European Wrap Up.
Before I go into my Brett Easton Ellis’ish whirlwind of the past two weeks, I really want to say my normal pessimistic outlook on all aspects of, well everything…are out the window. We (especially me) want to give a huge thanks to all the promoters of the shows. All of you went above and beyond. Thank you. On with the show!
Mook missed his flight from San Fran, to Allentown so we had to bail the first day of practice. Stress stars here. The next few days are a whirlwind of practice, trips to Guitar Center, running around town, and gluten free treats. Ben has no bass gear. More stress. I get Ben a head from the band Nothing, Ben breaks the head. Add on some more stress. We get in some half ass practices in Philly, then head to Bethlehem to my parents. Get a solid practice in inside a freezing cold garage. My nerves are calmed a little bit by the kerosene heater. Wake up the next morning in a cold sweat and panic, realized I forgot my passport back at my house in Philly. Leave Mook asleep and floor it back to Philly, grab the passport, get some coffee see my friend Andy, and I’m back in the Valley by noon. My Dad drives us all to Newark in time for our flight, but not without a road side pit stop for falafel, courtesy of Arthur Rizik. The pit stop was more for the excuse to get Mooks left over weed than give us falafel. Check in, fight with the check in clerk for a bit, proceed to drink a slew of $7 beers. This terminal didn’t even have a Sabaros. Get on the plane watch boring movies and tweak out for 7 hours. Arrive in Amsterdam, all of our gear is intact. Call Gert-Jan, buy a beer, have a very minor police interaction within minutes of setting foot on European soil. Meet Gert-Jan, get in the van and we’re on our way to the ACU in Utrecht. We’ve been here a bunch. I go buy socks, get back, load in, play a decent show, the best show we’ve played at the ACU, I talk a lot of shit to the crowd. I have a switch blade with me. A great show, a few trips to the weed boat, some alcohol and a knife…horseplay leads to tragedy, and it’s off to the emergency room. Screaming in a cab, blood everywhere, I think I freaked out more than Gert-Jan. I sliced his fingers with the knife. I am an absolute fucking idiot. This surpasses everything that I ever done in my life as the stupidest thing I will ever do. Even know I still feel sick to death about this. I stabbed one of my good friends. Get to the E.R., the nurses make fun of me, they make fun of him, stitch his fingers, shoot him up with pain killers, and we’re all laughing. I still feel horrible. This feeling stays with me the entire tour. Get back to the ACU, get Gert-Jan to bed, I’m so cracked I can’t sleep. I want to go home, and retreat into my head. I cant even look at myself in the mirror in the bathroom, I feel pathetic. Ben manages to be so drunk he falls on is face from the couch and stays there, then proceeds to get himself locked outside of the house. Somehow he gets someone else to open a bar up for him and continues to drink. How he gets back in the apartment or how he got outside is a mystery. Go into Vera, still our favorite place. The mess I made of last night still hangs in my head and I have a hard time eating, or being “normal”. I cut my friend. Ugh. Hang with Mark and Chris. It’s good to see them. We all really like them, and like Vera. Play the show, fuck off with everyone there, feel a little bit better as my mind has been off of the incident. Played OK, the show was packed, drank a ton, fell asleep in record time. Again, Ben can’t get back into his room, and winds up sleeping in mine. Wake up shoot the shit, say our goodbyes, stop at The Clown and get some drugs. Get into Antwerpen Belgium, load in chill out, decent show. The local bands play, then we get told we have to turn down. The sound person has us so low, that I want to just throw my guitar across the room or stop playing. He breaks and tells us we can turn up. My shitty attitude ruined this show. I can’t let certain things go in my life, I ruin more things than I improve. I wish my attitude was more like Mooks at times. For a kid who’s 10 years younger than me, he carries himself like a seasoned pro. For all the shows I’ve played in my life, I should let stuff like this roll off my back, but it doesn’t. I let it eat at me. It’s still eating at me as I type this. Meet some of Gert-Jans friends, all decent folks. Talk about BMX with a really nice kid for some time. Fuck you Navazio. Ben is hammered off of Duvel beers. Drive to Gent, still feel sick to death about what happened. Get up early with Gert-Jan, go to Odenberg to another Dr., gets his hand looked at, Dr. says all will be good. It’s valentines day, who the hell really cares about valentines day. Make our way into Paris France, the show is absolutely off the hook. We love Flow, and Anna, they do a bang up job! Meet up with Sugar Town, play a killer show, talk a bunch of shit, steal random crowd peoples beers. I split with some crusty girl, Ben from Le Dead Project, his girlfriend and go to some squat down town called the Castle. DJ’s aren’t my thing. I don’t understand them. Never will. I also don’t understand the concept of doing speed and wanting to be awake for days on end. That sounds like pure torture to me. Get in a cab at 4:30 a.m., figure out how to get back to Flows place, hop a fence fall directly on my face, make my way through the courtyard having no idea where I really am, yell Mooks name one time, and he appears like an epiphany to me. I finally get to sleep. We will see Flow again, no doubt in my mind. Get into Caen, go to Marc from Sugar Towns house. Fall asleep watching The Office. Wake up, show time. The place is packed out, to the max. Kids know Husker Du, kids know the Husker Du song we’ve been playing. We drink heavily, and take lots of pictures of each other. Gert-Jan is a salesmen. Ben eats local cheese, knocks a chair over and plays a cello. He wakes me up and tells me I have to see something, it’s a pipe. Marc packs the pipe and we smoke it. Marc gives me the pipe. A true gentlemen. He’s all class, and also is super chill. Get some needed rest and relax a little bit about the finger incident. Get up and it’s off to Lyon. Show up it’s freezing cold inside, load in, meet Paul, he’s a solid one as well. Super nice. No attitude. Skip a sound check, eat a solid lay out of food. Watch a performance artist play. They get naked, light stuff on fire, and sound like Swans mixed with Boyd Rice but not at all. It’s actually really entertaining. The show is really crowded, play loud, all I see is people sticking their fingers in their ears. That always pleases me. I think I am going deaf. Wake up late, rush out to make it into Italy in time. Get to Italy. I hate Italian rest stops, always have always will. The venue tonight is a huge squat. Like…huge. Thankfully we play in the small room downstairs. Meet up with the US band playing tonight called Tyvek. They actually have our van from the last tour, the one we almost died in. Play another good show, my shits all fucked up, but we make it though. Lenore from a Cant Sing For Shit is there, she lives there now. Iacopo and Andrea are there as well. We have good laughs. I decide I love Italian women. Everyone gets drunk, passes out. Get up, can’t wait to get into our favorite country…Slovenia. Pull up, meet up with fucking Luka! Luka is one of the kindest people anyone can ever wish to meet. This isn’t ass kissing, it’s simply the truth. Teja is here this time, but no Jaka. It all evens out. Load in, get told to turn down right away, I kick back to Antwerpen in my head, and suck it up. It still burns me up so I split for a walk. The show is another solid, solid, solid turnout. Afterwards we go with some locals to a bar. It’s the smokiest bar I have ever been in. Smoke some weed drink another few sips of a beer and a local soccer hooligan who seems fried on MDMA is freaking me out. I can’t wait to leave to get some fresh air. Take a short walk back through the streets of Koper. Next morning, we head out for a drive to Vienna, Austria. We park directly in front of the venue, good job. The show is put on by a collective of about 8 women. Each one of them is outstanding in their own right, one cooks, one is the accountant, one is responsible for the show, so on and so forth. It’s really rad. There is a vibe of over all positive energy at this show from everyone. We meed a girl from fucking Whitehall here. What in the fuck? How is that even possible. Mook is in gluten free heaven, Ben is on fire with dance moves, Gert-Jan has a small crew of friends here as well, I just kick back and observe what’s happening and actually catch myself smiling. This may have been my favorite show of the tour. We stay late drinking, go back to Jules house, but not before our friend Katie shows up. We all like Katie, she’s a good one. Ben and I split with Jules, Mook and Gert-Jan try to find some party with one of the girls. Not sure what happens but they wind up back at Jules place shortly. I hate pets. Katie rides to Gera with us, which is great as she makes a good pillow. First show in Germany. We make it just in time. Ben is still drunk. Zann plays tonight. I can not wait to see Robert. I can not wait to hear John ask questions. We have a good time with these guys. I talk a lot of shit tonight. More than any night of the tour. But it’s good shit. I also decide to sing a Godflesh song for some reason. I don’t know what’s wrong with me at times. Go back to Maiks house, meet his girlfriend and their brand new daughter Lore. Hang out have good conversation, eat pizza and am asleep by 11:30 p.m. Wake up drive back into Holland, to a town called Masstricht to buy drugs. We all break apart for a little bit. Ben and I drink beers, Mook and Gert-Jan smoke. Then it’s back into Aachen Germany to kick it with the Beer King. Shows decent, Jenny baked a cake, and Andy from Trainwreck showed up. We dig both of them. I give an ultimatum to the crowd. If you can tell me 1 good joke I will give you you’re money back. We left with all the money from the show… Everyone took mushrooms. I took nyquil. Ben was in his best form of the entire tour. Got up started stressing about the last show, van pick up drop off, etc. Play what was the worst show of the tour, in Trier. No fault of the promoter though, they went all out. Shit happens. It was the only bad show, so it’s OK. Played and drove directly to Manhiem, met up with Frank from Planks dropped off the gear and drove straight into Holland back to Amsterdam and that’s it in a whirlwind.