The metal band, Gypsyhawk, is currently on a North American tour with Scorpion Child, Kadavar, Wilson and Mothership. While they’re on this tour, Eric Harris, from the band, will be writing an exclusive blog for us. You can check out their first entry, with pictures, after the break.
“I come home in the morning light, my mother says when you gonna live your life right? Oh mother dear, we’re not the fortunate ones. And girls just wanna have fun…” -C. Lauper
So here we go, Art and I leave from beautiful Pomona, California to begin our extraction/repair mission to fetch the boys and fix the van. Everything is going smooth other than the fact that our back passenger tire is throwing the van into a roaring unrest.
Now just to preface the next set of events, let me first say that all employees of tire repair shops are all idiots. On the real though. Unreal. We first got our “assessed diagnoses” from Dr. Dipshit telling us that the “back tires are supposed to be on the front of the van and the front tires were supposed to be on the back”. Sounds ridiculous, but hey, he’s the doctor.
After an hours time passes, we finally have the patient out of the operating room and promptly force it to pony up and carry us down the highway to accrue the remaining crew. That is until we realize, nothing feels fixed on the van, it still feels like we’re trying to tour in a mechanical bull gone haywire. Time to go back for a second opinion. From the same genius experts.
Ok, now back to the waiting room and then we get the surprisingly bad news that we have a bent rim. What. The. Fuck. We haven’t even entered the van into any demolition contests or used it as a monster truck yet, so what gives! Whatever, time is of the essence and that essence is quicklyl fleeting. So we deal with what we can and hit the road to the not so lovely, Hollywood, California and then off to the even worse, Granada Hills. Gypsyhawks, ASSEMBLE!
Everyone in the van? Check. Gear in the trailer? Check. Bent rim and fucked up ass tire? Double check. Onward to the truly beautiful Lake Tahoe to party with our good buddy, Josh. So fear not, fellow readers. This day doesn’t end so terrible for them Gypsy boys. Turns out, ol’ Josh done us up some real good vittles and good vibes at his Tahoe Mountain Home. And dogs. Cute dogs were there to ease the stress.
Day 2 – Reno
“When you get caught between the moon and New York City. The best that you can do, the best that you can do is fall in love” -C. Cross
After a relaxing night of bong ripping and beer drinking, we awoke to the most pulchritudinous view of the wilds of the mountains, incredible. But alas, no rest for the wicked and as Arthur and I prove to be the most wicked, we have to go and further raise our stress levels of dealing with the problem that never ends.
Upon a recommendation, we took our white lady to Les Schwieb. Worst idea so far. I swear to fucking god that this place was run by the first cousins of Dr. Dipshit. So we told them to switch out the back passenger tire with a the rim from the spare tire. Easy enough, right? Wrong. After a grueling four fucking hours, we finally got the ok to pick up the van. So we get in and get on the road for oh, about two minutes until we’re back among that old familiar feeling of the incessant rattling and bouncing. Art calls them up to find out that it was the FRONT passenger they changed, not the REAR! Haha!…… fuck these people.
So we’re back at the garage drinking coke, taking IG pictures and eating popcorn waiting for these assholes to do this simple task that we have already paid for. We soon get word that the van is ready BUT the front wheels have some “bearing swivel” or whatever made up fucking jargon this dick was using. That turned out to be our bearing in the front right passenger side. The bearing was so loose we could turn it with our fingers. Good thing we have the greatest friends in the greatest city in America, Reno, Nevada. And thanks to Lunch Box for helping us out. And for being a badass in general.
Show time, mother fuckers. We show up to Shea’s a bit earlier than we expected and promptly hit the bar for a drink to calm our fragile little nerves. Aside from running a little late, the show went off without a hitch and Shea’s was great to us as well as the city of Reno. Thanks to Enslave The Creation for playing and to everyone who came out and supported. We love you all.
We ended the night/next morning by sleeping inside the van while parked in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Over all, a pretty good day, except for the fact that this tire problem refuses to die. To be continued….
Day 3 – Salt Lake City
“Demand all heavens virgins to bow before our horny lord” -Bathory
As morning light creeps through the window panes, I realize that we’re moving. But more importantly, the AC is on. Oh god, yes. Art stepped it up and took the first shift of the day not because he’s a stand up guy, but because he “slept” in the front passenger seat contorted like some abstract painting, sweating like a fat kid who just walked two blocks AND because he’s a stand up guy.
