Sunday, August 2, 2009

West Coast Tour - Day 8

We woke up at in Portland at Adam’s for the third, and final, day in a row. He, unfortunately, had to stay home for the rest of tour due to some crucial dental surgery, so we sadly had to say goodbye. It was really awesome having Adam along with us, and it’s definitely not going to be the same without him, but in the immortal words of Bruce Hornsby, “That’s just the way it is. Some things’ll never change.”

No less, there is a silver lining. We took the trip down to Humboldt County today to play in Arcata, and a good chunk of the drive was through the Redwood Forest, down the 199 and the 101, along the coast. Virtually the entire drive was about the most beautiful scenery I have ever scene in my life, and I’ve been to three of the Hawaiian islands. The size of these trees is just mind-blowing. Probably the most amusing part was the scent of jizz that kept popping up at random points throughout the forest. My explanation is that it was from all of the nature boners everyone would get driving through this place, because holy fucking balls, it’s incredible.

We made a couple of stops along the way, and still managed to make it to the show in decent time. It took maybe three to five minutes after we got to the show before we saw people getting high, and the more people showed up, the more were getting high. And people would just give us weed out of nowhere. Emmett and Jay were in heaven. I mean, so am I though. This is the first time I smoked at all before we played, but I just took one hit, so it’s not like I was out of it.

This show was just fucking nuts. Kids got super crazy for every band. When we played, John got six kids to do a triangle, and pretty much immediately after that, the triangle got toppled. This place is super nuts and kids definitely seem to have a good time. It’s pretty weird for a guy from Phoenix to see everyone getting high on the driveway, on the street, and in the middle of a packed show. I remember Jay saying, “I think this is my favorite place in the world.”

During the show, John, Chad and Michelle went and got some amazing pizza, and brought some back for the rest of us. Half of it had tofu ricotta, which was just ridiculously good. I kind of want more. After the show, we went back to Chad and Michelle’s place where they treated us like kings. We all ended up very, very, very…tired.

West Coast Tour - Day 7

We woke up on Adam’s floor again, and got ourselves together to grab food at the Paradox CafĂ©, which we all knew was going to be outstanding since most of us had been there before. And it was outstanding, indeed. We even had the same waitress I had last time I was here. I don’t remember her name, because I probably have one of the worst memories out there, but she was really nice, both times.

After Paradox, John and Kellen took one of the vans to Seattle while the rest of us hung out in Portland to wait for Adam to finish his dental appointment around. Adam got back a little after one and we piled into the van to cross the bridge to Washington. We got word from John and Kellen that traffic was really bad once you got into town, so that kinda sucked, but by the time we got there, it appeared to be cleared up pretty well, so we got in only and hour or so after them, even though we left closer to two or three hours after them.

We went to Araya’s, an amazing Thai place that has a buffet for super cheap, from what I understand, but we got there after the buffet closed. Kellen showed up a few minutes after we got there, and we proceeded to devour copious amounts of wonderful food, which has managed to be somewhat of a theme for this tour. After we ate, we went to the West Seattle Legion Hall, where the show was. There were already some kids milling about and the show wasn’t anywhere near starting, so it was nice to know kids would be there.

Quite a few friends of the band and just awesome people in general live in Seattle, so it sort of goes without saying that we had a really good time. The cops came in during the band before us, and I got a little worried we wouldn’t be able to play, but it turned out they just had to close all the doors and windows of the venue to keep the noise down. It was really bright in this place, and that always gives an awkward atmosphere to shows, but it was pretty fun, no less. And just up a hill from the show was an amazing view of the Seattle skyline, which is pretty damned awesome, as you can see. (Click to enlarge.)

After the show, we split up into the two vans again. Jay, Emmett, Adam and I went back to Adam’s place while Kellen, Mark and John spent another hour or so in Seattle. I found it ironic that I decided to take the ride back an hour earlier because I somehow ended up awake until after the other guys made it back to Adam’s. Seattle is an outstanding town, and I would really love to make my way back there.

Friday, July 31, 2009

West Coast Tour - Day 6

We woke up at Adam's around noon, I think. One can never really be too sure of these things. He took us to this really rad place called Vita. The food was ridiculously good. They had a vegan reuben, a vegan club, a vegan steak sandwich, a vegan caesar salad, and so on, and so forth. We went back to Adam's, and a few of us got some more sleep. After a while, it was just Kellen and I still at Adam's, deciding to sleep pretty much forever, since neither of us really slept during the drive here.

Jay came in around five or six (one can never be too sure) and asked who wanted to go check out some nature. Of course, both of us were in. Adam took all of us, sans John, to Multnomah falls. Just like the last post, words don't do it justice, so I'll just post photos. (Click to enlarge.)

Our pal, Emmett.

The drive back was also gorgeous, and amazing, which is good, because it also caused us to be late to the show.

