I didn’t really manage to keep a good tour diary on this last European tour… call it lack of motivation, call it the ability to download and watch TONS of films from Netflix on my phone. Either way, I still feel the need to put something down before it ebbs from aging and already addled mind: at least to learn a few lessons. Yeah, we made some mistakes on this tour, but fuck it; it really was one of the most easy going tours I’ve ever done with a crew that managed 0% slacking and 100% laughter.
There’s no real need for tour stories here; we all had a good time with relatively few crazy adventures. Most of the tour stories would just be us talking about old cartoons or cult movies while imbibing lots of alcohol. So let’s try a list of errors we made and how to correct them.
On Swans most recent tour, I was able to do contribute art for their show in Berlin. I decided to pay tribute to the time Swans was most influential on me.
In 1997 I saw the final tour of Swans in San Francisco and was floored. Their mid-90s death knell is still my favorite period of Swans, employing bombastic rhythms juxtaposed with eerie and unsettling quiet passages. They also had a minimalist aesthetic to their art that stuck out next to the early Photoshop boon of horrid album covers in the ’90s. I had to figure out how to reflect this vision and celebrate Berlin, one of my favorite cities in the world.
We took it easy that morning in Dresden. Conny and I walked out to the local shop street while Raul showered and picked up cheese at the cheese shop. It was something so utterly charming, I nearly puked. The cheese lady, as she is known to be referred to, gave Radonski a slice of cheese, then joked with Conny in German, fed us many slices of cheese until we were happy with the selections, and was just all bubbles and smiles. It was like something out of Leave It To Beaver, except with a lot more “sch” and “zje” sounds.
Back into the Chainsaw and off to Berlin. Conny’s sister and her boyfriend were moving from there, so their apartment was utter chaos, but that’s where we were to stay. Their Canadian / London immigrant friend Ewan was there and fed us some amaretto immediately. Delicious amaretto. We grabbed some beers at the local store and began drinking earnestly in public. It’s really weird, and the Germans found it funny that I habitually kept hiding my beer in my vest. We got into the train going to the Macabre show, and still, the drinking continued! GOD DAMN! Germany is rad.