Thursday, 29 March 2012

Tour - Beartrap/Witch Cult - Hungary and Slovakia

Day 35/36/Show 29/30 Debrecen, Hungary/ Trencin, Slovakia

Woke up way earlier than I wanted to today. Then we passed the time watching Mtv Romania. I ate some fruit and we headed on our way. We get to the border of Romania and Hungary and for the EU, a country with no borders, there sure seem to be a lot of borders. We get stopped and the dude tells us we don’t have the right documents and we will have to wait here for a day or 2 so they can confirm that the vehicle isn’t stolen. YES, WE STOLE THIS CAR! We stole it in the UK (because the wheel is on the wrong side of the car) and drove thru FOURTEEN other countries before you brilliant motherfuckers caught us. What a waste of time and money. We sit and watch a million other people get waved thru. After that someone walks over and gives us our passports, but not our vehicle documents and doesn’t say anything to us. So we wait for a long time, no one tells us to go. Alastair notices the documents are on the dash, and we have been able to go this whole time. So we fucked ourselves at the border for an hour. No one told us to go, and the dude did say that we might have to wait a day or 2, so fuck them anyway.

After that we drove thru a bunch of barren fields. Out of nowhere the small town of Debrecen pops up. We load into the show and it’s in a small venue in a practice space called HNO3. It’s a cool little room. Adam booked the show and he is a super nice dude. I texted him the night before and asked him if he could get a cake somehow for Alastair’s birthday and he pulled thru. Thanks again dude. Now Debrecen is a small town in Eastern Hungary on the Romanian boarder. I think Adam and a few of his friends were the only people there who liked Hardcore. The rest were locals who practiced at the space and/or young kids who had nothing else to do. It just wasn’t our show I guess. They stuck around and watched us, but I don’t thing they enjoyed much of it haha. After the show we loaded out to go stay in Budapest. Of course the plan was to wake up early and walk around. It is now 2pm and we haven’t left the apartment, naturally.

After I wrote that we left. We went to a health food store and then a normal grocery store. We didn’t see much in between the 2 but Budapest seems nice. Then we headed to Trencin. The drive was thru many small Slovakian towns and the roads were bad. We pulled up to the show and loaded in. The show was at a place called Club Luc. Robo and Kamil booked the show and were nice dudes. For dinner we had risotto with fake meat and sliced vegetables. After that we had to have our passports dropped off at the hotel they were getting us. I found this very odd. A hotel? Earlier in the day I texted the dude booking our Bratislava show and asked if we could sleep there tonight to cut down on the drive. That bit me in the ass. Mario (one of the dudes booking the Bratislava show) came to the Trencin show and told the promoter we could stay with them, so he asked me if that was cool/could they cancel the hotels? So I ruined the hotels for everybody with my dumb time saving ideas. Anyway, the show was a bar show. Everyone stood pretty far away and didn’t seem too interested. I’m fine with that, us and Witch Cult played good so I don’t care. After the show we packed up and headed to Bratislava and I am playing on a floor instead of a hotel bed. What an asshole I am.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Tour - Beartrap/Witch Cult - Bulgaria and Romania

Day 32/Show 26/Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Woke up today and went to the grocery store. Then we drove out of Istanbul. The traffic there rivals rush hour New York City traffic. It took awhile to get out. Then crossing the border took awhile also. We didn’t really get hassled at all tho so that’s a plus. On this ride I finished a book called The Ethics Of What We Eat. Vegan or not, I suggest you read it. We got to the show and it is in a pretty nice bar called Beriozka. Danail and Nevelina booked the show and they are very nice.

I was particularly tired at this show for some reason so I slept thru the 3 opening bands behind the merch. My in and out of sleep memory reminds me of a death metal band that yelled the song name before every song. The other 2 were kinda grindcore/metal from what I remember. Playing with bands like these reminds me that Hardcore/Punk Rock isn’t everywhere in the world. When we toured in Central America 2 years ago it was like that in Honduras. We were told we were the fastest band to ever tour/play in most of Central America. We both played and everyone moshed and circle pitted. The lights in the place made me sweat a lot and now I feel like shit but it was a good show so it was a good night. After the show we drove to Danial’s house to sleep. We got here at 12 and are ready for sleep. Most of the shows we have played recently wouldn’t have started yet. This is awesome. We have to wake up early for a long drive tomorrow but other than that today was alright.

Day 33/Show 27/Sibiu, Romania

This is the half way point of the trip for BearTrap. 65 days total and we have hit the half way point. Today we woke up early to drive to Sibiu. It was a 9 hour drive thru mountains, across borders, on ill-paved back roads. The amount of dead dogs we saw on the side of the road was disgusting. Finally we make it to the show. We eat some fake chicken, vegetable mix kinda thing and some rice. It was awesome.

The club we are playing tonight is called Bohemian Flow and it is 2 rooms shaped like tunnels underground. There is absolutely no ventilation and every one is smoking. It will be hard to breathe tonight. The first band, Stuck in a Rut plays. They are a fastcore band and the kids go wild for them. After them it’s Witch Cult and kids also go wild. The same for BearTrap. I like the room the show was in a lot. I liked the people also. It was a good show. After the show we drove to the apartment we are sleeping at. I was told that Stuck In A Rut is playing with us in Timisoara tomorrow as well. I was also told the show will be really good tomorrow. Most of the time when people say the show will be bad, it’s good, and when it will be good it’s real good. So hopefully it all works out tomorrow.

Day 34/Show 28/ Timisoara,Romania

Today we woke up and drove to Timisoara after we stopped at a grocery store. Outside of the gas station across the street is a dude in a Municipal Waste shirt who was at the show the night before. I see he has a sign that has a different town on it and imagine he is hitchhiking home. It’s a 5 hour drive to Timisoara. When I got to the show this dude was there. This speaks volumes to me. I have friends in America that won’t be bothered to drive more than a half hour for a show and this dude hitchhiked 5 hours, and not even to his home. I forgot to thank him and now I feel like an asshole. Anyway when we got to town we met up with the promoter, Ionut. We went to his apartment and he gave us ample fruit and made us a shitload of pizza. It was awesome. Then we went to the venue.

It’s called Atelier DIY and I was told it’s the only diy spot in all of Romania. It’s a room in the 2nd floor of a factory that used to produce cloth for shirts and stuff. This room was pretty small and again everyone is smoking, I’ll never get used to this. Anyway, Stuck in a Rut played again. Tonight I actually talked to their friend, Alec, who went to both shows with them. She told us that everyone thought we didn’t like the show the night before and that we seemed mad or something. I always find this funny because it’s partly true, always. I find it funny that people always think that because we aren’t a talkative group of people and that we don’t ever seem happy that we automatically hate them and their shows. It has happened all over Europe. I sing in a punk rock/ hardcore band because I am mad, and playing the songs brings that out in me. Aren’t we all there because we are mad and socially awkward? Anyway, it was awesome to clear the air to Alec and hopefully she tells the rest of Romania we aren’t huge assholes, just misunderstood. I’m waiting for questions from her for an interview for her zine called Leave Me Alone.

Stuck in a Rut was good again tonight. Then I was on merch duty. Then Witch Cult and BearTrap played. It was cool and people seemed to dig both of us. It’s our drummer, Alastair’s, birthday so I sang happy birthday after the set and the crowd joined me. It’s the most sing-singing I’ve ever done in public. After that it was back to merch duty again for the last band. After the show we headed to the place we were staying and since the drive is short tomorrow we sat around and bullshitted. Falling asleep at 6am and hopefully not waking up any time soon.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Tour - Beartrap/Witch Cult - Greece/Turkey

Day 29/Day 30, Show 23/Show 24, Thessaloniki, Greece/Komotini, Greece

Today started off real early. I didn’t go to sleep till 5 am and we woke up at 9 am cause the dude we were staying with had to go to work. We went to the beach and I stood in the Mediterranean Sea, but it was too cold to swim/enjoy. The beach was also pretty dirty, but so are a lot of beaches in Massachusetts so I’m used to it. Then we drove to Thessaloniki. It wasn’t a bad drive and I slept thru a lot of it.

We got into town around 7 and this show, like every other show, doesn’t start till like 11:30 or something. The show is at the Biologica squat. This place is pretty interesting because it has been squatted for around over 20 years and is a room on the bottom floor of the biology department at the University of Thessaloniki. The building is still in use at the university and somehow they took this room and claimed it. It has nothing to do with the college what so ever. It’s only squatted as a venue, no one lives here. Dimitris booked the show and is a nice dude. We loaded in and ate. Had some beats, rice, lentils, and 2 different kinds of salad. After that we waited around for the show to start.

It is a Monday night so I don’t think any show should start this late on a Monday, don’t people work in Europe? SO the first band went on around 1 am. The second band played. Then Witch Cult, then BearTrap finished at around 3 am. This show would have been over by now if it was in Massachusetts, where its 9pm. It blows my mind that shows run this late. There were a lot of people here for a Monday night, over 100. I think half just stood outside the whole show. The ones that were inside were cool to us and seemed to enjoy it. They made us play more again.

I have a love/hate relationship with this. I love that people want to hear more (even tho most of the time it wouldn’t matter if it was us playing more or not, they just wanna hear more music) but I play short sets because I like playing short sets and hate bands that play for too long. In a typical United States punk show if you play more than 15/20 minutes people usually get bored and start to leave. In Europe they always look at me weird when I say we only play for 10 minutes. Funny how different things can be in the same genre of music.

After the show we went to the squat we were staying at and went to sleep. Woke up at 2 pm today. Then we drove around and found a grocery store. After that we drove to Komotini. When we told other people in Greece we were playing in Komotini they asked “why?” and said, “No one ever plays there. Do they even have shows?” or stuff like that. So I was skeptical about this show from the start. We get to the venue and it is at the University of Komotini. The room we will be playing in is a lecture hall. The room next to it is a squatted anarchist meeting room. Again, at a University, in a building that is still being used, punks stole a room. Priceless. When we got shown the lecture hall I asked if the school knew about the shows and let them happen. I was told that “they know about the shows, they don’t let them happen, but they have stopped locking the doors because they know that people will break in and have the show anyway”. That’s pretty crazy. Also, in case you didn’t know, police have no jurisdiction on any college campus in Greece. It’s where people go to learn and sell drugs/commit crimes.

Before the show we have some fruit and pasta. Then we load in. I propose the idea of not playing on the stage, but playing in the corner so people can stand in front and do whatever they want. The people doing the show (there are too many to name) didn’t quite understand me so we played on the floor facing one of the 3 groupings of seats. There were a lot of people at the show, over 75 I’d say. Of course it didn’t start till 11:45 and the first band played for AN HOUR. A whole fucking hour. They were a post rock band with no vocals, and actually probably my favorite band we have played with all tour, but they played way too long. After them the 2nd band played and was an alternative rock band. I was beginning to think punk rock was not too common here. I thought there were only 2 bands playing before us so we set up to play. By this time about 3/4ths of the people at the show had left. During the first 2 bands everyone sat in the seats. That didn’t change for Witch Cult or Beartrap. I even asked them before we played “who comes to a punk rock show to sit in a chair” and then invited them to come down with us and hang out while we played. Not 1 single person did. I told them this is the most awkward show we have ever played. I wonder if they understood that? After that another band started to set up. I had no clue another band was playing. They sounded like The Casualties song Punk Rock Love. After the show we packed up and waited around to go to where we were staying.

I am here now, laying in bed typing this. One of the worst parts about this tour is the language barrier when I have to tell people they can’t use our stuff. Most of the promoters asked me before the tour if locals could use our stuff. I told them that “the tour is really long and we are afraid that equipment will start breaking (and the guitar head did break already, luckily it was fixed), so if locals could please bring their own stuff that would be cool.” I think people have borrowed stuff at every show. This isn’t that bad, its usually just parts of the drums (toms and bass drum) or cabs, but when I have to argue with people who don’t speak my language about not using our cymbals, snare, or guitar heads without sounding like an asshole, it gets pretty frustrating. This happens more often than not and sometimes I think they wanna kill me when it does.

Day 31/Show 25/Istanbul, Turkey

So today sucks. We didn’t get to sleep till about 5 am and woke up early to deal with the border. Now there are 2 major border crossings from Greece to Turkey. Our gps told us to go to the one that was about an hour further away from us. On a map it looks like a way bigger border crossing so we thought it would be the best bet. 3 hours later we are at a small hut on the border of the 2 countries with 1 border patrol officer. He tells us that we need a green card for the van (a term we have heard a lot and never had to get, yet.) He then tells us we can only get it at the border crossing we were closer to early in the day. So we head back toward where we came. On our way to that border we didn’t get hassled once, didn’t even see any cops. On our way back south to get the green card we got stopped twice. Once the cops asked for our passports and then told us to have a nice day and to do what they tell us in Istanbul. Literally 2 minutes later 2 different cops pull us over. They ask what we are doing and are positive we have drugs. I don’t know how many fucking times, in how many ways you can ask if someone has drugs and not get that they aren’t gonna tell you even if they did have drugs (of course we don’t). So after that he takes all of us out of the van one at a time and searches all of us. Some he is harsher with. He is particularly harsh with me. I think it’s because of my short one word answers and my general distaste for being fucked with by cops. He takes off my hat, stares into it like it’s a fucking crystal ball, and the ruffles my hair to see if I have drugs in my hair. After that he aggressively takes everything out of my pockets where he finds the money bag. I instantly think he is gonna steal at least half of what we have. He scratches all the money to see if its counterfeit /has drugs on it. He then gives it all back to me and proceeds to aggressively search pockets he has already emptied. He demands what I still have something in my pocket when I don’t. Bluntly I tell him “ No, I don’t” then he checks my legs for weapons, much like an airport or venue pat down. He then full on grabs my dick and shifts it around. At this point he tells me to turn around, aggressively goes thru my back pockets and wallet. After he takes my shoes and beats them against the ground he asks if there is any other money in the van and says, “I don’t wanna get blamed for taking it.” We grab whatever is in the van and he only goes thru my bag. Unfolds everything and leaves it half unzipped with shit falling out of it. Thanks, Asshole. Then he asks about drugs again and says, “today you are lucky. Don’t come back from Turkey with any weed of ecstacy or anything.” Another cop tries to shoot the shit with us and talk about what kind of music we play. A few blunt 1 word answers later and we are out of there. I’m really glad we didn’t get extorted but fuck those dudes. If you’re gonna grab my dick you better make me cum.

Then we headed to the border of Turkey, 3 hours and loads of gas wasted. Now we sit at this border and get passed around to different officers. ! looks at our passports, one charges 15 euros each (90 total) to be in the country. Then we get sent back to the first guy so he can stamp our visas. Then the next people look at all our shit and then we have to go to a 5th person for our green card for the van. When they say Green Card it really trips me out. In the United States a green card is what you need to obtain to become a citizen. The green card for the van cost 90 more euro. So today so far we have spent 180 to be in Turkey for less than 24 hours, 110 euro on gas that most got wasted because of shitty technology.

We are gonna get to the show right on time (4 hours late for “load in” tho) and it starts at 11:30. Out of all the places we were going Istanbul was the one I wanted to spend some time in. Thanks to bad technology, shitty cops, and shitty border patrol I will see the 4 walls of the van, the 4 walls of the venue and the 4 walls of the place we are sleeping. Thanks to all contributing factors. So we finally get to Istanbul and I think it’s the biggest city ever. We drove thru what looked like a really populated downtown for like 20 minutes. Then we got to the main strip and right there was the club we were playing, Peyote.

Uger from Neglected booked the show and they played first. They were fucking awesome. I also like his old band, Ultimate Blowup. After that Witch Cult played and everyone got down. Same for BearTrap. The room was small and pretty full. I liked this show a lot. I wanna wake up early and check out Istanbul before we head to Bulgaria tomorrow. I doubt it’ll happen tho. After the show we drove to the apartment we were staying in, which was in Asia. It didn’t even occur to me that I was anywhere near Asia till we were crossing the bridge to Asia. When we got to the apartment I went to sleep.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Italy 6

Italy 5

"It’s been more than a year since I wrote the first article on this blog, when I realized this I asked myself if anything has changed in the last 12 months.

First of all in my life the biggest change is a new band named Holy in which I sing, and also we share members with well known acts like Verme, Scena, and obviously Light Up! (where I play the bass). We play a mix of D-Beat, New School Hardcore and Powerviolence, we recorded 8 songs last summer, supposed to be just a demo they become a 12” thanx to the work and support of Hell Yes Records! We’re about to tour europe from April 28 to May 8.

Meanwhile I keep playing in Light Up!, we’re planning to release a 5 or 6 song tape (with songs all sung in italian) and also a LP, we hope that everything will be ready by the end of the year.

Here in the Milano area things have become very quiet, less shows, less bands playing, it’s a sort of paradox because the town has a new mayor, who is supposed to be “closer” to the left wing movement, and seems that the all cops/antisquat season has ended.

By the way with Light Up! We palyed a couple of shows in a new squat named Black Aut (in the east part of Milano). It was super fun to play there and lot of people came ( we luckily shared the stage with Loma Prieta, in one of those shows), I recently heard they had some issues with the neighbours due to some rave party (sic...), I hope they keep on promoting hc/punk shows. Even in Monza the folks from FOA Boccaccio ( a well known squat, which was active for several years around the mid 2000’s) squatted a new place, it’s smaller, Bokanovsky are going to play there by the end of March, and maybe Hammers around June.

Talkin' about bands , this time. I have to quote some bands from other cities, that, in my opinion, are the best acts around. It’s sad that in a big city like Milano, well known in the past for his glorious scene, no new bands are rising. I hope it’s just a momentary phase.

Crop Circles (Trento / Rovereto) play a mix of Fast Core and Old school hardcore, they toured europe with Left in Ruins (and they're about to hit the road again, I think their next tour will start around the 10th of May). It’s hard to find a band that good, checkin' the italian scene right now, fast/slow parts, cool riffs, extremely harsh vocals. They released a s/t 7 “ and a 7” split with Light Up! Check 'em out!

La Prospettiva (Cesena) are a 5 piece that play Old School hardcore in a very modern way, perfect drumming, fast parts, midtempos, really well done guitar parts and melodies. The lyrics are in italian. I must admit I’m not too much into this kind of hc, and at first I was a bit sceptical about their music, but we shared the stage 2 or 3 times and they've always been a fuckin' blast, and every time they’re gettin' better.

Left in Ruins (Trento) play powerviolence for fans of both Dropdead and modern acts like Trash Talk, sometimes you can also hear some rockish riffs. At first they we’re a 2 piece combo, with Olly singing and Piff (guitar in Crop Circles) playing all the instruments. They soon set up a full line-up, to play live shows, they also released a s/t LP around the end of 2011.

Whale's Island (Palermo) are very different from all the other bands I’ve quoted, Whale’s Island play melodic hardcore/pop punk, musically they remind me something like Polar Bear Club, the vocal style is very close to Death is Not Glamorous, cool melodies, very enjoyable.

That’s all for now...See ya!"

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Tour - Beartrap - Greece

Day 27/Show 21/ Volos, Greece

Today we woke up to some of the best vegan cheese I’ve ever had. Then Vasko drove us to the highway because our gps doesn’t work good in Macedonia. We started the drive to Volos and it wasn’t a bad drive. It was thru mountains so it was at least visually appealing. We got to the show around 6. The flyer for the show said that doors were at 10. Why would we ever have to be there 4 hours early? We don’t sound check and this is punk rock so who needs to anyway? After we got to the squat the promoter told me that the show wouldn’t start till 11:30, and it didn’t start till like 1 am. Not that we had anything better to be doing really, but every promoter over here tells you to be at the shows sooo much earlier than you actually need to be. All the shows start way later over here too, which is mind blowing to me.

Vaggelis booked the show. He is such a nice dude. We layed in the cold room we were sleeping in for a few hours. This show is in a gigantic abandoned warehouse that is called the Riot Squat. By the time the show starts there are a lot of people in the small room the show is in. Probably over 100. We are not a band who draws 100 people, they are all there because it’s something to do. It kinda reminded me of the Lugano show, except a lot more people watched us. I always forget I’m so lucky to have grown up in Boston where it is illegal to smoke indoors. It seem’d like every person there smoked 20 cigarettes each during the first band. They had no value of human life. It made both sets insanely hard. Everyone was nice and the show was cool, don’t get me wrong, it was just hard to get thru without being able to breath properly. Also, at some point there was a dog cowering in fear under our merch table. Dean from Witch Cult had to carry it out of the room and downstairs. A show is no place for a dog you scumbag mother fucker. Take care of your pets or don’t have them. I’d rather not have you at the show so you could take care of your dog. After the show we went to the room we were staying in and it wasn’t as cold as earlier for some reason. We all slept.

Day 28/Show 22/ Athens,Greece

We woke up today and headed to Athens. The drive was mostly coastal and thru small towns. It was a nice ride, We got to Athens a few hours early so we could walk around. We saw some ruins, some homeless families, and some street venders get kicked out of their spots and yell at some cops. It was pretty eventful. We got back to the venue and ate a lot. There was a lot of vegetable based dishes that I didn’t know the names of and some rice, it was great. Apostolis booked the show (and booked the other 3 in Greece for me also). This show was at an anarchist meeting center called Kallidromiou 94. It was a decent sized room in the basement of a building.

The show started at 10ish and it was the first band's first show. They are called Cut Off and thy were a really good fast hardcore band. There had to be around 200 kids at this show. They all went off for Witch Cult and even more so for BearTrap. They bought a lot of stuff from us and everyone had something nice to say. This is the best show of tour so far, sorry Lisbon. After the show we drove to where we were staying, drank some tea, and are about to go to sleep. We have to be out early tomorrow so I hope we go swimming in the ocean.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Tour - Beartrap/Witch Cult - Slovenia, Croatia & Macedonia

Day 23/Show 18/Ljubljana, Slovenia

Woke up today ate some fruit. Then we started to head to Ljubljana. We stopped at a grocery store because Italy has a specific company that makes vegan ice cream/vegan nutella and other things. After that we hit the road. The day started really good. That was sure to turn around quickly. Slovenia is in the European Union, which means “there are no borders” and you are free to travel from country to country with little to no hassle. When we entered Slovenia 2 cops stopped us and asked us what we were doing and then let us go. After that we passed a rest stop. 2 minutes over the border we go thru what looks to be a toll booth. A cop stops us and asks for our documents. We give him the registration to the car and then he asks about “the sticker we are supposed to have to drive on the highway in Slovenia”. We have never heard of such a thing and cannot read the signs on the road. The first set of cops didn’t warn us and the rest stop said nothing about it either. So he asks Alastair to come with him. 5 minutes later Alastair comes back to the van and says, “We have to pay $15 to drive on the highway, and a $150 fine” for driving for 5 FUCKING MINUTES in Slovenia with out this pass. Who would have thought cops in other countries would fuck you too? That is 1 and a half tanks of gas and ALL the money we got paid last night. RIGHT ON! I love the police. $165 dollars to be in this country for less than 24 hours.

We got to the squat about a half hour later and it is an awesome place. There is a gate and probably 5 buildings within the compound. The big factory out back has a huge, well built skate park in it and the other part is where the show is. The venue is called the Rog Squat. Spela booked this show and she lives here. She is very pleasant. We skated for awhile and then I went downtown to check the city out. It seems like a hip small city. There is a lot of graffiti and bike lanes everywhere. The old downtown district doubles as a shopping center and runs along a river. It’s a pretty cool place to be. After that I skated back to the squat as the sun set. We hung out at the squat for awhile before dinner. We had potatoes, spicy beans, split pea soup and fruit salad. There was also some sort of chocolate covered crème thing and it was amazing.

The show started late (around 10:30 or 11:00) and only Us and Witch Cult played. This is like the 4th or 5th show with no local openers. This was the best one so far. There were a lot of people here for a Tuesday night at 11:00 pm. They all seem’d to enjoy the show and bought us some stuff. It's cool how the day went from awesome, to really shitty, to awesome again. Tomorrow we get to actually cross our first border into Croatia. I’ve heard so many mixed stories about crossing the borders, I have no clue what to expect.

Day 24/Show 19/ Zagreb, Croatia

Today we woke up to the dude fixing our amp coming to pick it up. I never caught his name but we waited around for a few hours and when he finally returned we tried it out and it worked! We went to repair shops in bigger cities who said it would take 2 weeks to get the part and fix, but on a days notice this dude got 2 power transistors and a new fuse and fixed the amp in a matter of hours. He offered to just do it for the cost of parts (15 euro) but we threw him a little extra and some merch. The day was off to an awesome start. We said goodbye to Spela and the Rog Squat and headed to Zagreb. The drive was only an hour and a half which is awesome, but we had heard horror stories about the border the night before. We got thru in about 10 minutes. First person checked our passports, 2nd person checked our passports again and asked about our equipment, and then he laughed at how different we all look in our passport photos and let us go. Its awesome how easy that was.

We got to show early. It's in a place called Attack which I think is a club inside a squat. We loaded in and then ate some potato gnocci. Gonzo and Jasmin booked the show and are really nice dudes. The show started around 10 and the venue was really cold. There were a lot of people at the show so that was cool. I couldn’t really tell if they were there cause they liked the bands or if it was just something to do. Either way both bands played hard and then we packed up and went to the apartment we were staying at. It was a pretty nice place in the center of Zagreb.

Day 25/ Denied at the Bosnian Boarder/Driving overnight to Macedonia

Today we woke up and sat around for awhile, which is always a bad idea when you have to cross a border. We ate some fruit and headed out. The show in Bosnia started late so we were not to pressed for time. We got to the border and they told us we didn’t have the right paperwork to drive in their country. We waited around for awhile and tried to get things set straight. They told us we needed green cards and a specific vehicle registration form that we did not have. They then told us that they couldn’t even except a bribe from us because if we get pulled over by the cops the border will get shit for letting us in without proper shit. What a bunch of fucking assholes. Then we had to cross back into Croatia and figure out what we are gonna do. So we had to cancel the show, no money for the day, no dinner or a place to sleep, and we had to waste time/money/gas to do it all. We had to cross into Serbia and drive straight down to Macedonia. The drive was 9 hours. We got into Serbia with no issues. At the Macedonia boarder they charged us 120 euro for a green card for the van. We made it to the place we were staying at 2 am. We fell asleep watching Yes Man. This day fucking sucked.

Day 26/Show 20/ Skopje, Macedonia

Woke up today and there was food being cooked for us. Vasko booked the show and cooked the food and he is a super nice dude. He used to be in a band called F.P.O. who also had stuff put out on the label we put stuff out on, To Live a Lie Records. Anyway we had some vegetable rice, spinach soup, veggie burgers, and stuffed cabbage. Then we watched Forest Gump. We have all been really wanting to watch movies and tv on this tour and this was our first chance. Then we headed down to the show. I took a bus with Vasko and he told me all about the city and all the crazy shit that’s went on politically. It’s a pretty cool city, very old.

The show tonight is in a bar called La Kana. It seems like its geared more toward an indie crowd because there is a lot of Sonic Youth flyers and a mural on the wall. I don’t mind at all. It’s a pretty small room and I'm always happy to play in smaller rooms. Vasko told me earlier that he has been playing our stuff on his radio show recently to hype the show. He also showed us an article in the newspaper about the show with a picture of Witch Cult. Then he told me that he has told them not to print stuff about his shows because the copy write agency in Macedonia will send him a ticket or something. That’s wild. The show was supposed to start at 6 and end at 9, which is the exact opposite of everywhere else in Europe. In our eyes this is awesome, we get to play and then go relax. The show was cool, about 50 people there. Vasko said that is real good for a hardcore/punk show in Skopje currently. After the show I took the bus back with Vasko while the rest of the band took our van back. It was cool cause we walked thru the city and it’s a pretty cool place. Now we are watching Total Recall and I’m about to shower.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Tour - Beartrap - Switzerland & Italy

Day 18/show 13/Basel, Switzerland

We woke up today and walked back to the van. Then we hit horrible traffic going out of Marseille. The drive to Basel was 7 hours. When we crossed into Switzerland we got stopped at the border. They asked if we had anything to declare and we said no. They asked us if we “make music” . We said yes. Then they sent us to a line where they didn’t check the van or our passports, but they charged us 40 euro for a sticker so we could drive on their highways.

Here is where I will tell the truth about Europe and everyone calls me a complainer. If you are a small band like us you will be lucky to break even in Europe. A lot of people say “you’ll never want to tour anywhere else” and “bring lots of merch." So far, this is not true. I honestly don’t care about losing money or anything like that but the amount of tolls over here is insane and I don’t see breaking even being an option. Everyone also is not as merch crazy as people say. There have been good nights, but tonight we sold 1 record, that’s it. So don’t be fooled. Just because you are from the Unites States doesn’t mean you are automatically a hit in Europe (I always thought this was bullshit anyway). I’m gonna close this statement by saying I appreciate how nice everyone is. Every night we get fed, a place to sleep, and sometimes breakfast. It's also perplexing to me that anyone likes my band, at all, what so ever.

We got to the venue around 9 and dinner was waiting for us. Fresh fruit, nuts, salad, curry vegetables and spinach on a tortilla. It was awesome. Heiko booked the show for us and took care of everything, he is a great dude. This venue is one of those wonderful European venues that you eat, play, sleep, eat and shower at. The venue is called Hirscheneck. The first floor is a bar/restaurant. Bands play in the basement with a small bar. This show was a bar show. More so people hanging out and not really into the show. They watched us and everyone was nice but it was just the vibe I got. After the show I went upstairs to the awesome shower/internet combo. Tomorrow's drive is the shortest drive since the UK so I am amped on being able to walk around either city. The drive the day after today is 1 hour so that is even more exciting.

Day 19/show 14/Lugano,Switzerland

Woke up today and had breakfast. It was some tofu, bread, and a bunch of different spreads. Then everyone took forever to shower so I just hung out in the venue/apartment. It was some 4 floor, 700 year old building. It was such an awesome place. Then we drove to Lugano. The drive was only 3 hours and it was thru the Swiss Alps. The drive was soo beautiful. It reminded me of how beautiful Western Canada is. We got to the venue and got a tour. The venue is a squat called CSOA Molino. Its like a compound of 6 different buildings and it insane to me that this place exists. One building is a small room for bands to play. One is the big room for bands to play. Across from that is the café/library. Above that is the movie theater. Then people live in another building. There is graffiti everywhere and this place is crazy.

We skated to the skate park down the street, and that was equally as crazy. One side was this x-games street course. The other side was 6 bowls that were all intertwined. Between them was a building for people to hang out in. Pretty cool town we’ve got here.

Fabio booked the show and was a super nice dude. Tonight we had potato gnocci for dinner and it was awesome. This place is still mind blowing to me. The show started super late, like 11:30. The room we played in was one of the coldest rooms I’ve been in. I used to sell T-shirts outside sports events at night in the middle of winter and the cold of this room got to me. I played the whole show in my jacket and hoodie. The first band started and they were called gokurtrussel. They were a grindcore band and were pretty good. There were over 100 people at this place tonight and maybe 40 watched them. The kids that did threw ladders and shopping carts around the pit and went wild. The WitchTrap played. About 10 people watched both of us. Everyone here was here to get fucked up and fuck other people up. That’s cool it’s just not my thing. The saviors of this show were the gokurtrussel dudes and the potato gnocci. If you sound like Municipal Waste, come play here.

Day 20/show 15/Milan,Italy

Today we woke up in the squat in Lugano and then drove 1 hour to our next show in Milan, Italy. Short drives are always awesome. We got to the venue and then skated to the center of the city. The people who lived at the squat told us that we shouldn’t walk or skate there and we should take a train. Probably skated over 10 miles. Milan is a nice city. Back at the squat we drank a lot of tea and waited for dinner. Around 9 we had some pasta and bread with sauce on it. It was pretty good. The show started late, around 11. Earlier in the day one of the dudes who lives at the squat told us the show wasn’t gonna be that good because there was another all local show happening in another squat as an anniversary for the squat. He also told me that he tried to get the shows combined and the other squat said no, This has happened with a lot of places on this tour. I thought hardcore and punk rock were supposed to be about community and such, guess I was wrong.

This brings me to my next point. Europeans are brutally honest about the shows they book. If I were booking a band I would never tell them the show I was booking for them was gonna suck. This has also happened many times on this tour. People have said that “That town sucks for a show” or “Sorry, I think the show tonight isn’t gonna be good”. Most of the time they are wrong. Tonight they were wrong. The show was in the basement of Villa Vegan. It’s a small room so it's not hard to fill but tonight it was overfilled. The first band was named Holy and they also booked the show. They were sick. Then Witch Cult played and people enjoyed it. Beartrap played and it was pretty cool. 2 seconds ago a cat jumped on my head from 10 feet above me and now I want to go to sleep.

Day 21/show 16/Rome, Italy

Woke up early today to drive to Rome. The show was supposed to be a matinee. It did not start till about 7 or 8, not a matinee at all. The drive wasn’t that bad, but of course there was a 40 euro toll to ruin the day. Got to the show and sat around for awhile. Danillo booked this show and he is a nice dude. The show was in the Bencivenga squat. This show was kinda like the Lugano show, more people watched us both this time tho. They also made BearTrap replay half of our set because it was too short. I hate when bands play for too long so this always blows my mind. More of a party atmosphere than a show but that’s the way it is sometimes. Tomorrow is Padova, Italy. I think we are wakeing up early to go into the center of Rome.

Day 22/show 17/ Padova,Italy

Today we woke up early to drive to the center of Rome and see the Coliseum. The ruins around it are insane. I was standing outside a building where people used to get eaten by lions for other people's entertainment. I wish this still happened today. After that we drove to Padova, Italy. Playing 2 and a half sets last night must have caught up to me because I slept the latest today and slept on the floor of the van for most of the ride. We got to the show and it's in a venue called Seven Live. It's in the middle of nowhere. It’s 2 buildings. One is the venue/bar, the other is a practice space/studio. Pretty cool so far. The owner is nice and fed us some pasta and rice. We were also given the biggest loaf of bread we all have ever seen. The 2nd best part is the fruit and nuts. The best part of the meal is blood orange juice. Sica booked the show and is a very nice dude.