We got back to Adam’s and grabbed whatever random stuff we needed to really quickly, then went to Laughing Horse Books for the show. Fortunately, the show was on “punk time”, so it started a little late, and we all managed to get there in good enough time. Ben and Jesse gave us a crap ton of vegan treats from their workplace, which I think was called Sweet Pea’s, but my memory sucks, so I’ll have to remember to ask one of the guys when they’re not all asleep at 4:36 AM and I’m sitting here typing, like a fool.

Carnitas and Carrion Spring opened for us, and we played a short set since, again, it was hot as balls and Jesus. It’s pretty funny that we go from Phoenix to Portland to end up there during a week when they’re having weather going quite a few degrees above 100. I think it’s pretty far to consider it the ultimate irony that this heat wave has somehow followed us up the coast. Fortunately, from what I’ve gathered, it’s going to break now, and the rest of tour won’t even make it over 90 degrees. And, actually, today wasn’t all that bad, compared to the weather I hear they’ve been having here.

After the show, we all kinda split up for a bit. Jay and I ended up at Zack’s Shack, where they have sweet hot dogs. There is an ungodly amount of good vegan food in Portland. Can I seriously go get a veggie dog until 3AM in this town? Unbelievable.

Jay and I had some sweet conversation there that extended into a walk down the street from Adam’s, where we met up with the rest of the band, and continued to have some sweet discussions until we all went to sleep. Or, until they all went to sleep, and I stayed up until almost 5AM, typing nonsense, because I am a moron.

West Coast Tour - Day 5

We woke up, sort of feeling like we didn't want to leave, and managed to make some time to spend with Joe and Mary before we did. We were served some delicious fruit, some of which came from their garden, and there was coffee and tea available as well. Seriously, these people rule. And so does their son, who everyone seems to call by his middle name, Danger, which seems pretty awesome, to me. We went to a sweet diner across the street to grab a substantial breakfast before we hit the road to Redding, then said bye to everyone, which was a little sad, because Reno was a huge amount of fun to be in.

The road to Redding was incredibly gorgeous, and I really have nothing more to say about that, so here is an example. (Click it to enlarge.)

We pulled up to Champion Tattoo in Redding to meet up with Kurt and grab some food. He and John went to pick up the PA for the show while the rest of us sort of farted around, then went to the show. It was going to be at Deville's, but apparently the place was shut down the night before, from what I understand, so it ended up at a random house. I guess the kids were moving out in the next day or two and didn't have any power. They ran an extension cord from the house next door to power the show, which was awesome. There was no AC, which blew balls, but it's not like we're Freddie Fucking Mercury, so who really cares? The coolest part, for me, were the two ginormous black widow eggs that were under the "secret panel" on the wooden porch.

The show was hot as balls and Jesus, to put it lightly. Everyone there was super awesome, but I'm quite sure that everyone there was ready to be done with the heat. It's pretty much a miracle I didn't pass out during our set.

After the show, we took the drive straight to Portland which, like every other road on this tour, was full of construction. Kellen did most of the driving (in the van I was in) for the long-ass night-drive, because he rules. We stopped for about a half an hour at a random rest stop where I got a break from everything and sat in a forest, staring up through the trees at the stars while talking to someone who is very close and important to me. (Awww, look at that. Jeffrey has a personal, emotional side.)

We got back on the road and, somehow, with only 30 minutes of sleep, Kellen managed to make it all the way to Adam's at about 7AM, and we had left around 10PM. And, of course, at that point, it was straight to bed.

West Coast Tour - Day 4

Let me just say, right off the bat, that this was easily the best day of tour so far. We woke up at Joe and Mary’s, and Joe promptly made us some fucking amazing pancakes. We hung out there for a little bit, then headed about 20 miles down the freeway to go to a small lake for some sweet cliff jumping.

I actually have only been cliff jumping once before in my life and it was somewhere around ten to fifteen years ago. This is, mostly, because I’m a total pussy. I didn’t plan on jumping at all, but when we got up on the rock and I was the only one left to jump, I decided it would be a bit of a mistake not to do it, so down I went, shouting, “HAIL SATAN!” (Though not that loudly, because I was sick.) Sure, it was only a twenty foot drop, but that’s twenty feet more than I thought I would ever be doing. We waded around for a bit, letting the current take us where it wanted, did a little more jumping, then went to grab some grub at Pneumatic Cafe.

Pneumatic was super awesome, and had some really good vegan garlic cheese bread, amongst many other things, like some tasty smoothies and great pasta dishes. Who knew there was such great vegan food in Reno? I wish I would have known that last time I was here, but now I’ll know next time!

