Tour Diary: We’re Home…NOW WHAT?!

 

 

Our good friend and concert photographer Mike Lewis got some great shots of us in Portland at the Panic Room. Here is one of Jason.

Our good friend and concert photographer Mike Lewis got some great shots of us in Portland at the Panic Room. Here is one of Jason.

 

Another tour in the books for us.  We just got back from a quick(quick for us of course!) two week journey throughout the Northwest region of the United States.  We didn’t know what to expect, as far as crowd turn out, but we had some success earlier in the year in this particular region. Also, our booking agent was from this area and all his other acts were finding some love here, so all those combining factors were breeding hopefulness for a good two week run.  We were also looking forward to having our new CD and sell it just exclusively at these shows, but we were informed, right before we left by the label (Wicked Wonderland Empire/Grammercy Records) that the CD’s wouldn’t be ready in time.  That really bummed us out.  We also had some more Black Sheep:REMIXED records, but we didn’t receive them before we left.  Again, more bummed out. Maybe that was a sign?  NAH…

A great shot of Chicky singing and playing also from the Portland show.

A great shot of Chicky singing and playing also from the Portland show.

 

Despite all this, there was still an air of confidence about the upcoming shows.  For once in our lives we had a home and employment to come back to here at Soundwave Studios. We had a cool/funny moment while loading up our rental car.  Next to us was the heavy metal band Exodus loading their tour bus.  Both of us leaving for tour, but on two different levels.  Road crew furiously hauling gear into the trailer of the bus gave us some sort of hope that sooner than later we’d be on a level, where maybe we could get just one more person to help us out. That’s all we want, just a person to help load in and drive….anyway, excitement was felt and our smiles couldn’t be contained.

Thank you Mike Lewis.

Thank you Mike Lewis.

 

When we got to our first stop, Club 66 in Ashland, OR we were greeted to a bit of a surprise.  There was another out of town band asking to hop on the show with us.  Failure Machine from Reno, NV.  A garage rock/soul outfit with a horn section.  Being that we tour constantly and know what it’s like to try to hop on shows last minute, we had NO PROBLEM letting these dudes play. I’m so glad we did.  They were quite entertaining.  There was a problem though…the local opener didn’t bother to show up.  No call, nothing.  Just didn’t show up.  That was a bit of a reoccurring theme of this run, the local opener not showing up.  It even caused a cancellation in Seattle.  Cancelled shows suck cause that’s a day off.  No play, no pay, and while on tour that’s NO WAY!

Long time no see.  One of the cool parts of touring is seeing people you haven't see in YEARS!!

Long time no see. One of the cool parts of touring is seeing people you haven’t see in YEARS!!

 

After a few dates of odd parings and locals not bothering to show up I can’t lie I started to feel a little dejected.  For once I (Jason)was ready to just say fuck it. Usually the voice of hope and reason, I was getting a little fed up with all the bullshit.  It seemed like a never ending cycle of suck. Chicky of all people was the one keeping me motivated to finish the tour out. I’m sure finally seeing me that dejected was a bit frightening for her.  Maybe a wake call that our peers and family are right, and we just need to get a job with benefits and quite playing pretend. I felt that what we were doing was just falling on deaf ears.  I felt like a giant redwood falling mightily in an empty forest.  I didn’t know if I could continue the long drives, the uncertainty of the daily touring grind, sleeping in a cramped car (cause we don’t have a van).  Maybe I was fooling myself.  Maybe Chicky was right this past summer when she wanted to just give up. I will admit I was a bit defeated.  There is a saying around fighters about failure.  They say, it’s not how many times you fall, it’s how many times you get up.  And, “We didn’t hear no bell…”

I'm so glad someone caught this.  Had no idea Jason was actually getting off the ground like this.  Awesome.

I’m so glad someone caught this. Had no idea Jason was actually getting off the ground like this. Awesome.

 

We decided no matter what we’d finish the run out and finish the tour in Boise, ID.  We had Spokane, WA then we would go to Boise and discuss next year with our booking agent in Boise.  Best thing we could’ve done.  The people in Spokane and Boise reminded us why we do this.  Those shows felt like some sort of validation.  Because of BOTH of our feelings towards what was happening to us with locals not even bothering to show up, it was making our performances more fierce.  By the time we got to Boise we were truly on fire.  Maybe one the angriest performances we’ve had in some time. But now it was time to go home.  Still riding high on the better turn outs and the some good news from our PR company, we were feeling good on the ride back, but there was still a dark cloud looming.  That dark cloud was the post tour blues.

This, this is the real Oregon.  The horrible drive from Boise, ID to Oakland, CA goes through the vast nothingness that is Eastern Oregon!!!

This, this is the real Oregon. The horrible drive from Boise, ID to Oakland, CA goes through the vast nothingness that is Eastern Oregon!!!

 

I have to say it happens every time we come back from a tour.  The post tour blues.  We had just spent two weeks somewhat regimented living like rock n’ roll nomads.  Now back to the banal minutia that is “normal life”.  Starbucks cups and what not.  Living and working in music rehearsal studio makes for some interesting goings on.  Talking Cowboys football with Gene Hoglan, helping aspiring rappers get the right equipment for their live shows, and the daily hangs with the homeless characters that live across the street in the tiny houses.  I feel like writing this out and actually reading is making me feel a little better.  As I type this, with the sounds of the LFADM Pandora station in the background drowning out the sounds of Glenny playing his same 3 Gorjira songs in the studio behind me, I’m reminded that our live doesn’t suck. Until next time.

A nice little write up we got when we arrived in Ashland, OR

A nice little write up we got when we arrived in Ashland, OR