Immediately following the Ludicra shows in New York and Texas, I had agreed to a tour with Exhumed in late June 2023 opening for Venom. Well, I was cajoled into it. We’d been offered the gig after we’d made plans to go to Japan and Australia, and frankly, my time was growing thin. Matt was worried about our expenses for the overseas trips, however, so he talked me into it. And then they added days. My original plans to go home after Ludicra for a break were dashed. I had to go immediately from Austin to Dallas and meet up with these turkeys and start shows with zero in-person rehearsal.
Complicating things further was the absence of our actual drummer Mike Hamilton. He had asked for this time off to tech an Exodus tour and get some more face time with with his family. Our friend Adam Houmam of Cartilage had stepped in during the last show of our 2022 tour when Mike fell ill. The silly boy accidentally ate someone’s weed gummies because he didn’t ask and he understandably freaked out. Adam was actually able to play like six of our songs with 20 minutes notice. It was Mike’s suggestion to call him in to fill in and Adam was down. Without rehearsals, I was only going to find out how he played our songs live on stage!
Ludicra’s next chapter started with an offer to play Oblivion Access in Austin, Texas. Austin was not in my plans for Ludicra, but the money was okay and everyone was on board so we said yes. I thought we could use it as a hub to complete what I thought was essential to giving Ludicra the closure I was looking for. We could make a lil mini tour and book shows in New York, Austin, Portland, and at that point I’d have really been okay calling it quits.
New York had family for some members of Ludicra but was also just a nice big hub to fill in for any East Coast fans of the band to see us one last time. Portland was aways a big draw and a home away from home I wanted us to play one last time.
Last year, Ludicra, the rock band that forgot it was a black metal band, reunited. It was at the North West Terror Fest in Seattle Washington. Later in the year, we played an emotional set reuniting in our Bay Area home playing Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, CA. Now, this past summer, we’ve managed to squeeze a little more life out of the husk by playing Saint Vitus in New York and the Oblivion Access Festival in Austin Texas. And we have at least three more shows left. Then, we’re done.
Some members are ready for the band to be over again. Others are not. But we’re agreeing to an end so that Ludicra can shuffle off this mortal coil in a more celebratory way than it did in the past. It was an ugly death full of acrimony and accusations that got drug out over the course of years. My previously close friendships with John and Aesop shattered and took years to recover. The way we ended in 2011, right after enjoying our first successful European tour with no goodbye never sat well with me.
This last weekend, I was helping my wife out taking some band photos of our friends’ band, Serpent Crown. At one point I hoisted her on my shoulders to try for a bird’s eye view. I was reminded of seven years previous, going through some similar extreme measures to get photographs for Ludicra’s The Tenant. I wasn’t blogging at the time, stupidly, so here’s a Throwback Thursday post about this cover.
At the time this came out in 2009, some people commented “why did they photoshop a dumb door onto the water?” Well, fuck you. First, don’t use a product name as a verb in a sentence. Second, Photoshop was not involved in editing this door into a body of water. It was me and my own damn two hands what did the work putting a real door into a real body of water.
Musical instruments, good ones, are often compared to one’s children. Well, how many children are thrown in a case, plucked, hammered on, plugged into, or hanged? Don’t answer that. (Please, really, don’t.) Without these precious musical items, though, it’s hard to call oneself a musician. That is, lest ye fortunate to have the talent of Susan Boyle (hopefully not the face). My favorite, my child, my baby, my fifth limb… my B.C. Rich Ironbird. This thing is a mother fucker.
It’s an American made (or at least assembled, I dunno) classic, with the big “R” inlay on the headstock indicating its origin in the land of the free. Birthed sometime around THIRTY FUCKING YEARS AGO, it’s got neck-through construction, a rosewood fretboard, and a simple one-knob configuration. Because metal don’t need a fucking tone knob. I scored it over a decade ago at a used-music shop in San Jose for a meager $300, during a period where “metal” was a dirty word and Prodigy was the band of the future (where are they know?). It’s been with me on countless tours and tons of recordings.
Hammers of Misfortune is the brainchild of my bandmate in Ludicra, Sir John “Cadbury” Cobbett. They are in the midst of working on a new record to be released on Metal Blade sometime in the future.
I got the call from John. “I need my pedal back.” Crap. The pedal I was supposed to fine tune. Oops. Oh well, I got it working, at least. Problem is, I was working in Oakland, and John is hard at work in South San Francisco. And it’s rush hour. So I guess after getting here I’m sticking around and writing about what the fuck Hammers is nailing down.
Who wants to buy CDs anymore? Playing live doesn’t really pay the bills of touring like it used to. You fucking nitwits who download everything are too blame. Of course, I’m a fucking nitwit, too, and Aesop has a blog that’s nothing BUT musical downloads. We are the problem and the victims.
Now that I’m working at Monolith Press, the fucking BEST rock poster shop (fuck, if I’m printing, it must be) and there’s more and more business as musical acts look to other avenues to generate the all essential dough to pay the bills. Of course, in 2012, when the world ends and there’s no more oil, forget about touring and learn how to fight zombies. For now, though, novel items like a concert poster are in vogue. Try and download a screen print, turkey.
Indeed, the Emperor has new clothes, and they apparently consist of a Ludicra shirt. I didn’t know that old coot was so cool. I bet Darth is more into NSBM and Burzum, though. He’s racist against the sand people.
The Ludicra show last Saturday was real neat. I like the Hazmat, and I think everyone had a swell time. Rebel’s Advocate and Born/Dead both really kicked a lot of butt.