After eating there, we went back to Joe and Mary’s place and got some much-needed rest in before heading to the show at The Henden. Last time I played Reno, it was at The Eyeball, and that was easily one of my favorite venues I’ve ever been to. The Henden may as well have been the exact same venue, for how awesome it was. I guess there are just a bunch of amazing basement shows in Reno, because that’s all I’ve experienced there, thus far. Joe’s band, Contend, played first. It was their first show, and Joe had only picked up the bass three weeks earlier, for the first time, but you would have never known. After them was Crime Time, who kicked some pretty good ass, just like Out of Reach, who played right after that. Basically, the entire show kicked major fucking ass, and Reno is the kind of place where a punk can feel at home, no problem.

After the show, we hung out at The Henden for a little bit before heading back to Joe and Mary’s for another evening. Joe made us some fucking AMAZING dinner. Some “sausages” and awesome potato salad and some tasty-ass beans. Basically, none of us ever want to leave Reno, after how well we were treated there, and how much fun everything was. I mean, not that the rest of tour hasn’t been awesome, but there’s just something about Reno.

We all capped the night off watching Zohan, projected onto the wall. I hadn’t seen it before, and I guess I can’t honestly say I’ve seen it now, since I was falling in and out of sleep while it was on, but I caught enough of it to know that I need to watch the whole movie. Yup.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

West Coast Tour - Day 3

We woke up in The Oven and slowly pulled ourselves together to face the day. Once we were ready, we headed into Roseville to get a little taste of culture, and by culture, I mean the same corporations you see all across the country, so not really culture at all. Though, Olivehurst, CA is supposedly the “Meth Capital of the World”, so it was really a tough choice at that point, what was the better option. And besides, we had to get to Guitar Corp. so Mark could return one of his drum heads. After we dicked around in their for a while (I always tend to gravitate toward the synthesizers), we went to go see Bruno. Some of us went to the movie while Mark, Adam and Kellen went to find some food. Yet again, I’m not sure what was the better option.

After the movie, we went to wrap up a few other things. Primarily, we got some wart medicine for the warts Jay has been getting on his hand, as a result of the curse that I apparently put on him. (I really need to start cursing people more often.) We had some fun with the wart medicine, pouring it on Emmett and my hands, and on the back of my neck, which left a huge red mark for about 24 hours.

We got back to The Oven about an hour or so before the show started, so I went and got some beers with some of the fine young gentlemen from Olivehurst (the non-tweeker kind). I decided that I’m going to drink before every show on this tour since the two shows before tour, I was a little drunk, and had a great time. We sat in the heat and were reminded of home, while waiting for kids to arrive. Somewhere around 6, the show started. There were a few bands, and they were all awesome. We got to share the bill with three phenomenal touring bands, Maladie from Mexico, Bokanovsky from France, and Drowning With Our Anchors from San Francisco. There's just something about playing in a tiny garage with good sound that really doesn't compare to much of anything.

After the show, we hung out for a bit with the dudes from Caulfield (who also played and ruled), waited for things to wind down, then hit the road for Reno. Somehow, there seemed to be construction and detours the entire drive there. The convenience store we stopped at had a guy out front that was looking me up and down, staring at my tattoos. I felt like I was in Deliverance, or possibly Hatchet. We managed to make it to Reno without being brutally slaughtered or ass-raped though, so that was good. We're at Joe and Mary's house. They are awesome, and sleeping is awesome, too.

West Coast Tour - Day 2

West Coast Tour - Day 2

We woke up around 9AM at Chris’s house, to get some things ready before we hit the road. The two vans went separate ways, John, Mark and Adam going to Mike Hartsfield’s place to get more copies of the 7” for the rest of tour. The rest of us went to an auto parts store to get a bulb for over the license plate. We popped the cover off and it turned out that the light was fine, it was just shoved up into the van a little bit, so we didn’t actually need to repair anything!

Next stop: Whole Foods. Actually, it was the biggest fucking Whole Foods any of us had ever seen in our lives. We went in planning to get a couple little tings, and most of us spent about twenty bucks in there. I could have spent a lot more, to be honest, so being able to reign it in on that one is pretty commendable, or at least I think so. I had a vegan tuna salad sandwich, which was good enough, some rosemary potatoes, which were fairly tasty, and some tempeh Chinese “chicken” salad, which was pretty goddamned amazing.

We managed to pry ourselves out and hit the road to Fresno. We didn’t think we would make it on time, but we pulled up to the Chinatown Youth Center a little early, which was a pretty good surprise. We played there in March and had a really god time, so it was nice to make it back there. As before, everyone there was really cool to us, and they even cooked us some pretty tasty pasta, which I somehow managed to still have room for after eating most of the stuff I bought at Whole Foods. Everyone started to show up and the first band, Necrowizard, took the stage. They were, in my opinion, the best Fresno band I have heard. They played a Slayer cover and a D.R.I. cover, and had plenty of sweet metal riffs. After them were The Bombpops from San Diego. It’s always nice to see girls in bands, because there is just an overwhelming amount of dudes rocking out. They were playing some pretty awesome punk in the vein of Op Ivy/Rancid and F-Minus (and, no, the F-Minus comparison is not just because there are women in the band).

