Transmission 4.21.2009 March / April Tour Journal

3.13.2009 0755 Brooklyn, NY
We ship out tonight at around 2100 Hr. The first show is in Indianapolis, so the plan is to break up the drive between tonight and tomorrow. I still have a lot to do before leaving tonight. Aside from the miscellaneious errands that I have to do, I have to meet Custer at 1700 hr. for a video shoot in the city. Hatebreed is doing a covers record and Custer is producing a series of videos to support the release. One of the covers is “Thirsty and Miserable” by Black Flag and Kevin wants to shoot me into the video somehow. It should be interesting.
I’m looking forward to getting out there. Soon it will be shows every night, no sleep and long drives.
3.14.2009 2044 Indianapolis, IN
We drove most of last night and all of today. I forgot how long of a trip it is out to Indianapolis if you drive it straight. We’re all loaded in and now I just want to play. Tonght should be cool, Dream is Dead is playing and I’m stoked to see them rip it up. There’s a lot of old friends here.
The thing with Kevin ended up not working out yesterday, which was a bit of a relief. I was busy right up until we left. We shipped out around 2100 hr and drove until about 0300 then crashed at a hotel. We were out the door at 0900 hr. Something really interesting happened on the Ohio Turnpike today. When I travel, for some reason, I really enjoy the horrible coffee you get out of one of those vending machines that are sometimes stationed at rest stop. They’re the ones that are tucked away in the snack kiosk next to the coke machines. You put in your money and punch in what you want. A cup drops down and a mixture or freeze dried coffee and hot water pour in. This time around, the machine offered Starbucks coffee. It wastn’t great, but it wasn’t all that bad either.
3.15.2009 1724 Iowa City, IA
We arrived about an hour ago. Dredg is sound checking; they were sound checking when we showed up. Boy, there is a lot of gear on stage. I just ran into Trevor and the Pelican guys. They all seem really cool. This should be a good tour.
Last night’s show was good. The Dream is Dead ripped it up. We had some trouble with the PA during our set but managed and there was a handful of stragglers that hung around for our set. It reminded me of about a thousand other shows that I’d played in my lifetime. I was stoked to see Alexander T; the last time I saw him, he was still singing in Lickgoldensky. It was good to hang out with Jared, Clark, McCash, Fouts and all of the other Indy guys. Fouts calculated that we have known eachother for over ten years. There’s a lot of history between all of us; all based on our attempts to express ourselves.

0045
We’re hanging out at Phil’s place. The movie “Roadhouse” is playing. We just ate a big meal and I’m worn out.
There was an issue earlier on with Dredg’s tour manager; it was more like a misunderstanding but Thorns and I straightened it out. Those guys roll with a big crew so the discussion was over meal buy-out money. We had to have a talk but I think we’ll be on the same page from here on out. We’re only with them for a few days. I watched a bit of their set; not my thing, but a lot of the young people at the show seemed to be into it. Iowa City seems like a Dredg kind of town. On the contrary, it does not seem like a Tombs kind of town. During our set, I occasionally glanced at the kids in the crowd only to see blank faces.
I’m looking forward to playing tomorrow.
The interesting thing about travelling in the Midwest is how cities sort of pop up out of nowhere. We were driving across Iowa and I saw a sign that read 15 miles to Iowa City. All I saw was miles of cornfields then suddently, you’re in the city. It’s typical for this part of the country.
0758 Hr
I just woke up. I’m listening to “To Drown a Rose” by Death in June in my head phones. Today is the first day we don’t have to wake up and drive all day to get to the show. The other guys are asleep.
Phil and his wife are really cool. They made us feel completely at home. The house is immaculately clean, artwork is hanging on the walls. The shades are drawn and the morning light is filtering through.

