Archive for the The Trip Category

Transmission 7.23.2012 EverythingWentBlack Podcast Gavin Van Vlack

Posted in Everything Went Black Media, Podcast, The Trip with tags , , , , , , , on July 23, 2012 by everythingwentblack

Late last week, I had the pleasure of meeting with Gavin Van Vlack to discuss a wide variety of subjects such as martial arts, fitness and staying on course with your life. Gavin Van Vlack is a long-time player in the New York Hardcore Scene and has been in such notable bands as Burn, Absolution and Die 116.

You can check out the podcast thru iTunes (please subscribe if you dig it, leave comments):
http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/everything-went-black/id438300734
or stream it:
http://everythingwentblack.podbean.com/

Transmission 4.25.2012 Adventures in the Great Outdoors – Roadburn, Wasser mit Gas, European Tour

Posted in Everything Went Black Media, The Trip with tags , , , , on April 25, 2012 by everythingwentblack

4.12.2012 JFK Delta Terminal 15:47

We’re sitting at the terminal, waiting to board. I like to get to the airport early, I’ll sit at the gate all day rather than be late. There’s always that nagging anxiety that somehow we won’t be able to get on the plane, even though everything is on the up-and-up with us these days.

We drove out to Ozone Park in the van, parked in front of the Delaney family’s house and took a car service to the airport; it was the same procedure that we used to fly out to L.A. a couple of months ago for the Scion Show. I woke up around 07:30 going over the items on my to-do list in my head, before we shipped out. I had to swing by the Shirts and Destroy shop to pick up a box of merch before heading over to the practice space to meet the rest of the guys.

Soon we’ll be in the air, inside of a metal tank that somehow flies through the air over the Atlantic Ocean. It’ll be a short run, shows every night, bread, cheese and bubbly water.

21:03 EST
I’m somewhere over the Atlantic. We had some turbulence so the fasten seatbelts sign was on for a while and they suspended service until things cooled. I have the dreaded middle seat, as a matter of fact all four of us are in the middle position. The lady next to me wasn’t going to let me out to the bathroom because the “Fasten Seat Belt” sign was on.

I blasted through the interview I did with Will for the War on 45 site. I haven’t been able to get the time to sit down and do the transcription. Will is a good friend so there’s a personal component to this.

The curtain between “Business Class” and Coach are drawn. We’re heathens back here in Coach. It’s a long flight, maybe we will wage a war for territory against Business Class and take their extra leg room and higher-quality, complimentary pillows.

4.13.2012 Saarbrucken, Germany 19:47

We’re at the venue waiting to play. I didn’t sleep at all last night on the plane; I can never get to sleep on these overnights. We met up with Ben and the Hierophant guys at the airport and drove 6 hours to get here. I faded in and out during the ride. I drank some coffee, ate and now I feel pretty good.

We got a chance to run through the gear; I’m always stressed out until I can sort out my gear. We’re using Hierophant’s backline so there’s a bit of a learning curve. Everything seems in order so I can settle down..

23:34
We’re checked-in at the hotel. My hours are all turned upside down and I feel delirious, there is a sense of unreality that I’m working with. Then goal is to get as much rest as possible tonight.

European tour syndrome was in full effect tonight. The van pulled up behind the venue, we loaded in and I hung out backstage for the whole night. As we drove away, I saw that this really cool town square was about a block away; pretty much all I saw of Saarbruken was the venue, the alley and the hotel. We’re shipping out tomorrow at around 11:00 for Roadburn.

We played well tonight; I was able to more or less pull off singing “Passageways” and “Silent World”. It was the first time we played them live, ever. It was a small turnout but I’ll take it. I talked to some kids that had seen Anodyne back in 2004. One of them was Taibe the lighting guy for Llynch, the band we toured with on our only European tour. Was it really 8 years ago? Time flies on broken wings. We’re all going to die out here someday.

I’m thinking back to how fucked things were for me on the last European tour. I was going through a pretty intense upheaval and I felt distracted. It made me focus on the playing more because that was the only solace I had. The long drives in the van, the hours spent inside of my head were like walking through Hell. We’re only here for a handful of days; I feel better, I can focus on doing my job this time around and enjoy the trip.

4.15.2012 Tilburg, Netherlands 08:27

I’m sitting in the breakfast room of the hotel, I just finished off a plate of food, now I’m drinking the bitter, Dutch coffee. We got in about 02:30, I sat up and read a few more pages of “A Fighter’s Mind” by Dan Sheridan before falling asleep. I just finished reading “A Fighter’s Heart”, his first book, on the morning that we shipped out. It some of the best writing on combat sports that I’ve ever read.

