Archive for the ‘ Notes From Das Boot ’ Category

Notes from Das Boot 201

6/8/14 Gelsenkirchen, Germany / Rock Hard Festival

Rock Hard is A) a German hard rock magazine B) a German hard rock festival and C) a German attempt at double entendre humor. Long day, no internet and shitty catering. A lot of bands were using triggered drums that sounded like frantic typing or somebody sending out an S.O.S. (Save Our Sound). Smallish amphitheater reminded me of Spinal Tap’s Jazz Odyssey show (“Derek Smalls, he wrote this!”). Good crowd, a sea of black shirts with indecipherable band names written in fonts that haven’t been invented yet (Cthulu Sans Serif and Demonic Condensed). Was lucky enough to see Blues Pills play, they sounded like a heavy Shocking Blue. On a completely different note, just found out my beloved NY Mets got swept by the lowly Chicago Cubs.

Notes from Das boot 200

Sweden Rock, Solvesborg

After a long first day which was spent waiting at Copenhagen airport for missing gear. We arrived at Sweden Rock which is a weird cross section of heavy rock. We are on the same stage today as Foghat and Ted Nugent. Volbeat is headlining the main stage. It is 11am here and I can hear sound checks from three different stages, it sounds like three radios stuck on three shitty heavy rock stations from the eighties. The crew here is really nice though, the coffee is strong and the internet connection is surprisingly good. Also I’m a lighting guy whose band is on at noon, if we don’t get a solar eclipse my job should be fairly easy.

Any questions about King Diamond or Mercyful Fate? You’ve come to the right place

Notes from Das boot 199

Monday, April 7th, Melbourne 1pm (local time)
Well, that’s it. The Tour-ette ended with a great show in Melbourne at the Billboard. A ridiculously shitty load in involving one of the smallest elevators in the world was quickly forgotten (until it was time for load out) mainly because of the great house crew. The lights had gotten short shrift for the first three shows but Ben from The Billboard had an amazing set up with a bunch of LED panels for the projections and a bunch of other stuff that could have filled an arena. I’d also like to mention that Simon our Aussie tour manager was really great and made things a lot easier than they should have been.
Tuesday, April 8th, Singapore 12:45 am (local time)
An eight hour flight from Melbourne to here for an hour layover and then an other 8hr flight to Dubai. Flight was packed and kind of rough, I am fucking shot. I never really recovered from the back to back Perth/Sydney shows, (kind of like back to back L.A./NYC shows). Forgot to mention that I went to a couple of record stores in Melbourne, picked up some cool stuff at Missing Link, a couple of 60’s Aussie garage rock comps and some things that I’m drawing a blank on. Wish I had more time. Australia is a giant search engine for records I want. (having just read that last sentence, I’m not sure it makes sense). I’m also bitterly disappointed when anybody I have a conversation with in Australia isn’t well versed in the kind of music I like, “what do you mean, you don’t know about fEEDTIME or the Scientists or X. Noooo, not the American X, the Australian X. Can’t anybody in this country have an intelligent conversation about Lubricated Goat!?” My elitist record store nerdery takes over, kind of embarrassing. A big thanks to Judy Jetson for showing me around
Tuesday, April 8th, Dubai 7:30am (local)
One more time. 13hrs to Kennedy airport. Praying to the airplane gods that no one is sitting next to me, I hope I didn’t jinx it. There’s that anxious feeling when the plane is boarding and no one is sitting next to you, anybody walking by is an enemy (keep fucking moving asshole, no no nonononononono!……whew)
Tuesday, April 8th, Kennedy Airport 5:30pm
Lucked out on the seat, there was a small bird like woman sitting in the middle seat but she moved to be with the rest of her family. The plane (an Airbus A380, if you’re keeping score) was the closest thing to comfortable we’ve had yet. As good a flight as a 13+ hour flight could be, outside of an army of screaming children and broken toilets. This flight had an end, home. The other flights just led to more flights.
(An hour and a half later , in a van on the belt parkway), Good thing the flight was 2 1/2 hrs late as we missed the bulk of rush hour. Our driver, is a loud gregarious guy, who could be described as bawdy. He’s got more than a couple of crackpot conspiracy theories, normal this would bother me me but his chatter is keeping the ride going home pretty loose and it’s an easy ride. Sometimes after a few long flights the ride home is the worst as it’s never fast enough.
Red Bank, Tuesday 8:15pm
It is good to be home. It’s been about 42 hours door to door from when we left Melbourne. 9 days, over 50 hours of flying, 6 hours of shows. Goodnight.


Notes from Das Boot, 198

[I’m finishing this up backstage at the Hi-Fi in Brisbane, being serenaded by the dulcet tones of a drum check. The Internet (or internot) in clubs over here is like Charlie Brown and the football. Every club has the internet user names and passwords posted in the dressing rooms but they seldom work and when they do the connection is so slow that in the time it takes to open an e-mail it would be faster to swim home and talk to the person sending it, but everyday there’s the internet codes and everyday I fall for it.]

