Posts Tagged ‘ tour ’

Notes from Das Boot 204

6/16/14 Hasselt, Belgium

A few headlining shows before the last couple of festivals and then home. We did Download Festival in England on Saturday and it was pretty fucking dire. The only band I wanted to see was Orange Goblin and they delivered the heavy-osity that these festivals promise. And then something odd happened, I was talked into going to see Twisted Sister. I never like Twisted Sister, never. Never dug their good timey singalong hard rock bullshit, never liked their us vs. them videos. Didn’t like their look, a cross between Sha Na Na and New York Dolls. Nothing about them appealed me at all. But they put on a great show. All their corny bullshit worked, it was a band as motivational speaker. And although I will never listen to them on purpose, I do have new found respect for them, which I’m sure will let them sleep a little easier.
And now a brief word on kilts. I’ve seen some kilt wearing guys at most of these festivals most of them are defensive about their attire choice. Unless you’re in the Scottish Dragoons ( or whatever they are actually called) you should expect a couple of “hey that dude’s wearing a skirt” looks. I don’t give a shit what you wear and I don’t want to hear your explanations. If a guy was wearing a stovepipe hat and wasn’t a Lincoln impersonator he would get looks as well, deal with it.

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Statue of nude Alfred Hitchcock with dog ( I think)

Notes from Das Boot 203

[upon rereading this before publishing. Jeez, what a bunch of mundane, insignificant trials & tribulations, but that's what long drives on tour are made up of]

9/12/14 on the autobahn en route to England
10am

Most festivals have internet connection (the exception this tour was the badly run Rock Hard Fest) and the speed of it depends on how many people are using it. It’s a real feast or famine type setup. Yesterday at Copenhell during Iron Maiden’s set it was smooth sailing as everyone was watching the concert and I finished up writing Notes 202 . I finished just as their show ended and by the time I was posting, everybody came and tried to get online. Everything internet was frozen. The upshot of this boring look at the fascinating world of backstage internet is that I think the last blog was posted but I’m not sure. On another more crucial note our coffee-bot coffee machine died. It’s stuck in cleaning mode like somebody with a severe case of OCD. We do have a french press but nothing to grind the coffee beans. We’re supposed to stop at a supermarket later hopefully we can get something then. Coffee is very important on the bus, it adds a thin sheen of civility that makes long travel bearable. I’m sitting in the upstairs front lounge (ie: 2 seats by the window), it’s the best place on the bus for a little solitude, unfortunately it’s right in front of all the bunks, so when everybody is sleeping (like now) it’s a symphony of different offensive smells and snoring.
2:30pm somewhere in Holland
Luckily, our tour bus company met us at a rest area and switched out coffee makers, so a catastrophe was averted. Danny and Fish ( sound man & guitar tech respectively) are in the back lounge watching some kind of crime drama that’s in French with Swedish subtitles. I don’t think either of them speak or read either language, I’m puzzled. I’m reading a bunch of old Creepy and Eerie magazines as the day slowly drips by.
9:30pm on a ferry heading to England
Well, the new coffee machine is acting squirrelly and only works about half of the time with an intricate process to nudge it along. It seems that the bus company doesn’t have much faith in it either as they gave us a back up coffee maker to the replacement coffee maker. At least the coffee machine problem takes my mind off of why Danny and a Fish would watch a movie that neither of them understand. It’s vexing to me.
9/13/14 9:30am, a truck stop in England
The wi-fi here at the truckstop isn’t terrible, the coffee is almost hot and it’s not raining. This is what rates as a trifecta these days. Stayed here over night as the driver had to get his 12 hours of rest (sanctioned by law, he’s not lazy). We leave here in an hour or two and head to a hotel in Derby. Tomorrow is the Download Festival.

I am also putting up a bunch of tour stuff on Instagram @feedtim

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Farewell broken coffee machine, may you never darken our doorstep again

Notes From Das Boot 182

Monday, August 19, Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam

Parken fest in Bodo (Norway)was solid. Nice little city and after the loooong ride any place that wasn’t moving would have been ok. Kvelertak had a heavier Turbo Negro thing going on that was really good live and Nick Cave/Bad Seeds were great. Christ, The Bad Seeds are such a great fucking band, delicate and bludgeoning. Then another 12 hour drive back down to Trondheim (also Norway) for Pstereo Festival. A good day, really good catering (the King’s personal chef cooked dinner, or so we were told) and one of the best bands I’ve seen in many a moon, Goat. Tough to describe, but since I’m a record store guy, let me over explain. Kind of like Eno/Byrne-My Life in the Bush of Ghosts played by a supergroup consisting of Fela Kuti’s band and The Heads. On record it’s pretty hot but live its a lot more heavy psych, fantastic stuff. We had a day off on Sunday before we flew, pretty lazy day. I went out for coffee to a hipster looking place, ordered a coffee and pastry. This drunk guy sidled up to me pointed at my tattoos, his tattoos and was jabbering, I told him I didn’t speak Dutch and he said in broken English “look, my tattoo” and pulled down his pants. Down, way passed mid hip and into the danger zone, “no man, that’s cool,nonononononono.”. There was something that looked like birth mark that should be looked at by a doctor but was actually a prison-esque tattoo of the playboy logo. He pulled up his pants, hugged me and was on his way. It was time to go home.

