The death pop band, Fearless Vampire Killers, are currently on the “Revel Without A Cause Tour” with William Control and Davey Suicide. While they’re on this tour, they will be writing an exclusive blog for us. You can check out the band’s fourth entry, after the break.
DAY 24 – Eminem in the Morning, Put My Key in the Door, Bodies Laying All Over the Floor
So now that we could tick Canada off of our list we found ourselves heading back down towards Americaville and after the best doughnut I have ever had from Tim Horton’s and a brief stop at the US border control (at which we encountered a humourously chatty border officer) we were back in the good old U S of A. We dropped our stuff off at the hotel we would be staying that night, warmed our frostbitten little tootsies by the shoddy central heating system and treated ourselves to a delicious, syrup-drizzled lunch at IHOP before we thought about heading off back into the cold.
The show that night was at a place called The Pike Room in Pontiac just outside of the “Motor City” itself, Detroit. As we were driving through the seemingly decaying, grey ruins of a once vibrant industrial Motoropolis, you’d think that in tribute to the Motwn the city spawned our van speakers would be blasting out a bit of Marvin Gaye here, Stevie Wonder there and some of The Supremes for dessert. But we were not tempted by The Temptations that day, instead we opted for an Eminem opus: A marathon that went on to last several days taking in most of his back catalogue with a focus on the still fresh MMLP2. It was Mathersmatical.
But enough about the bangin’ beats: WHAT ABOUT THE SHOW?!
Well the show, my dear ladies and gentle-friends, was a great success! With the novelty of a backstage area and ample time to set up our gear we were able to comfortably give the show our all and were kindly rewarded by a crowd of enthusiastic dancers and screamers – which is the most we can ever ask for. To top it all off, the bar sold $1 cans of beer: One dollar brewskis! With a price that low I don’t even care how low the quality or alcohol content is – just get it in my belly! So yes it was a merry night filled with colourful snakes (not a euphemism, you dirty bastards), strange shots and gyrating dance moves that definitely lifted our road worn spirits.
DAY 25 – All Dressed Up With Nowhere To Go
The next show in Indianapolis was a bizarre one. Not because of some Twilight Zone-esque twist of fate in which the audience were all cybernetic monkeys or we were, through some ghastly cosmic coincidence, playing to our future selves via a rupture in space-time. No; nothing nearly as interesting as that. It was a bizarreness linked to two very simple, reality based factors: Acoustics and an abundance of time to kill.
Let me take it back a step now, we arrived in good time (for a change) at the venue and quickly realised there wasn’t really anything to do. There was a McDonalds over the road and, well, that was about it. So we loaded in, took pictures with a couple of fans of ours (which was a sweet surprise) then let the boredom set in. You know that you’re bored when you go and sit in Maccy D’s for an hour nursing a large iced coffee (which is what me and Shane did a couple of times that day). The boredom was broken for better (or perhaps worse) when we realised that there was a bar adjoining the venue that was most cheerfully cheap as chips. A small group of us sauntered over there with a few hours to kill to have a refreshing glass of amber ale which kerchinged its way down our gullets to the sweet sound of $2 a pint. Indianapolis and Pontiac were very kind to our wallets, if not to our livers. Yes, so three or four pints and a generous shot of whiskey later and you have one of the contributing factors to this bizarre show. Although by no means plastered, on an empty stomach it was enough to give everything a slight lag and fogginess – which is not ideal when riffing some shit-hot sub-sonic licks.
Then we come to the acoustics of the room. A room which, I might add, was pretty damn huge compared to the other shows we’d be playing this tour. It was cavernous. The walls and floor were dirt black and the venue sloped down to the stage which gave me the feeling of playing at the bottom of a pothole. All of which is not to badmouth the venue, I love that sort of look and vibe as I think I’ve explained in a previous blog. What made it so bizarre was that you couldn’t hear anything onstage. And, you know, I kind of like hearing what I’m doing onstage. The monitors couldn’t match the cavernous echo of the main speakers bouncing betwixt the walls and only fed back when pushed further. So for 30 minutes I felt like I was living in this shapeless echo, singing as little as possible as I couldn’t hear which note I was pitching, and praying that my fingers were playing some of the right notes in kind of the right order. Anyhoo, it couldn’t have been all that bad as we chatted to a few newly acquired fans after the show and someone had even bought a copy of our vinyl single for ‘All Hallows Evil’ which really made my day.
The night ended where it had (spiritually) begun – in the bar. Then we had a nice chill out sesh with The Relapse Symphony in our hotel in which we drank, soaked up some Dog the Bounty hunter and argued over whether City of Evil or Avenged Sevenfold was the best A7X album. All arguments seemed to cease when we remembered just how awesome Waking the Fallen was…
DAY 26 + 27 – Fudge Censorship, You Dirty Mother Fluffers!
The next two days consisted of little else besides driving so I will give a quick honourary mention to the very best hotel room we’ve had all tour. My God that thing was huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge. It was the size of our small flat in London and you know what? It was the cheapest hotel of the whole tour. Absolutely insane! That night we chilled out in our mansion of a hotel room and noshed down too much pizza while watching Inglorious Basterds and Die Hard. The only thing that kept the night from true perfection was the ridiculous censorship of late night American TV. Seriously, you can’t get the very best out of a Quentin Tarantino film without the deliciously dirty dialogue! We found this to be the case again when we tried to watch Pulp Ficition another night and the soundtrack was out of synch with the imagery because they’d tried to cut out and, in some cases, re-record dialogue from the film. BLASPHEMY! And to top it off, some other channel was showing uncut sex and “frightful cussing” at 10AM. What the mother flipping crud is the point, get your story right you mothers! But I could whine about the state of American network TV for days so I will leave you with a moment of filmmaking genius we were so sorely denied, I’m off to get myself a Royale with Cheese.
“There’s a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.” Now… I been sayin’ that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, that meant your ass. You’d be dead right now. I never gave much thought to what it meant. I just thought it was a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before I popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin’ made me think twice. See, now I’m thinking: maybe it means you’re the evil man. And I’m the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here… he’s the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you’re the righteous man and I’m the shepherd and it’s the world that’s evil and selfish. And I’d like that. But that shit ain’t the truth. The truth is you’re the weak. And I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m tryin’, Ringo. I’m tryin’ real hard to be the shepherd.”
DAY 28 – Englewood Humperdink
Our show on this, the 28thday of the tour, was marked with sadness. The undercurrent of poignancy and melancholy was felt because it was our final show with the guys from The Relapse Symphony and Davey Suicide. On tour you have to spend a lot of time in, often, uncomfortably close quarters with people you’ve never met before and you either bond or you grate on each other’s nerves. Luckily, we found that the more time we got to spend with those bloody blokes (even with Davey’s constant, consistently bad English impersonation which sounded like a mash-up of South African and Australian) the more we bonded and got on. It was a real treat to spend that time with all those folks and it was sad when, after the show, we had to say our goodbye as they were both shooting off that night to join Blood on the Dancefloor’s current tour. The 14 hour drive to Arizona meant that we didn’t even get to see The Relapse Symphony before they left, sad times. But I’m sure it’s not the last time we’ve seen any of those lads, hopefully it will be sooner rather than later when we meet again.
May the force be with you fellas.
DAY 29 – Winter is Coming
We had another god-damn obstacle ridden, long-assed drive ahead of us if we were going to make it to Salt Lake City. Reports had been coming in all day in Englewood that snow storms would make passage through the mountains incredibly dangerous: And that’s just where we were heading baby, so buckle up.
We got up bright and early again to allow us at least half a day to manoeuvre through the rocky peaks, up and down the severely icy roads all the while peering through sheets of blistering blizzards caking the landscape in a blanket of white. We knew we may very well get stuck, or worse if we weren’t keen-eyed a careful. Fortunately, Shane and Lucy were more than up to the challenge as we got through the worst of it in the first part of the drive and for the rest of the journey we were able to enjoy some of the most awe inspiring and beautiful landscape I have ever seen. Bathed in a golden sunlight, the snow flecked peaks were so majestic you almost forgot how much danger they could hold and how lucky we were to avoid it. The reality was brought home as we came across a crash site on the road that could add two battered cars and a toppled truck to the notches on its belt. Needless to say, we took it slow and steady the whole way.
But, as is evident from the existence of this blog, we made it through without a scratch and we rolled up to the venue freezing cold and half-mad from sleep deprivation as we cranked up the already barmy Tiger Lillies (check them out if you’re a student of the bizarre) on our stereo and sang along in our best falsettos. The venue seemed so quiet as we unloaded and a thought seem to dart through each our minds in turn: Was anyone actually going to turn up? We wouldn’t have blamed them if they didn’t. It was still stormy, freezing cold, a bloody Sunday night and it was only us and Wil on the bill! To top it all off Wil and Da Gang were still stuck in the mountains hoping to make it in time for the show but still uncertain. Could this be our very first headline show in America? Bummer dude.
We managed to avoid hypothermia and set up our gear, a little uneasy still about how the whole night would play out. The bonus was that we were able to extend our set o we got to air a couple of songs from the vault that we hadn’t been able to in a long time. When the show came, all fears and illnesses seemed to evaporate instantly as a healthy crowd of people filled the room and they all seemed to be looking for a good time: And we were there to give it to them. The show was so much fun, I can’t explain why but it felt different. Perhaps it was because we had been so worried that the show acted as a release valve for all the tension that had built up inside. Whatever the weather, we all had a blast (which is rare as generally at least one of us will feel like they had a bad show at any given gig) and to top it all off did the best night of merchandise on the tour. HOORAY! Plus, Wil made it just in time seemed to unleash the pent up energy of a man stuck in a van for almost 24 hours and put on an absolute belter of a show.
