our show there that night, so we decided to walk around the city. After a quick trip to a bookstore and a boring walk through the (sorry, but it's true) boring city, we decided we'd sit down for a beer....which quickly turned into two beers, then three, then....yeah, I don't really remember. Feeling the effects of our good friend Stella Artois, we journeyed onto yet another burger joint for Bacon Guacamole Cheeseburgers. An hour later we finally arrived at the venue- the Rockaway Tavern- a punk venue; a punk venue that had a free of charge version of House of the Dead. After setting up and being told that the sound-technician would be a little bit late (which turned out to be 2 hours late), Joel and I did what we do best (next to playing music): cover graphic-animated walls with graphic-animated zombie blood. Score. But like most things in life, all good things must come to an end, so we took to the stage and played another short set for a mixed and partially confused crowd. I don't think we ever expected to play a song like "Coma" in front of a bunch of punks. I don't they ever expected to hear such a dark and slow song (comparatively speaking, of course) at a punk show either. Still- many people there had a good time (save for the singer of one of the other bands there that was convinced that we were trash-talking them. I was told he took the stage saying, "So the first band thinks we're just another shitty punk band. Well, f**k the first band!"- a statement thankfully [for us] met with little to no enthusiasm- not even by his band-mates). After the show, we were greeted outside of the venue by a member of the audience who was so impacted by our performance that he decided he was going to buy several copies of "Awake" (why buy one when you can have 5, right?....right?...), and then go home and pro-create with his girlfriend. He also promised us that the child would bear one of the following names: Matthew, Joel, or Martin. We drove back the Boyd's house and crashed. After a relaxing day at our home away from home, we played one last show in Fort Collins before taking the break we're currently on. The set-up for the night was slightly intimidating and a little bit demotivating for some of us (okay, fine, it was only demotivating for me... You try setting up a drum kit with a sizable sampling and visuals-rig on a stage the size of two king-sized beds!). Still, the sound-tech was beyond kind and knew his way around the system, and we were all able to enjoy the show.

So, this brings us up to date. I am sitting at the dining room table at Joel's parent's home with Marty and Josef typing away on their laptops and Joel lounging around in front of a fire and a Nick Hornby novel. We are taking our last deep breaths before diving into the second half of this tour. Many, many stories will follow, I'm sure.

Lastly, I would like to inform you all of a sad fact surrounding this whole experience. Our dear friend and bassist, Stefan, is not with us on this tour due to health problems. It was with heavy hearts that we practice and perform without such an integral part of this band, but we all decided it is what's best for now. Nonetheless, we'd like to publicly share our love and appreciation for the wonderful friend and band-member that is Stefan Sieder. We love and miss you.

For those of you who actually took the time to read all of this, thank you! Stay tuned, folks!