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One of the singers from Goat, other Goats behind her

Notes from Das Boot 181

8/16/13 Bodo,Norway, Parken Fest
We were driving for quite a while and no interweb access, so here’s a few I wrote on the way

8/15/13 still en route on ferry to Norway 12:30am
Calling home costs a lot of money. I buy cheap SIM cards and use them on a cheap phone or I Skype on my iPad . As a last resort, I’ll use my regular phone (as readers of this blog some of you might remember that I have an old cel phone, that’s not very smart. I mentioned it in a post entitled “Satan courts the Duchess” ). So I’m on the ferry and they have Internet access for a a few euros and I thought, it’s a long ferry ride and I’d like to call home and get a needed dose of normalness. So I found a secluded area and I skyped Carrie. It was a terrible connection but I didn’t want to give up, because I really like talking with my wife. Outside of the “I miss you’s” and stuff like that, it’s just something I enjoy doing (Jesus, that reads so fucking dumb but I don’t know any other way to say it). Anyhow it was a train wreck
Carrie: hello…..hello…Tim?
Me: yeah…hey……..hey babe
(I can hear my voice two or three seconds delayed and distorted, so we’re stepping on what the other one is saying)
Carrie:heyyyy….hello?…..hello?
Me: yeah…can you hear me...
-SILENCE-
Carrie/Me (same time)…no..not reallyCan you...I can only hear every other...What..whathey…notno…Can you?
Carrie: Fuck...
So I start walking around, think that I’ll find a sweet spot, and my voice keeps getting louder. So much so that I’m starting to get looks from the other passengers. But I’m not gonna give up
Me: Hey! …..Is this any better!
Carrie: no…I can only hear every other word
Me: IS THIS ANY BETTER !
Carrie: No! You’re loud…but the connection still sucks
Me:fuck it, I’ll call you later
Carrie…what?
Carrie/Me-callcall laterfuckfuck.
-CLICK-

8/15/13, 300km south of Trondheim, Norway 2:30pm
Well, we are only three hours away from being eighteen hours away. It is beautiful up here but ask me again in eight hours and I’m sure I won’t care about the beauty of the back roads of Norway. Sitting in the front lounge is about the most solitary place on the bus outside of the bunks. Somebody is having an A-Team marathon in the back lounge, I can hear the theme music waft thru the bus like an aural stench. Man, I hate the fucking A-Team.

8/15/13 200km north of Trondheim, Norway 10pm
We are on some crazy reindeer path that is doubling as the main road. Fucking hell, is this some rough goddamn driving. We’ve been going for nearly 48 hours. That truckstop hot dog wrapped in bacon I got a few hours ago isn’t sitting well, what a surprise. I hate everything.

8/16/13 5km south of Bodo, Norway 7:30am
Almost here, crossed the arctic circle a couple of hours ago. Even though the ride has been pretty brutal (almost 55 hours) it is amazingly beautiful up here, indescribably so. Blurry photos through a bug splattered windshield don’t do it justice.

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Like I said, this does not do it justice

Notes From Das Boot, 180

8/14/13, somewhere in Denmark-2pm
Long drive after the Heidelberg show, 1,700 miles to Bodo, Norway for the Parken Festival. We also said goodbye to Paco our merch guy who is leaving the tour to get ready for his US tour as guitarist for Scout Niblett. If they play your town, stop by and say hi to Paco and ask him to regale you with bone chilling tales from the land of band merchandise.
8/14/13 on a boat between Denmark and Norway-10:30pm
20 hours into our trip and we’re less than halfway. I was gonna write something about lunch today when the server at a McDonalds knock-off was repeatedly stingy with the ice, but how many fucking times can I point out that Euro’s are cheap with ice (“it’s like they use it as currency“, pow, what a zinger!). I tried to finesse it into something readable. But like a big, dead, unfunny fish it just laid there and stunk, or was it the bus that stinks. It was probably both.

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For all your balloon needs while in Heidelberg, might I suggest Balloon Boutique

Notes From Das Boot, 179

August 12, 2013 / Lucerne, Switzerland

We are playing the Schuur it’s a good mid sized club. The thing that sticks in my head here was the front of house sound and lighting desk are housed in what looks like a flying saucer. Although I remembered it as being much more “I’m doing lights from a goddamned FLYING SAUCER!”, it actually looks like a prop from a high school play.
A final note on our day off. I’ve complained about the heat over before, one of the things that would make it more bearable would be wire/mesh screens for the windows. For our european friends, a window screen lets in air but not flies. Anytime you open a window over here to get a little breeze it’s an open invite for hordes of flies. This is where a screen in the window would work wonders. But nothing, I haven’t seen one screen all tour, I can’t even remember if I’ve ever seen screens over here. The only reason I can think of is that flies are a powerful voting contingent over here in Europe and they’re keeping window screens out of the EU.

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Rene manning the flying saucer

Notes From Das Boot, 178

Sunday, August 11 / Feldkirch, Austria

Day off in the middle of nowhere, but it’s a beautiful middle of nowhere so it’s ok. While having dinner tonight in the beer garden, a waitress tapped me on the shoulder or I thought it was a tap on the shoulder. I turned around to see what she wanted and she was holding a big green bug, “this was on you.” Aaauuuuugghhhhhhhh! I jumped out of my chair, knocking it over, “what the hell is that thing!?”. “Just a bug.” She let it go and it flapped its large leathery wings and flew off obscuring the sun. The other diners stopped staring at my testosterone fueled, manly response and went back to their beer.

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This is the cheapest room at the hotel. The ladder costs extra.

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