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!

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.

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:

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! >:(

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

- 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.