Friday, July 12, 2013

What We Did For Our Summer 2013 Summer Vacation: Part Duex.

Okay, where were we? Slayer. That’s right. So, after all the craziness that was the first couple weeks of the tour we finally settled into our digs for the rest of the tour and met our driver Jens:

Things you should know about Jens:
The man can drive his ass off.
You don’t want to eat his hummus, or he will kill you.
If you’re a promoter that ripped off another band he was working for who happens to be at the show he is at, you best find a ATM because he will shake your ass down for all that loot. (Did that make any sense? I don't care.)

After a quick bro down with him, we made our way to Interlaken where following a night of hanging with some road homies and watching some Rammstein… Wait, I have to say something right now. I, like a lot of people out there, have never given a good goddamn about Rammstein. Never got the allure. But after watching them live—HOLY FUCKING SHIT! I couldn’t tell you what one of their songs sounds like but their stage show is insane. Fire shooting everywhere at all times, dudes on treadmills, crossbows shooting flames, face masks blowing flames, guitars blowing flames, gigantic mechanical bull penis things that hose the crowd with foam. It was like Gwar on PCP—on acid. I would love to shake every one of their crews aloe coated, skin grafted hands and tell them what a great job they are doing.

Back to Slayer, the day we played Slayer was the headliner, so we snuck side stage to check out the riffage:
The sixteen-year-old’s in all of us were tugging on our nuts with excitement. After the show our old friend LJ (who is now Slayer’s production manager) invited us back to, what I like to call, the Slayer Lair. At first it was mellow enough, we hung in the production office and ate some of Slayer’s pizza:

After about a half hour LJ invited us into the dressing room. We assumed that the band had already left and strutted in like the cock of the walk only to walk directly into the entire band chilling out. John immediately blurted out something like “I don’t want to be a fan boy or something but you know, it’s like, you know…” We were off to a great start. After multiple shots with the band that left us a little too at ease, the boys got some photos with the band, who were cool as hell to us, and then Slayer’s tour manager came in and told them it was time to go. They had to catch a flight. On the way out the door Kerry King turned to us and said “Take whatever’s left, we can’t use it.” Thus began the great Slayer Dressing Room Pillage of 2013.

Then we grabbed a trashcan from the hall way and started a crammin’:
Of course John couldn’t let the pizza go to waste.

To be honest the next few day were a blur. There was our breathtaking stateroom on the ferry over to the UK with the finest sleeping faculties that money could buy:

I guess it’s not really all that surprising that all the photos I have from the UK and Ireland look something like this:

I did try to get this guy to give me his pot of gold:
But he wasn’t having it.

After the shows in the UK we hopped a flight over to Poland for a show. Once again we had first class accommodations:
They were, by far, the most comfortable seats we’ve ever stood next to.

After Poland it was over to Genève where a buck-naked couple stormed the stage and danced around for most of the encore. Of course I missed the entire thing because I set up merch behind a tree, which I thought would be “ A nice little place to spend a Swiss summer’s eve.” Idiot. Nerd Idiot. Nidiot.

Okay, this is just getting stupid. I started this file on June 25th it’s now July 10th and I’ve made it like three days since the last entry finished or someshit. I’m gonna have to go all word butcher on your asses and trim the fat. You know, tell you all the basics that you need to know about a bunch of shit you really don’t need to know about.

At Hellfest John shared his love for the art of dance:
The boy has some serious dance moobs.

We played a show in Gigors et Lozeron that was so bitchin that Aaron’s head exploded mid set:
If you are diddling around France and run into this on the street:
Stick around for the encore, which includes him spitting on his own face and some tasteful vomiting.

Sucked in the sights in Milan:
Played The With Full Force Festival in Germany where they had an all you can hold down Jager tent in the backstage area. To give you an idea of how bad things got this was Bryan, Adam and David right after the tent opened:
Here’s Bryan and Adam two hours later:
Then someone thought it would be idea to get up and play Bury Me In Smoke with DOWN with no practice at all:
Notice Phil Anselmo taking Aaron’s glasses. He might as well have blindfolded him.

I wish he had blindfolded me so I wouldn’t have this burned in my brain until death or I get an elective lobotomy.

We were pretty excited when we pulled into the Graspop Festival and saw this:
I don’t want to be a Sour Susie here, but I gotta tell you his voice must have been going out, because he sounded nothing like the records—he didn’t do Forever In Blue Jeans, Sweet Caroline, America or any of the hits. And man, did he look like shit:
Then we did a couple shows with The S Word:

Those dudes rule.

