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.
This has been a busy, busy tour. The kind of stage wrangling and crafting we’re doing is pushing our limits. And driving all the god damned time has really put a crunch in my writing. But here I am, about half way through tour, speeding through the swampy mess of Florida ready to bath salts and leave a baby in a hot car. This is sure to be TLDR.
We started tour prep back in February, writing up a list of new props to build, things to buy, and songs to learn. Half way through tour, we’re still trying to check off some stuff from that list. Props are being modified, shit is being bought, and songs have actually been learned during sound checks. One of the biggest things we bought was Rosie, the 6×12 trailer that bafflingly is still filled to the brim just like our old, smaller trailer. On the plus side, when it’s empty, it’s become a back stage at a couple venues. Why buy? We had the savings in our personal accounts and we can just sell the damn thing when we get home. Having capital is the only way to increase it.
Becoming an artist is a good way to ensure you’ll never be rich. Becoming a musician is a good way to have no money at all. Even musicians who make a living have legitimate gripes as to how the system is gamed so that everyone around them gets most of the dollar produced by their music. In the underground, that dollar becomes cents and it’s really hard to stretch out a coin. It’s not even made of rubber.
So, your band is going on tour? Well, you already should know you had to save up so you can pay your rent for the couch to mom and dad. But you guys just know that this tour will be awesome. People are gonna buy your shit up because you’re playing metal in a way no one else can even comprehend. I know that 21 and up bar in Duluth should pay you a king’s ransom for deigning to gild their evening with your fine musical fare. They won’t. And that’s why you need to know some easy ways to save money on the road.