April 21

What does one expect when one goes to another country? What are the generalizations and expectations you have that you want fulfilled? That was a question posed by the nice French man who had a lazy afternoon chat in the sun with us in his backyard beside a stone well. From France, I told him, I expected a lazy afternoon chat in the sun with a nice French man beside a stone well. My expectations for France were finally fulfilled. Well… he COULD have offered us a glass of wine. That would have completed the picture. 

I think the funnest part of our show in Marseilles was load in. Everyone got a ride into town from Olivie, our host whose house was connected to the venue. That left just a few people for load in, including myself, Sean and Jason. The other people left also got a ride into town from Olivie when he came back, sunning themselves in Olivie’s convertible. So, just the three of us loaded everything in. Well, JJ from Vile woke up on the bus eventually and helped us near the end. I tell ya… watching those folks just drive away and not look us in the eye reminds me that there may be no “I” in team, but there certainly are enough letters to spell “me.”

We were prepared for another show in France with people staring at us politely, but about half way through our set, the people went nuts. Phew… I was worried France just hated us, despite all my recycled Jerry Lewis jokes. 

At the end of the evening, Jason, Sean, and I went on load out strike. People looked at us as if we should be moving stuff… ha! Eat it, jerks! 

We got on the bus, everyone drinking, when Olivie stepped on asking for the person who’d been practicing drums in his backyard. Reno got up, and Olivie dragged him back to the club and made him move two or three chairs. It was kind of excessive, treating him like a kid, but damn it was funny. He came back sulking and didn’t say a thing. Oh Reno, here’s a lolli!

The next day we got to Milan, Italy. Ah, Italia! You look a lot like Oakland, except you have toilets which are just holes in the floor, and sorry, that is fucking sick. Typically, we were in another seedy neighborhood, just like home, so there wasn’t much to see or do. Luckily, the club, Transilvania Live, had enough cool props inside it to keep us interested. Swords, bat shaped chairs, skulls on the taps, a DJ booth that used to be a church pulpit. This was done the way all clubs should be done. Apparently Dario Argento was involved in this club in some capacity, and members of Goblin had played here, so we were stoked. 

Then my friend Marco from Brainwash came. I met him in the Czech Republic nine years ago when I toured with another band. He spoke no English then, just his girlfriend Valentina translated, but we got along great. Then, when back in America, one day maybe six months later, I was leaving my house. I look down the street, and there… there was that couple I’d met in the Czech Republic, walking down my street. With luggage. Surprise!! Well, know I got to hang with Marco again for the day, swap stories about people long gone and things we’d both done. Milan may just be another city, but it’s okay when a city has a good old friend to see.

Speaking of weird disappointments, the club gave us dinner and part of it was pasta. The pasta sucked. In Italy. What the fuck? I thought that was against the law in Italy. I mean, seriously… it was horrible.

When it was time to go on, our sample had started, and Raul says “Wait! The triggers are not on!” See, here’s yet another reason to despise triggers. We couldn’t wait. Luckily, Mike from Deeds of Flesh, one of the nicest most helpful guys ever, was there for me to yell at. He ran back, and apparently had forgotten he’d unplugged the triggers after soundcheck. The clock was ticking as the sample kept going. We were about to have one of those technical stumbling moments a band always dreads. Mike is frantically trying to get the plugs in, and as the first note is about to be hit, the light turns green, and POW!!! Impaled lucks out, yet again. The show goes over well. 

Afterwards, Jason and I did an interview in the bus. There was one girl from the magazine, quite nice and pretty, and her friend, who just watched. Well, some people came on the bus and left. After the interview, I went back inside, and was asked by those people, “So, dude, you get lucky?” No, I was doing an interview. “Oh, I saw them bitches on the bus, I thought you were gonna get some.” Christ… as if there’s some girl on the bus I have to be trying to bang her. No, we just did an interview and then talked about Nip/Tuck. IT WAS NICE!! Plus, I’m ugly.

Sean would have partook in the interview, but he’d spent the afternoon constructing a glittery, gold star. You see, there’s been a running joke about Reno, the drummer, wanting things his way, and he’ll join in and say things like “Well, it is the Reno Show.” It’s fun to watch him and Colin lock horns constantly. Well, Sean made his gold star, put it on a stick, and held it up behind Reno during Vile’s set. The Reno Show, indeed!

At the end of the night, it was fun to look people dead in the eye as I grabbed equipment and watch them just walk the fuck away. AARRRGGGGHHH!!! But three more days, and I’ll never see most of these folks again. Mike from Vile brought that up with me. That’s a weird part about spending so much time together with a bunch of people. Some of these guys I really would like to see again, but you just don’t get to. You have to enjoy it while it lasts, and you can see the deadline on the camaraderie. I thought about that while drinking outside the bus with some really good people. 

I was also pissing one of our party by talking to the girl he was “gettin'” with. I couldn’t help it, she came and talked to me, and she was an art student and fun to talk to. I wasn’t cockblocking at all, but damn, it was REALLY fun to watch him squirm. I took my leave, and left the drunkards alone to their own fate.

This morning I woke up to piss, and wanted to just go back to bed. But we are in Switzerland. I looked out the window and my jaw nearly dropped. I just sat and looked. I’ve seen some beautiful things before, but this was insane. Snow capped mountain, sheer cliffs with waterfalls draining down, lusciously green hills, chateaus settled in the mountainside… it’s mind boggling beautiful. I got to enjoy it alone for a time, and just soak it in. It literally took my breath away at one point, and I got a rush of melancholia and hopefulness all at the same time. 

Then I saw the Lake of the Four Forests. And it got more beautiful. Our driver pulled over so we could look at it for a bit and breathe the air. I got out, barefoot, and curled my toes in green grass. 

I’ve been waiting to see something like this.

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