After the show, a few of the guys were getting on me for not hooking up with any girls on tour. Specifically Jen from The Bombpops. It was a little bit funny, and I imagine I’m going to here about it the entire rest of tour. Actually, scratch that. I imagine I’m going to hear about it well after tour.

We drove straight to Olivehurst through the night. It was about a three-hour drive, if I’m not mistaken. We pulled up to the house we were staying at quite a bit before Adam, Mark and John, and since we’re wimps, we weren’t sure if we should just go up and knock, or whatever, since we didn’t have the number of the people whose house it was. After a while, we just drove there, and they came out front to meet us, were super welcoming, and showed us where we could crash, which was on the floor of the garage where we would be playing in the next night. This was no problem, so we al set up camp and went to bed as quickly as we could. This garage is awesome and I can’t fucking wait to play a show in here!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

West Coast Tour - Day 1

We hit the road after practice last night with Adam and Emmett, (Adam driving a second van) some time after 10PM. Not even 100 miles outside of town, we got pulled over. Jay got out all of the important documents and gave them to the cop who then said, "Step out of the vehicle." We all sort of thought it was weird and whispered to Jay to ask why we got pulled over.

"Can I ask why you pulled me over?" Jay said.

"I'll tell you when you get out of the car," the cop said in a pretty angry voice. Jay got out of the car and went to talk to the cop for ten or fifteen minutes while the rest of us sat there, wondering what to do.

"Um," I said, "should I get out and help?"

In unison, Mark and Kellen said, "No!" Then one of them, I think it was Mark, went on saying, "That's when they call in the friends and get out the tazers and nightsticks." A few minutes after that, Jay got back in the car and all he had was a repair order for the light over the van's license plate. I don't know why it took that long, but there you have it. We hit the road again, making a couple stops for a couple things, we arrived at Chris Rouse's place a little before 6AM, and we all went to sleep pretty much immediately.

We woke up around 10AM to go meet Mike and Ashley Hellfish at Mother's and have some amazing brunch, which was as worth it as was expected. A bunch of us had pretty much the same thing with some minimal discrepancies, which made it really easy for them to screw up our orders, but they did a pretty good job, and I think we all left super satisfied.

We then hit the road to go check out the twenty-foot plus waves that are hitting right now on Newport Beach, but the traffic was so bad that we just ended up driving around by the beach and ended up turning around. It was okay though, because we ended up having plenty of kid-like fun, chanting random things at random people as we drove about 5MPH down the road. By the end, Jay and Emmett were leaning out of the windows, giving high fives to people passing by the other direction in cars and on bikes. After a while, we decided that they should start fake high fiving people, like how you pull your hand away at the last minute. We got a couple people pretty good, and it was super amusing. Probably the best part of the whole drive was when a fifty-something woman was walking with four "McLattes" and Emmett shouted, "Yeah, nice lattes!" She sort of stopped, looked around, and approached a different car as we drove off, and she did not look happy at all. We were hoping she would throw one of the lattes at someone, but it didn't happen.

After all of the fun, we started heading to the show in Murrieta at Vic's Warehouse. It took a little bit to get there, but we managed to make it there a little early. The venue was super awesome, and it reminded me of The Chamber back home, but a little more official, I guess, which can be good bad or neutral, depending on your perspective. There was a decent amount of kids there, and I was pretty happy with our set, so I guess you could say it went pretty well. As we were loading our equipment into the van, we saw an owl fly overhead, a bunny run away, and a tiny little mouse running around. I don't know what that's supposed to mean, but it happened.

There's not much more to tell and I'm ready to go to fucking sleep, so yup.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Propagandhi and More

I haven't updated on here in a while. Mostly it's because we have been busy working our asses off writing new material and getting ready to open for Propagandhi, a band we are pretty huge fans of. As soon as I found out we were playing with them, I got super excited, because I realized I wouldn't have to pay to get in this time. Of course I was excited to be playing with them, but saving $20 or more is pretty important these days, ever since The Economy happened. I can't wait for The Economy to stop happening. Living through The Economy is really hard sometimes.

When we got to the venue, I noticed the remnants from the first half of the weekend's Juggalo Fest.

Say what you will, but fifteen dollars is a steal for a Juggalo documentary. You know it has to be hilarious! I wish they still had them when we played. Actually, no I don't, because I was flat broke at the time.

Bridge and Tunnel played after we did, and they were really badass. I took this crappy photo of them on my phone. How much my phone's picture quality sucks is how awesome they were. (If that makes sense. I'm trying to say they were really good.)

After B&T, those wacky guys from Winnipeg took the stage, and when I say they took the stage, I mean just that. I've seen them a couple of times before, and they never disappoint, but the addition of The Beaver made them that much better. I feel like they have evolved really well as a band through the years. Here is another shitty photo.

