hola from the road

Well, I’m at the metal fest in L.A., and my choices are to either answer email or write something. My battery won’t last forever.

Battery? You betcha. I’m at a metal fest, sitting at our merch table, leeching some more wi-fi, and being a total nerd with the glow of computer ambience striking my pallid face. Jason is across the room doing the same thing. We IMd each other. What the hell is wrong with Impaled? Or maaaaybe… what the hell is right?

No, it’s very, very wrong. But whatever… we’re stuck here from one pm until midnight. Working. There should be a law.

So, let’s count the disasters that have befallen us so far, shall we? Yes, Ross, let’s.

We left at five am on Friday. Rather, we would have left at five if I’d not been dumb and not plugged in the speaker to my alarm. Raul to the rescue! He called, I got my ass going, and we left in plenty of time. The fun part, however, was hitting the central valley around 6, finding out it was incredibly cold, and that the heater on my van no longer worked! Oh for fun!

9 hours or so later, we hit Chula Vista and rubbed our frost-bitten feet back to life. We were about a half hour late to the meet up point to enter Tijuana, but only Kill the Client knew that. Everyone else was late. In fact, Disfear was five hours late, and we somehow got stuck with the job of carting their stuff into Mexico. See, they had to go to Guitar Center to get new guitars. I assume this is because Sweden is rad, and the government pays musicians to do things like go to other countries to buy brand new Gibson SGs. Well, we were pretty pissed, but apparently, this Guitar Center was staffed by the retardededs, and they couldn’t get them out in a swift manner. Come to think of it, every Guitar Center is staffed by retardededs. Especially the one Raul works at.

Finally, we get into Tijuana, or rather, into customs. About an hour into it, we’d gotten to see plenty of handcuffed Mexicans and one crying 18 year old brat who was trying to sneak back Viagra, so he could become the skinniest porn star ever. I assume.

Tijuana was cool. Apparently, you drink while driving. At least, we did. The venue was fun, full of smelly crusty punks bestudded with vests galore. It smelled bad, the venue was hard to load into, and people had no idea who we were. So basically, it was like a gig in Oakland.
Strong Intention, Kill the Client, us, and Disfear all seemed to have decent sets. Oh wait, no, ours sucked. It was well received, though God knows why. Thank you punk rockers! The sound guy apparently had started on the job training that day, and our own Raul was his only help, the only problem being, Raul had to be on stage. Three mics magically turned into one as they kept failing to work. Sean and Jason and I had to waltz and share the one mic. Good thing we took those dance classes together.

So, we got out of Tijuana okay, and then had to wait another hour or two for Disfear to get their balls grabbed by horny customs agents. Once they finally found us, we gave them back their gear, and they took a surprise detour to Phoenix. Huh? Oh well. And we were off… to fall asleep in our cold van outside an Arco around four or five am.

The next day, we got up, at total garbage at some dive, hated life, and headed to Vegas. Here’s the thing… I hate Vegas. It’s the sign of all that is wrong with America. It’s open-air, yet air conditioned nightmare that sucks all the energy and water out of California into the desert of Nevada… and has miniatures of everything. Pyramids, New York, celebrities … I fucking hate it. We played in lounge. Some kids came, even ones to young to get in, and despite misgivings, we had a good time and we’re glad to play for people out there. Seriously, though, people… fucking move. It’s a desert.

We decided that night we should buy beer and treat ourselves to a hotel stay. It was a great idea with one hitch: every hotel from Las Vegas to L.A. was completely booked. I shit you not, we checked maybe thirty to forty hotels in various tiny towns built for the sole purpose of housing idiots like us. Nothing. Please, motel hotel industry, start using those light up “No Vacancy” signs instead of tiny ball point pen signs that we have to get out to read. It would save us a lot of time.

Seriously, though… what the fuck were people doing out there? EVERY hotel booked? I’ve never seen anything like that.

So our planning was for naught. We had no choice but to go to L.A. We’d checked all the hotels and were a mere hundred miles away before we gave up. So I called my friend Elaine there around three in the morning begging for a place to crash for just a few hours. I was so freakin’ tired. Elaine’s awesome, an old friend and always there when I need her. We were set to get there in not too long… except for the blizzard we ran into.

Have you ever felt like you were almost going to die? I have, twice. Now, three… fog, snow, slush, and a van that was a great refrigerator. We couldn’t stop, and we were worried we wouldn’t be able to go on. Luckily, the police escorted a bunch of cars through it, and we did make it.

Finally, we got to L.A. and the heat… oh the heat was on at the apartment. We crashed, and crashed hard. Hard, for like, three hours. Oh eight hours of slumber, what a blessed dream ye be! We had breakfast at Canter’s, a world famous Jewish restaurant with my super famous peep who hangs with Ashley Simpson on a regular basis. She’s THAT cool. But I’m not name dropping, oh no.

So far, it has been good here. We only got a few hours sleep, but the best thing was showing up to the fest on time and finding a good place to stow our gear (if it doesn’t get stolen) and grabbing a sweet merchandise table (as opposed to having bands give us dirty looks while we ask for a four inch by four inch corner of their table). It’s a cut throat business, death metal… mainly because it’s a shitty business.

Why do these sound guys think that blowing out subwoofers makes a band sound good? It’s terrible. It sounds like shit in here, but the karate kids are doing their thing, so I guess they’re happy. Hopefully they’ll hit each other and do us all a favor.

We’ll just have to see how our set goes. Can’t wait to hear nothing and watch the faces of shiny, happy people mouthing “WTF?”

And of course, I’m having a blast. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

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