La Fin Absolute Du Monde Tour Diary: Preparing For Godflesh And the Utah Police Department

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So we’re finally done with the 1st leg of our “Black Sheep Tour 2014”.  From California, to Miami, FL and back we went.  We even had an insane stretch of driving from Louisville, KY, to Chicago, IL, to Salt Lake City, UT.  We did that drive in 4 days.  Spent a couple of FREEZING nights in Illinois Nebraska, Iowa.  Crazy shows all the way as well.  We played an amazing last minute show in Louisville, KY at the Hideaway Saloon.  Good built in crowd, and good people that were very welcoming.  There was some sort of mix up on us playing that night, but once we got all that straightened out we played, and had a GREAT NIGHT!  We needed that great night financially and for morale as well.  The bad weather that has decimated the south of the United States has been getting had been KILLING us financially.  We had played the night before in Louisville, KY (Saturday).  Usually a good night.  Most places want to have premium performances scheduled for the weekend.  Not the place we played.  Being a touring band, it’s real important for us to play with locals that have a bit of draw, especially on a weekend.  We played with two solo artists of the singer/songwriter variety that played to their girlfriends.  That was it, just two dudes, and their girlfriends…big empty room…

We weren’t too happy about it.  I was furious.  How can someone book that on a Saturday, anyway, we didn’t make anything, and we had a few off days before.  If we don’t play, we don’t make money, we don’t make money, we don’t eat.  That simple.  This is what we do.  It’s not a cute hobby that allows us to travel and take cute pics and famous landmarks and of local food.  This is how we keep the LFADM machine running.  So when we don’t have decent shows, ESPECIALLY on a Saturday it tends to be a bit of a morale draining experience.  We had a show the next night, still in Louisville, KY but on a Sunday.  We just saw how this town got down on a Saturday, we weren’t expecting much. We needed something big.  We had just enough money, to POSSIBLY get home if we started driving.  We were thinking about cancelling the rest of the shows and just try to get back to the Bay Area.  But we didn’t.  I convinced Chicky that we’d have an okay Sunday, and our Chicago show on Monday would be okay, and we’d be on the road back home in good shape. I was right.  Sunday was AMAZING! I actually didn’t see that kind of show coming and the good people of Hideaway Saloon saved the rest of the tour for us. IMG_4620 We got the financial boost we needed.  We now had the money to get Salt Lake City, UT and Las Vegas, NV.  Thank you Hideaway Saloon.  We will be back SOON…

 

Chicago was an interesting night.  We woke up to an email that the show was cancelled at the original venue, then we were told that we would be added on to a different show at a different spot.  Still in Chicago.  We were to be the openers for a death metal night.  Yep.  You read that correct.  We opened for a death metal night.  What’s crazy about that, is that we scared the shit outta people there.  We wear no spikes, no upside down crosses, no mention of Satan, death, torture, etc.  Just doing what we do.  Awesome.  Made some friends with another touring band there, the headliner of the night Fisthammer.  If you’re into traditional death metal, in the vain of Death, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, check those dudes out.

 

Salt Lake City, UT was like a paradise for us.  It was about 60 degrees there.  It was -2 in Nebraska, Iowa, and Chicago.IMG_4646  Once we got out of the car we started to take off our many layers.  Oh, we were sleeping in the van too in these below freezing temps.  I’m still a bit shocked we were able to do it.  But we did it.  The car survived, so did we.  SOLDIERS!  Back to SLC.  The venue we played was a real nice room.  There was an Asian woman working the front door.  She was nice and told us to load our stuff on stage and that we were going first.  That’s fine, it was just two bands that night, so 1st was a perfect position for us.  We waited for some time for the sound person, and we started to get worried when we didn’t see him/her.  We asked the nice Asian woman if we should be worried that the sound person isn’t there, and she let us know that SHE was indeed the sound person.  And NOT ONLY the sound person, BUT THE OWNER!  Rarely to do we see Asians at shows.  So to see an Asian woman that was not only the sound guy, BUT THE OWNER AS WELL..?! Dope.  We will be back to the Bar Deluxe in Salt Lake City, UT in May.