3.17.2009 Tulsa, OK 1726 Hr.
The phonecall last night took me by surprise.
Last night’s set was good. We played at this venue that used to be called the Hurricane a few years ago. It was an interesting mix of regular people that most likely were there to see Dredg and heavy music fans. Dredg went on after us and did their kind of predictable thing with the vocals and guitar effects. Their whole thing is kind of funny; they’re rolling with this 8 person travel group yet they can only really draw about 100 people each night. I noticed that on the nights they headline over Pelican, a substantial amount of people wander out of the venue. It’s good to be the opening band of a tour like this, nobody expects you to draw anyone so there’s no real pressure. The downside is that the pay isn’t all that great.
The set is totally dialed in. The rehearsal payed off. It feels strong.
Tomorrow we loose Dredg. Apparently, Tricky is playing tomorrow which should add even more lame major label attitudes to the mix of personalities on this trip. It’ll be cool to not have to look at the Dredg tour manager guy anymore. He keeps glancing over at me and if tonight is the night he wants to say something to me, it may be a big mistake for him.
I feel shot today. The last few days have been pretty severe driving days. Today was okay but tomorrow is 8 hours to San Antonio and the next night is going to be an overnight.
This is the part of the country that makes me feel lonely.
3.18.2009 1734 Hr Little Rock, AR
We just rolled into the club. I don’t remember much from the last two days except that I drove almost 1500 miles single-handedly. The routing has been really intense; we drove down from Tulsa to San Antonio then out here to Little Rock. We have to be in Austin tomorrow for our involvement with SXSW. We’ll be busy but at least there won’t be any drives and we can kick back. Rachel is putting us up so there will be sanity and a nice place to hang out in.
I remember Tulsa being kind of a rough one. The stage was big and it was hard to hear anything. Dredg sound checked right up to door time sowe didn’t really get an opportunity to set up a monitor mix. It wa St. Patrick’s day so a legion of dudes wearing green were there, getting drunk and getting groovey to Dredg. That’s pretty much their crowd: generic, drunk meatheads with their generic girlfriends. Apparently, our buddy, their tour manager, was suffering from food poisoning and had to be rushed to the hospital.
We shipped out during their set and drove about 200 miles. That was Tulsa, OK.
Last night in San Antonio was the last night of our dates with Dredg. I didn’t speak to any of the guys in the band the whole time we were out with them. Their whole thing was kind of alien to me. They had this road crew with them who loaded and unloaded their gear while they sat and worked on their laptops. This is a band that, without Pelican to help out, couldn’t really draw more than 100 people in my opinion. When Pelican finished their set, I noticed a substantial amount of people bailing. Honestly, I’ve never heard of Dredg before. When I saw their name on the itinerary, I thought they were an Eastern European Black Metal Band. Apparently, after this one, they ship out with Torche for a full US tour.
The bill in San Antonio was Tricky (!!!), Dredg, Pelican and us. The venue was this 700 perso capacity club located in a strip mall on the outskirts of San Antonio. It appeared that the place had been recently constructed because everything seemed brand new. When we got to the club Tricky’s band was sounchecking. It sounded pretty massive. There was this huge tour bus and trailer parking in back of the venue and Tricky was hanging out shadow boxing.
We parked the van in front of the side loading door. Tricky waved to us and invited us to take whatever we wanted from his catering and make ourselve’s at home. Cool guy, not like Kevin, Dredg’s tour manager. I guess that’s the difference between someone who is successful and a band like Dredg.
We played and I think a lot of the ‘roided out Budweiser enhusausts and their girlfriends werent’t into it.
On my way out to the van, I saw Laurent from Pelican cranking out pushups next to their trailer.