They played a great mix of old and new material, and it was an honor to open for them, as they are the best band to come from Canada since Rush (you don't get a hotlink for Rush), in my humble opinion. So that was all a lot of fun, and exciting in general.

I'm also excited that we have our 7" on New Age coming out before too long, and tour shortly after. It will be nice to get up to Portland again. It was only November the last time I was there, but it feels like it's been a couple of years. And I've never been to Seattle, so it will be great to get up there for a brief moment.


(Those Slim Jim commercials with Macho Man Randy Savage were the fucking best thing to ever be on television except for Tales From The Crypt and The Twilight Zone. And maybe Space Ghost Coast To Coast and Upright Citizens Brigade.)

Until next time, brother!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Just a little note from the Vatican...

In case you don't want to read it...

The pope is telling AFRICA not to use condoms (where hundreds die every day from HIV related illness) because they should practice abstinence.
He's being asked to retract his statement (because it's retarded) but he won't because he's infallible technically and can't be wrong.
That's a tough spot to be in, to put your foot in your mouth and not be able to take it out or risk collapsing the entire point of your existence. It's tough to be the Pope. It's even tough to be a creepy little Nazi pope.

In other news, a good friend of my family got arrested today in a "Illegal Immigration Sweep" done by our very own racist sheriff Joe Arpio. This man served in Vietnam, and is currently a pastor for poverty stricken families all over the valley. A good majority of the poor people in the Arizona community are Illegal Immigrants. Which sends the arguments of "they took our jobs" right into the shitter. Most illegal immigrants don't get hired on at Old Navy, T-mobile, office buildings or (the largest employer of americans) Walmart. I digress. A good majority of the people this man preaches to are poor, illegal immigrants.
Sheriff Joe decided to do a raid this morning near (he won't actually burst into the church) the church he was scheduled to speak at and rounded everyone up.
This man has given his life to the service of other people ( this country, religious council) and is now sitting in jail for being BROWN. His family has been completely disrupted by having to get all of his legal documentation to prove that the ID he's carrying is legit and he's an actual citizen of this country. He's IN JAIL, on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant because of the color of his skin.

Racial profiling at it's finest.
Though Sheriff Joe says it's not what he's doing.

I've never been asked to prove my legal status in this country because my skin is white...

Fuck Sheriff Joe, and fuck anyone who supports any of his completely racist policies.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Good Music is Good

I just got back from seeing Elitist at The Slurp, and I liked them so much I thought I should let everyone know that they are awesome, and you should go see them when they play in your town.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Age and Royal Monsters

We're pretty stoked to have New Age Records putting out our demo as a 7"!

Here's the blurb from the New Age website.

Featuring ex members of Where Eagles Dare, Landmine Marathon, George Moshington and Get Destroyed Phoenix Arizona's Royal Monsters bring experience from all over the hardcore/punk/metal spectrum. Formed in December of 2008, Kellen (WED) enlisted the help of John (WED) and Mark(GM) to get the band started.

" I wanted to start a fast, pissed off hardcore band that was challenging musically, not just simple power chords ". The addition of Jeffrey (LM) and Jay (GD) into the band added a whole new range of musical possibilities and a step even farther away from simplistic hardcore/punk songwriting.

Infusing punk, traditional hardcore, metal and thrash the desperate, dark and furious sound of Royal Monsters was born. With lyrics focusing on personal politics, experience of our culture from an outside perspective, and turmoil and struggle throughout history, it's a departure from most of the members previous bands subject matter.

"We got into the space, started writing songs, and wrote and wrote and wrote. It's been so great everyone clicked musically, and the songs just poured out."
No strangers to the road, all members have logged more than their fair share of miles around this country and this band will be no different.
"We booked our first tour before the demo was even recorded, and we have no plans of slowing down". "Europe, Japan, Australia are all in our sites as well as spending some more time on the road in the US".

Royal Monsters and New Age records have teamed up to put the bands first 7", expect multiple colors for you record nerds.

Keep posted here and on the New Age site for info.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 5 - The End

We woke up in Motel Sucks to the sounds of our twacked out neighbors arguing. Whether they had ever stopped during the time we slept or not remains unknown. After grabbing some showers and deuces, we grabbed all of our stuff to head out. We got a quick glimpse of our neighbors, and they were surely shady. As soon as I walked past the guy that was outside the room, he looked at me, sort of panicked a little bit and went back into his room. John said that, when he checked out, the girl who was with them, who had track marks all over her arm, was speaking to the woman at the counter. “Can I get the deposit?” she asked. “There is no deposit,” the counter lady replied. “They told me to get he deposit.” “There is no deposit.” So, from what it sounds like, she was a prostitute, and they told her they would pay her with the deposit which, it turned out, didn’t exist. Just a fucked up situation all around.