DAY 30 + 31 – A Homecoming of Sorts…
Another couple of drive days which took us to Oregon and elsewhere as we finally ended up in Seattle. There was a strange sense of homecoming as we pulled up to Wil’s house,the place we had called home for just over a month whilst recording our still untitled (honestly, it is) Album no. 2 in July. It was nice to drive down familiar streets and greet familiar faces as we put our feet up and relaxed in the living room of a house we knew so well. First things first we seriously, and in great comfort and warmth, chilled the f- out by watching a flip-ton of Adventure Time and The Nightmare Before Christmas – it was all rather stupendous. Then we popped to Fred Meyer (still the only supermarket that bests any in the UK) to get some cider and pizzas and sat back and enjoyed The Paperboy on Netflix. That is one seriously messed up movie man!!! The final act in particular left us all rather disturbed (but I would highly recommend it as it was brilliantly written and acted – long may the renaissance of Matthew McConaughey continue!) Then we drifted off into a ghoulish slumber after watching a very, hilariously young Ryan Gosling in that classically-shit horror show from our youth’s – Goosebumps.
Sleep well FVK, as tomorrow night will spell the end of all things Americana…
DAY 32 – Goodnight Seattle we love you!
It was finally here: The final night before the final flight. It was funny, the previous week I had felt like this tour seemed to have lasted a lifetime; that I couldn’t remember how it felt to not be on tour in America. But now that the end was well and truly nigh, I felt like it had all gone by much too quickly – that I wasn’t ready for it to end. Make up your mind Woolnough!
We decided to make the most of the day and do something we’d never really done when we were here recording the album: Explore Seattle. Of course that was much too broad an aim for one half-day’s effort but we were going to give it our best dang nabbit! So naturally we started off by getting a corn dog each at The Unicorn, one of the few places we’d been to in Seattle while recording with Wil (what can I say, we’re never going to be great explorers that’s for sure!) Then we went to the famous Pike Place Market and had a good old wander for an hour or so. I didn’t see all of it as I landed in the comic shop in the basement of the market which was absolute heaven if you like old comic books and movie scripts for everything from The Dark Knight to Dogma.
One quibble I have is that pre-show The Three Cafétiers went out on a mission to get some coffee. We didn’t know where we going but we thought, “Hell, this is where Starbuck’s came from. It won’t be hard to find somewhere – we’ll back in 20 minutes tops.” Oh how wrong we were. We couldn’t find a Starbucks (or any other coffee shop for that matter) anywhere. Oh sweet irony, thou art a cruel mistress! The first few we found had closed early and then after an hour in the cold we stumbled upon what appeared to be the final Starbucks left at the end of the world. What’s the use in being a global mega-conglomerate if you can’t even cultivate your own city, THINK ON LADS!
So we waited backstage for what seemed an eternity to play the final show of the tour. I felt quite nervous because I didn’t want to leave on bad note; I didn’t want to finish our first ever tour of America by playing a crap show. We spent the time trying to relax and not stressing chatting to Wil and the rest of his crew, reminiscing and talking about the future. The support bands were also all really cool and damn good that night which was nice, big shout out to Avoid the Void for lending us their drum kit and being absolutely awesome. By the time we sidled up to the stage all doubts and worries had evaporated, I was just looking forward to playing music and having fun on stage with my best mates. That at the end of the day is what it’s all about. Sure you want to give the best performance, play the best you possibly can, get a good crowd reaction, win over some fans and all of that stuff – but at the end of the day you’ve just got to enjoy yourself and have a laugh. And that’s what we did in El Corazon of Seattle, a truly fitting way to end the tour.
We had a 28 hour drive ahead of us (non-stop I might add) so we couldn’t hang back and watch the whole of Wil’s show so we had to say our goodbyes, give our manly hugs and take a few silly snaps with William and the Controls before they went onstage. It was sad to say goodbye again, and as I walked out to the sound of a thumping ‘Disconnected’, watching Wil fling his microphone to and fro with reckless abandon I was transported to our first real UK tour in which Wil had, again, helped us out by taking us out on the road to a new audience. We will be forever grateful sir.
And so The Revel Without a Cause tour came to an end, it was one hell of a ride to say the least. I would like to thank everyone for keeping up with this blog; I hope it hasn’t proved to be too much of a bore as I have a tendency to focus on the mundane rather than the extraordinary. But it’s done now; hopefully you’ve had a few laughs at least. If not then cheer up you floppy wieners!
Merry Christmas mofos, see you sometime next year.
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