3.20.2009 2320 Austin, TX
I’m kicking back at Rachel’s place; I just took a shower and now I’m getting ready to hit the rack for the evening. The other guys are downtown checking out the SXSW festivities. The Southern Lord Showcase is tonight, that’s where Pelican, Wolves in the Throne Room and Wino are playing. That sounds like a show that I should go to, but I’m beat and I could use a decent meal and a good night’s sleep. Rachel is out so I’m here alone except for her room mate. On the way to getting food, he gave me and Dave a rundown on his situation: he just got out of the penitentary about two months ago and he needed a place to stay. Rachel offered her spacious house to him. He seems like a cool guy; he was locked up on an alcohol-related assault charge and has ben clean and sober for the past 9 months or so.
We drove through the night to get here from Little Rock. I drove for a few hours at night with Thorns riding shotgun. Carson and Andrew took over for the early morning run. We made Austin by about 0900 hr. The Lttle Rock show seems so long ago even though it was less than 24 hours in the past. I remember Laurent showing me this really intense tattoo of the cover of Judas Priest’s “Screaming for Vengeance” album cover. We checked in and went straight to Snake Eyes Record Store where the first show was. It was your basic D.I.Y. set-up. There was an alternating trip going on where a band would be playing out in the parking lot while another band was setting up inside. I caught Black Cobra and Thou and the other bands were kind of a blur. The high-point of the day was meeting Wino. He was hanging out at the show and I saw that Andrew was talking to him so I went up and introduced myself. He seemed like a cool guy. Honestly, it had the same weight as if I had met Greg Ginn, his music really means a lot to me.
We played well. It was kind of hard to hear eachother but we powered through the whole thing. I met this dude at the show named Juan. He was wearing one of the Shirtkiller Tombs shirts. It was the first time I had seen the actual shirt up close and it looked pretty radical to me. He had a “Winter Hours” LP and asked me to sign it. I felt kind of uncomfortable but he really wanted to get my signature so I went ahead and signed it for him. That was the third “autograph” I gave out on this tour. Weird.
After the set, we headed over to our “Official” SXSW Showcase inside the SXSW Zone. They had a few streets blocked off , so we need a special pass that we secured at registration to drive the van in. It was complete mayhem. There were people everywhere walking infront of the van, getting drunk and trying to take in the whole vibe. I suppose SXSW can be fun if you’re not in a band and don’t have to worry about a van, gear or trying to play a show.
Gordon and some of the Relapse guys were at the show. We loaded in, set up, did a really quick sound check and launched into the set and then it was over. The fatigue had really started to set in about halfway through but I kept my head in the game.
After the set, we loaded out and everyone kind of went off on their own. I was definitely not in the mood to hang out with anyone so I drove out here with Dave. Thorns told me that Justin Ennis popped his head in to check out our set. Apparently, he’s down here as a roadie / sound guy for another band. Thorns said he walked in watched us play, shook his head and bailed.
I’m going to hit the sack.
3.22.2009 1109 Austin, TX
This is day 3 in Austin. Last night was the official end of the SXSW trip. We played an in-store at Waterloo Records. The stage was super small but we managed to work it all out. I felt that we played well but it was harde to tell if the sounb was good or not. After our set, we did an interview for Alarm magazine and then everyone kind of went their own ways.
There is so much going on down here that it’s hard to decide what to do. Many of the roads are closed off, choked with people, buying food from street vendors and drinkinkg beer. I suppose that SXSW would be fun if you weren’t in a band and wanted to hang out, watch bands and party. The whole scene was a little stressful for me.
