Richmond, VA has become our East Coast home away from home. I can now find my way from our friend Jim’s house to the Slave Pit, but more importantly, to the local WAWA. Of course, we were more than stoked to be invited again for the annual GWARBQ to play and get wicked drunk with all our good friends.
First, we shipped all of our biggest stage accouterments on Amtrak well ahead of our flight. Tip: this is easily the cheapest shipping method for large items in North America. Then, we headed out on an early flight to enjoy the rest of the weekend.
We traveled from Memphis onto New Orleans. Siberia is an awesome punk club, but the way the stage is configured negated a bit of our show. That’s okay, this crusty-laden crowd is always friendly to us and the show was another rager. Once again, I think these fans were cleaner after we showered them with fake blood than when they came in.
A big fear we’d had during the first half of tour was the massive rainstorms coming into Texas. As we headed there, we were promised by the meteorologists that we would be getting the few dry days Texas had in weeks. What they didn’t mention was the horrible humidity that would be killing us as we loaded into Houston’s own Fitzgerald’s Theater. Are we California wimps? Surely. Does it suck to load in a full stage show up stairs in sweltering heat and 100% humidity? Surely.
It’s all becoming a hazy blur… I really bungled my self-appointed position as blogger extraordinaire this last tour. I didn’t write down shit. Was there lots of downtime? Yes. Was I tired a lot? Yes. Did I figure out how Hulu works on my phone so I could watch a bunch of Venture Brothers? Oh yes. Looking at this tour pass, I realize my folly to try and remember it all later.
But attempt to remember it, I shall. How I wish I had recorded my touringest years of 2008-2010, even just a little bit. So here goes… I had gone into work early to finish my Faith No More poster. I churned it out in record time, because Sean had been a tad upset in a text exchange the night before when I reminded him I had work on the day we were to leave tour. Still, I got done fast and showed up at the allotted hour to load the trailer and… those mooks were still painting costumes. It would be four or so more hours until we finally left Oakland. And those fucking costumes still weren’t finished.
I guess I hadn’t totally blown it guest bass-playing for five days with Exhumed, because Matt Harvey shot me an email asking if I’d like to play with them at some little fest in Mexico. I said, sure, because I’m a dummy and didn’t even think about how busy I’d be around then, moving, working, playing shows, and prepping for tour. Me am smart. So of course, I put off the newer Exhumed songs I needed to learn to play a full set. As I meandered threw them in the days before, I finally saw the little fest we were playing wasn’t so little. Judas Priest headlining? Holy fuck…
To be honest, I’d avoided hearing too much of later Exhumed records because I’m a bitter little bitch. Now I had to learn vocals and bass licks I had just the barest familiarity with. I was surprised at how complicated Exhumed riffs had gotten. I ditched any notion of trying to learn this shit finger-strumming in the short time I had and went straight to the pick. I was also surprised how much I liked it way more than the material immediately following my original firing. Exhumed 2.0 is one bad-assed death metal band.
While I slept, little baby New Year decided to throw me a few curveballs for 2015. I awoke on January 1 to an email from my old bandmate from Exhumed, Matt Harvey. They recently released the Gore Metal re-recording which I had participated in, redoing all my vocals and not being able to speak for two days after. Now, they were going on tour with the crazy gods of Voivod and Napalm Death in support of Gore Metal 2. Their current bassist, Matt Slime, was leaving the band due to job commitments. Matt asked if I wanted to play the tour. Sonofabitch.
I was kicked out of Exhumed 16 years ago. The feud between me and Exhumed lasted for years afterward, affecting both Impaled and Ludicra to varying degrees. Fisticuffs were almost had at one point. I tried to keep it out of the public eye, well, except for when I didn’t (like putting a murdered Exhumed fan on an Impaled 7” cover). Real mature, right? Well, the peace was made long ago and we’re all much more mature people. That includes mature life responsibilities, so I had to decline doing the whole tour on such short notice. But I offered to do some West Coast dates, and Matt accepted: five gore metal filled days traipsing down memory lane.
Oh, man, you were so excited! The big tour! Your chance to be a star! You and your band head out on the road looking for fun, fame, and riches. Well, at least fame. Well, at least fun. You’re having a blast out on the road and then it happens. You find the street diamonds by your van or your trailer door is open. You’re no longer a guitarist because you no longer own a guitar. You get mad.
It’s not your fault that someone stole your shit. We live in a cruel world. You can take some steps to curb thievery, however… so actually, it is your fault. What can you do if your gear gets… taken? First, call Liam Neeson and have him throat-punch a mess of thieves until he recovers your stuff. If he’s busy, though, here are some other options to curb theft and retrieve your precious.
In this article, half of the duo making up Pomplamoose explains that it’s very hard and expensive to tour. With this basic conjecture, I agree. Then Jack details how their recent big tour cost $147,000 while they “only” made $135,000 on the road. Exqueeze me? Pardon me while I choke down the “go fuck yourself” itching to get out my throat.
Buddha says calm the fuck down. Pomplamoose, despite having made big bucks on iTunes, YouTube, and advertising cars, is an indie band. They are independent of a label and make quite a bit of dough releasing their own music; the dream come true. Sure, sometimes that music straight up rips off Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy or something, but hey, sometimes our band rips off S.O.D. (all the time). And sure, he’s got a website he co-founded that gets millions of dollars in investment money to fall back on. But we are musicians and therefore brethren of a sort. The first Impaled tour lost money, too, but we learned (to not agree to a $50 guarantee ever again). So let’s be constructive and see how we might help Pomplamoose make ends meet so poor Jack doesn’t have to fall back on that multi-million dollar start-up he’s got going.
Tampa, Florida. What kind of bat-shit insane place protects feral chickens that are a god damned invasive species in the first place? A $5,000 fine awaits any poor fool that fouls with these fowls. This is either a side-effect of the heat or the bath salts.
Nevertheless, we had a great time at the Orpheum. The staff seemed a bit nervous about our antics, but the owner really came through and let us stage all our ridiculous shit in otherwise verboten rooms. I know it’s unexciting, but it was another damn smooth show. What the fuck am I even supposed to write about at this point? Ooh, yay, another smooth day on tour. How fucking exciting. Then we went to Atlanta.