Did a little shopping:

David picked up a new axe:
John got a shirt:

Nothing all that out of the normal really, just your average dudes chilling like muthafucks.
Tour To Live!

P.S. Tour wrap up will be coming soon. Or later. But hopefully soon. But probably later.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

What We Did For Our 2013 Summer Vacation: Part One

Hey there world, it’s been a while—over a year. I know that a lot of bad stuff has happened out there since my last post and I’m sorry, I did not realize that this blog was the delicate thread that held the world together. Now I know and I’m going to try my best to get back on the horse and start really blogging about the important issues that you, the world, crave. Such as the regularity of our farts, and whether or not Bryan’s socks look like a well steeped tea bag. Because then and only then will you, the world, be able to relax knowing all that is important is, once again, available with the click of a mouse and feel free to kick your collective feet up and tackle this whole North Korea thing.

But you have to understand, maintaining this blog is not as easy as it used to be for me. You see, now that we are international rock stars with up to 100 people showing up at every show, my duties with the band have changed. In the olden days (back in the early 2010’s) the world was my oyster, days were spent doing nothing but slangin’ a couple tees and enjoying the delicacies of the world’s finest gas stations. There was hours of down time to spend digging through photos and writing incredibly witty captions.

Now I am the Tour Manager of a band that makes almost thousands of dollars a year. All my time is spent fanning John with palm fronds with one hand while feeding David organic, non-soy, gluten-free grapes, (a rider requirement) with the other. Then it’s off to style Aaron’s back hair into a Jennifer Aniston esque quaff (early Friends era) and every night I have to chew all of Bryan’s food and feed him like a momma bird feeds a baby bird! Where is the free time in that day I ask! I have none. That is why the blog has been so hard to maintain.

Well, that and Instagram. It’s hard to get original photos for this thing when everyone can just blap them into space as soon as they take them.

All of that being said, let’s get into this tour.

I should start by introducing the newest member of the Red Fang family, Adam Pike:

Known by us, as ABP (FOH) Adam is our Front of House or sound guy to the layperson. Due to the fact that Adam is way better looking than the rest of us, all photos of Adam from this point on will look something like this:
Actually Adam recorded Pre-dog and as been part of the fam for a long time, you might remember a little car accident we got in a few years back? He was with us. He’s one hell of a FOH person and we are happy as hell to have him on the road with us. If you see him at a show buy him a gin and tonic.

Let’s see we played a couple shows in Spain with some band called Iron Maiden. Guess they’re some new hot band or something, never heard of them:
John liked ‘em:

After that we bounced down to Greece where we met up with the Cancer Bats homies for a couple shows:
(Isn’t that a flattering photo? John’s big ass head taking up half the frame…)

And had one of the best Meals of our lives:
Even the toothpicks had the flavors of the old country:

It would appear that John also liked the Mediterranean:

David wasn’t having John’s pussy ass pose and got straight G-Unit on that ocean’s ass!

After a couple of great shows in Athens and Thessaloniki we threw the necessities into the bags:
What? There’s a pair of socks in there…

And headed on over to Kiev where our friend Vlad had a incredible spread waiting for us:

After dinner Bryan and I showed them how to party Red Fang style!
Take that Ukraine! Doubt they will forget that any time soon! Woooo!

One of the things that makes tour so great is getting to see how the rest of the world operates. Take for instance the act of driving. In the U.S. it is a very rigid set of rules and regulations where in places like the Ukraine it seems to be more of a laid back suggestion-based-system. You know, let’s say there are three marked lanes, where in some more uptight places they might stick to only those three lanes. In Kiev they seem to say “Hey Bud, if you can make turn those three into six—well—party on!” “You wanna cram a couple motorcycles in between all those lanes?” Fucking sweet!”

It’s not limited to just the car to lane ratio either. Maybe a full size concrete truck turns over on a highway off ramp, spilling diesel fuel all over the crowded, hot, asphalt. In some stick-up-the-butt societies they would close the ramp down and deal with the problem, There you just drive right through that puddle of highly flammable liquid and honk at the guy holding the fire extinguisher as if to say “Hey Dudder, good luck with all that, now get out of the way” and keep on moving down that dusty road. 