The Netherlands is such a relaxed, chilled-out place, it’s almost ironic that some of the top kick-boxers are based out of here. Everyone seems high all the time in this country.

Playing Roadburn was probably the coolest experience we’ve ever had. The whole thing ran like clockwork, everyone was polite and totally cool. Walter, the point man behind the whole operation, made sure to stop by and say hello to everyone, which added a nice personal touch. I ran into a lot of friends: Ralph Schmidt, his fiancé Dani, Josh Graham, The Pelican guys, Dave Clark, Jamie Thomson and the Process guys. Pip, Relapse, Joeren and Juggalo Bob, English Matt just to name few. Tom G. Warrior was hanging out in the backstage; I approached him and asked for a photo, which is something that I never do, but I have to admit that I was in awe. He’s such a larger-than-life icon in the metal world; Celtic Frost and Hellhammer have been such huge influences on what we do in Tombs. He was cool and didn’t mind how awkward I felt asking. It made the whole voyage to Europe worthwhile in my book. Fan moment number 2 happened hours later at the end of the night. We were getting ready to load our gear out and I saw Away from Voivod walk by; I said to Dan, “that’s Away from Voivod”, he must have heard me because he turned around, smiled and said, “you’re the guys from Tombs!” He then went into saying how he dug our set. I was floored! Voivod has been one of my favorite bands for most of my life. I started listening to them shortly after I discovered metal back when I was in high school.

In addition to all of this, we played a set in this venue that used to be a church; there were stained glass windows, a high, vaulted ceiling, very gothic; the room was deep and mostly constructed of wood and plaster so it had a really warm sound. We were playing during the same time slot as Sleep and Necros Christos so I didn’t expect much of a turn out. I was pleasantly surprised to see the room pretty much full when we started the set. We played well; aside from “Silent World” and “Passageways”, we’ve been playing these songs for over a year, so at this point there shouldn’t be any surprises. Orion is holding it down, this is only about his 6th show with us, so I imagine playing a set at Roadburn with us must be a trip for him.

Today, It’s back to Germany. I’m not sure how far of a drive it is. We’re driving around in Ben’s van. It’s the same vehicle we used on the tour with The Secret last summer. Sitting in the van brings back all of heavy memories of the brutal drives, exhaustion and the turmoil that I was in during that last run. That’s part of the past now, I’m over it and I’m doing everything I can do to make sure I never go through something like that again.

Coffee Cup Number 3, I’m settling in. One of the only downside of being on the road is not being able to train. There are different people in music, sometimes the ego aspect of this trip gets to me, not to say that there aren’t egos in Jiu Jitsu, but the intensity of the physical commitment seems to keep a lot of that in check. It’s a different set of rules out here; I’m trying to roll with the positive vibe that I picked up with training.

My favorite set of the day was Oranssi Pazuzu, the tripped-out black metal band from Finland. They went on right before us and I was mesmerized by their set. I only have mp3 files of their music. At least in the states, it’s hard to find physical copies of their material.

Onward to Bremen today.

Bremen, Germany 16:45We just finished sound-checking; Hierophant is doing their thing on stage, getting sounds. Morser is playing tonight; my mind is totally blown; I never thought that I would have a chance to see them, let alone play a show with them. I didn’t even realize that they were still active.

I dozed off in the van listening to the new Blut Aus Nord record; it somehow seemed appropriate for the bleak Germany countryside. One thing that I’ll never get used to is the requirement to pay for use of the rest rooms on the road through most of Europe.

17:44I took a cruise around the neighborhood; we’re across from the bus station, there’s a large cobblestone square lined with kebab joints, porno books shops and newsstands. I’m instantly reminded of the German film Christiane F featuring Natja Brunckhorst and that killer David Bowie sound track. There’s a version of the song “Heroes” called “Helden” where Bowie sings in German. I saw that movie on VHS when I was in high school and it blew my mind. I know that film was shot in Berlin, but there’s a stark vibe here that makes me thing of drug addicts, hookers and male hustlers. At night, when the businesses shut down, I bet it gets seedy around here. I make these observations and I wonder how much of it is influenced by my state of mind, how much of perception is colored by mood and emotional state.

It’s cold in the backstage room; I’m wearing my jacket. I bought a falafel at one of the myriad of Middle Eastern eateries in the area. I can hear Morser downstairs sound-checking. I’m really looking forward to seeing them play.

4.16.2012 Bremen, Germany 00:24We’re at the hostel; I’m staying in a room with Dan and some of the other Hierophant guys. We have at least a six hour drive tomorrow to get to the next stop; I can’t remember where it is, I just know that we have a six hour drive.

Tonight was cool; it was a small show but everyone we met was really nice. I felt like we played well. Riggs told me that a girl cried because we were out of small shirts.