Everyone piled into the van, and we hit the road for Fresno, really excited to see what the show was going to be like. Before getting too far, we stopped to get “breakfast” at Taco Bleh, which was probably the best food I’ve ever had at said location (which isn’t saying much, of course), then we piled back in the van to go get gas and get moving a little further. We stopped at a Burger Krap to take a crap, and Mark and I ran over to a gas station to get some snacks. I got some golden Oreos and Mark got some peanuts. As soon as Mark popped some nuts in his mouth, he said, “Oh, man, these nuts are bad.” I promptly checked the expiration date on the cookies and notice that had expired three weeks ago, so I ran back in and exchanged them for a Mountain Poo, which actually cost more, but I took it anyway, because I’m like, a total rebel and stuff.

After a few more hours, we finally pulled into Fresno. From what I could see, Fresno isn’t exactly the safest place. There were definitely dudes all over looking to mug us, but since we’re all such tough guys, no one fucks with us. (In case it isn‘t glaringly obvious, I’m a total pussy.) The doors of The Chinatown Youth Center opened up, we unloaded our gear and were greeted with smiles and spaghetti, which was perfect because, well, we like smiles, and we were hungry as shit. The kids at the show were all really awesome, and we felt really welcome there. The four opening bands, from what I gathered, shared a lot of their equipment, and were done insanely fast. We already had all of our stuff backlined, so we got ready fairly quick, and started playing. I broke a string (What else is new?) toward the end of our first song, but fortunately, I was smart enough to bring a backup guitar, and I was able to jump back in before the song was done.

We all felt really good about playing there, and we would be happy to go back there any time, which seems to be the general way that this whole tour has gone up to this point. And here we are, on the ten hour drive home from Fresno, talking about discovering masturbation, hacking computers and our childhoods. I couldn’t be happier in a band than I am with these guys, and I’m definitely satisfied with how the last five days have gone. A heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone that out us up at their places and spent time with us, all of whom I’ve mentioned already. Seriously, thanks a ton, guys. You all made this short little tour really easy. I definitely feel like we cheated, it was so easy.

I really wish we were still going to be touring for months, but I guess you just have to go home sometimes.

Day 4 - Mother's and Tweekers

We woke up at Chris’s house, and I know I was feeling super refreshed, especially after taking the first shower I’ve taken on tour so far. (It’s okay, I normally don’t shower more than two or three times a week.) After we lazed around for a little bit, we went to eat at Mother’s Market, where they have a menu with somewhere between twenty and forty vegan items, including a bunch of different shakes and smoothies. I’m fairly certain we all ate way more than our fair share, but no one regretted it, in the end.

As soon as we finished, we met up with Mike and Ashley, who joined us for the ride to the show in Riverside. We really wanted to go to the beach (especially Jay), but we didn’t have the time, so we got on the freeway to Riverside to deal with the CA rush hour traffic. We took the toll road, which I haven’t done before, and it was a lot faster than I expected it to be, which was good since we were worried about being late.

We pulled up to The Pharaoh’s Den at about six and no one was there, so we went next door to a coffee shop. Now, don’t ask me why, but I personally fucking hate coffee shops, and this one was no different. As soon as we sat down, the people next to us started staring and whispering. I just did what Ialways do in that situation and stared back until they stopped whispering and starting having actual conversation with each other again. Jay and Mike went downstairs to play pool and I followed after them a few minutes later. I watched them play pool for a bit and some random guy came up to chat with us for a little bit. At 6:30, a woman came over and told us they rented out the room at that time on Mondays, so we left. It all worked out because that’s when Pharaoh’s Den was supposed to open their doors.

One thing I didn’t mention is that the place had a huge staircase right at the entrance. Stairs are always fun to load gear up, so we were definitely looking forward to that part. By the time all of our gear was upstairs, we were pretty well drenched in sweat. Everyone got settled in, the first band, Abandoned, played, then we set up our shit and went. A couple songs in, Jay busted a bass string, but it wasn’t a problem, because the bass player from From The Depths let him use his bass, and he even let him tune it from D standard to E standard, which was pretty rad of him. After us, Deadhed played, the From The Depths, who are definitely my favorite band we’ve played with so far. They are the perfect mix of hardcore and assorted kinds of metal. I really hope we get to see them again soon. After they played, Seven Generations played, which was awesome since they weren’t able to play with us in Pasadena, and it would have sucked to not play any of the shows on this tour with them, since we set the tour up with them initially. Mike Hartsfield from New Age came out to see the show. He’s a really awesome guy, and he looks like David cross, which makes him even cooler.

After the show, we said bye to all of the guys in Seven Gen and Mike (Hellfish) and Ashley, and got in the van to go eat at Santana’s, which was pretty badass. We hung out there for a bit with Nate, who put on the show, then we followed him to the Motel 6 by his place, where we crashed for the night with five of us in a room that was meant for two. We pulled some covert ops, avoiding the security guard as we got out of the van, only to realize as we settle in that he probably had bigger things to worry about than us, like the tweekers shouting in the room next to us all night. We heard them shout, “Are you stupid?!” “I’ll hit him!” “I will hurt him!” “I’ll shoot him!” and other such things. It was a little tough to fall asleep, worrying about being hit by a stray bullet flying through the wall, but I managed to do it.