Not much to tell, other than that after finding out that each fucking tire was set to a different PSI and not ONE of them was the correct number either. Correcting this problem only introduced another problem. The bearings, rim and front tire were revealed to NOT be the center of our wobbly woes, but instead it was still some invisible annoyance that we could not detect. No time for that, we have a nine hour drive to make it in time.
Made it. The show was packed with punks, skins, metal heads, nerds and very good friends. (pic of dude shitting with door open) We ended up playing a short set because the show ran late, but at least we got to witness our buds and label mates in VISIGOTH pull out the moves. Too late for anything else but the total surrender to slumber. After a few Magic: The Gathering rounds with me an my friends and a few “let’s see how drunk we can get” rounds with the dudes and their friends.
Onward and upward, except for this fucking tire mother fucker problem. But that’s a tale for tomorrow, friends.
Day 4 – Denver
“Ron and I are up at 9:30, showered and in clean clothes, feelin like a quarter-million bucks. Nobody ever feels like a full million bucks on tour. Ever.” -Ben Robbins
I pulled myself off of Ethan and Jameson Palmers couch with enough time to learn more of the knowledge of Planeswalking taught to me by my friend and great sage, Ethan. After that, the cavalry came to retrieve me and we set off to hit the road for…. wait, what’s that?…. for real? Jesus. Fucking. Christ. Never mind, the tire problem has to be dealt with. Again.
We needed a THIRD goddamn opinion on what the fuck was going on with our van. They discovered that one of the wheels wasn’t rated for our vehicle (we should learn shit like this) and they suggested that we change that out. No problem.
So while we waited, we did so at an authentic Greek restaurant that shared a parking lot with the Firestone garage. You know what my favorite Greek fare has to be? Cheeseburgers. Seriously, that was the best thing they served as suggested by our lovely waitress. Still, food was good especially when paired with pain killers. Party.
Elapsed time, forty five minutes AAAAAAND we’re done. Out of the Mormons death reach and onto the mile high city. This however seemed to end the arduous everlasting tire problem. May it rest in turmoil for ever for giving us this much shit.
Aside from the nine hour drive somehow taking up to twelve hours, we managed to reach the club just in time to hit the stage. Nerves are now shot and stress is kickin’ in hard. But our friends from SCORPION CHILD and KADAVAR showed up to support us! And if that wasn’t enough, our very good friends from SCATTERED HAMLET happened to be in town that night and joined us for the evenings event. It’s so much more fun playing shows in a different city when all your friends are there. Thanks a ton to y’all for that.
After the show we loaded up to discover that the VERY tire we got changed this morning was flat. You must now clearly see our ironic frustrations.
SO Art phoned the experts at AAA to come down and help us out with this bitch of a curse. They sent the best, a veteran of expertise from centuries past. He was old as fuck and had an alabaster beard to prove his merit. THIS mother fucker was SO goddamn good, he didn’t even need tools! He apparently just borrowed ours. And he could foresee the underlying problems, because he then proceeded to fit OUR lug wrench over the hub cap covers. Genius! The designs from stone wheels of the past to the modern rubber and steel tires of today did prove a challenging feat for old saint dick, but luckily for us our new guitarist, Ben Robbins, happens to be quite knowledgeable concerning automobiles. After teaching this paw paw how to do his job, we finally squashed this disturbance in the force.
Change course, boys! We set sail for Chicago by way of Nebby (that’s what Ian calls Nebraska).
Day 5 – Nebby
“This sucks.” -Butthead
Oh. My. God! I have SO much to tell you! So we’re driving to Nebraska, right. And it seems like forever. Because it is. The end.
Seriously though, not much to tell about a repetitive boring ass drive for twelve uncomfortable stress inducing hours. We pretty much made our way to Ian’s parents house in Nebraska for a luxury revitalization, so we thank the Browns for their unfailing support and encouragement. They’s good people. After getting there and performing the obligatory tasks, which included watching Breaking Bad, we were able to sleep for about 4 hours before having to wake up at 5:00am to drive to Chicago. This may seem like an outrageous margin for error, but we did have to pick up merch and hang out with our new friend, Chad Mund. More to come.