Morser did not let me down; I never thought that I would get the chance to see them…ever. They were cool guys and we traded shirts with them; I picked up their latest record; I can’t wait to get back to my room at home to listen to it.

I should hit the rack. It’s cold, I’m wearing a hoody and I have a blanket pulled up over me.

Karlsruhe, Germany 18:08We arrived at the venue about an hour ago. It was a long, cold ride south from Bremen. At times, it was sleeting; I slept on and off. Pelican is sound-checking. It’s great seeing those guys; Roadburn was so chaotic that I didn’t get much of an opportunity to hang out with them. Also Brother Ralph Schmidt is scheduled to make an appearance tonight as well.

It costs 0.75 Euro. You buy a ticket, you enter a turnstile do your thing in the Men’s room and then you get a credit to buy something in the shop. I’ll never get used to this. Dan hopped the turnstile today; I know that if I tried that, I would get caught.

Black Shape of Nexus is also playing tonight. This tour has been cool for seeing bands that I never thought I would see: Black Shape of Nexus, Oranssi Pazuzu and Morser.

4.17.2912 Schweinfurt, Germany 17:48I feel drained today. We didn’t have a very long drive from Karlsruhe to Schweinfurt, but I feel empty. We played here on our first European tour; I remember it being a drag so maybe I’m anticipating a bad time tonight. It’s just us and Hierophant tonight, alone in this big, cold building. I’m sitting in the upstairs sleeping quarters. There’s band graffiti all over the walls; it seems like every available space is covered with band names, declaration of sexual prowess or poorly rendered penises.

It was great hanging out with the Pelican guys last night; we have two more shows with them at the end of the week. This tour feels like it has gone on for too long already, but I don’t really have that much going on at home except for training. It feels like a grind right now; there is no specific goal except to play shows, make some money to pay off our various expenses and fly home.

Last night was cool; Dallas is filling in for Laurent. Damn, what a great player he is! Black Shape of Nexus were awesome. I picked up their new double LP. I had been in touch with Malte, their singer over the past few months, it was nice to meet him in person. I have been into their music for the past few years. I spoke with Ralf, the guitarist/recordist of the band. He told me that he’s a DIY devotee, that if he doesn’t know how to do something, he does whatever it takes to learn it. I’ve been thinking about that statement all day.

Germans: distant, reticent and opinionated. They will tell you exactly what they don’t like about you, your music or your choice of songs for the set list. Every tour has too many dates in Germany. It’s a heavy place; even when the sun shines here, it seems like the clouds are doing everything they can to suppress the light. A German told Dan that I look like a criminal.

I finished reading Dan Sheridan’s book, “The Fighter’s Mind.” It gave me a lot to think about. When I get back, I’m going to apply some of the things I learned from the book into my training. There were awesome sections with Renzo Gracie and Marcelo Garcia. In Marcelo’s chapter, he addressed the concept of being the best. Jiu Jitsu people want to put the spotlight on him and his response is that he’s love Jiu Jitsu more than anyone else and that’s why he is successful. That can be applied to pretty much anything; you have to love it more than anyone that may be a potential competitor if you want to be successful.
I’m thinking about bands, people that play music and all of the lightweight trips they are on. I’m thinking about people that you’ve known for years that look at you pretend that they have no idea who you are. People like that should try some kind of intense physical training, something that will break down their ego and make them realize that they are not the best, that there is always another level to go to. True humbleness is such a relief and the only place I really experience that is in Jiu Jitsu and other martial arts.

We should draw a good 6 or 7 people tonight.

4.18.2012 Schweinfurt, Germany 02:35I was pretty much on the money with tonight’s attendance. I don’t care, I played as hard as I did at Roadburn. I’m a machine, I turn on the switch and you get the same thing every time. I don’t have the program to go half way. However showed up got a good show and that’s all that matters to me.

We hung out in the upstairs crash pad. I ate some of the leftovers from dinner. I took a shower; some dude from another band wrote about how many loads he shot in the shower. There’s a mind-numbing sameness to all of this. Loneliness, sexual frustration, boredom, these are the things that mutate us on the road.

There’s a long drive to Prague tomorrow.

4.18.2012 Prague, Czech Republic 18:35I had difficulty sleeping last night, couldn’t wind down. I saw that the sun was coming up and decided that getting sleep was not going to happen. We were on the road at 09:00 and I slept for most of the drive cranking a bunch of early Metallica that I had on my iPod; mostly “Ride the Lightining” and “…And Justice for All.”

We got to the club in the afternoon and checked out some of the city. I’ve been to Prague in the past, but there is a lot of the city I haven’t seen. I have a feeling that tonight will be one of those nights. I haven’t seen any promotion for the show anywhere and the venue seems more like place where people would drink Absinthe and listen to house music.The show is in this dungeon-like room below a bar. It’s just us and Hierophant tonight. It could go either way.

Some of the most beautiful women in the world live in Eastern Europe. It was like admiring rare flowers in a garden today. As I get older, it’s enough for me to just admire a woman’s beauty and not try to creep up on them. It comes with maturity I suppose.

I feel exhausted. I want to play the set and get on with it.

4.19.2012 Munich, Germany 19:12I’m sitting in the sleeping quarters above the venue. The last time I was here, my whole life got turned upside down. I made sure that I got the same bunk that I was in on that night.. I remember the fruitless attempts at sleep that night, the feeling that I had just stepped into a dark hole.

Tonight will be different.

I can’t remember much about the show in Prague. I remember waking up this morning and driving back into Germany.

Junius is on the bill tonight. It’s cool seeing those guys.

I just had dinner with Larry and the other Pelican guys. I was in a really bad mood until I had some food and took a shower now I feel relaxed and ready to kick it. We’ll see about the crowd. I don’t think the average Pelican fan really feels what we’re doing. I don’t care: I play as hard as I can and drive away to the next show. I love the dudes in Pelican so it’s enough to be here and hang with them, watch them play and. Did I mention how much ass Dallas is kicking? I have to see his band Swan King play next time they’re in New York. Their record is great, but the word is that it pales next to the live show.

We had a nice chicken curry and rice dish; Trevor said the vegetarian version was better. Maybe I’ll try it later.

21:11The set is over, I’m ready to pack up and get the fuck out of here. I’m in that mindset tonight. This place feels bad to me, there are ghosts haunting me. I think about how I felt last time I was here and I want to get off the boat. I feel like such a failure.

Do the soundguys get paid here? The front-of-house man did all he could to ignore all of my requests for the vocal monitor. I can roll with pretty much any situation, but in a professional venue like this, with professional gear, they should be able to get it right. Maybe he was doing that German thing; I don’t know. It borderline ruined my performance, I feel like I pushed my voice too hard and didn’t have any control. Stuff like that matters in a place where people can actual hear what you’re trying to do.

I wish I could pull my head out of my ass and loosen up. It was such a heavy trip when I was here a few months ago. I’m kicking back in the same bunk, trying to meditate on the emotions I had. I can feel it manifest, hanging over me like a black cloud. I will do battle with it; I will make war on it and by morning it will be broken.

Loneliness and hard times are nothing to me. I will eviscerate loneliness. I’ll take it down into the pit where I live and choke it out. My life is made up of brief moments of light but in reality I know that these depths are where I belong because I destroy every relationship that I’ve ever been in. I’m the depression machine tonight. My soul is a drain; depression rides on my back forever. I want to go to nowhere. I want to walk until I disappear; life seems like a secret wrapped in a secret to me sometimes.

Tonight there will be the party-thing after the show. I want to be alone in this bunk, walking down the corridors of memory and hard times, swinging on a hinge.

By the way, I tried the vegetarian curry; Trevor was right.

4.20.2012 Berlin, Germany 17:57We got in about an hour ago. I slept pretty much the entire ride. When I woke up I played “Come Reap” by Devil’s Blood as we sat in traffic. It’s Friday night. This is the first time that I’ve been in Berlin without it being cold and raining. It’s sunny and pleasant out, there are people wandering around and I may take a walk before things kick off. Pelican are sound checking now.

I’m trying to shake the negative feelings, the heavy thoughts. The Munich / Berlin run carries a lot of baggage for me from the last time I was here. I was dealing with a lot of issues back home. The last few days have been hard, but I have to remember that a lot has changed in my life. The last time was so heavy; I felt like my life had bottomed out. I remember playing the set, loading up and driving all night to catch a ferry up to Scandinavia.

The tour is almost over; one more date after tonight and then we fly back home.

It’s odd playing with Pelican without Laurent. Dallas is killing it so there hasn’t been any compromises as far as the band’s performance goes. It would have been awesome to be out on the road again with Laurent.

We did a podcast after the show last night. It started out with total chaos but toward the end, we got some good conversation in as the drunk people began to fall out. It was down to me, Joe Martinez, Trevor and Mike. We were up until after 05:00 talking. Joe suggested some reading material for me:

Michael Cremo – Forbidden Archeology

Jim Mars – Alien Agenda

Jill Bolty Taylor – The Ted Conference

22:27Pelican is playing. Our set was a little sloppy, but I felt like we had good energy. We played hard, it sounded bad on stage; threw me off a little. Tonight is the last show with Pelican, they fly up to Finland and we continue on with Hierophant to Brussels. Tomorrow is the last day. The tour was short but I’ll take it. The Hierophant guys were cool; great road partners. Today, in the van, we were listening to a recording of their new material. It sounded heavy, sort of His Hero is Gone-esque; I’d like to get a copy of it.

