Archive for January, 2014

Notes from Das boot 189

En route to Vienna 8am
I haven’t broken the four hour sleep mark on the bus yet. It usually takes about two weeks to be able to get what resembles a full nights sleep. I mean, fuck it’s a really nice bus but sleeping in the small bunks (about the size of a generous coffin) takes awhile to get used to, even after all these years. So I’ll grab a coffee and a piece of fruit, if it’s fresh (the clementines have been good lately) and sit in the front upstairs lounge. “Lounge” makes it seem a lot classier than it is, it’s a bus seat in front of all the bunks right by the front window. For me this is the best place on the bus, the closest thing to waking solitude the bus has to offer and solitude is the most prized possession on tour. The highway we’re on could be anywhere, a bizzaro world version of the New Jersey turnpike. It’s snowing and gray, the windows are tinted and caked with grime so even a sunny day doesn’t seem that sunny ( it’s like the bus is saying, “alright sunny, take it down a notch”) and a shitty day is that much more bleak. Listening to the first Neu! album, it fits this drive like a glove.

Lady bottles and chipmunk liquor, which is also the name of a new police drama on Austrian television.

Notes from Das Boot 188

En route to Budapest 9am
The roads between Leipzig and Budapest are pretty rough, it’s like a 400 mile subway ride. We’re at some government check point/toll center/truck stop in Slovenia. Usually truck stops are a good brief oasis on a long ride. It’s bright and full of bad food and weird trinkets that you’d never buy, unless you’re drunk. The truck stop part of this place was grim and utilitarian and was more of a bum out than being on the bus for thirteen hours. The place we’re playing in Budapest, the WigWam is an odd club that combines a western cowboy motif with hair metal. Imagine the classic western High Noon remade starring Poison and you’re on the right track.

Budapest 7:30pm
Well the WigWam is now called Club 202 and the western motif has been taken down a few notches which is somewhat disappointing. On the plus side the lighting desk is in a normal booth. The last time it was located in what looked like a child’s fort set up in the middle if the floor. It was very strange, I had to crawl through a small door and I couldn’t stand up in it. The show last night in Leipzig was really great, we had been told that ticket sales were shit but it filled up and turned out to be a great crowd. The house crew was also really helpful. Day off tomorrow.

Subtlety is not priority over here

Notes from Das boot 187

1/28/14 Leipzig
Last few days have kind of been a blur. Long white knuckle drive in Norway from Bergen to Drammen. It had everything, steady snow, icy conditions, treacherous small winding roads through the mountains. Yikes. Then another long drive to Berlin which was not so much treacherous as it was boring. We played Huxley’s, real good show and crowd. There was security guy who I had to pass every time I went out to the bus. He was a nice enough guy but by the third time I had run out of small talk. I was heading out for load in and I said ” well, time to make the donuts“, which was a tag line from a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial that ran about ten to twelve years ago. This guy doesn’t know what the fuck I’m on about. Christ, why would he, Dunkin’ Donuts is barely in Europe and I’m referencing a decade old commercial. So the security guy gives me a strange look and instead of just letting go I try to explain using words and diagrams and interpretive dance. He didn’t know what I was talking about and he didn’t care what I was talking about. I realized my mistake about a minute into the over explanation. I just stopped and slunk out to do load in and for the rest of the night I used a different entrance

Notes from Das boot 186

Bergen, Norway

Had a great time in Oslo hanging out with old friends Danny Young and Art Handler. The show at Parkteatret was solid and it was good crowd even though we were up against the mighty Kvelertak who were playing the Rockefeller. Unfortunately Church of Misery had a rough time of it last night with mic problems and after the show a toilet backstage was busted up. The club was really cool about it, I guess nobody wants to cross a band that has made a career singing about serial killers. We are playing the Garage tonight, great club with a shitty load-in that’s made bearable by the excellent crew they have here

The hills in Norway are alive with the sound of black metal

Notes from Das boot 185

Oslo, Norway
Got up this morning and went looking for a post office to mail some postcards. It’s quite icy here and being naturally clumsy (one of the superpowers I was born with) just makes the likely hood of a fall pretty much a sure thing. So I was crossing the street and slipped but didn’t fall, I just did some animated stumbles that wouldn’t have been out of place in a silent era slapstick comedy. When I finally crossed the street there was this old guy who looked like he was mimicking my stumbling to make fun of me. “Well that’s not very nice” I was thinking and then the old guy vomited all over the street and I realized he wasn’t being a dick, he was just being a drunk.

The construction warning signs over here are more dramatic and actually have a narrative

Notes from Das boot 184

1/21/14, Stockholm
Had breakfast yesterday at the hotel in Copenhagen, since we’re not getting too many hotels I didn’t want to miss it. As I was eating there was a group of workers who came through to do construction work in the kitchen. They were way too suave to be construction guys, they looked like the terrorists from most of the Die Hard movies. Of course I thought the hotel restaurant was going to be taken over by a bunch of nogoodnicks (how else could you read it), so I stayed just long enough to have a second bacon sandwich and a third coffee. Surprisingly nothing happened and we were soon off to the venue. We played the small room at the Vega, which is a bit cramped but pretty solid. The first day of tour clusterfuck with the gear went as well as could be expected, without much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Good first show and with the band playing the entire new album as the main part of the set, I was pleased that the crowd stayed with it. Church of a Misery fucking killed it last night and I’m psyched that we’re touring with them. We are at Klubben today, good place with a great crew. Overnight drive to Oslo. I thought we might get some sun for the 45 minutes of daylight up here but it was just a slightly lighter grey.

From the Swedish sticker series Who Hates Racists, collect them all.

Notes From Das Boot 183

(Back on tour again. Monster Magnet and Church of Misery, a month in Europe)
Frankfurt, Germany 1/19/14, 7:30am
Waiting on a connecting flight to Hamburg and then a drive to Copenhagen for the first show. The airport here is pretty sleepy on a Sunday morning and I had a good cup of strong coffee, the restroom near the coffee place is one of the worst smelling bathrooms I’ve had the misfortune of walking into in recent memory. A horrible sewer smell covered up by an orange smelling industrial cleaner, like those chocolate oranges but instead of chocolate it’s shit. Yeah, I didn’t sleep on the flight over