Day 6 – Chicago
“Twenty five and six to four” -Chicago
After finally making it to Chicago to grab our new INSANELY INCREDIBLE MERCH ITEMS from Benchmark, we promptly headed to the Cobra Lounge to meet up with the rest of the official tour. After arriving we meet and greet everyone and then set up a work station to run inventory and the typical boring shit that ART has to do and WE SHOULDN’T have to do! (for those of you who don’t follow that last part, we just try to give Art as much haze as we can from all angles). Quickly following our work, we met Chad, RoadieHawk contributor to our Indiegogo campaign and super rad dude who helped us out on so many levels and also pitched in with the current task. So far. So good.
Anyway, Ron, Judge, Chad and I decide that it’s time to par-tay. So we hoof it to what we think is a local liquor store, only we went the wrong way for half a mile and then that store turns out to be some Dark Tower shit because there is no store, just an empty lot. Whatevs. Moving on we find another that happens to be almost a mile from where we are, so we decide that we need the excersise and we bust a move. With the store now in sight, and relieved to have to not walk any further in boots, we’re slapped with the reality that this is a WINE store. AND it’s closed. Fuck you, god. This HAS to be your fault. No problem, we finally find the right place another near mile from where we are after buying the necessities (two fifths of Jack Daniels) we hear that there’s gonna be food at the venue. FREE FOOD! On it. So we walk, blah blah blah, and then make it in time for dinner. AFTER washing our hands.
Show time. Mothership came in strong with the familiar set I was used to and very much missing from my life. Except for “Lunar Master” which is my new favorite jam. Well done, sirs. Next up was Wilson. These dudes, man. THESE dudes kill it live, hella entertaining and they even took it to a higher level with an excellent cover of AC/DC’s “Back In Black”. We then took the stage and had a fucking blast knowing that this night was going to be the beginning of an incredible month. Enter Kadavar, It was my second time seeing them and they sounded record perfect, tight bros, tighter tunes. And then finally Scorpion Child, these guys have been great friends for a long time and it was great to see them get to where they are now. These cats are super talented and all around lovable mother fuckers. The first official night of tour was so good, Ron got housed. The end.
Day 7 – Minneapolis
“Bambi, can’t you understand? Bambi, it’s better with a man…” -Prince
Alright! Well, let’s see, everyone showed up. Ian got whiskey from the liquor store… again. I fixed my strap locks with some wood glue and tooth picks. And we had a few excited fans that came a ways to see us. I seriously wish there was more to tell, but you had to have been there to know that there must have been some nuclear apocalypse that recently wiped out half the city because NOTHING was happening in downtown Minneapolis on a Tuesday night.
Day 8 – OFF
“I like some civilian stuff.” -R. W. Houser
Pictures will better serve you for this entry. Not much to discuss about driving.
Day 9 – OFF
“Drugs are bad. M’kay?” -Mr. Mackey
Finally, something interesting. Ok, so check this out. We’re cruising down the highway and we gotta fuel up, so we pull off on exit zero and travel back in time to some altered and aged parallel set of the town in Back To The Future. As I’m walking into the station, I raise my hand above my head to arm the alarm on the van and this random guy looks at me as we’re passing and says “Ah, you don’t gotta do that! This is Idaho!” as if Idaho is some American-dream-love-thy-neighbor safe haven. Not buying it. But THEN, the same guy approaches Ron and gives him a few nugs of weed. Now, this dude is making sense to me. So after getting on the road and wishing we had something to smoke out of, Ian pulls a huge win and finds us an apple! APPLE BONG! Stoked.
Drill it. Pack it. Light it. Pass it. Done. We’re pretty good and relaxed at this point. And as we’re partaking of this generous gift from a good Samaritan, a car full of two gentlemen and a lady pull up near the van asking if we wanted to pull over and smoke. At 70 miles per hour we agreed to make the stop. Unfortunately, the guy had to get the good from his home and we were already crunched for time. So whatever, it was still an interesting pit stop. I think people need to connect more. And that was a great way to do so.
We ended the night at a VERY humble Econo Lodge and went full pizza party before passing out with cartoons playing on the TV. Speaking of cartoons, this is the same night that we discover our new bud and resident shredder, Ben Robbins, actually snores like one. Jesus. Fucking, Christ. That shit is unreal. Ian and I were giggling like two retarded eight year old girls over how ridiculous his snoring actually is. And paired with Ron’s nightly nasal trumpeting, well, they’ve now been coined the “Snorchestra”. Once they finally got a good cadence together though, we were finally able to fall asleep.
Day 10 – Vancouver, B.C.