The show started around 9 and its on a Monday night so I was worried it wouldn’t do to well. This was one of the best shows so far. There were a lot of people, they all had a good time, they bought stuff, we got paid well and it was a Monday night. After the show we drove a few minutes to the city center and we are staying with some of Sica's friends. Tomorrow is Ljubljana, Slovenia. After this show we have to start crossing borders and worrying about being extorted by cops and having our merch seized. This is where the real struggle starts.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Tour - Beartrap - Spain, Portugal & France

Day 13/14/show 8/9/Leon,Spain/Lisbon,Portugal

Today we woke up in the squat, ate some cereal said our goodbyes to Jonpi and drove over to the beach. We stumbled upon a small skate park right on the beach. Mr. Shit and Alastair got their boards and tried to skate it. The transition was too steep. The beach was beautiful, the surfers were killing it, and I never wanted to leave. A few minutes after we left the beach our gps broke, so we had to go back to the squat to figure out what was wrong with it. Gps’ are actually illegal in Spain so we thought that might be part of the issue, no satellites to tell us where to go. So we looked up directions on my computer and used the atlas to figure out how to get to Leon. We got lost of course.

Finally got to the show. Migel booked this show (and the Madrid show in 2 days) and the place is called Shark Bar. It was (and probably will be) the nicest venue we played thus far on the tour. It was a Saturday and there was soccer (futbol) on so the bar didn’t want to start the show till 10. So we hung out in this real nice bar for awhile and they ended up feeding us a lot of bread and hummus. I thought that was dinner but I was wrong. Then the show started. There was NO ONE there besides bands, and about 5 minutes before the first band started a bunch of people showed up. They were good and super nice dudes. I later found out that they made us dinner that we were going to eat after the show at their practice space/party spot and then sleep at their tattoo studio. Pretty wild. People were into both BearTrap and Witch Cult. Then the show was over and we went to dinner. They made us some mushroom pasta and risotto. The best part was the dudes whipped out a bag of apples. I only ever really want to eat fruit and nuts so I ate a few apples and it was awesome. Then we headed to the tattoo studio to sleep. It was cool and a lot more like and apartment with a front room for tattooing. My shitty American charm (also known as ignorance) didn’t get me any free tattoos, but I showered and slept for a few hours.

The show today is a matinee in Lisbon, Portugal at the university of Lisbon. We went to bed at like 3 am and got up at 8 am to make the drive on time. Only later did I find out we gain an hour time zone wise and I could have slept another hour. The drive was thru many huge, foggy mountains that looked like the set of Jurassic Park. Driving into Lisbon it got really sunny and nice out. We got to the show which was in a room at the university of Lisbon. It looked like a common area where people hang, but there was a stage. It was an early show because it was a Sunday and there were a lot of people there when we got there. Bruno booked the show and helped us load in. We were then given hummus sandwiches and told that we would eat dinner where we were staying later. The first band started a few minutes later. They were called Revengence and are probably the best band we will play with all tour. The Skrotes also played and were an awesome fast skate core band. Witch Cult and BearTrap sets were awesome. People went nuts and there were a lot of them. Everyone was so nice and this show was the best of tour so far. Then we went to the other promoter of the shows house to eat and sleep. Tomorrow we wake up and drive to Madrid

Day 15&16/show 10&11/Madrid,Spain/Barcelona,Spain

Woke up earlier than everyone else today which was odd. Stood out on Raphael's porch and looked out over Lisbon, it’s a beautiful place. In the past 2 days our gps and our guitar head broke. Alastair and Mazz went out to try and get both fixed. Neither one got fixed. We started the drive. The landscape between Lisbon and Madrid looks a lot like Mexico or Arizona, but with more trees and animals that aren’t on factory farms. Our Ipod transmitter is broken also so we have been listening to the radio. One station kept playing tv show themes for some reason. We heard Arrested Development, Benny Hill, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Rosanne and a bunch of others. Seems kind of odd. We got to the venue about a half hour before the show started. Migel (the dude who also booked our Leon, Spain show) booked this show for us. He is an extremely nice dude and has helped us greatly on this tour. His English is phenomenal. The venue was called La Faena 2, and it was the basement of some huge building. It had a small bar and was a small, awesome room to play in. We heard that Madrid was not too good for shows. People were so wrong. When we got there Migel gave us pasta, hummus, fruit, and cake. After dinner the first band played. Then BearTrap played and kids seemed into it. Witch Cult played after us and people were even more into them. Some shows are BearTrap nights, some are Witch Cult nights. After the show we went to where we were sleeping.

The gps is fully broken so we have to buy a new one tomorrow. I also hope we somehow get this shitty guitar head fixed. Woke up early this morning to get to Barcelona early to deal with both. The drive was cool and it reminded me of Mexico again. I didn’t realize that the show wasn’t in Barcelona until today. It was in a small town 15 minutes outside Barcelona called Mollet De Valles. This bummed me out because Barcelona is a huge city with a lot of squats and places to play/people to play to. The venue was called La Bombeta and was a cool art space with a small bar. With the gps broken we just have to drive around the towns looking for the venues. Today was the worst. It took almost an hour to find. We got to the show and unloaded. Then Alastair left right away to get a new gps. The guitar shop was closed so we have to wake up early to drive to Marseille, France to get it fixed. At the venue we eat some seitan and vegetables, rice, and some banana, graham cracker, and chocolate cake thing. Kox made the food and booked the show, thanks to him for that. It was really good, maybe the best thing we have eaten thus far. The show as a whole was decent. All everyone said was that if it happened in Barcelona a lot more people would have come. It seem’d like people were into BearTrap. Witch Cult had a lot of technical difficulties so the set wasn’t the best.

Now here is where the ok day went to shit. Someone from the show was talking to our bassist outside and asked where we were from and then told him that the whole time both bands were playing the first band was mocking us because some of us are straight edge. She then told us we “don’t belong here” in the nicest way possible. I had no clue about any of this until we got to the squat we are staying at. I was also informed that the singer of the second band told them all to “shut the fuck up” and stood up for us. His band was also good so thanks to him for not having a sucky band and being a stand up dude. So basically the first band was a bunch of weak pieces of shit who couldn’t have a civil conversation with us about our life choices instead of mocking us. I wonder where they got this warped view that because we were straight edge and they were not that we were any different and “didn’t belong in the same place” They can fuck off. After the show was over I talked to the dudes from the 2nd band and then we packed up and headed to the squat we are staying at. Not one thing went right today (besides the food) and now we have to wake up early to get the head fixed.