We have a long ride tomorrow. The show will be over early so we can get some sleep before we get into the long haul across Germany. I’ll be glad to get out of these places. It won’t be so hard for me next time around.

4.21.2012 Brussels, Germany 19:41Tonight’s the last show. We’re playing in this place that holds 600; the promoter says presales have been slow, so I’m expecting a big empty room. They have a great sound system and the room looks as if it was designed for real bands to play in; this place has probably seen better days. The neighborhood looks rundown and sketchy.

We drove all day. I had my iPod on, playing various podcasts, “Black coffee Blues 1 and 2” and dozing off. At one point, we passed a sign for Hannover and I remembered that the Scorpions formed there. It wouldn’t be a proper European tour for us without at least one brutal drive. At least this time around, we didn’t have any ferries.

I find touring in Europe to be more draining than in the states. Maybe it’s the isolation, the detachment. No matter how many times I come over here, I will always feel like an alien. I spend the days wrapped up in my jacket, sitting in the back of the van with my headphones on until we stop at a fuel station to get diesel, piss and get coffee. The time we spend in each city is fleeting; it’s rare that I have time to wander around the city at all. That’s the number, one day at a time, one kilometer at a time.

Tomorrow night, I’ll be home again.

4.22.2012 Amsterdam, Netherlands Airport 14:28We’re waiting at the gate; the flight doesn’t leave until 17:45.

The show was cool last night; I met a bunch of really nice people. This amazing band called Daggers opened the show; I picked up their LP after the show. They had that sort of European sound similar to Amen Ra, Breach and Celeste. There’s a hardcore element tempered with this kind of artsy vibe. You can tell these dudes probably have Neurosis records along with His Hero is Gone.

We checked into the hostel and hung out in Hierophant’s room; it was the last night of tour and the vibe was loose. There must have been some kind of high school class trip because the floor that the Italians were on was filled with rowdy youngsters, yelling and raising hell in the hallways. The question I had was where was the supervision?

We all hit the rack around 01:00; it was a short run from Brussels to the airport but everyone was tired; I know we were all looking forward to getting on the plane. At about 02:30, I noticed that I wasn’t asleep anymore and that there was this alarm sounding off. It could only be one thing, but we were all trying to convince ourselves that it was something else. Logic ultimately prevailed and we exited down the emergency stairs.

We met up with the Italians; Ben looked furious. The high school trip was also assembled outside. Apparently, someone had discharged a fire extinguisher on first floor, the same floor that the high school kids were located on. We spotted this one kid looking nervous, kind of shuffling around, looking guilty. He was the reason why none of us were asleep.

Orion braced the kid up and asked him why he set off the fire extinguisher. Apparently, the kid challenged him to a fight in the morning. Kids these days are growing up without the fear of getting an ass-kicking and I feel that this is a negative thing. Getting your ass kicked when you’re coming up is a positive thing, but the weakness of parents is turning a whole generation into douchebags.

After a while, we went back into the lobby. Some dude was going off, yelling in French. I think he was on to the concept that one of the high school kids was behind the whole fire extinguisher situation, and he was going to get to the bottom of it. We made our way over to the elevators; suddenly words were being exchanged between us and a group of 14-year-old males. This kid was stepping up to the elevator, speaking French and taking an aggressive posture, making eye contact with me. Yeah, a 14-year-old kid was moving on me to fight! Of course nothing happened, an adult stepped in to cool everything off. Why did he let it get to that point? Didn’t he realize that a 14-year old kid was moving on a grown man?

We’re kicking it, bored but all checked in. Dealing with international travel always stresses me out. We always have extra bags and it seems almost arbitrary how much they charge us. That’s all behind us now; the only thing left is to get on the plane, post up for the 7 plus hour flight and go home.

Transmission 2.14.2012 SCION LA Weekend

Posted in The Trip with tags , , , , , , on February 14, 2012 by everythingwentblack

2.10.2012 Ventura, CA 21:50I’m exhausted; we have a couple of hours left until we play the set. We landed at 15:00, secured a taxi and fought our way down the 405 to get to West Hollywood. I talked to this really cool guy on line waiting for the taxi; he gave us a rundown of the area around the hotel as far as places to eat go. He let us go ahead of him. I can’t remember the names of any of the places he suggested.

We checked into the Grafton on Sunset Blvd. All of the bands and Relapse staff are staying there. The interview that was originally scheduled for 17:00 was postponed due to an issue with power. The Scion guys told us to standby so we fell back to a Mexican restaurant down the street. As soon as we sat down and opened the menu my phone rang and we were told to come back for the interview. Me, Andrew and Dan did the interview, Paul and Ron hung back and picked something up for us.

My man, Jay Bennet interviewed us. They let us go first because we had a show later that night. The whole time we were talking, my mind was fixating on eating food. I hope I did a good job; I don’t like being distracted when I do these things. If someone is interested in asking me questions, the least I can do is provide good answers. I hadn’t had anything to eat since before we got on the plane. Everything is a la carte on Virgin. They give you coffee and water but you get charged for the food. I scanned the menu but couldn’t justify paying for the low quality fare they had to offer.

After the interview we ate and shipped out. Scion gave us a car to drive around. Not bad; they make it really easy. Ten years ago, I would probably have a different opinion about all of this Scion business. I went through a long period of not feeling comfortable with accepting money, straight up cash, to tour and do shows. The shows are free to the public so all of the funding is at a complete loss; nothing is recouped by ticket sales, it’s all a marketing project.

I was uncomfortable until I thought about the entitlement that people feel to get everything for free. Hey, I’m cool with you downloading or record for free if you want, but understand that the money has to come from somewhere, especially for bands like us that operate on an extremely slim margin. I’ve always been more about the live show and touring but in the old days, there was at least the hope that someone would buy your record.

I can barely keep my eyes open. There’s a pretty sparse crowd up here tonight. The Fucking Wrath, one of the bands that we’re playing with, helped us out and offered their gear to us tonight. They were key in making this whole thing happen. They have good equipment, but it’s always an adjustment when using gear that belongs to someone else. The familiarity is missing. This is a good warm up for Paul; I’d the to be in his shoes without having a chance to work out the kinks in the live thing.

I watched the “Rum Diaries” on the flight over. I really enjoy Johnny Depp working with Hunter S. Thompson’s material. I know that he admires Thompson and his performance reflects a deep level of commitment. I’d like to watch it again in a less anxious setting. I read the book ages ago and the film captures that sort of wild vibe of Puerto Rico back in those days. I’ve never been to Puerto Rico so I guess I don’t know if that statement is true or not, however, even thought there are some details that differ from the novel, the vibe and feel is pretty much spot on.

2.11.2012 Los Angeles, CA 09:30I didn’t get much sleep last night. We got back to the hotel at 03:00 which is more like 06:00 with the jet-lag. When I climbed into bed it felt like the most comfortable bed that I had ever slept in, I felt like a king. I slept hard but woke up early, tired but not able to get back to sleep. I secured a cup of complementary coffee and sat by the pool. According to my phone, New York City is going to get snow today and here I am, sitting next to a pool, wearing a short sleeve t shirt.

We got through the set. Paul id d a great job; it was a little awkward at first, but I think we settled in and were able to lock into the set. At some point, towards the end, I looked back at Andrew and this girl was on stage talking to him. Afterward, I asked him what she was saying to him. He told me she said, “I have to go now,” and bailed.

After the set, I was running on pure will. I was thankful that we only had our guitars, effects and a snare drum to load out. I kept drifting off during the ride back to L.A. I would open my eyes and see the miasma of logos passing by: Denny’s, Fatburger, In and Out Burger and miscellaneous fuel stations. Suddenly, we were back in L.A. It’s so different than New York with the miles of urban waste and suburbs that you drive to before you get into the city.

We’re expected at the venue at around 10:00. Aaron Harris is going to mix sound for us.

23.30I’m shot. The day is over and in a few hours we leave for LAX. The whole trip seemed to pass by at the speed of light. I’m thinking about how killer the new Van Halen record sounds. There’s a huge photograph of some woman’s cleavage hanging over my bed; there’s a similar photograph hanging over Paul’s bed but it’s of a model’s legs disappearing up a short, black skirt. It’s the most L.A. hotel room in the universe. I’m tempted to try the Neuro Sleep drink and take a hit off the oxygen tank but that would probably cost us a fortune. When we first got into the room, we decimated the snack tray. I wonder how much all of this is going to cost? It’s a good thing I have my credit card on file.

I feel like we played well. The moments leading up to the set were stressful; the stage management indicated that we had 7 minutes to get ready. I told the guy that I’d rather cut a song than kick into the set half-assed. Nonetheless, we didn’t get much of a line check, but Aaron is enough of a pro to react to the situation and get the soundboard happening. It was cool to look over and see Paul rocking out. He really stepped up and delivered.