I spent most of the night hanging out by myself, walking around Austin, taking in the whole vibe of the place. I was thinking about how cool it was to meet Wino on Friday. He was exactly how I hoped he would be; he was like a character out of a movie. Not having accurate intel on who was playing where or at what time gave me a level of freedom to just sort of take everything in. There were stages set up everywhere. I checked out this band playing in ther parking lot of a restaurant. There were about 10 people there. As the night went on, people got drunker and the scene got more chaotic.
3.23.2009 Austin, TX 1124 Hr
The show last night was cool. Radar Records put the showcase together and had Wolves, Pelican and us play at the end. It was a long day, 11 bands played. I don’t feel like communicating today. We have a brutal amount of miles to cover over the next two days. No shows for two days and a lot of miles to cover. I’m looking forward to getting out of Austin and back on the trail.
We played with this band called Battlefields that totally kicked my ass.
Before we left town, we hit Waerloo Records. I procured a copy of Mike Watts’s book and a collection of Raymond Pettibon Black Flag postcards.
3.24.2009 Tuscon, AZ 2314
We’ve been driving solidly for two days. We spent last night in some town whose name I can’t remember. I remember stopping at various points during the night and looking out across the West Texas plains and telling the other guys that we were in it now. The terrain changed over night. When we stepped out into the morning light, it was desert.
The drive today was smoothe and uneventful,. I heard from Will; apparently, the Wolves van is fixed and they’re on their way. They lost a whole day of travel so they have some hard miles ahead of them.
I like travelling through this part of the country. It feels so lonely out here in the vast silence. I’m thinking about how breat taking last night’s sunset was. The sky was deep azure with smears of orange. There wasn’t another soul for miles, just the van cutting across the highway. I felt small and inconsequencial. I remember pulling over at one of the rest stops and seeing a sign that read “Beware of Poisonous Snakes and Insects” and realized that you can die out here very easily. The desert goes on forever, you can see the mountains in the distance then, suddenly there is a town. You start to the see the uniformity of civilization, the Denny’s, Starbucks, Circle K signs.
The plan for tonight was to meet up with the Pelican guys, have dinner at this Mexican Restaurant and meet up with one of their friends that works at a venue called Plush. When we parked, we ran into the guys from Battlefields. They played at a D.I.Y. venue about a block away. It was them and their tour mates Irepress. The other guys went to Plush to check out Early Man and I hung out to see Battlefields. They sounded massive, what a great band. There were like ten people at the show and Rusty, the singer thanked them for coming out. It was their third time in Tuscon. It made me realize how lucky we are to be on such a great tour with such great people and how a band like Battlefields are on their way to becoming a hard, well-functioning machine by playing these shows. I know that side of it. I’ve done tours like that for years; the hard drives to no place to play in front on no one. It makes me feel like a lightweight when I bum out about not getting our fiull meal buy-out.
1700 Hr Tempe, AZ
We’re loaded in and waiting for the sound engineer to show up. It’s a five band bill tonight; Early Man and some other band is playing tonight. We’ve been here for about two hours; I had this excellent meal at an Ethiopian restaurant before heading over to the venue. It was a Hemingway moment. The food was great and I finished off with a strong sweet espresso.
I keep fucking up and I deserve to be alone. I deserve my own company. You think you deserve me and I don’t deserve anyone because all I do is wear people out. It would be so nice to go somewhere and disappear. I don’t want to know anyone and I don’t want anyone to know me. It’s simpler that way; it’s easier to not get hurt when you stay far away from me.
The bar people are starting to show up. They’re cranking Guns ‘n’ Roses. I put my headphones on and deployed some Death in June.
1.26.2009 1713 Hr San Diego, CA