It was a pretty fun night, and I know we’re al extremely glad we got to play with From The Depths, because they we’re outstanding.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day 3 - Pizza Madness, Horses and Houses

Today was amazing.

Really, that sums it up, and I could just leave it at that, but I'm not going to. We woke up at Chris's place after they had left to play their Gilman show, unsure if we would be playing a show or not, tonight. Before we knew it, Chris's mom delivered us two AMAZING vegan pizzas. I thought, after eating them, I would never eat another pizza as good as that in my life, let alone better, let alone on the same day, but I'll get back to that.

After we ate, we went to the hardware store to get some lumber and screws to fix the bass cab with. We had to unload the van in the middle of a parking lot with cars driving by to get the measurements, but we got through it without incident. As soon as John came out with the supplies, we checked the sizes, loaded everything up and headed to the Hellfish warehouse to hang out with Michael and borrow his drill to fix the cab. We saw the sleeves for the new Run With The Hunted EP, "Destroy All Calendars" being printed, and the look really awesome.

After John finished his handiwork, we loaded the van back up, and just then, Michael finished what he was doing. He took us where he and his wife, Ashley, have their horses. (It's actually where Ashley works, too.) We walked around there for quite a while, checking out a bunch of other people's horses and goats, then Michael showed us their horses, Gitan and Dracula. Gitan is about a foot taller than a "regular" horse, and is also super gentle. Not to mention that he is a super rare breed. (Michael said he is a $30,000 horse, and the woman who previously had him just gave him to Ashley!) A few of us took a ride or two on her. Unfortunately, Mark had a drink from Shitbucks Coffee that wrecked his stomach, and my hip has been pretty fucked up the last couple of days, so he and I didn't ride, but Kellen, Jay and John did, and they looked awesome doing it. (I have been taking some video, so keep checking here as the weeks go on, because it will take me a while to sort through and edit all of it.)

After a few really fun hours there, we went back to Ashley and Michael's place where they made us five incredible vegan pizzas. As phenomenal as the pizza we had earlier was, I liked these ones more, though they were definitely different. Chris's mom's pizza is more of a gourmet pizza, and Michael and Ashley's is more like a regular pizza. In fact, it's the only vegan pizza I've ever had that looked and tasted like non-vegan pizza. Who knew that I would have the two best vegan pizzas I've ever had on the same day?

We finished the pizza and the salad Kellen made, hung out for a little bit, then went to see The Last House On The Left, which wasn't as good as I hoped, but it wasn't terrible either. There were quite a few hysterical lines (though I couldn't tell whether or not they were intentionally funny), and some pretty good scenes of violence, but when all was said and done, it really was just ridiculous and nonsensical.

We departed from the nonsense, took Michael home, then went back to Chris's and passed out. Definitely a successful day off, and I wish that I could convey just how phenomenal it was in writing, but it doesn't feel like I'm doing it justice at all.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 2 - 580 and Air Fries

We woke up at Jake’s house somewhere around 10, hung out for a little bit, then said bye to Jake, Simon and Kyle, and got some more tasty burritos. We went to Giant Corporate guitar shop to get a few things before we headed out to Chris’s place, which would be home base for the next few days. The drive there didn’t have anything exciting like a Verizon convention. There were a few insane motorcycle riders that we were convinced we would see the corpses of down the road, but that was about it.

We got to Chris’s house and were welcomed with open arms, and greeted by yet another pet, Riley. Riley is a dog, and Simon the cat probably weighs more. We were offered some awesome vegan food, and regretted having eaten burritos, except Jay, who was a champ, and still managed to wolf down more food.

After a little bit hanging out, it was time to head to the show. We pulled up to The 508 House in Pasadena, CA. This place is fucking awesome. It’s a Victorian house that got turned into a venue three years ago that the people who run got turned into a historical building so that it can’t be torn down. We went down the street to a vegetarian fast food restaurant called Orean…, which was pretty good, except for the French fries, which were called “Air Fries” for some unknown reason. Guesses as to why ranged from, “They just take all of the meat out of a potato and pump the skin full of air,“ to, “They’re filled with toxins, so you feel like you’re floating on air. The point is, Orean… is great, but you don’t want the air fries.

We rushed back to the show, because we were playing second and the show was about to start. We got there all pumped to go, only to realize there was no PA, and there were two bands that had been added on to the show, so we were playing fourth now. It all turned out good, as Feed Walrus Defeat were fucking outstanding. The whole show was a blast, and there was a good amount of kids there. Definitely my favorite of the two shows so far, though hijacking a show was pretty fun. The only bummer was that one of the casters on the bass cab busted, but it's not the first time some of us have dealt with this, so it's not that big of a deal.

