Tour Diary: It’s All Coming to a Close…
I’m writing this to you from our friend Juliana’s place in Tucson, AZ. She’s the singer in a band we played with last night, “Rotary Speed Dial”. She, like so many people we’ve met on this particular leg of this tour, has opened her home to us to stay for the night and hang out during the day. She echoed a sentiment that we’ve heard quite often. She said she admires what we do. Not just musically, but the lifestyle. Giving up the comfort of a “normal life” for a true pursuit of happiness. When we hear these kinds of things, we often don’t know how to respond. To us, this is just life. It’s just what we do. We don’t know any better. All the long tedious drives, the unknown of playing a show and not knowing if the local support will show, or if we’ll even get paid. Playing to 200 people, and playing to just the bar staff. This is a life of uncertainty, but we love it.
On this leg of the #LFADMBlackSheepRemixedTour2014, we learning more than ever before. We’ve had some ridiculous highs, opening up for the legendary Godflesh, and the March Violets, we played with the Atlas Moth just recently, and we’ve also had the soul crushing lows of playing for 3 people (including the bar staff) in Kansas City, MO. Last night was one of those ego killing nights. A real good bill of bands, but for whatever reason playing to a sparsely packed room. The night before we played in a much smaller place in Prescott, AZ with more people. At this level you just never know what to expect at each tour stop. We had actually been looking forward to this show in Tucson since we were there earlier in the year and the show went well. We were told the venue had been through some management and ownership changes, and it’s not the same place. I don’t know, all I know is at the end of the night there was no payout. Luckily, we sold a few things, but there was some tension between Chicky and I after the show.
We needed to a decent amount last night. Our drives are getting longer and the shows are becoming more sparse. No more 14 shows in a row in the schedule. As this tour comes to close, we have to return our rental car in Portland, OR. The original route for this tour was not designed with our van breaking down in Portland. We were to end this tour in the Southwest region of the US and we planned on staying in SoCal for a few days before we play our final show of the the tour in the Central Coast. We did NOT plan on playing the “Doomed To Fall” fest in El Paso, TX, then drive 1700+ miles back to Portland to return our rental car, so we can get a one way rental to a city somewhere in California to buy a new van to live in. Needless to say, money is tight. Thank goodness gas prices out here aren’t much more than $3 a gallon, so that helps.
With all of this uncertainty, this is still our best year financially as a band. We’ve sold out of designs of shirts, we sold ALL OUR CD’S and the vinyl we took with us is gone. We’ve played some great shows. Last week in Juarez, Mexico was one of our best shows. Headlining a night playing again with some of the best bands in that region, on a substandard sound system, we still managed to play in front of HELLA PEOPLE and impress. I promise, when we come back, I’m learning more Spanish so I can communicate with the people, and I’m not eating any more “cake” there…
Trying not to get jaded by a sub par turnout is the challenge. You can’t get too high on a good night, and you can’t get too low on a bad night. You have to remind yourself why you do this. Why you bang your body around, pour your soul out for strangers to see, then pack up and do it again the next night, in another town. We experience a human connection that is hard to explain. We bring joy, and more often than not we bring hope to complete strangers. We love it. Love it so much that we live in poverty to do it. We live with less because the music is more.
Thank you to everyone that has extended a helping hand, said a kind word, bought merchandise from us, given us a floor, a couch, and sometimes a bed to sleep on. Thank you to anyone that’s bought us a meal, or given us food for the road. You guys are OUR inspiration, and the reason we continue down this path. And as I continue down this very uncertain road, I could only do it with you Chicky. Only with you.