It all started with a simple Twitter conversation…
We had been talking about recording somewhere else for awhile now, as we prep our fifth full-length. Scott Evans is an engineer and guitarist who I met when Ludicra played a show with his band, Kowloon Walled City. I liked their heaviness and was impressed that he recorded their excellent material himself. So, I approached my bandmates about giving it a go at Scott’s Antisleep Studios for a song we had to record for an upcoming compilation. Things turned out smashingly.
We traveled from Memphis onto New Orleans. Siberia is an awesome punk club, but the way the stage is configured negated a bit of our show. That’s okay, this crusty-laden crowd is always friendly to us and the show was another rager. Once again, I think these fans were cleaner after we showered them with fake blood than when they came in.
A big fear we’d had during the first half of tour was the massive rainstorms coming into Texas. As we headed there, we were promised by the meteorologists that we would be getting the few dry days Texas had in weeks. What they didn’t mention was the horrible humidity that would be killing us as we loaded into Houston’s own Fitzgerald’s Theater. Are we California wimps? Surely. Does it suck to load in a full stage show up stairs in sweltering heat and 100% humidity? Surely.
It’s all becoming a hazy blur… I really bungled my self-appointed position as blogger extraordinaire this last tour. I didn’t write down shit. Was there lots of downtime? Yes. Was I tired a lot? Yes. Did I figure out how Hulu works on my phone so I could watch a bunch of Venture Brothers? Oh yes. Looking at this tour pass, I realize my folly to try and remember it all later.
But attempt to remember it, I shall. How I wish I had recorded my touringest years of 2008-2010, even just a little bit. So here goes… I had gone into work early to finish my Faith No More poster. I churned it out in record time, because Sean had been a tad upset in a text exchange the night before when I reminded him I had work on the day we were to leave tour. Still, I got done fast and showed up at the allotted hour to load the trailer and… those mooks were still painting costumes. It would be four or so more hours until we finally left Oakland. And those fucking costumes still weren’t finished.
I guess I hadn’t totally blown it guest bass-playing for five days with Exhumed, because Matt Harvey shot me an email asking if I’d like to play with them at some little fest in Mexico. I said, sure, because I’m a dummy and didn’t even think about how busy I’d be around then, moving, working, playing shows, and prepping for tour. Me am smart. So of course, I put off the newer Exhumed songs I needed to learn to play a full set. As I meandered threw them in the days before, I finally saw the little fest we were playing wasn’t so little. Judas Priest headlining? Holy fuck…
To be honest, I’d avoided hearing too much of later Exhumed records because I’m a bitter little bitch. Now I had to learn vocals and bass licks I had just the barest familiarity with. I was surprised at how complicated Exhumed riffs had gotten. I ditched any notion of trying to learn this shit finger-strumming in the short time I had and went straight to the pick. I was also surprised how much I liked it way more than the material immediately following my original firing. Exhumed 2.0 is one bad-assed death metal band.
After a long-assed drive from Oakland’s punk-sister-city of Portland, I was back home. Hell, I spend such an inordinate amount of time at the Oakland Metro Operahouse, I even got married there. Tonight, I would rock the stage yet again, but this time with the first band I was ever in worthy of noting. It felt like I would be showing the biggest group of friends ever an old photo album.
I showed up early, because I have a nervous fit if I’m not in a club I’m playing before doors open. I had absolutely no cause to be there, but to walk around not actually loading shit. If I’d wanted this set to be 100% old-school, the proper thing to do would’ve been showing up five minutes before playing and realizing I had a broken string.
While I slept, little baby New Year decided to throw me a few curveballs for 2015. I awoke on January 1 to an email from my old bandmate from Exhumed, Matt Harvey. They recently released the Gore Metal re-recording which I had participated in, redoing all my vocals and not being able to speak for two days after. Now, they were going on tour with the crazy gods of Voivod and Napalm Death in support of Gore Metal 2. Their current bassist, Matt Slime, was leaving the band due to job commitments. Matt asked if I wanted to play the tour. Sonofabitch.
I was kicked out of Exhumed 16 years ago. The feud between me and Exhumed lasted for years afterward, affecting both Impaled and Ludicra to varying degrees. Fisticuffs were almost had at one point. I tried to keep it out of the public eye, well, except for when I didn’t (like putting a murdered Exhumed fan on an Impaled 7” cover). Real mature, right? Well, the peace was made long ago and we’re all much more mature people. That includes mature life responsibilities, so I had to decline doing the whole tour on such short notice. But I offered to do some West Coast dates, and Matt accepted: five gore metal filled days traipsing down memory lane.
On Friday, February 13th, Tankcrimes head honcho Scotty Karate took his magic touch to grace the historic 924 Gilman punk club. Scotty put on an epic show featuring bands with releases on Tankcrimes. It’s the first time in my own recent memory that Gilman hosted a sold out show. And I made a poster for it.
To say the show was a success is an understatement. Punks ages 8-80 (literally) came out to be a part of the festivities. Connoisseur, Brainoil, Born/Dead, The Shrine, and of courpse, Ghoul… it was a line-up so heavy, it had its own orbit.
Oh, man, you were so excited! The big tour! Your chance to be a star! You and your band head out on the road looking for fun, fame, and riches. Well, at least fame. Well, at least fun. You’re having a blast out on the road and then it happens. You find the street diamonds by your van or your trailer door is open. You’re no longer a guitarist because you no longer own a guitar. You get mad.
It’s not your fault that someone stole your shit. We live in a cruel world. You can take some steps to curb thievery, however… so actually, it is your fault. What can you do if your gear gets… taken? First, call Liam Neeson and have him throat-punch a mess of thieves until he recovers your stuff. If he’s busy, though, here are some other options to curb theft and retrieve your precious.