Day 17/Show 12/ Marseille,France

Woke up early today to start driving to Mariselle. We got here around 2 and went straight to the guitar shop. Then we went to the world famous skate park from Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2. It was right next to the beach and so we went over there and the water was super blue. Then we headed back to the guitar shop. The head needs 2 power transformers. The shop didn’t have them and could not get them. We now have to try to get it fixed somewhere else. The only cool part is they didn’t charge us for looking at it. Then we walked around town for a little while. The show tonight was at O’Bundys. It is an anti racist organization that has a bar upstairs in the meeting room and a basement for show. It’s awesome that they are active in the community outside of hardcore while also having a space in the city for show too. Before the show started, the promoter (Rolland) had fruit and chips for us. Then we went and bought us all falaful and fries. Super nice dude. Then the show started and kids seemed to be into both bands. There was hard mosh for Witch Cult which is the first time all tour. After the show we walked to the apartment we are staying at. Now I’m about to sleep next to a bag full of fresh fruit for breakfast tomorrow.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Tour - Beartrap/Witch Cult - France & Spain

Day 9/show 5/Reims, France

We woke up early and got the brakes worked on. Now we are about to drive the van onto a train that goes under the ocean in a tunnel to France. This is insane in my head.

After the tunnel I passed out for awhile and we ended up in Reims before I knew it. The show is at a place called Café Apart. It was a small bar and a pretty cool place. Michel booked the show for us and as soon as we got there he brought us upstairs in the venue and there was a bunch of food for us. Pasta and sauce, a bunch of baguettes and some vegetable salad. Then we went downstairs to play. It seemed like it’d be a typical bar show where no one would pay attention to the bands and were all there just to drink. I could not have been more wrong. The first band was Devour and they were a crust punk band and I dug them. Then Witch Cult played and there was a lot of head banging during the slow parts and fist pumping to the fast parts. For BearTrap people went off and circle pitted. This place wasn’t shaped for a circle pit so it was pretty cool. After the show Michel brought us back to the squat in town. It’s funny because we are sleeping better in a squat (beds for all, Super Nintendo) than we have in any of Witch Cult's friends' houses. Tomorrow is a day off and nothing kills the spirit of tour than a day off. We will probably drive to Toulouse and hopefully do something cool.

Day 10/day off/10 hour drive from Reims to Toulouse

Kill me now.

Day 11/show 6/Toulouse, France

Yesterday wasn’t all bad. The squat we stayed in was cool. After we woke up we went into Reims to exchange money and didn’t end up doing it. Instead we walked thru a GIGANTIC church that was 40 degrees colder inside than it was outside. It was awesome. Shit like that doesn’t exist in America. We started the drive from hell which didn’t end up being that bad. The worst part was having a day off and tolls. France is really shitty with tolls. We got to the squat we played tonight at 12 am. It’s the L’ emergence squat and this place is INSANE.

It’s not like a standalone building that’s squatted. It has businesses and people living/working on both sides of it. The bottom floor has a shower and bath room, front room, and then the back room is a huge hall. 2nd floor has a living room, some bedrooms and a smaller hall/practice space. The 3rd floor has some more sleeping space. Again, beds for all, and the internet worked every once in awhile. Woke up today and we walked for probably 6 miles to the center of Toulouse for currency exchange and wireless internet. We asked a bunch of different people for both and went on a wild goose chase. Finally I saw a dude in a True Colors shirt and I held my arms in X formation and said “straight edge”? He laughed and said yes and then I told him we are from America and that we needed McDonalds internet. We were standing right in front of it. So we dealt with all that stuff and walked back to the squat. We waited around awhile and they made us some stuffed peppers and rice. It was awesome. We waited for the show to start. It was punk o’clock as usual so it started late. There was a decent amount of people and they all seemed to be into all the bands. Fatal Nunchucka opened the show and they sounded like Spazz and were awesome. Phillipe from booked the show and too care of us. Tomorrow we wake up and drive to Zarautz, Spain.

Day 12/show 7/Zarautz,Spain

Woke up in the squat and got a move on. We said thank you and goodbye to everyone. Then we drove to Zarautz, Spain. It is a small town on the northern coast of Spain nestled between 2 mountains and the surf is awesome. I never want to leave. Jonpi booked the show and gave us a tour of the Gaztetxe squat. It seems as if no one lives in here and that it’s only squatted as a venue/community center. It's an old factory with 2 different rooms with stages, smaller room and big room. We will be playing in the small room.

Upstairs is a kitchen, dining room, the room we will sleep in, and the radio station they run out of the squat. It's always pretty crazy to me that stuff like this exists cause in America the cops would kick you out on your ass on the first day. I walked down to the beach and daydreamed of never leaving. When I got back to the squat there was fruit for us to eat, which is all I ever want to eat. Then dinner came. Couscous, tomato sauce with veggies, hummus and bread, and potatoes. It was an awesome meal and I am thankful for how nice Jonpi is to us. The show started shortly after and it was pretty cool. Everyone enjoy’d the show and mostly told me “we played too short” and they “wish we played longer”. We are sleeping upstairs in the squat so I’m already in bed. Tomorrow we drive to Leon, Spain.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Tour - Beartrap - UK Dates

Day 5/first show/London

Alastair woke up the Americans again because we still aren’t sleeping in UK/Europe time yet. We drove around and picked up all the other Witch Cult dudes/their shirts and headed to the show. We got there and the first band started. The show was in Central London in the basement of a small café called Power Lunches. I’m not sure if they do shows/hardcore shows regularly. The promoters band, Dashwood, played 2nd and I dug them. Alex is a super nice dude and I think this was the first show he has booked. He did an awesome job with it and I hope he continues to book shows. After that I zoned out for awhile before we played. The room was super hot/small and everyone was sweating. The show was technically ”sold out” haha. The bands before us (Iron Curtain and Abolition) were on the heavier side of hardcore and us/Witch Cult are on the faster side so most of the people that went for those dudes filtered out of the show after them. Witch Cult started and all the freaks and misfits in the room come to the front and started going wild with us. I’m playing drums for them on this tour so saying “us” might get confusing. We played fast and we played hard and people enjoyed it and went off. Then BearTrap played and it was much the same. Some people sang along which is always pretty shocking to me. A few people bought some stuff and we got payed well and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the tour. After the show we drive to Bristol where we will play tomorrow.

Day 6/show 2 Bristol

Last night we got to Bristol and I slept like shit. The blanket I’m using is stolen from the plane we took so it doesn’t fit my whole body and I’m not in UK sleep mode yet. Other than that I’ve drank more tea in the past 6 days than I have in my entire life. We woke up and walked from the apartment to centre city of Bristol. Everything is sooo different over here compared to America, from the architecture to how friendly people are (at least in the northeast USA). We must have walked for 5 miles and took the city in, it was awesome. Then we headed to the show. It was in a venue called The Gryphon. The room we played in was smaller than most basements we have played and I think there were 150 kids total paid. It was our second show of tour and it was “sold out” again haha. The show was the upstairs of a bar and it was an interesting set up. It was basically 2 shows. First, 5 locals of multiple different genres played (a d beat band, a metal band, hc band and 2 others I couldn’t see cause I was watching the illegally parked van). After that, an hour long break. Then we played. I‘m awful with watching the crowd/guessing how many people were there but I was told 150 or something. Enough for me to stage dive off the bar and have my mind blown that people were singing along. Ed Eames booked the show and he is an awesome dude. We got paid well and he was constantly checking in to see how we were doing, something I am not used to in the United States.