After the show, we hung out with the guys from Feed Walrus Defeat and Wolf Mother Fucker, and some other friends for a bit, then we went off to Denny’s to hang out and relax for an hour or two. We finally made our way back to Chris’s place at about 4 in the morning, exhausted and ready for bed. This was definitely a good day.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day 1 - Hijacked Vans, Hijacked Shows

We hit the road at about 9AM on Friday the 13th. The trip there was a little bit weird, filled with odd and fun characters. We stopped at a rest stop a few miles before the border to take short break. I went into the bathroom and crapped my little heart out, people jostling the handle, trying to get in the whole time. I opened the door, and there was a red-headed man, and his two young, red-headed boys standing perhaps a foot in front of me, with the most hysterical smiles on their faces. It was sort of creepy. I laughed, washed my hands, and headed out to the van.

We got moving again, and as soon as we got into Blythe, we stopped for John to grab a bite in Pizza Hut. When we walked in, there was a man in a Verizon shirt chuckling quite robustly. He looked at Kellen and I, who were about ten feet from him, and shouted, "Welcome to California!" The man continued guffawing as Kellen and I proceeded to ignore him and continue to the restroom. It felt like something out of a Hunter S. Thompson novel, minus the hallucinogens. (Reminding me that I have a whole ton of his books to catch up on.)

Everyone took care of what they needed to, and we were off again! A few miles down the freeway, a couple of Verizon vans passed us. Then a couple more. Then three more. When all was said and done, fifteen Verizon vans had passed us in the space of about ten or fifteen miles. We had no idea where they were going or what they were doing. (I was hoping that they were actually hijacked Verizon vans, transporting money, guns, and/or drugs across the country.) A while later, we made another rest area stop. As soon as we pulled in, we saw all of the Verizon vans, and the whole rest area was littered with Verizon employees, sitting at benches, walking around, just hanging out in general, having a good time. I got out and noticed a guy, David, that I know from his great photography. (I am, unfortunately, having trouble finding a link to his photos.) I said hi to him and found out that his group was heading to The World Famous Hollywood Magic Castle, which, ironically, I had not heard of until then.

We hit the road again, and arrived at Jake's house a few hours later. Jake told us about a great vegan burrito place just down the street from his place, so we went there immediately, and were not disappointed at all. We went back to Jake's and hung out with him and his pets (my favorite of which was Simon, a cat with girth to rival Garfield), then we headed to the show.

The thing about this show, we weren't on the bill. Someone had asked the promoter about another band jumping on the bill and he had said no. So, we get to the venue, Metaphor, and we load our gear in, saying we're Fucked By Thieves, the first band, who is using some of our equipment. (Actually, they didn't even ask me what band I was in. I rolled in equipment and they stamped my hand.) Fucked By Thieves played a short set and we jumped right on after them, taking about two minutes to get ready. We cut our set a little short, but none of us had a problem with it, since we were hijacking the show and it was awesome.

After the show, we went back to Jake's place, where Kellen, Mark, Jay and I decided to go to a party at Jake's friend's house. John was the smart one who stayed back and slept in the van, but it's not like the rest of us had a terrible time. There were dead baby jokes, massive water pipes, and there was water pong, a taser and, most importantly, Jake's roommate, Kyle, who was one drunk as shit, rad and hilarious. We were there until until about three in the morning until we all begged Jake to let us drive back. As soon as we got back, we went right to sleep.

First Show!

Here are a few shots from our first show. Thanks to the guys at The Dude Ranch for letting us and Disaster Strikes play in their kitchen!

Thanks to Manny and Danny for the awesome photos!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Dude Ranch

Thanks a ton to everyone that came out for our first show! I will get some photos up on here as soon as possible. Aside from me breaking a string halfway into the second song of our set, everything went great! (Fortunately, I had a back-up guitar handy.) I know particularly Kellen and I were a little bit worried about the whole thing was going to work out, so that was a bit of a relief. I mean, um, we're serious, professional musicians! We had complete confidence and knew we would do everything exactly right!

I'm really excited to play some shows in California, and I can't believe we're leaving in only 8 or 9 hours.

For all of you Twitterers out there, we now have a Twitter profile set up, so add us!

Other than that, keep an eye around here, as I imagine I'll have a few things to say on tour.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


We have a few shows coming up. Here are some of the fliers.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Jay ordered some CDs, I ordered some stamps, and as soon as I had both in my hands, I got to work on them. I'm pretty happy with the way they look, and I can't wait to have them all packaged. Here's a sneak peek of what has me so excited:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

We are not...

On the fourteenth and fifteenth day of February, in the year of two thousand and nine, Royal Monsters attended Arcane Digital and recorded five songs.

Here are the documents that have been retrieved.