I woke up in a sketchy motel room in the desert with blood on the walls this morning and now I’m in San Diego. The venue is close to the ocean. I believe that the airport is nearby. I’ve observed several low flying planes on their descent. My favorite part of the trip happened today. We drove west across the desert in Arizona into the desert of Eastern California. The brush gave way to huge sand dunes and then back to brush as the highway wound it’s way into the low hills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It was a steep climb into the mountains. I felt like Charlie Manson and his dreams of ATWA. The drop into the valley was spectacular. You can feel the drastic change in air temperature.
The only downside was running out of gas on the I-8 / I-5 interchange. Our fuel tank sensor crapped out so I’ve been estimating the amount of fuel in the tank based on the miles we drove. About every 300 miles, I’d get gas. The trip into the mountains must have really taxed the efficiency because our tank was bone dry. I called AAA and this dude showed up with a flatbed truck, drove to a fuel station and we gassed up.
Last night in Tempe was a good night for us. The show was packed like all of the shows on this tour. It’s nice being the opening band and not having to have any pressure on you to draw any people. We’re totally just along for the ride. Luckily the Wolves and Pelican fans have been really receptive to us. Some of the Battlefields guys were there; apparenty, they tried to get on the bill, but weren’t able to swing it. Instead, this hipster metal band with no gear played. They used to be on Matador and had a song on some HBO show. Their first record was a stoner rock style album and their new one is a thrash metal style album. They came off as totally false guys. I remember when they were done playing they said “We’re Early Man from Brooklyn, NY,” appartently they all live in L.A.
We played well despite the poor sound situation on the stage. The sound man was drunk and pretty much useless. He was doing that thing where he speaks to you through the monitors during your set.
I ran Wolves’ smoke machine last night. It set off a smoke alarm so the venue staff told me to stop.
The venue itself was kind of a strange setup. One side was a pool hall with an outdoor patio. The other side is a venue. An area was cordoned off with caution tape to delineate the overage and underage sections. I thought aout how much I hate alcohol and dealing with drunk people and the caution tape became this kind of epxressionist thing for me where it “cautioned” you about going into the bar and getting wasted. You may tunr into an asshole; you may become one of those bloated douchebags that wears a backwards baseball cap and an untucked dress shirt.
3.27.2009 1115 Hr. LA, CA
We drove up to Thompson’s place in LA after the show in San Diego. He was wearing a bathrobe when we arrived. The ride seemed really long; about a half hour out, I switched with Carson. When we rolled into Thompson’s place, I hung out for a bit and crashed in a spare room. Laura, WITR’s merch person, rode up with us. Mark Holmes is on board until we get to Seattle. The vibe on the tour is really cool, everyone is helping eachother out and working together.
I had a few technical issues last night during the set. I broke a string in the first song; that always kind of takes you out of the game for a while; then there was an issue with my back up guitar; I ended up switching back to the guitar with the broken string and finishing the set with 5 strings. Will had some issues with his head during the WITR set. It was an evening of gear issues.
I ran into Chris Vanacore, the dude that used to play drums in Jejune last night. I barely recognized him. I had been thinking about those guys recently. Apparently, he and Joe still play together and Araby is married and pregnant.
I feel detached and alone. I don’t want to talk to anyone and I don’t want anyone to talk to me. I just want to be on the road, play shows and move on. When I talk to people, I’m giving them the answers they want to hear. I don’t know how I feel about anything. you. I run the movies in my head, I lay down to sleep at night.
I went out for coffee this morning with Trevor, Laurent, Andrew, Thorns and Laura. I like LA if I don’t have to deal with anyone except the people that I want to deal with. The coffee place was cool and filled with happy California people.

