Tour Diary: Understanding Clarity
Today is April 15th, 2016. Our 3rd year wedding anniversary. We are driving from Calgary to Edmonton on this day off where we will check into a luxury hotel within a 30 min walk from West Edmonton Mall. Luxury because of its convenience and luxury for its hot continental breakfast. Yippeeee!!! There will be so much sleepy cuddles today and just maybe we will treat ourselves to buying A new sale item for each of us. Because, you know… We are still madly in love with each other and the life we’ve chosen. Can you believe it?? I can’t.
Remember last summer when our van died in the middle of North Dakota? If you do, then you’ll remember how I had broken down too. I looked at Jason dead in the eye with serious conviction and told him, “I quit”. We had just donated our awesome road cases to Goodwill and we were trying to pack whatever we could of our gear and belongings in dingy, cheap, used suitcases that we bought at Goodwill. It was the first time that I was able to look at the one person I had ever loved the most and even though I couldn’t say it out loud, I knew he would…. That if we quit music then our relationship would be over too. At that point, as hurt as my heart was, I was also ready to leave him and everything we acquired behind. You all know a lot of our struggles… And if you’ve spent time with us then you know even more because there are definitely stories that we don’t publicly share. Of course I was tired of being stranded and broke. What the hell did I have to show for at this age without a successful career, without a home and without my own family? I officially felt like the biggest loser/ fool on the planet. Needless to say, our train ride home was dreadfully quiet and sad. We were getting ready to say our goodbyes. I was anyway. I was numb. I believe for that brief moment I had fallen OUT of love..
But we got off the train in Oakland that we wouldn’t even have gotten to without the help of sooooo many people. In ND, Mick from System’s Victims had asked collected donations at the bar he was hanging out. His older brother, Sean had saved us on the dark mosquito-filled highway and took us to their mom’s house who warmly welcomed us and allowed us to leave our broken van and expensive (for us) gear long enough to figure out what to do with it. Back home in SF, Don and Tara who didn’t know us very well put together a gofundme page and raised $1200 pretty much overnight because they wanted us to continue and not sell our gear. But when Jason asked me to please put out one last album, our first full-length project and tour behind it one last time, I thought for sure if he wasn’t smoking the trees he hates me doing, then for sure he was smoking crack because fuck… That was ‘high’ talk right there.
But I went along with it. I did feel like I had to. After all, we mutually felt that Clarity Amongst the Rubble encompassed a lot of our different styles and reflected our musical evolution since the birth of LFADM. Yet, we had to seriously re-think and re-strategize our plans. We NEEDED a plan!!! So, we sat still for 6 months, the longest we’ve ever sat still… And we worked jobs that we actually learned to love. And we upgraded our gear. And we got some PR help (Thank you Howlin’ Wuelf) and got signed (Thank you Wicked Wonderland Empire/Gramercy Records). AND we finally took the advice of our caring supporters to take our $1500 to use as a down payment for our DREAM van instead of investing it in a 3rd vehicle that would potentially strand us in the middle of the Canadian prairies, which would be 10x worse (I shouldn’t even be saying this until we are safely out of the area and back in the US… *knock on wood*.
So how are we doing on our first tour behind this new album in the northwest where we historically have not had awesome shows…? Let’s just say we can probably afford a nice steak dinner to celebrate our anniversary but will stay frugal for our long drives back home. Ya we can probably shop and buy some shit but we already found some awesome thrifty finds along the way (Including a dope ass fake fur/velour warm coat for $2 at a yard sale in Spokane, WA and $15 LEVI’S overalls at an outlet in Oregon); And we DID opt for the hotel with the HOT continental breakfast instead of the watery coffee and Svenhardt pastries; and we gained at least 10x more friends than we usually do on tour because our shows are waaayyy better attended; and we are uncomfortably low on merchandise to sell and only have a handful of CD’s left after having them drop shipped in the middle of tour.
(On a side note, I am loving Canada’s McDonald’s because they sell FREAKIN’ poutine! And can you believe their breakfast menu includes a kale and feta breakfast wrap?? Really delicious. But I do share Jason’s sentiment at the shitty, boring drives of endless nothing, even worse than Montana if you can believe it… They don’t have truck stops. Rest areas are tiny pull-outs with outhouses…. More often you see recycling bins randomly on the side of the freeway to throw your garbage out. No restrooms, no outhouses… Just garbage receptacles. And gas is super duper expensive…)
Today, my husband STILL looks at me like I’m the most beautiful woman he’s ever been with. Not to mention, I owe him big time for making me the bad ass that I never thought I had in me.
- Jason Myles get ready for some serious snuggles today before I fall asleep so heavily on you. I love you more than anything, I am home wherever you are.