Witch Cult played and it was even more wild than the BearTrap set. As for the last 2 bands, after playing 2 sets I was too tapped out and sitting in my underwear (which are called pants over here) to check them out. UNSU from France was one of them and I have heard them before. They were really nice dudes. People flooded downstairs after they were done and had nothing but nice stuff to say about them. After the show we headed to Tim's place in Exeter. I slept like shit again. Tim plays guitar in Witch Cult sometimes and he is currently making us chili in the other room. We are about to leave to go to some skate park in Truro before the show.

My favorite thing about the whole tour so far is the lingo arguments us/Witch Cult have. It's all a joke but yelling at a crowd “Cookies are called cookies, not fucking biscuits” is my favorite way to pass the time so far.

Day 7&8/show 3&4 Truro/Southampton

We ate the chili and then left for the skate park. The skate park was pretty wild. Mr. Shit loved it. I slept in the van for awhile and then we headed to the show. This show was at Live Bar in Truro. Ed from Moshtache Records (who also put out a small run of our record Nailed Shut in the UK) set up the show and he is super nice. We showed up to the venue and there was coconut curry and rice waiting for us which was awesome. Then after that we loaded in. The set up was a bar downstairs and a venue upstairs. It's pretty cool. We waited awhile and the show started. Unlike the other shows, this show only had 3 bands on it. Monilith was a 2 piece bass and drums sludge band and they opened the show. Then we played. A few people sang along again so my mind was blown. Witch Cult played and it was wild as always. This show had the odds stacked up against it because the 2 shows before it were mind blowing. We broke down our equipment in record time and loaded out to head to Ed's house to sleep. We got to his house and there was a bed and a blow up mattress and I finally got a good nights sleep. Woke up today to some fruit, nuts and other assorted goodies. It’s seriously soooo awesome to be eating healthy on this tour. It's equally as awesome that I feel better because the food isn’t pumped with as many disgusting hormones and other shit that fat Americans unknowingly get diseases from. While I was asleep the van was taken to get the brakes looked at and when I woke up I was told we had to leave asap because the shop in that area ordered the wrong part. We had to rush to another shop near the venue tonight. 4 hours later we are here at the venue and we have to wake up early tomorrow to get them worked on. The venue is called The Dorchester pub and it’s a bar with a cool area to play in. We waited around for the show to start. Had some vegan chili and it was awesome. Tom booked the show and was super nice and always checking in on us, again, something I’m not used to. This is Witch Cult's “hometown” area so I had high hopes for the show. The first band was called Shards and they were pretty good. I’d suggest checking them out. Then The Good Wife played. We played and it was awesome. We got a good response again and it blew my mind. Then Witch Cult played and the place went insane. Everyone was super nice and the show was awesome. The coolest thing about this show is that we walked upstairs to the venue and that’s where we are sleeping. So we loaded out and I took a shower and I’m laying in bed. So far the tour has been pretty easy going because Witch Cult is from the UK. Tomorrow we take a train under the sea over to France and that’s when the tour starts in my eyes. We wont have the security of “home” anymore.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Tour - Beartrap - Arrive in the UK and practise

So this Europe tour is probably the most important tour I’ve ever done. It is 60 days long and I basically booked the whole thing (with help from Adam Brain Ache Records). It's insane to me how ill prepared I was for it. I’ve went on weekend tours that I thought out more/packed better for. So it’s about 3am, and I leave in 5 hours to fly to London. I have nothing packed. Needless to say I didn’t sleep. We made it to the plane on time and had no issues. We get on the plane and there is a good selection of movies. I watch half of 50/50 and fell asleep. Then I woke up and watched half of Drive. We landed before I could finish it. I’ve heard horror stories about bands being denied in the United Kingdom and sent home so we didn’t bring any instruments or merch with us. We get to the border check and the officer gives me a hard time and calls me weird for “backpacking around Europe”. Zach (bassist for BearTrap and Witch Cult) has a hard time with the officer he goes thru too. Mr. Shit (guitarist for BearTrap) makes it thru with ease, and he is the worst liar out of all of us. Then we went thru customs and literally NO ONE is at the doors. We walk right thru and no one gives a shit. So I could have carried all the merch and records I wanted instead of paying huge shitty shipping prices and fees for people to receive the packages. Alastair (drummer for BearTrap for this tour/guitarist of Witch Cult) picks us up at London Heathrow Airport and we drive on the wrong side of the road (for us Americans) for 2 hours till we get to his house. It was wild. Moral of the story is don’t believe every thing you read and take risks sometimes.

Day 2
Since we are sharing members with Witch Cult we flew over 4 days early to practice and get the sets down. We didn’t sleep before the flight or on the flight, and got into the UK at 730 at night. We didn’t sleep till “bedtime” so we slept from 2 am (UK time) to 3 pm (UK time)(9pm to 10 am Massachusetts time). We woke up and kicked it around Dorset for a little while. We went to Lush and hung out with the rest of Witch Cult for awhile. After that we came back to Alastair's house and watched some punk documentary. We left for practice around 7. Zach and I are filling in for Witch Cult and we both did our homework but didn’t have the songs down as well as we should have. We practice again Thursday thank “god”. Alastair sat down behind the drums and had the BearTrap set down better than the rest of us who have played the songs a bunch of times. He might be the best drummer to ever play in the trap. After practice we came back to his house, ate and now we are watching Blade Runner while I type this. Everything over here blows my mind. Driving on the wrong side of the road, the roundabouts, how close together/old everything is. It’s always cool to go somewhere new and have a different feeling than home.

Day 3.
My Body still isn’t used to the time change so I went to sleep at like 6am and woke up at 12. Alastair's other band, Pariso, had a show outside London today at The Fighting Cocks. We spent the day picking up Mazz, the 6th and final person coming on the tour, and driving to the show. Right before you go on a 60 day tour the last thing you want to do is go to a show but we went and it was ok. Pariso and Crocus were pretty cool. The venue was cool, a small room in the back of a bar. After the show we drove home. We have practice early/all day tomorrow and I can’t sleep.

Day 4.
Woke up early to practice. We went to practice and Alastair blew me away again. After that we did some Witch Cult and got thru it. The first show is tomorrow. After practice we walked around downtown Dorset and then Kurt made us some pasta with a bunch of vegetables and soy chunks. It was awesome. Then we just hung out and made fun of each others lingo. Always remember, no matter where you are on earth a cookie is a fucking cookie and never a biscuit.