3.28.2009 2328 San Francisco, CA
We got here a little later than we should have tonight. After the show last night, in L.A. Mark had some people over to his place. It was great seeing everyone, I wish I had more time to hang out but the show was really packed and I wasn’t really in a good mental place to begin with. I don’t imagine that I am very good company for anyone at this point. I just want to be up on the road and playing shows.
The set tonight went well. I think it was one of the better sets of the tour as far as playing goes. In these big venues, I try to concentrate more on my singing because most of the time, the engineers are solid and you can hear everything out of the front of house. Tonight was particularly memorable. The whole staff here is really cool. We had a dressing room, hot coffee, a tray of chips and guacamole, water, beer and a bowl of assorted food bars. There was also this really excellent meal of chicken, rice, beans, salad. Jose, the cook told us that his favorite band is playing tonight: Wolves in the Dark Throne.
She was kissing this really dangerous looking guy but she was looking at me over his shoulder. Her eyes told me that she had a lot of good things to give but you would hate yourself for getting to know her. I stared into her eyes. I imagine the guy would kick my ass if he knew I was looking at her. She had his tongue in her mouth but her eyes were opened and she was staring at me.
I met this dude tonight from EMG pickups tonight. I WAS a Seymour Duncan man, but I may turn into an EMG man.

3.30.2009 1909 hr Bellingham, WA
I’m sitting in the venue waiting to load onto the stage and sound check. Pelican are up there now doing their check. Wolves haven’t gotten here yet. I got a text message from Will earlier today saying that their trailer is all fixed. Those poor guys have had a rough time with mechanical issues: first their transmission, then a series of blown out tires and then, during ther overnight from San Francisco to Portland one of the tires on their ttrailer blew out. Will told me that when he jacked the trailer up, the tire just fell off.
It’s cold any gray outside. I used to live here a long time ago in what seems like another lifetime. I’ve been back here a few times over the years on tour. At this point, I don’t think I know anyone that lives here. What’s the point in staying in touch anyway? The town looks a lot different. Cellophane Square, the cool record shop is gone and there’s a Starbucks at the corner of State Street and Railroad. I’m hoping to head over to Fairhaven tomorrow, but I think it’ll be a disappointment. I used to hang out at this place called Tony’s Coffee; I’m sure it’s been replaced by an Urban Outfitters or American Apparel store.
The venue isn’t far from the building that I used to live in. It was an interesting period of my life. I remember this girl I met at a party one night. She was from San Diego and quite striking; she was a surfer, blonde hair, blue eyes and a totally killer body. She drove me home and parked in front of my building. We kissed and groped eachother and I really wanted to get her up to my apartment but she wouldn’t budge. She was afraid that if I slept with her I’d never call her again. Man, she glowed, it was like she was made out of sunlight. She gave me her number and I never called her; when I saw her around town she acted like she didn’t know me. Bellingham is filled with stories like that for me.
The overnight drive to Portland kicked my ass. Laura helped us drive; she too over at around 0430 hr after I hit it for a few hours. I was sht by the time we switched. I remember hallucinating that I saw a red face in the tail lights of a car in front of us. I then thought that I was on the wrong side of the road. It was time to change at that point. We stoped at a Flying J Truck Stop. I dozed off for a few minutes thinking that it may energize me a little. I woke up and went into the facility to use the men’s room. When I was done. I left though a different exit and had trouble finding the van.
I couldn’t sleep. Laura averaged about 90 mph the entire time and was cranking Current 93. I thought we were going to eat it several times due to her creative driving. I can’t really complain because she got us there in one piece. She’s been really cool to me on this tour. In San Francisco, she gave me a Citrine crystal, and told me it will help me stay positive and open up my heart chakra.
I can’t remember much about the last couple of days. The driving has been intense and there’s been very little sleep. Actually, the San Francisco and Portland experiences seem like one long day because I didn’t sleep been either city. The San Francisco show was sold out; I think that the venue held 700 people. It’s real easy to think that you somehow contribute to the draw when you play these shows. I just tell myself that we’re along for the ride and thank the graciousness of the Pelican guys for taking us out on this tour. If we were out on the road alone, it would be a much different scenario. Slim’s is a great venue, I hope we get a chance to play there again.
Portland on the other hand was a totally different scene. I’ve always thought that city was depressing but people keep telling me that it’s a cool city. I just don’t see it. The neighborhood we stayed in was filled with chain restaurants, strip clubs and automotive stores. The venue was depressing and the staff were idiots. The sound engineer was terrible and the doorman was trying to tell Carson that he wouldn’t let him back into the club if he left.