After a great show and an incident that involved Bryan taking a late night dip in a lake that, we were later told, was heavily polluted due to the Chernobyl disaster, we jumped on yet another plane headed to St. Petersburg, Russia.

Like last time we were in Russia after the show we hopped overnight train this time going the opposite direction, from St. Petersburg to Moscow.  Turns out John had a couple too many sips of the local grape and things got a little, little weird:

I won’t go into details, but as Aaron soon learned, there are some things you can’t unsee, not matter what you do.

The Moscow show went freaking bananas once again. Thanks a ton to everyone that came out. And if you know this guy below please tell him that he might want to get some sort of chemical scrub or skin graft for the back of his neck/back of the head area. Or at least invest in some heavily, heavily medicated shampoo:

Next up was Krasnodar but not before taking a little trip up the Stairway To Heaven:

After the show we packed it up and took a refreshing five-hour drive to Rostov-On-Don. Adam came out looking better than ever:

Okay, I’m going to have to steer away for the story here because I have been trying to finish this damn thing for over a week and just never get around to it. SO! Let’s just wrap it up here, I’ll slap this thing up on the inner-webs, and start on part two as soon as I get the chance.

Wait. I’ll make it more dramatic, like a real writer:
Tune in (do people tune in to books?) next time to find out what happens when we get the green light to have a couple drinks with Slayer!:
Tour To Live!

Friday, June 8, 2012

European Headliner Part Three

You know the saying better late than never? This post very well might be an exception to that rule for the following reasons:

1)    I lost my camera and all the photos on it. So I have to use whatever is on my phone and John and David’s photos.
2)    Since being home I have had more beer poured on my face than a corpse at an Irish wake and remember little to nothing about the last couple weeks in Europe.
3)    Compared to the road where all there is a van full of dudes that I don’t really want to talk to after a couple weeks, at home there is a couch and cable to distract me.
4)    I took no notes about said last couple weeks because:
5)    I am really lazy

Wiesbaden, Germany 4/27/12

I remember this place! It was an old slaughterhouse turned venue. Those rods on the ceiling are where they would hang the carcasses.  This is going to be easy.

Winterhur, Switzerland 4/28/12

I got nothing.
No! Wait!
This was one of the most scenic drives of the tour as you can tell by these amazing photos—that are still on my camera.

Salzburg, Austria 4/29/12

 You know in America when you pull off at a truck stop and you look around and see one-legged women with a eye patch and a tattoo that says “Pussy Ain’t Cheap” crawling into the cab of a overweight man’s rig who’s got a clear plastic bag full of over the counter speed and a 132 ounce soda? Truck stops in Austria are exactly the same, except for all that instead you see this:

Same diff.

Bozen, Italy 4/30/12

Oh great, as if there wasn’t enough going against me getting this blog done, now there is a episode of Law and Order on that I’ve never seen before. One of the classic ones with Jerry Orbach. Maybe I can finish this during commercials.

Vienna, Austria 5/1/12

 Alright, where were we? Okay, so what do can I put in here? I have this picture of Bryan eating breakfast…

You can tell it’s breakfast because there is a banana in the mix.

Munich, Germany 5/2/12

This is where shit got a little hectic. In order to make it to the next show which was suppose to be in Poland we had to leave directly after this show and point it over night. Only when we came out the battery was completely fried due to someone who will remained unnamed but who is in a band that rhymes with Flack Musk leaving his phone charged into this thing the entire night:

In his defense he wasn’t the first person to do it, being the main reason the battery was torched. Those of you who know us know that we don’t take missing shows lightly. We are really sorry to all the people that traveled to see that show and we will do what we can to make it up to you down the road.

We woke up and still had a thirteen hour drive ahead of us to make it to Kiel so we put the hammer down for a while and stopped in Kassel where we were completely lucked out and stayed at the most bitchin hotel ever.

Look at this lady:
After showing us what was on the menu for the night:
 She cranked (her favorite band) Led Zeppelin for us and danced the night away. (This is where this kick-ass video of Bryan and her dancing to The Immigrant Song would go if I hadn’t lost my stupid camera)

Kiel, Germany 5/4/12

Are you kidding me, every season of The Wire is On Demand? This thing is never going to get finished.
Stare at this picture of Bryan doing the reverse Lemmy for a bit while I drop in and see how Omar and the boys are doing.

