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.