3.31.2009 2002 hr Seattle, WA
The doors opened about a half hour ago; we play around 2100 hr or so. There’s a band called Black Breath playing before us; they sound pretty good. The whole trip was kind of off to a late start today. Carson, Laurent, Thorns and me went to get tattoo’ed earlier today. Load-in was at 1630, we got to the club at 1930 which if it was only us wouldn’t have been an issue but we had Laurent with us so the whole load-in, sound check scene was delayed. I’m feeling a little stressed out; I don’t like rolling without any kind of check in a larger venue like this. We were able to backline so most of our stuff is on stage already. The stage looks like a Black Sabbath concert being held in a small club.
Seattle is just another town to me now. I used to really look forward to hanging out here and meeting up with people but that’s all part of the past. At this point, I don’t want to know anybody outside of a small group of close friends. I can be cordial but there is always a distance. There’s at least half a dozen people I can call but I don’t see any reason to reach out to anyone.
The show last night was great. We played well and I feel like a lot of people dug it. The venue was really nice and had a totally pro sound system; the staff were top notch as well. During Pelican’s set, I was sitting at the merch table and this guy approached me asking if I knew where the Tombs guys were. She said that the guitarist said he would trade him a free t shirt for some Ritalin. I sent the guy over to Carson.
After our set, I walked around the corner to a dumpling shop. I was surprised that it was open late. They only had potato or beef dumplings on the menu; I ordered the potato. This surf version of “House of the Rising Sun” was playing. I noticed that there was a rack of LP’s and a record player next to the counter. I sat near the window; I could see the blinking “UP and UP’ tavern sign. I could see into one of the apartments in the building next door, the drapes were pulled back to reveal a room painted blue that was illuminated by pale light and strange shadows were cast across the room. There was a light rain falling and the streets were wet. I imagined that Dorothy Valens, the character in Blue Velvet would live in a room like that.
I talked to this older guy named Terry outside of the dumpling shop. He was at the show and said that we played really well. He was drunk and seemed like he was on some kind of medicaction that shouldn’t have been mixed with alcohol. He told me that he was born and raised in Bellingham but had lived down in LA for a while. He came back because his mother was 80 years old and needed someone around. He tolds me that he saw all of the old bands: Black Flag Agent Orange, Circle Jerks etc.
Terry asked if we were driving back to New York after the show.
2257 Hr
The set went okay. The energy was there but there were a few issues. Andrew’s drum monitor fell on him during the first song so there was a bit of a situation. These guys from Twilight TV filmed the set tonight. We never get filmed when everything goes smoothely.
Tonight is the last night with Wolves. I’ll miss those guys. I hate the end-of-tour scene. We’ll be with Pelican; those guys are killer people as well.
4.01.2009 1120 Hr Federal Way, WA
We staye with this lady that Carson knew about 10 miles south of Seattle. Will said we could stay at the farm down in Olympia, but I was too beat to make th drive. I’m not sure where everyone is. I can see Andrew and Thorns down here in the basment with me, but I don’t have a visual on Carson or Holmes. I’m not sure if our hostess is home chances are she is at work since it is a weekday. As I dozed off last night, I recall hearing a male voice identify himself as Rafael; boyfriend/husband maybe? I feel like I’m in a French horror film right now.
I just finished drinking a pomengrenate juice that I lifted from the Pelican dressing room. Larry told us that there was a cooler in their dressing room filled with fruit juices. Will and I went down and raided it. I filled the pockets of my field jacket with bottles of juice. Will obtained a cardboard box and packed if full. I’m going to miss those guys.
I ran into Ben from Harkonen; that’s pretty much the only person I ran into from the old days. I wasn’t really looking to see anyone nor did I try and reach out to anyone. Seattle is just another city to me, it’s just another line item on a list of tasks. It’s funny how many people asked me if we were doing more shows or if we were driving back to New York as if we travelled all the way out here just to play Seattle.
Today we embark on the long trek back east. The drives have been extremely brutal on this trip. We have tomorrow off, the next stop is Salt Lake City, UT. I’m hoping to make Boise tonight.