Essen, Germany, 5/5/12

(Note: I am picking this back up almost a week later due to The Wire episodes. Not Joking, That show will tear the hours straight out of a day.)
This was our last show with the Black Tusk boys and it was a rager. The show concluded with the Tuskers and all of us shotgunning beers on stage which led to John running off stage for a “bathroom break” and Athon getting so drunk that he rang out Aaron’s show shirt into a shot glass and drank it. It goes without saying that getting up at 7:00 the next morning to catch a flight was about as fun as drinking Liquid Plumber and, I’m guessing, felt about the same.

Kiev, Ukraine 5/6/12

First thing you should know about flying into/ out of Kiev is this: They do not allow battleaxes or maces on the plane. (Look middle right)

And they’ll be damned if you try to ‘Merica up the place by smuggling in a baseball. (bottom left)

Another thing you should know: If you have anymore then one bag per person you should arrive at the airport sixteen hours ahead of time. It seems that as soon as you tell the agents you have extra luggage one of those pictures that you have to unfocus your eyes and stare at forever appears on their computer screens. …Other people would show up, all of them leering at the monitor and pointing with confused looks on their faces… Then after about thirty minutes they tell you to go to the second floor of the next building over and pay someone else who, when told what you are trying to do, gets the same stereogram and the process starts over. 

Next: When you arrive in Kiev, do not expect any of those bags to be there.

We didn’t have much time in Kiev to suck in the sights, which was a bummer because from what we saw driving in, it was beautiful. John and I did go out in front of the venue and meet some people who were coming to the show. Everything was going great, we met a ton of awesome kids and some of them even brought us beers, then out of nowhere this super hammered guy walks up to us, whips out his junk and starts flapping it around. Not like he was doing it and we just happened to be standing there, but as if he was proudly doing us a favor. Smiling ear-to-ear. He then did an about-face and spread his cheeks while look over his shoulder with the same Cheshire Cat grin. His buddies came running over, tackled him and apologized over and over again. It was a relief to know that was not a normal Kiev hello.

Moscow, Russia 5/7/12

After showing up to a new custom guitar case at the airport:
It was off to the club. Luckily there was a military museum a block from the club so we got to suck in some sights before the show:
We had returned to the club to check out the gear that had been rented for the boys and do a quick soundcheck. David lucked out and got the sexiest amp.
I can tell you this about the show: It was terrifying. The fans in Moscow are the most Rabid fans on the planet. Not only were people going absolutely batshit on the floor, but they were making their way on to the stage, where they were spraying blood all over, getting their hair caught in Bryan’s tuning pegs, knocking over everything, stealing John’s sticks and Bryan’s tuning pedal, trying to hug David mid-song and taking the boys waters and beers, then chugging them on stage. It was mayhem. Totally awesome mayhem.

St. Petersburg 5/8/12

We loaded out directly onto a overnight train bound for St. Petersburg. We all had romantic ideas of watching the Russian countryside roll by as we drank vodka and were told tales of Soviet-era Russia by husky men in over-sized fur hats… But what ended up happening was we fell asleep. Almost immediately. We did wake up with enough time for John to get this instant coffee severed in Conan’s goblet.

And take a wiz in this tetanus based art project:
I guess this is where I should tell you about my mission to go retrieve the lost boxes of merch from the airlines and my ride to the airport with a driver who had a conversation with me for an hour even though he spoke no English and I spoke no Russian and how the customs agents wanted to arrest me because we had no paperwork on the boxes even though they were suppose to go to Kiev and not St. Petersburg and how they wanted my passport and I wouldn’t give it to them because the box was in John’s name and they made me sign a bunch of paperwork and without thinking I signed my own name which made them freak out even more… But I’m too lazy.

And I rather tell you about the day after the show when we got to wander around the city for a couple hours looking at amazing shit like this:
And this:

And this:
And this:
Does that count as telling you about it? Because I’m kinda going through The Wire withdrawals right now.


Tour To Live!

Thanks to everyone who came to the shows, you made this tour more than we ever thought it could be.

Thanks to Black Tusk for being totally badass road-dogs and making the van share real classy.

Thanks to Adam and Yosti for driving our asses all over and not bitching about it once.

Thanks to all the clubs for all your hard work.

Thanks to all of our ladies for putting up with our non-stop touring.

And a extra special thanks to whoever invented those soup machines in all the gas stations over there. You are a god.