Afterward, the back stage room was filled with people that weren’t in bands eating our food and drinking the beer. The club had security guys that were supposed to be watching who came and went; it always strikes me as odd that it’s so easy to get back to a “secure” room. Usually bands keep their personal stuff there and anyone can just through your stuff and take things. Luckily everyone was cool enough to just stick to eating our food and drinking the beer and water that was left for us. One guy was complaining that the beer was warm. I told him that he shouldn’t complain because he got in for free and he’s eating and drinking from a stash that wasn’t meant for him. He regarded me with this strange look, like I was out of line somehow. I later discovered that the guy complaining about the warm beer had kicked Dan’s guitar chord our during our set while he was in the process of shooting a picture. I imagine that he will talk shit about us because we had an issue with him, a stranger, lurking around our personal stuff and complaining that the beer wasn’t cold.

Sometimes, I feel like I’m too old for this. Sometimes, I wonder if I could be happy staying home, working a job, training martial arts and leaving these people to their own devices; would that be enough for me?

The big highlight of the evening was hanging out with Thompson and Bennet. I wish I could hang with those dudes every day. We got food at this burger place on Sunset then went back to the hotel room to record a podcast. I couldn’t get anything usable; the new Van Halen record was cranking, people kept walking in and out of the room and we were talking too much shit and incriminating ourselves in too many questionable activities that we decided that it would be best to abort the mission; maybe next time.

Thompson went back home to feed his dog and we hit the Relapse after party for a while. It was pretty mellow, but with the 05:00 wake up time in the back of my head, decided to call it an early night. The coolest thing was meeting Scott from Repulsion and having him say that he dug the record.

I need to get some sleep.

Transmission 1.30.2012 Sunday Nights

Posted in Everything Went Black Media, The Trip, Tombs with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2012 by everythingwentblack

1.29.2012 23:50
I hung with Dave for a while last night; I don’t get many opportunities to see him, so when he’s in town, I make time for him. It was Sunday night, so nothing was going on for me, just a shower, some chow and preparation for the upcoming week.

It’s always great seeing Dave; I haven’t seen him the Argonauts played this house show in New Brunswick during last year’s fall. I remember following the GPS directions and pulling up in front of the house and realizing that it was down the street from where Chris Pierce used to live. Anodyne recorded the “Red was her Favorite Color” and “Berkowitz” 7-in’s there. Memories; time flies on broken wings sometimes. .This time there was some added charm because he played e the new Argonauts demo and a few songs off of the new, recently recorded and mastered Municipal Waste. We sat in his car and kicked the hard jams. The Argonauts stuff was recorded in a practice space by Phil and crushed! John writes such memorable, catchy riffs; they’re brutal, intense, get inside your head, fuck you up and bounce. I’ve been a fan of his since the Times Up days. Listening to the demo made me feel nostalgic for the late-90’s, playing shows together, Stalag 13, the Black Army Jacket days, the early Burnt by the Sun shows and getting to know those guys. I find myself becoming more and more sentimental as the years go by. I remember those days and it feels like another lifetime ago; the years move quickly, like moving targets, one moment they’re in front of you and then become memories.

Next up was a few tracks from the new Municipal Waste record. A Steve Moore, Italian zombie-movie flavored intro counted off the thrash mayhem that everyone expects from a Municipal waste record. What differentiates these guys from the other bands from this ilk, and the same can be said about Toxic Holocaust, is that the songs are memorable and well-executed. It doesn’t just feel like a study in late-80’s thrash, it’s a listening experience. I don’t want to be a hater, but a lot of the newer thrash bands don’t hit that stride that The Waste and Toxic hit. Maybe it’s because The Waste have been around since before playing retro metal was cool. Anyway, all the components are there, ripping guitar solos, Suicidal-esque riffage and probably Tony’s best vocal performance to date.

Man, I always want to feel this way; I always want to do this: sitting in a car with one of my best friends, listening to new jams and getting stoked.

It’s still early, I’m not tired at all. The month is almost over. I hate time of year; January is always such a slow desolate month. I’m looking forward to getting out on the road again, pushing it hard and not looking back. 2011 was a hard year and I want to put it behind me.

Transmission 1.23.2012 Musings in the Garden

Posted in Podcast, The Trip with tags , , , , , , on January 24, 2012 by everythingwentblack


One of the cooler things about doing this podcast is that there are no rules; it’s a free-form, open-ended discussion that develops naturally and often times takes unexpected paths and locks into strange orbits; just like any other conversation among friends.

Mike Repasch Nieves (Junius) and eric Jernigan (City of Ships) stopped by this past Sunday afternoon and we hung out for a bit, talked about The Road, Germans, The creative process and The End Game.

CHECK OUT PART 1 AND PART 2 HERE
http://everythingwentblack.podbean.com/

Transmission 12.31.2011 The Last Day

Posted in Everything Went Black Media, The Trip with tags , , , , , , , on December 31, 2011 by everythingwentblack

11:48

It’s the last day of the year; it’s been an interesting trip this year. I downloaded music LEGALLY for the first time this year. My two legal downloads were Deep Purple “Perfect Strangers” and Hate Eternal “Phoenix Amongst the Ashes.” I tried to downl0ad “Perfect Strangers” for free but couldn’t find a reliable link. I think Hate Eternal is rad and Eric Rutan deserves my money so I paid for it on iTunes. It’s addictive, instant gratification, especially since most of the good record stores are gone these days. If I wanted a hard copy of the Hate Eternal, I would have to mailorder it or by it at the show when they come to New York with Goarwhore in a couple of months.

I slept late today. It’s Saturday; it’s New Year’s Eve tonight. I wish I was somewhere else besides New York City today because in a few hours a lot of people will start the slow self-murder of alcohol abuse that is deployed this time of year. Hey man, do what you want, but be advised that there are many other things that you could be doing besides slowly poisoning yourself or if you’re a man, dropping your testosterone levels. I question why marijuana is illegal in this day and age; it’s not my bag but in my opinion, it’s a more positive substance than booze.

Does time seem to be passing faster? The years are flying by, at least for me. Time seems to accelerate at the year progresses; it starts out slow in January and picks up speed until late Summer and then, suddenly the year is over. It makes me think that time is not a constant, but is this differential equation. Most things that we perceive as constants are in fact changing and in order to make the equations balance, we assume they are constants.

I remember when I was younger, a year felt like an eternity. I remember when the school year would be ending, the feeling of anticipation for the endless summer. I remember that feeling of the first day of summer break, when you didn’t have to go to school and the day was completely yours to do with whatever you wanted. The summer was another lifetime to be lived until autumn cam and it was back to the hallways, lectures and home work scene.

I’ve got the self-titled Alaric record playing at hard volume. It’s the perfect soundtrack for these kinds of musings. This record is so completely, exactly what I want to listen to. Aside from being a powerful gothic punk, dark wave masterpiece it has member of Noothgrush and Dead in Gone (among others) in its lineup.

2012: some people believe we have less than a year left before the “End of the World.” There are a of colorful predictions for what may be in store for us over the next 12 months, the Mayan Calendar Theory being one of the more widely known. My favorite is the Sitchin concept that the planet Nibiru will collide with Earth. I think that is my favorite one. By now we would have some kind of visual contact with a planet on a terminal orbit trajectory with us. I like to meditate on what the months leading up to a collision would be like, to look up into the sky and see this massive body getting closer with every month. This was a recurring nightmare I had a few years ago. What would the final days be like? Would people be cooler to each other if they knew that in 365 days we would be annihilated?

There’s also a more New Age, hippy take on it where in 2012, we’ll all go through a spiritual change that will herald a new era of enlightenment. Somehow I doubt this. I believe that man needs a more absolute, visceral confrontation, like total annihilation, be bring on these deep changes. After all 2012 is an abstraction; the date itself, the whole method of reckoning time is a man-made construct; why would this have any cosmic significance?

Transmission 12.29.2011 A Clean Well-Lit Room

Posted in The Trip with tags , on December 29, 2011 by everythingwentblack

13:13
There’s a restaurant near my apartment that I like to go to from time to time. At this point, I’m a “regular” and I feel comfortable sitting there, reading or working n my computer as I wait for my food. During the day and on weekends, it’s a madhouse; they do a huge lunch-time hustle. They have great coffee, which is a prerequisite for me.

My favorite times to go there is weekday nights. They shut the kitchen down at 17:00 and re-open at 18:00 for dinner. It’s usually quiet, only a handful of people, hanging out, checking their Facebook pages, drinking microbrew beer and eating dinner. It’s cool the post up and be alone.

The irony is that when you’re alone in this town, you’re really not alone. We’re all these islands, millions of islands in a concrete and steel ocean. We come in intimate contact with thousands of people on a daily basis yet I only know the names of a handful or people. I look to my left at the dude with the ironic beard; what’s his deal? Some guy just ordered a bagel with the insides scooped out, I suppose he’s concerned with his starch intake. I would suggest body-weight squats and kettlebells, eat the bagel as it was intended to be consumed.

Maybe it’s better that I don’t know any of these people.

Later on I’ll be sitting in my apartment. Nobody will be there except for me and my cat. It will feel like I’m alone, but in reality, someone else will be sitting about 8 feet away from me, on the other side of the wall, believing that he is alone as well. Sometimes this fact keeps me up at night.

New York City; the loneliness machine.