4.03.2009 2014 Hr Denver, CO
Most of today was spent driving acrtoss the desolation of Utah and Wyoming. The weather was rough, alternating between rain and sleet. I’m so tired right now I can’t even keep a thought in my head. We played Salt Lake City last night and I hung out with Kelly Green. Drive, drive, drive.
There’s a storm warning tonight so I think the plan is to get out of town after the show and drive. Tomorrow, we play Sioux Falls on our own and meet up with Pelican in Chicago. Tour is almost over. There’s tonight and Chicago left and then we have a couple of shows on our own. It’s been a really great tour; Wolves an Pelican are top-notch people. I’m grateful to Pelican for inviting us, there were probably a dozen other bands that they could have asked, but they invited us.
Tonight was an in-house meal. Justin from Adai works here.
I’m totally exhausted. I’m trying to stay focussed on what is in front of me and ignore all of the stuff going on back home. I’m just trying to roll with things; there’s nothing that can be done out here anyway. This is one of the only things that I do well so I’m going with that concept for now.

2304 Hr
We played well tonight. It seemed like people were into it. That’s the way it goes, some cities are more receptive than others. It felt good to play and now I’m worn out; during the set, I really felt the lack of sleep and all of the miles I drove today. Pelican is playing now; we’re shipping out after the show.
I’m thinking about how you have such wonderful gifts to give and that you aquandered them on me. I hope that whoever you chose next can hold you close like I never could. You’ll always be special to me but there’s nothing for me to give back to you. I missed the boat on all of this stuff a long time ago.
4.05.2009 0033 Somewhere, NE
We had to cancel the Sioux Falls show. There’s a brutal snow storm ravaging the middle of the country. We drove all day and only travelled about 250 miles. It’s not my custom to cancel shows without an exceptionally good reason but it was rough going the whole way. It’s still up in the air whether we’ll be making the show tomorrow.
We left town a little ahead of Pelican but we got a call from them; someone had ran into their trailer. No real damage had occurred. We exited the highway and waited for them at a fuel station. He hung out, ordered sandwiches. Oddly, there was a pretty cool rack of used dvd’s; I picked up the Dawn of the Dead Remake and 300. Pelican and us have been travelling in convoy formation all day in case of an emergency. For the whole day we had no more than 30 feet visibility. At times, there was a complete whiteout.
The wind swept across the highway. The snow was so fine that it billowed like white smoke or steam obscuring the countryside. White desolation surrounded us. It was the middle of nowhere, there was virutually no one else on the road Occasionally we’d see trucks and cars that had skidded off the road and lay wrecked on the median. The whole time I tried to maintain visual contact with the Pelican van. At times they disappeared in the whiteness. I drove like this all day, trying to focus on the road; between the random patches of ice and heavy wind, it was hard keeping the van from being swept away.
We’re camped out at a Holiday Inn Express. Trevor turned us on to Priceline.com; apparently, you can get $120.00 a night rooms for $50 – $60. I wish we’d had this valuable piece of intel earlier on because we were spending $70 to $80 a night to stay in these really sketchy rooms. We’ll apply this knowledge to the next tour.
It’s going to be an ordeal tomorrow. We’re about 750 miles away from Chicago. It’s the last day of the tour. Yeah, Holiday Inn Express; they have the hangers that aren’t permanently attached to the closet, they trust you not to be a thief. There’s cable tv and movie channels available to us. We watched some movie with Tina Fay and the blonde SNL chick. When it was over, the next program was this show about sex that featured a naked porno star discussing female orgasms and masterbation. We all got really uncomfortable and turned it off.

4.07.2009 2001 hr Baltimore, MD
Tonight, Exodus and Kreator are playing in a larger room next door so expectations for tonight’s show are low. Well, it’s good to see Cole; I feel bad that he’s been losing money on booking my bands for the last few years. We played last on a bill of 5 bands last night in Louisville. There were a handful of people that stuck around, mostly the guys from Millions and a couple of others. It was cool to meet Scott, the Seventh Rule Records guy; he plays guitar in Millions. The venue was cool; they sold organic seeds and had a small record and book distro. It was that late 90’s D.I.Y. Dischord-esque vibe that made me feel nostalgic for the years I spent rejecting all of the kids that were involved with that scene. The band that went on first were cool, but I can’t remember their name. The sounded vaguely like the Replacements.
The last few days have been a blur of driving and not sleeping. We lost two dates on the tour due to the intense weather. Tonight is the last night of the tour; I’m sitting here trying to not think about the shit storm that I have to deal with when I get back to New York. I don’t know how to be in a relationship with anyone. I have no idea how to do any of this. Playing in a band is the only thing that I’m any good at, and that’s debatable as well. It’s the only thing that I’ve done consistantly for my whole life. I’ve never really held onto a job for very long and my thing with women comes and goes. I fade in and out.
We confirmed tha Isis tour today. Pelican will be out on that as well. It starts in a little over a month so as bad as it gets at home, at least I know that I’m leaving in a few weeks. That always makes me feel comfortable knowing that I’m leaving. I’ll take touring over being at home any time especially since it appears that everything is melting down. This is the only path for me, it’s the only thing that I don’t let down. The road dictates my actions and I have to follow.
I want to play. I’m sitting here listening to the clever bullshit that they’re playing here at the club and I want to smash it to bits. Earlier My Bloody Valentine and the Smiths were being played but the dude playing that stuff must have went home or something.
The driving has been intense; I feel worn out. After our set, we’re hitting the road back to New York. One bright spot was hitting this Denny’s somewhere in Missouri. The waittres was super nice to us, hooked us up with some dinner rolls and gave me a free cup of coffee for the road. I love Denny’s.

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3 Responses to “Transmission 4.21.2009 March / April Tour Journal”

  1. Mike. this is great! Dredg, now we have that in common. Did they still have the trees? It was great to see you. I’m only halfway through this, but I can’t wait to get home and finish it.
    Take care.
    Alexander

  2. you have to come to the uk with isis!

  3. When isnt Roadhouse on, honestly?

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