“These are the Daves I know” -B. McCulloch
Canada, you fucking tyrant. Why is it so disgustingly hard to enter Canada, but to go ANYWHERE else on this Earth, it’s nearly nowhere near the hassle? Too much hard blows to the head from all that hockey, I suppose, eh? You mother fucker
Let me begin our day. After the longest fucking drive from Minneapolis, we arrive in Seattle. Our very good friend and shelterer, Ashley Felk, has allowed us refuge once again at her place. Ashley is master/owner/mother to the CUTEST, most fat fucking slobby cat I have ever seen, Ziggy Stardust. I fucking LOVE this guy. He’s the equivalent of an English Bulldog meets Garfield. This cat is so fucking fat and lazy he lays down with his head in his food bowl so he can occasionally eat without the added effort of walking there! Brilliant!
So we leave most of our merch under Ziggy’s watchful guard to travel light into Canada (haha, suckers). It took the border agents over two hours to clear us for entry. No explanation was given, other than the obvious – long hair automatically exempts you from any rights or even basic courtesies. We get in and laid down a great show with a lot of fans who have waited years to see us in Canada. With nowhere to stay, no phone service, and no GPS, we book it back to the USA in the middle of the night.
…did you really think our van troubles were over? It was raining and our trailer doesn’t like that. The running lights are shorting somewhere and blowing fuses in the van. We had to tiptoe back into the USA with our hazards on, and we didn’t get in til 6am. Tour can be so much fun!
Day 11 – Seattle
Finally, a venue with their shit together: Neumo’s. Reserved van parking curbside. Green rooms stocked with water and beer. Professional sound guys double mic’ing guitar cabs and blending mic and DI for bass because “it sounds better”. It does sound better, but you’d be AMAZED at how few FOH/monitor teams give a single fuck about how things sound, even though as “sound guys”, that is exactly their job. Now, when you take a couple good bands, put them in a good room with good sound, in front of a couple hundred people, you’ve got a KILLER show. Everyone was on their A-game for this one, we had more than a few old friends turn up too. Booze was flowing, asses were shaking, and merch was flying off the table. After only four shows, the tour package finally hit its stride.
We start pulling bulbs out of the running lights trying to pinpoint the short, to no avail, so we’re still rolling slow and low with the hazards on.
Day 12 – Portland
“NOBODY’S AS DRUNK AS ME. NOBODY!” -Chad Nicefield, WILSON
We get up early to get the trailer sorted, purchase some new running lights and replace the old junk. That was moderately expensive, extremely frustrating, and did absolutely nothing to solve the problem. Awesome. After a short drive from Seattle, Kyle from Wilson was kind enough to help us dig a little deeper into this trailer nonsense. All we were able to determine for sure is that we are doomed to an eternity of getting fucked by crap. (pic of eric’s tool box)
Another good venue, great sound, and another great performance from everyone on the tour package. Local openers Weresquatch were pretty damn entertaining and it was good to see our old friend Eric too. We had a couple super-fans that brought copies of our first record to sign along with their limited edition tour posters and anything else that would hold permanent marker ink. After exhausting our sharpie supply, we headed for our favorite hotel: Walmart. Ah, Mother Walmart, you comfort us as you hold our weary heads to suckle from your economically damaging, oh so sweet teat.
Day 13 – San Francisco
“Party’s on the way, San Francisco bay, takin’ over now, never let you down…” -S. Baker, NIGHT AFTER NIGHT
San Francisco, how we love thee. EXCEPT for your outrageous tolls, what the fuck, dudes!? Fifteen dollars to go over that fucking bridge. Y’all need to cool that shit out. We, of course, get to SF last. We open the show tonight because of restrictions imposed by the club. After getting in and having our good friend, Will, help orient us to what’s good, we finally take the stage. Nailed it. Again. BOOM!
The night was a bit of a blur for me as I was pounding whiskey and smoking weed. It was great to see our old friend, Ben Murray, from Creator Destructor records come out to the show. Other than that, the show was good. Erik and I did an interview and we had a fun short photo shoot with the whole band preceding that.
So good night, SF. Until we see you again, we wish you well, and we wish us to not have to pay those tolls again. Moving on. L.A. please do not disappoint.
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Joshua Weidling Owner/Founder
I'm the Founder & CEO of Digital Tour Bus. I started the company in my dorm room during my freshman year of college. I have a degree in Business Marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Outside of music, I'm an avid watcher of South Park, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Community and Parks & