Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"AP Fall Ball" Tour Journal - Part 1

Hello Internetz!

I've come to the realization that I'm probably not going to get around to making an entry for our Australian tour with All Time Low we did last May anytime soon... if ever.
SOOOO maybe those pics will surface some day in the distant future but for now if I am ever to have anything from this tour see the light of day, I figured I'd better get to writing, so here it goes...

We picked up on the "AP Fall Ball Tour" w/The Academy Is..., Mayday Parade, The Secret Handshake, and You Me At Six in Chico, CA on 10/10. The first show was a lot better of a turnout than our show there on the Saves The Day tour. Before the show we went to Pita Pit and walked around town and checked out some of the shops for a bit. There was some kind of breast cancer benefit going on in the park across the street and there were a variety of musical groups playing throughout the day. The comic book shop in town was awesome. I hung out with my brother's friend Kelsey at the show for a bit which was cool too. After the show we went home. Ruled.
I got to the San Francisco Regency Ballroom in the early afternoon before the SYG van arrived and the Blue Angels were doing their airshow that day so there'd randomly be piercingly loud bursts of sound from the jets flying overhead. Before the show some of us walked down to The Hundreds store down the street from the venue. Junior got a pretty sweet vintage looking baseball jacket. The store looks like a giant cave, it's weird. The show wasn't as good as the NFG tour we did there but it was still pretty good. After our set, Doug (the big cheese at the venue) told us an angry mother complained to him that the moshing during our set wasn't a fitting atmosphere for her Christian family, and requested they kick out our fans who were moshing. He said that he ended up kicking out about 9 kids, all of whom were promptly brought back in through the side door hehe. Excellent work, Doug. After the show I went to Taqueria Cancun with a bunch of friends but we all went to the one on 19th and the rest of SYG went to the one on Mission & Valencia (thanks for telling me everyone was going to 19th, Manuel). Got to go home again so it still felt like we weren't really on tour yet which is always a nice feeling.
The next morning we drove to Bakersfield and though we've played there before, this was our first show at The Dome. There was a stripper pole with black lights in the dressing room. Weird. Though it wasn't a huge crowd, a good chunk of it was comprised of moshers who just came to see us and they definitely got their money's worth; our set was awesome! Afterwards I realized my friend Spencer from Trash Talk came and had tried to get in but for some reason wasn't on the list even though I'd put him on it :( ...So Spencer, if you read this, sorry bud. I owe you one! After the show I caught up with my friend John who was working the box office for a bit then did 2 hrs. worth of Australian phone interviews for Soundwave before kicking off the drive to Junior's house.
We played The Avalon in Hollywood which is always a fun area because we have so many friends down there, not to mention we love going to Swinger's so that was a must before the show. As always, a trip to Cantaloop for frozen yogurt was definitely in order as well. After the show we had a Denny's "All-Nightr" which is basically where you hang out with fans and they give you a bunch of free food. A bunch of friends came with us, including an inebriated Brian Dale. He was wearing a kimono that our Japanese friend Yuka brought to the show and posing as our samurai security guard for the evening. He sat down, ordered a beer (what?! I didn't even know Denny's served beer!!) and began engaging in conversation with our fans... I cannot remember the last time I laughed as hard as I did during the meal that followed.
All the Southern California shows were great but I felt like the shows on the "Gig Life" tour were better and even bigger in some areas like Pomona. I get the feeling our fans didn't come out because they didn't want to pay higher ticket prices to see us play a shorter set with bands they don't listen to. On the upside, I know there are a large amount of kids who are seeing/hearing us for the first time every night on this tour plus everyone on the tour has been really cool. Big thanks to all our friends at Epitaph who came to the shows and brought us some new records and Converge merch. I was stoked to get my hands on a copy of the record by Ryan Gosling's band, Dead Man's Bones, as well as the new Converge record, before their release. If you haven't heard Dead Man's Bones, check out their songs here: Dead Man's Bones Myspace - very creative and unique stuff.
On our way to the San Diego show we stopped by Innes Clothing in Oceanside and our buddy Adam Shaw hooked us up with some sweet new gear. Thanks Adam! After that we headed down to Solana beach and went to Pizza Port for lunch then walked next door for dessert at my dad's new yogurt shop, Desserted Island. Delicious! After the show we said goodbye to Junior because he had planned on leaving the tour after the CA dates to make arrangements for his wedding in November. Our good friend Justin K. is playing in his place for the remainder of this tour as well as our European tour right after this while Junior and Susie are on their honeymoon. Congrats guys!
Arizona was way too hot (as usual) and so was Texas. We had a day off between the Phoenix and San Antonio shows so we stayed with Juan and went to this place called "Bob-O's" in El Paso and enjoyed batting cages, go-karts, bumper boats and mini golf for the day before continuing on our drive:
Before the San Antonio show I went to Hog Wild Records with Justin K. and Luis from TSH. I always make it a point to stop by this place because they have hundreds of sweet punk, metal and hardcore shirts. If you're in a touring band (or ever find yourself in San Antonio for any reason) and you like metal, definitely check this place out. The show was great, kids went nuts! Dallas was a lot of fun too and though "Gig Life" was better, a lot of our fans still came out and moved around for us. Plus we got to see Joel so in a way it was similar haha
Houston was a fun night, got to hang out with my friend Lucy. During the set we took four huge rolls of toilet paper and threw them into the crowd. Kids kept throwing them across the room and they were hanging over the rafters like streamers.
The next off day was an insane drive but we managed to stop at a mall somewhere near Tallahassee, where Justin and myself began discussing the gaping holes in our earlobes (the remnants of wearing plugs) and decided it would be funny if we started wearing diamond earrings, so we bought some and so did Mikey. We also stopped by another fun center and I fed some baby alligators and played arcade games while Juan, Mikey, Justin and Dan hit the batting cages.
When we got to Melbourne we discovered a baby gator pittin' around in the canal by the hotel, check him out:
It was in Melbourne that we experienced the best go-karts of the tour thus far: Andretti Thrill Park. This place has karts that go 46 MPH! The regular karts were great too. Mine was of course #43:
We played some mini golf, batting cages, and I even saw a guy wearing a Cold As Life shirt playing one of those "Extreme Hunting" games in the arcade with his wife & kid!! Here's a pic I took with my phone while racing:
We hit up the deli (which was excellent) that was connected to the arcade before heading to the show in Ft. Lauderdale, where we met up with the one and only Anthony Amor A.K.A. Tony Love, merch guy to the stars. The show was a lot of fun and went really well for us. The Glamour Kills tour was at The Revolution that night so we headed over there after our set and caught All Time Low's set, hung out with Vinny Vegas, our buddy Chris V, and our manager Keith, then partied with all the ATL guys after their show. I unfortunately had to miss out on some of the hanging out towards the end of the night because I was dealing with some drama (but I won't get into that haha), but all in all it was a fun night for the most part.
Anthony rolled with us to Jax and stayed at our hotel because we planned on going go-karting again in the morning but we ended up getting there at like 6 AM so we all slept until noon and didn't end up going.
In the morning we said bye to our little friend, went to Waffle House with Anthony then left for Jacksonville. The show was at Freebird, a venue one block from the beach. Pretty sweet. The show went really well.
The next day we headed down to Orlando to hang out with The Swellers & Hayley at their show at the House of Blues. Caught a couple songs of The Swellers' set and Paramore killed it as usual. Here's a picture of Hayley two-stepping onstage haha
After the show we went to BWW with The Swellers, Anthony, and Hayley. We definitely played the bear hunting arcade game, watched an awkward guy & girl make out in front of the whole restaurant, and drank rootbeer floats. Someone even discovered that Life of Agony was on the jukebox so naturally, we had to mosh.

...Part 2 coming soon (maybe)
XXX

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Long overdue tour wrap-up: Japan

In case anybody who reads this thing hadn't noticed by now, I'm really pretty lazy about updating. Well, I'm pretty lazy about a lot of things to be honest but hey, what do you want from me? I'm in a band! Responsibility isn't part of my vocabulary! Soooo anyway, I'm gonna finish with Japan now and get around to Australia sometime in the next few days. Sound good? I thought so...
Osaka was sweet. Started off the day with some "Kono Pizza" with Joe for lunch before lobby call. Not bad, but not the best pizza I've ever had either. Kinda weird that they serve it rolled up in cone form (the cone is the crust) though, so we had to try it regardless.
The last show was good but in all honesty the first show was the best... So let's move on to aftershow activities! Dan, Jordan, Mikey, and Junior went to some sushi place with Mayumi & Mitsuko. There was a huge jug of what appeared to be a large jug of snake wine (and a jar of what appear to be snake eggs?) by the stairs. AWESOME!!!
Joe and I didn't like the looks of the place (can you blame us??) so we ventured onward in search of something interesting to eat. We found some place very far away that served very interesting food that just so happened to taste very good. I started things off with some miso soup and a lemon soda, then ordered this musubi (that's rice ball in Japanese!) with tiny seasoned baby sardines inside of it, and purple stuff that might have been eggplant? Not sure, but I hate eggplant and I hated this stuff. The rice ball was good though, the sardines tasted like beef jerky.
I also ordered some smoked salmon, cream cheese & avocado salad that was really good and some crab fried rice that was even better. Then Joe and I split an order of stingray. This stuff ruled! It was chewy and a little crispy on the ends and came with seasoned mayo for dipping. Very sweet and delicious. This one's for Steve Irwin! In your faces, stingrays!
What an excellent meal for our last night in Japan! I left stuffed and the place was nicer than most places we'd found, yet decently priced. Good stuff. After that a few of us went to the aftershow "party" at some place called "Rock & Roll Bar" or something. Here's a picture of me with our tour manager, Emi. Emi loves to party as you can see.
I also found this old picture of NFG on the wall. You can't see it because of the glare, but Steve wrote "420 Dogg" below his name hahaha. Also, check out Joel from Good Charlotte wearing a Make Move hoodie in the next pic over! For those who don't know, Make Move was on our first tour ever. We met Junior because he was playing guitar for them at the time.
The next day at the airport sucked because Malaysia Airlines sucks. Oh well, at least Japan is cool. Australian tour summary coming soon!
XXX

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Japan: update

Japan still rules. I'm having way more fun this time around and I don't want to leave. Maybe it's the fact that it's not freezing cold and we're here with friends. The 2nd show in Shibuya wasn't as packed but it was still fun. Yesterday we had a day off so we went to lunch with our friends Miki and Gucci from Sony Music Japan, then we went to Harajuku where we spent wayyyy too much money at Kiddyland (a 6-story toy store), then walked around a bit. Here are some of the highlights of the past 2 days...

Lunch with Miki & Gucci
A Loss For Words Endcap display at the 7-story Tower Records in Shibuya, NBD
Spotted this giant Terminator at some Nike promo in Harajuku
Mousemobile!
We then went to dinner with Graham, Yuta, and Tome from Inyaface at our favorite udon restaurant in Shinjuku. On the way we stopped at a pet store and I found these cute but retarded-looking kitties...

I ordered the scrambled egg one, it's the jam.
Hangin' tough with Tome

Today we woke up super early and hopped on the bullet train to Nagoya. On the way Junior pulled out one of his McDonald's cheeseburgers from last night that he'd saved as a snack... disgusting.
"Don't judge me"
Apparently the ATMs here get sad when you cancel your transaction:

The Nagoya show tonight was really small (150 kids) but we could tell they had a good time. After the show we all went to some chicken wing spot and ate a bunch of really weird food. Tomorrow is our last show in Japan, Osaka!
XXX

Monday, May 25, 2009

Japan rules.

Hello everyone!
Yesterday was the first show on our short Japan/Australia run of shows with our good friends in All Time Low.
We flew out of SFO, then transferred to LAX before heading to the Tokyo/Narita airport. In LAX we saw Busta Rhymes with an entourage of dudes. I also spotted this lady in line wearing what appeared to be a Bayside hoodie, but turned out to be what I'm told is an Old Navy hoodie with little Bayside birds all over it, weird:
Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child was also walking around, I think she was on our flight because we saw her when we landed. We got to the Narita airport Sunday evening around 4:15 PM local time. Got to our hotel and cruised around Shibuya for a bit and found some weird crap at Don Quixote:



I got some hot lemon drinks and udon before going to bed. When I went to bed my voice was still completely shot from staying up all night for the video shoot. Luckily yesterday morning I could talk but I still haven't completely recovered. I managed to snap a pic of myself in these sweet PJs they give you at the hotel:
Walked around Shibuya some more yesterday with the band and managed to make a friend on the way. A girl came up to us on the street with gifts and introduced herself as Yuka. She said she'd been looking for us and happened to get lucky. We kidnapped her for the day and she proved to be a most useful translator. We hit up a ramen spot that some of the dudes went to last time and then got dessert down the street. Here's a picture of us with Yuka at our favorite boba & crepes spot in Japan, Pearl Lady:
After that we headed back to the hotel and then walked to the venue to get ready for the show. Before we played they had us do some press videos and photos. As you can see, we take these things very seriously:
Despite my throat not working, the show was great. The crowd was awesome and the kids were chanting our name when we walked onstage which was a pleasant surprise. Stage sound was awesome too. I took a picture of the crowd from the stage:
All Time Low sounded amazing. Looking forward to tonight's show at the same venue. After the show we took some photos with fans and then got sushi with Graham, Tome, Yuta, Mayumi and friends. They had this special item at the sushi bar called tuna steak, which I'd never tried. It tastes exactly like a mini steak on a ball of rice but it's tuna. Amazing. I ate at least 3 orders. After that we went to some lame bar for like 20 minutes. They played decent music and there was a cracked window that someone in Metallica supposedly broke, but other than that it was pretty boring and I was way too tired to hang out so I went back to the room. That's all for now!
XXX

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

NWAF Tour Wrap Up

Wow. Where to begin? It's been a while since I've updated this thing and so much happened in the end of the tour I don't know if I'll even remember it all.
The Michigan show ruled. The dude from Cold as Life loaded us out just like he did last time we played Detroit, and I told him Cold as Life rules. He was not impressed. We hung out for a bit and after everyone on the tour stashed all of their fireworks/weapons/drug paraphernalia with Brett's friend, everyone headed for the border. We got pulled over by some MI cop a mere 20 minutes from the Canadian border. He held us up for hours with loads of ridiculous regulations he said our van didn't meet, one being that we needed our band name on the side of the van. Supposedly "it's the law." Yeah OK! After all was said and done he let us go without a single ticket, nice guy. He did however leave us with a laundry list of things we needed to take care of to ensure our vehicle was up to code. I think we threw it away. We ended up crossing the border problem free for the most part (well, they harassed Junior for about 20 mins. so nothing too out of the ordinary haha).
I awoke sometime in the morning at our hotel and walked inside and passed out. Water didn't work all day and we all really needed showers. Fail. I got healthy food for once at the mall across the street then headed to our off day show in London, Ontario. Before the show I went to McDonald's *cringe* with Mikey, more out of boredom than hunger. While there I discovered they had strawberry pies so I had to try them and they were amazing. It's like eating pop-tarts on crack. Backed hard. It was like a Monday night so there weren't a ton of people and I heard there was some kind of scene drama with the promoter so kids boycott his shows but all that aside, the kids who showed up had a lot of energy and our set was a good time. I drove to this guy Spencer's house who Kyleworks knows, he was super cool. When I showed up there was a rabbit in front of the van and I tried to catch it. Yet another fail.
The next morning we ate pancakes and practiced Set Your Grohls songs some more. We went to the venue in Toronto and got freaked out by all the black squirrels once again, a memory we'd buried deep in our psyches that we'd hoped would never resurface. We ate bad Thai food before the show, then hung out with a raccoon that kept walking around in the dumpster near the loading door to the venue. Check him out here. That night we got nachos with some Canadian friends after the show. Our waitress sucked. The nachos were horribly mediocre and overpriced but our Canadian friends don't know any better because most of them have never had real Mexican food so they were beyond stoked. After the show we drove all night to Albany to drop off Susie, who'd been with us since Chicago. I drove first shift through the border and bought some maple fudge (which is phenomenal BTW) at the duty-free shop, and continued driving on until morning, going insane and listening to Integrity the entire drive.
I think I started feeling really sick around the time of the CT show. Our set was a definite challenge to get through and my throat just wasn't up to par. Swine flu represent! After the show we moshed with Fireworks and we got Chadball to "open it up." We even got Jenny to mosh! Fireworks followed us to Strader's house where we all stayed up til 4 AM eating brownies and drinking tea and just being idiots instead of getting rest.
The next morning we went to SJC and had our final "Set Your Grohls" practice, which sounded surprisingly solid. I passed out on the way to the show and when I woke up Joe was moving the van 2 miles to our parking spot, at which point I had to walk all the way to HOB. Sucked. Our friend Josh Lovell came to hang out and brought us some shirts from his new clothing line, Bloodlust. The design rules and I can't wait to see more. Click here to pick one up! The show was incredible. Boston is always really good for us but this show and the CA shows were the best of the tour.
Hoodwink was kinda weird, it felt awkward playing slower songs to a crowd that expects fast & energetic music from us. Kids push moshed though, so I guess they liked it?? Either way it was a hell of a lot better than last year's. Watching NFG do Green Day was the highlight of the night for me. That night we all got food with Fubu & his friends, and Felicia & her friends at a diner, then everyone went their separate ways because everyone had girlfriends or friends they were staying with. There were a bunch of people in our room as it was so I stayed with my friend Genna at her hotel and got punished by all her drunk friends for a couple hours before passing out. Good times.
Bamboozle was a long day but it was worth it because not only was our set a ton of fun, I got to hang out with Duncan and see The Get Up Kids! Definitely didn't suck. After the fest we showered and at 3 AM or so, we began the 10 hour drive to Columbus, OH. Womp womp.
I finally got a laptop bag when we got to Columbus so Jordan P. could stop congratulating me on my "new" Macbook I'd been carrying in the store-bought box all tour haha. After the show I went to some donut shop with Fireworks then we booked it to Indy and crashed at the hotel.
The off-day ruled. Hit up the mall during the day then in celebration of the last off-day of the tour, Pete took the entire tour out to dinner at Olive Garden. Good man. We pretended it was Jordan Pundik's birthday and the waiters & waitresses all brought him a little cake and sang to him. Juan took some footage of the sweet hangs using some weird internet webcam broadcasting service with his iPhone. Somehow it ended up on youtube:


After that we all hung out in the hotel parking lot with some Hooters waitresses some of the NFG and Bayside dudes had met earlier, and they brought along Pauly Shore. I felt kinda bad for the guy, the entire tour punished him! Don't believe we hung with Pauly? Well here's a blurry picture to (kinda) prove it!
The next day we played the Egyptian room in Indianapolis. This place was nuts, it's like an opera house with tons of huge empty rooms and the whole place felt haunted. Didn't know what to expect from IN but we were pleasantly surprised, but kids brought the mosh and the set was a lot of fun! During NFG's set, a car parked a couple spots from our van caught fire and the fire dept. had to come put it out. Pretty nutty. Hayley and Hannah were both out visiting their BFs so after the show we all went to BWW. Here's a picture I took on the way over. Hayley is wearing my sXe beanie and looking very non-edge while doing so... hahaha

St. Louis was a sweet venue called The Pageant, which was owned by some dude who owns like half the town or something. There were pictures all over the kitchen area of him with every artist who's ever played there, among other countless celebrities (Obama, Clinton, and Bush to name a few). Our friend Kyle from Reno tattoos down the street so after the show a bunch of us went bowling and he came along and hung out.
Kansas was a good show but the real fun was afterwards. Most of the tour went to BWW after the show and started chanting things at the punishers who followed us in there. After our meal we were in the mood to dance so we all went to find a bar with music. The first one we walked into was playing some music so instantly the Fireworks dudes took their shirts off and started dancing with each other. Apparently this kind of behavior doesn't fly in Lawrence, Kansas, because they instantly turned off the music, turned on the lights, and told everyone the bar was closed. We left and went to another bar. Last call, no dice. So naturally we started chanting, "We fucked up! We fucked up!" and moved along. This dude wouldn't let us in either so we started chanting, "This place sucks! This place sucks!" and kept walking until finally we found a place with a country band and some square dancers. We dominated the dance floor with some circle-pitting and general badassery. The band liked us so much that when they finished their last song, followed by our "One more song!" They were nice enough to do it for us. We got really ridiculous for the last song and we were even running onstage and yelling things into the singer's mic but he didn't care he loved it. He even joined us in a "USA" chant! As soon as they finished the last song we all sprinted out of there just to be weird. The rest of the night was filled with harassment of the drunk locals, dives off of unconventional objects, random circle pits around people and cars, laughing at drunk girls falling, and chanting anything and everything we saw around us. We even happened to see Batman and Spider-Man running down the street! So naturally, we circle pitted around them while chanting "Outweird the weirdos!" as well. All in all one of the best nights of the tour. Check out a video Steve made here.
Oklahoma sucks. Sorry if you live there, but there's really no way around the facts. The venue was in the middle of nowhere and so we went to the mall before the show to kill some time. The only cool thing was the weapon store, where we found blowguns, ninja stars, butterfly knives, switch blades, and Nazi knives. Yes, Nazi knives. Only in Oklahoma my friends. When we got back to the van it wouldn't start so we called Mr. Chris Mojan to save the day. He gave us a jump and when our van started up again we started moshing around the parking lot in celebration. It died again when we got to the venue so Mikey and Junior took it to Auto Zone and replaced the alternator like true savs. Got the van working again and made it back to the venue and ran onstage with literally no time to spare. Played to one of the best crowds of the tour. Kids went off. It ruled. After the show I rode with NFG to New Mexico because I was sick and needed rest.
Before the Albuquerque show a bunch of us went and got pizza down the street. I got anchovies on mine just to do it. I actually kinda liked it. Then we saw the new Star Trek movie which wasn't half bad, and I don't even like Star Trek. The Trekkies walking around town in their spandex suits were also pretty entertaining, I must say. The show sounded like crap onstage but it was probably one of the more decent reactions we've had in NM to date, despite all the fighting.
After the show we drove all night to AZ where were to meet the tour at 9 AM for the tour paintball battle royale. It RULED. I got a couple people out and raised 2 of the flags when we did team capture the flag games, and left with only a couple bruises. Chad & Anthony had made a hit list and somehow they all ended up on my team so during the last game I betrayed my team (who, by the way, had lost every single game) and tasted sweet sweet victory for once. Here's one of the group shots we took:
The last show was full of pranks. During Fireworks, Chad played the audio to the "Britney Pig Squeal" video in between songs. Hilarious. If you don't know what I'm talking about, feast your eyes...


During our set, Chad (and his unknown accomplices) lit these huge smoke bombs onstage and they would not go out, suffocating us with smoke. It was intense! There were a couple fights and after our set these dudes fought a couple security guards out back, pretty gnar. During Bayside, Chad and a few others brought cornhole boards onstage and had a full on game for a couple songs, which was pretty entertaining to watch. During NFG's last song we all got shirtless and danced/moshed onstage with glowsticks. Saying goodbye to everyone sucked more than usual because the tour was so much fun and everyone on it was just awesome. As you can see, goodbyes were long and drawn out, but it was well deserved...

Pete is a Father figure to Chris & Kyleworks

Nightbeast & Me
Definitely one of the best tours we've ever done in the states. I hope to tour with everyone again someday!
XXX

Saturday, April 25, 2009

NWAF Tour Update: Day 33

We went to Chevy's for dinner in Peoria, IL and our waitresses ruled. One looked like Kirsten Dunst. I ate so much tamalito I thought I was going to puke... mmmm nomnomnom.
The show in Des Moines was surprisingly really good. We hadn't played there since the Terror tour so we weren't sure what to expect. After the show I P90X'ed it up with Chad, Junior and Jenny (NFG's monitor girl/stage tech/assistant TM), then Junior, Joe and I went to McDonald's and undid all of our workout before heading to the hotel hahaha.
St. Paul, MN was an alright show but it's been hard for me to get into it for the past few days because I caught a cold and it just seems to be getting worse. Myth is a cool venue though, we played there on the Paramore tour. After the show everyone had a humongous fireworks war in the parking lot, making it the coolest night of the whole tour. There were explosions in all directions and people were basically just aiming for the crowd of spectators, who would then scatter every time a rocket or firecracker came too close. A cop came after about two hours of chaos and he was super cool about it. He basically asked if we were done lighting fireworks because some of the neighbors were complaining (the nearest neighbors were probably close to a mile away if that gives any indication of how loud it was) and then drove off. We left shortly afterward and about two minutes into our drive, our trailer tire just rolled off! Luckily Fireworks was behind us and grabbed it. We were then faced with the unfortunate task of driving to the nearest repair shop and camped out in front of it until they opened.
In the morning we got the trailer fixed by some sketchy dudes who were definitely all white power, the boss even had an iron cross tattooed on his face! We hauled ass to Milwaukee and showed up at The Rave ten minutes before we had to play. We borrowed Fireworks' gear and played what felt and sounded like a weird set to us, but apparently the crowd didn't mind too much because it was the best reaction we've gotten there to date. Ruled. Our manager, Chris Allen, came out to the show and took us out to dinner at the Ambassador Hotel restaurant across the street. It was nice to eat real food that was not only delicious but also way beyond our personal budgets haha. After we got back to the venue Junior, Brett Jones, Hodge, and our friends Kiki and Jamie went exploring around The Rave and I finally
saw the pool in the basement, which turned out to be pretty creepy; complete with smeared dark hand prints and pentagrams drawn on the walls. After that we drove to Chicago and stayed with our friend Daniel Schein.
Chicago rules and it was warm for part of the day yesterday afternoon, which was a first for me. Daniel took us to Gino's Pizzeria and we got some noms for lunch, then bought costumes for the Set Your Grohls set for Hoodwink. I'm still sick as hell so our set was a struggle for me to get through but all in all it was a fun show, got to hang with Steve Kane and some of the 2*Sweet dudes which is always awesome. After the show we were loading out
and this valet guy got pissed because our van was blocking him from moving cars and he started trying to act hard with us and kept saying he was gonna fight everyone. Once he'd threatened us and started to get in people's faces, everyone came over and started antagonizing him until he realized he was severely outnumbered and went back to his car. After that anytime he would drive or walk past us we would all yell "U MAD?" it was hilarious. We got food at Chicago's Pizza after the show and on my way back to the van I ran into our friend Pete. He'd gone to eat with Anthony, Steve Kane and some other friends. It was cool getting to catch up with him for a bit. Chicago has some of the best dudes ever.
Today we're in beautiful Livonia, MI hanging at Kyleworks' house before the show. I don't have any cool pics or anything for this post, so here are some of my Dad sleeping. Enjoy!
XXX

Thursday, April 16, 2009

NWAF Tour Update: Day 28

The Augusta show ended up being awesome. It was a Tuesday night but kids came out and lost their minds regardless. Nightbeast and Carridale were both great. As you can see, Nightbeast was hilarious.
We also debuted "Summer Jam" off our new record at the Augusta show, and it went over much better than expected so we've played it most nights since; the moshers love it!
The SC show was at the House of Blues in N. Myrtle Beach next door to a gator farm called Alligator Adventure. Before doors opened a few of us went to the gator farm next door and I snapped some cool picz, check 'em out:

...and some footage I captured of some baby gators:

We missed feeding time so I decided to hold one of my own. I took a couple chicken breasts from catering and chucked 'em over the fence and watched the gators fight over them while Steve filmed and others watched in amazement from the balcony above. Overall the actual show was kind of weird, what with security beating up kids and what not :\ That HOB is notorious for that. After the show I drove all night to Player's hotel room in Charlotte, NC.
When we got there he was already at work being trained to do grown-up shit so we hung out and showered and ate free breakfast. Charlotte was kind of a weird show but it was cool hanging Craig and talking with our old friend Rodney. Chris from Stretch Arm Strong put on the show so we got to hang with him too. This was also the day Fubu flew out and when he showed up he looked like this:

...He also got kicked out of the show for moshing/yelling at some kid who hit him. Guess he just looks like trouble haha. After the show we ran into this scary girl we met last time. I don't remember her name but Fubu calls her "Predator" and once we saw her we made it a point to avoid her for the rest of the night. Apparently she's banned from all shows at Amos' and all of the employees there have restraining orders against her because she harasses bands and is legitimately nuts. Creepy! After the show I left my laptop charging because it was almost dead and when I came back like 15 mins. later, the room had been cleaned out and my laptop was gone. After talking to everyone at the venue I called Chris from Stretch and he let me in on a very bad joke my band was trying to pull on me. So Brian (NFG's tech) and I decided to get them back and he called Junior panicking and saying I flipped out and punched a hole in the wall on their bus and that the cops were coming to investigate the theft of my laptop. They bought it. We hung out and ate at the bar next door for a bit then began the oh-so-fun drive to Baltimore. This was the night Shai Hulud were dropped from the tour. They were having a long talk with Steve and Chad when we left. I think NFG should be making an official statement about that soon if they haven't already.
The Baltimore show ruled. Before the show a bunch of us went down to the harbor and got food and I picked up one of these sweet crab hats and ended up wearing it onstage.
$8 for one of these bad boys, but well worth it.


Trapped Under Ice was so good! They were super cool dudes too... And I finally got to see Anton Rough play his songs live!! Had a blast hanging out all night with tons of old and new friends. Baltimore rules.
A ton of friends came and hung out in Philly too. Philly marked the first night of the addition of our good friends in Fireworks to the tour. Mike Ski came out and tattooed a bunch of people too. For those who don't know, Mike is a sweet dude and sings for a sweet band called The A.K.A.s. Brett from Fireworks got some bats behind his ears, Nightbeast got a clamshell on his arm, and Joe got his Virgin Mary de Guadalupe from Warped Tour finished. The show was a lot of fun. I stagedove in flip flops for the first time in my life during NFG hahaha. After the show I went to Kingdom of Vegetarians down the street with Fubu and got some Mongolian pork. The woman behind the counter had her extremely hyper 5 year-old son there and we started talking to him and taught him the proper usage of the term "You mad!" His Mom was not a fan of the phrase hahaha. It ruled, Fubu and I had many LOLz. Before the drive to Cleveland we hit up Wawa with Fireworks and got our snack on.
Cleveland was pretty boring. It was cold out and as always there was nothing to do before the show, so we P90X'ed it. We worked on arms and then did the "Ab Ripper X" and hooooooly shit was it tough. This thing is like the regular workout on crack, and it's all stomach muscles and packed into a mere 20 minute workout. Myself, Junior, and Tymm all tried it with Chad and we couldn't keep up with him. We couldn't even finish half of it! After the show a bunch of the tour and friends played cornhole and c-lo in the loading dock and then we drove to what would make the top 3 worst Taco Bell experiences of my life. They "ran out" of beans (Taco Bell code for "we're too lazy to make more") so I got a side of rice since my choices were pretty slim after that, and went to sleep pissed off. We got a pointless one bed room at an extended stay and I think the only one who ended up staying awake to put it to use was Junior who drove.
Cincinnati yesterday was all cold and rainy. It was also our 3rd year in a row playing Bogart's on 4/20. We hit up BWW and Urban with some of the NFG and Bayside dudes before the show. The "Smoke Your Bowls" set was kind of weird, the moshers took the day off for the most part, but we could tell kids were genuinely feeling it. During NFG's set some kid tried stealing a stack of shirts from Fireworks and they all surrounded him until security came and kicked him and his accomplices out. There is nothing more disrespectful that you can do to a touring band than steal merch; the chief means of income on tour. Kid's lucky he didn't get carried out on a stretcher. After the show I hit up some place called La Rose's down the street and got some cheese ravioli, a salad, and garlic bread for $9. Ruled.
We have the day off today and we're at a friend of Fireworks' house. He has the softest and most affectionate pets in the world. Fireworks just left to see Observe & Report and we're just taking it easy doing laundry and practicing for our "Set Your Grohls" set at Hoodwink. I think tonight we'll hang at NFG's hotel and go swimming or something.
XXX

Sunday, April 12, 2009

NWAF Tour Update: Day 19

Right after I wrote that last post, we got the news that the freeway going into Denver was unsuitable for driving so we had to go all the way back through SLC and then down to Dallas. The drive was a hellish 32 hours. Oof.
When we finally got to Dallas I P90X'ed it for the first time with Chadball, Chad Hulud, and Junior. P90X is an intense workout routine that (supposedly) the actors in the movie "300" used to get ripped in order to fit their roles as supreme badasses. The show was nuts. Our set was awesome with the exception of someone throwing a humongous unfolded hunting knife onstage which hit me in the shoulder (luckily it was the handle side that hit me) and bounced onto Junior's shoe. Our set was then cut short due to the floor caving in. The set was going great until all of a sudden security began waving their flashlights at us telling us to stop playing. We thought there was a fight or something but the next thing I knew everyone was being ushered outside. Apparently the barricade was bouncing up and down along with the crowd and the building couldn't support the weight. The result: a 12 foot concave divot in the hardwood floor of the "pit" area. It's kind of hard to tell from the pic but it looked nuts. The downstairs ceiling right below this looked even crazier; the support beams were bent! Security wouldn't let us take photos of that though.


After that, the show was relocated to one of the bigger downstairs rooms. My friend Jenn showed up and was nice enough to drive myself, Junior and Joe to Taco Bell for food and then to the spot where JFK was assassinated. Got a few pics. The "X" marks one of the spots where ol' Johnny boy was when one of the bullets struck him. Also got some of the book depository, the grassy knoll, and the surrounding area.






Austin was cool too, I got some vegan food and Dr. Pepper Slurpees with Ariel and Anthony Amor before the show then met with our lawyer at some health food cafe. I also saw this lady:

video

The show that night was at Emo's and it was awesome. Kids were going off. After the show I was tired so I ate some pizza and passed out in the van.
Houston was another great show as well. Got to hang with Lucy, who took Joe and I to a Thai restaurant which, upon further investigation, turned out to actually be a Vietnamese restaurant. Way not as cool but we still got our nom on regardless.
The drive to FL sucked but the Orlando HOB show ruled. When Joe was moving the van to unload he backed up into some Euro dudes' rental car and left a couple small dents in the front bumper. lolz.
I hung out with towel butt and we went to bodyworlds before heading to St. Pete, the exhibit was totally gnarly. The show was a lot of fun despite the stage being super tall and the barricade being super huge, Brent and Ping (Anberlin crew son!) biked down to the show and hung out too.
Yesterday we practiced all day for our "Set Your Grohls" set for Hoodwink and then went to Ian's for Easter dinner with Bayside, Steve Klein, and the Grushka family. The food was amazing and afterwards we fed the unsightly turkey-looking ducks with Ian's son Oliver, broke open coconuts from the tree in his backyard and ate them, and played with his pugs. All in all it was a great Easter.
We got a hotel last night and I finally got some real rest for once, which has been a rare luxury on this tour. Tonight in Ft. Lauderdale was good but the stage sound was kinda weird this time around. NFG is killing it, playing their last song right now, then sweet hangs with all our friends from the area before our not so fun drive to play a show in Augusta, GA on the day off with Carridale, Dolarhyde, and NIGHTBEAST, who is riding with us along with Hodge and towelbutt to Augusta. It's gonna be a fuuuuun drive! >:(
XXX

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"Not Without A Fight" Tour Update: Day 11

I am sitting in a hotel room in Rock Springs, WY instead of playing a show in Denver tonight because early this morning the entire tour had to pull off the freeway due to snow hazards. So, we spent the day in a Walmart parking lot in Evanston, WY, lighting fireworks and eating crappy food. We just got dinner and split a hotel room with NFG to chill in until we get news of the road conditions and determine which route to take to Dallas. Even though it sucks nobody got to play tonight, we made the best of a bummer situation and ended up having some fun today. What is there to do at a Walmart in Wyoming, you ask? Why, take one of these, of course! (Bigger pic coming soon)


On the brighter side, up until today this tour has been great! We're on the "Not Without A Fight" Tour with New Found Glory, Bayside, and Shai Hulud, and all the shows have been sold out and the crowds have been awesome. The unique thing about this tour is that everyone bonded instantly the first day. With most tours it takes a couple weeks for people to start warming up to each other and hanging out but everyone on this tour is really cool and down to earth. Here's a recap of our trip thus far:

- Played a secret show at the Gnarwhal house in Tucson, AZ the day before the tour started. Trash Talk hit us up as they were on their way back from SXSW and got added to the show last minute and it was a blast! Way too many kids + way too small of a space = awesome show :) The girl who lived there said I could swing from the chandelier when we played so of course I did, and it ended up kind of breaking but not getting torn out. However, there were wires exposed and it started shocking people who touched it, myself included. Sketch! All in all a great show and it was fun hangin' with the TT doodz again.

- The First day of the NWAF tour was fun, My Uncle Dennis and his kids came and hung out and they were stoked. My little cousin Maddi has been calling every radio station in her area requesting our songs every day since hahaha. After the show everyone on the tour gathered in the parking lot and lit off an M-80 that Chad somehow acquired. It was LOUD. A cop came up and asked us if we knew anything and we told him it was a black '83 Honda Civic. I don't think he bought it but he left us alone regardless haha

- The CA shows were kinda stressful worrying about guest list but we had a lot of fun times with friends too. My Dad came out to the San Diego HOB show, always fun hanging out with him and watching him drink and tell stories with my band and tour mates. Shai Hulud wasn't allowed to play the Anaheim HOB show because Disney didn't approve of their misanthropic lyrics. Kinda funny/ridiculous, considering Slayer has played there. Good thing we're "family safe" so I could get my churro fix in Downtown Disney. SF was amazing. Possibly the best reaction we've had there, we even plugged the Daily Donalds blog during the set. I wore my shirt and we even brought him onstage. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, check it out
here. The entire tour, along with Trash Talk and Silverstein were all in town and all ended up meeting up at the Hemlock afterwards so I got to hang with a lot of people I don't get to see enough of these days.

- Portland was our best show there to date, and surprisingly, turned out to be a really fun show for all the bands. Stayed with our buddy Kent, he's the man. Check out his
band.

- Seattle was fun (minus the weather), paid way too much for a cab/bus and got incredible vegan food with Joe and Jordan P. at some place called Hillside Quickies. Hung out with some old friends, made some new ones, and the set was great. All in all a good show.

- Boise, ID was cool. Best crowd we've had there I think. Great backstage catering. Backed hard.

- The drive to SLC sucked. Hung out with my 2nd cousin Ryan, his wife Heather, and their kid neighbor at the show, and afterwards began the long drive through snowy mountains that landed us where we are now. Womp womp.

Catch y'all on the flip side.
XXX

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The record is done!!!

...Well, on our end of things at least. We're still waiting on a couple guest spots to be finished and a few finishing touches before we send it off to be mixed and mastered but that will be done by the end of next week. It was a long (6 weeks) and difficult journey but we made it. It's been 3 years since we recorded our last full length and this record is without a doubt ten times the record "Mutiny!" was for a variety of reasons. It's faster, less goofy, more complex both musically and lyrically, plus we've all gotten way better at our instruments and we had a lot more time in the studio to work on things until we were happy with them. The bar has been raised. The label will be announcing the signing at the end of the week and the (tentative) street date is 7/21/09.

I must credit the following people, places, and events for keeping me sane throughout the course of this album's recording session:

-Jimmy Eat World for playing "Clarity" in its entirety. One of the best shows I've ever seen.

-Felicia for getting us front row of the VIP section tickets to the aforementioned show, along with hooking up list spots to countless other shows

-Meshuggah for being the heaviest band on the planet and somehow influencing our record

-McDonald's filet-o-fish Fridays

-The burrito truck by Mike's studio

-Mike Green for taking this project on. He had no idea what he was getting himself into!

-Cantaloop frozen yogurt

-VONS' free 7th deli sandwich deal

-Call of Duty: World at War and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

-Books

-The internet

-My iPod

-Junior, Susie, and Nala for donating their house (and some of their food) to us for a month and a half

-And last but not least, all of our friends who came and hung out or did guest vox

Mutiny is dead!!!
XXX

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Recording: Day 19

So we're making a new record in Mike Green's studio in dirty, smoggy, overpopulated Los Angeles, CA. Today marks 19 days since we got here for recording and so far drums and bass are finished. They should be finished with rhythm by the time I get back. For the first week it was just Jordan and Mikey in the studio doing pre-pro and drum tracking so the other four of us were losing our minds trying to beat each other's high score in the "Nazi Zombies" game at the end of Call of Duty: World at War. We got bored so we also started a heavy hardcore band with Junior's friend Danny AKA Joto 1, tentatively named The Hatred. We finished one song and parts for one or two more and hoped to record a demo before we left LA but who knows if that'll happen now that they're tracking guitars and Dan will be most likely going home after that. If we weren't down the street from Hollywood and there weren't shows going on almost daily I would have long since slipped into full-on dementia being down here for so long with nothing to do.
I saw Meshuggah on the 3rd at the Hollywood House of Blues with Cynic (ex-Death) and The Faceless (though we got there late and missed The Faceless), it was amazing. They were so loud and heavy and flawless it put me into a trance... I thought my head was going to explode! We watched from upstairs and the balcony next to ours was literally bouncing up and down and looked like it was going to collapse.
Last week I went with my buddy Tom to see our friend Scott's band, The Growlers, in a warehouse that the dude who runs Ezekiel Clothing owns in Costa Mesa. It was in an industrial district so we were having some trouble finding it until some guy in his mid 30's and a reflective rain jacket asked us if he could help us with anything. "Yeah we're looking for the show," Tom said. The guy pulled open a gate and we walked down the driveway were a ton of kids hanging out. Once we got inside, the show turned out to be a lot better than I expected. There were two empty rooms next to the room with the show in it, one of them had a projector set up and it was playing some bizarre sex cartoons. This place looked like a punk rock art gallery or something. All of the bands were playing psychedelic surf rock, but not all of them did it well haha. One of the supporting bands were called Japanese Motors and they were really good. I guess their singer is some famous pro longboarder and RVCA pretty much just funds their band. I was shocked that the draw was so well considering this was some super DL show in the middle of bunch of warehouses. Tom was saying the high school kids just go to any show there regardless of who's playing. My guess would be that there were close to 600 people in this place; most of them high school aged, all smoking and drinking beers that they'd bought from the makeshift bar in the corner which was obviously not carding. Sketch!



We played The Troubadour for the first time last Wednesday with Final Fight, Media Blitz and Danny's band Crash Akademy AKA "Primer Walls," it was awesome. The show ended up selling out and we had a ton of friends come out, including Four Year Strong and Phil and Sheep who were all in town for the Taste of Chaos Tour.
Thursday night This Is Hell were in town playing with Funeral For A Friend and The Sleeping at The Roxy so Phil and I went because everyone else either had to track or was too scared. We got there just as they'd finished so I walked over to The Key Club to see Madball, Terror, and Stick To Your Guns. I ran into Chad, Kent, Garth from NM (who lives out here now), Anthony Amor (he was doing TIH's merch), Sheep, Robert & Katrina, Steve Looker, and a ton of other friends. Chucky Edge was doing Terror's merch still so it was cool talking to him for a bit as well. The show ruled but Madball didn't play enough songs which sucked, I think there was a curfew.
Friday night Craig Jennings (manager for Bring Me The Horizon) and Kevin Lyman (runs Taste of Chaos & Warped) had a little pre-ToC get together with BMTH at the Sunset Marquis Hotel
(balliiiiin!) in Hollywood and Sheep invited us to come and hang out and have a few free drinks courtesy of Mr. Jennings. I went with Mikey and we picked up Phil beforehand for some pre-drinking yogurt festivities at our new favorite Hollywood spot, Cantaloop. Once we got to the hotel it was pretty awkward for a while. We just hung with Flip and Phil and talked with Matt Ash who works with BMTH about booking stuff and sorta shot the shit for a while. We did see Billy Bob Thornton hanging out though, that was kinda rad. Once we all relocated to the bar at the front lobby things started to pick up. Some of the FYS dudes showed up as did Rob Hitt, Brad Gilboe, and an array of other characters that we didn't expect to see. Mike Green even stopped by and helped himself to a slice of some stranger's red velvet birthday cake and stole one for me too before he left. Delicious!
Taste of Chaos was a super fun hangout but the show itself was kind of weird. I ran into a bunch of the Epitaph heads, Brian Dale, Trevor from the Smartpunk stage on Warped this summer, Michelle Yoon, a few other people I hadn't seen in a while, and even made some new friends!
Sunday I went with Tom to see The Swellers play a house show in Orange. The show was super awkward until they played. They were solid as always and the 30 or so people there were having a blast.
Monday I sat around the studio and worked on lyrics all day and then went to our friend Felicia's apartment and hung out with The Swellers dudes for a bit. I left early and got a ride to San Diego with my friend MVM and I've been down here ever since. Got to hang with Mishella which was cool and went to Taste of Chaos down here last night at HOB which was cool too. Thursday's set was a lot better this time around because they played more of the songs I like and during one of the new songs a bunch of us threw these humongous black balloons they'd inflated off of the stage and for the rest of the song they bounced around the room on top of the crowd, looked pretty cool. I go back to the studio tomorrow where we will begin writing lyrics/vocals. Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera down with me but luckily there are some pics Felicia took from our show at The Troubadour available here.
XXX

Friday, January 30, 2009

Massive post

So after almost a year, I've finally finished the saved draft of my tour diary for the "Bamboozle Road Show" tour. It's quite a read.

If you wanna check it out, go to my first post in this blog, or if you're REALLY lazy, simply click here.
XXX

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Meow

This is my brother's cat literally climbing up me and sitting on my shoulders while I'm on the computer (taken with my camera phone)





In other news, I'm on the last day of my "no corn" kick and it's still just as hard as it was on the first day but I'm still going strong. We leave for recording with Mike Green in LA in like 3 days. We'll be there February 1-21.
XXX