Finally got through Sydney, with the crazy travel schedule I got five hours sleep over two days. So while I’m still tired as hell, I’m not delirious. The show at the Hi-Fi in Sydney went surprisingly well, considering we all looked and acted like extras from The Walking Dead. The hotels we are getting over here are really nice apartments, nicer than most of the places I’ve lived. it sucks that we have less than a day in them.
Since we are flying everyday we have different techs every day. One of the techs we had was named Dyson
*Me- hey my name’s Tim, glad to meet you
Dyson- yeah, good. My name’s Dyson
Me- Dawson?
Dyson- no, Dyson
Dyson- no, Dyson. Like Tyson, Mike Tyson but with a D.
Me-…Dyson ??
Dyson- no, Dyson… It don’t matter.
I just referred to him as “hey, man” for the rest of the day.

*this reminded me of a Portlandia episode, the one with the B&B, it had Bill Hader as an Australian named Birdman.

(Below) Backstage at the Hi-Fi, Brisbane


Notes from Das Boot, 197

Thursday April 3rd 6pm
At the hotel this morning I had to check on some of the lighting gear. It was in the room of Simon our Australian tour manager/minder who was on a different floor. As I was getting on the elevator I held the door for a housekeeper who was a middle aged Asian woman. When I got to Simons room I realized I forgot something and had to go back. When I got on the elevator, there was the same housekeeper. I said “hey, long time, no see”. It wasn’t the same woman. I couldn’t decipher the look she gave me, it was either “leave me alone you creepy bastard!” or “we all look alike to you assholes!?”, (Yes, her look had an exclamation point). It was one of the longest ten seconds of my life, thank god she didn’t get off on my floor. First show tonight at The Amplifier. Traditionally the soundcheck for the first show is a litany of things that don’t work and today’s soundcheck was no different. The power supply for Phil’s pedals took a dump and then there’s Dave’s pedals. Dave keeps odd hours and sleeps during the day which means he hasn’t been to a soundcheck in years which hasn’t been a problem but his pedals are an enigma wrapped in a riddle, swaddled in a fuzz box. When it works correctly his setup pushes out an ungodly psychedelic howl, it usually takes a few shows to get it just right but since we only have a few shows things are a bit…tense. As all first show sound checks are.
Friday April 4th, 1:35am
A few glitches but a good show, and a solid crowd. Now the hard part, we leave the hotel at 3:30 in the morning and fly to Sydney, the other side of the country. Get off the plane, drop our shit off at the hotel and head straight to the club to set up. Yoinks! By the way are the Mets mathematically eliminated yet?

Australian money has a plasticky feeling, like washable play money

Notes From Das Boot, 196

Perth, Australia
A really short four show Australian run that’s starting in Perth, this had us leaving from Kennedy instead of Newark and we flew east. After a twelve hour flight we had a two hour layover in Dubai. The airport there is gigantic, it was a half hour travel between gates, it’s a vaguely futuristic place like something that could have doubled for the set of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The second flight from Dubai to Perth was a jaunty eleven hours. I was bedeviled by two people on this flight. The first was a guy and his kid who sat in front of me. The guy was friendly, a little drunk and spoke with an accent that I couldn’t place and couldn’t understand. He was also a loud talker, so loud that when I was watching a movie (actually nine episodes of Twin Peaks) I thought that there was a character that I had forgotten about who was offscreen and spoke drunken nonsense with a hard to understand accent. The other passenger was an old Scottish woman who made kept making comments about what I assume was the flight, the food, and the stewardesses. I’m not really sure as I could not figure out one word she was saying and just nodded with a thoughtful look on my face. I always thought that having headphones on was the international sign of “don’t talk to me unless there is an emergency and even then think twice”. Perth is nice and it’s warm, sort of like a bizarro world California. We have our first show tonight, a hellishly early flight to Sydney at 5am tomorrow and then a show later that day. Found a really good record store here, Dada Records.


Notes from Das boot 195

(Late wrap up)
The tour ended in Hamburg at the Markthalle. Great show, sold out. In the afternoon I got a chance to sneak away and visit Crypt Records. For anybody who digs garage rock, rockabilly, and old greasy R&B (and variations on them) Crypt Records is Mecca. The owner moved from America a few years ago and this tiny store in Hamburg is the densest spot of amazing rock in the universe, no shit. I bought a few old R&B comps and wished I could have bought almost everything. It was also the last night of touring with Church of Misery. Ostensibly thought of as a heavy doom band, this Japanese four piece throws some weird noisy psych into the mix as well as nimble heavy blues. And for a band who has made a living singing about serial killers, they are some of the nicest people I’ve ever toured with. Well worth seeing.
After a long day of travel it was great to be home. Even our dog (Joe Puppitone) was happy to see me. She left me two tiny dog cigars on the floor outside our bedroom, they don’t smell great but I’m sure they’ll be good to smoke.