 

Now leaving Salt Lake City, UT was interesting to say the least.  We blew our first tire in 4 years about 2 hours north of Las Vegas, NV still in Utah.  We pulled over and called AAA.  We were a bit shook and slightly pissed.  AAA operator asked Chicky if she wanted the police to come by and wait with us for the guy to fix the tire, and she said we’d be fine.  It was in the middle of nowhere, but the sun was out, on a rainy overcast afternoon.  I was sitting in the drivers seat getting my phone ready to take a picture of the blown out tire.  We had just survived the freezing cold to hit with a blow out, and now we have to get a new tire.IMG_4627  So as I get ready to open the door and take a shot of the damage 5 cop cars and two police SUV’s roll up, sirens on and cops jump out of the car, GUNS OUT! My first thought was, “Man they sure do take flat tires seriously out here in Utah…”

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Cyndy gets out of the van, her hands in the air as she was instructed.  My cell is still in my hand.  I’m a bit scared, but more mad I hear someone telling my wife to get on the ground.  Our only crime in my mind is that we have a flat tire, and this is ridiculous.  I dropped my phone on the passenger seat and came out with my hands up as instructed and saw at least 5 guns drawn on me.  The most immediate threat a shotgun on me.  A dark black shotgun.  Pointed right at me.  I was yelling, most likely hysterically, that we were just waiting for AAA!!  The sheriff came out of his car.  Calmly.  He grabbed the shotgun by the barrel and told everyone to hold their fire. He walked up and let us know that there was a kidnapping in the area, and the suspect had a white minivan with California tags.  BUT…the suspect was white.  I am not.  He said that once I got out of the car, he knew he had the wrong vehicle.  He was very apologetic, and after the cops saw him talking to us, they put their guns down, left and apologized.  The sheriff actually helped us change the tire.  I looked at him and said, “I never thought being black would help me out when the police have guns pulled on you”.  He laughed.  They all laughed.  I’m just now able to laugh.

 

Las Vegas was next, another last minute addition, and bands had dropped off.  The one awesome thing about that show though, was the fact that our good friend and professional photographer Glenn BroganIMG_4246 showed up to take some photos.  He brought a friend to take some shots too.  Also, our good friend Freedom showed up with her man Georgie.  It’s always good to see familiar faces when you’re touring.  Our main goal for Las Vegas too was the buffet.  Las Vegas has by far THE BEST BUFFETS IN THE WORLD OF BUFFETS! Glenn knew this, so he took us to a spot that was $4.99 for breakfast and we went right around the time breakfast was ending and lunch was beginning.  2 for 1!!! Yes! Las Vegas once again, my favorite tour stop for that reason alone.

 

Now that we were done with shows, the real fun begins.  We got to spend a few days with our manager Scott in West Los Angeles, CA.  Scott is an AMAZING DUDE.  He’s helped us tremendously, and he was/is a driving force behind our new remix album.  Scott also is a ball buster.  3 days in a studio in LA with Scott sitting there with a note pad ripping our performance apart.  It was hard to hear.  IMG_4703There was yelling for a bit, some things got thrown, but then there were hugs, and progress.  And that’s what we need.  Progress.  We’re getting ready to play the biggest shows of our career right now opening for Godflesh in Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles.IMG_4689  I’m writing this to you from Orange County, CA.  We had to do a little job here to make sure we had enough money to re-up on merch, and have do some repairs to the van (Wendy the Windstar is her name).  Over 10,000 miles in 2 months, there are a few things we need to repair…the cracked windshield being one of them! HA! But once we return to the Bay Area, we are going to hold up in Soundwave Studios in Oakland, and rehearse as much as they let us, to make sure we’re ready for the next and biggest tour of lives to date.

 

See you guys soon…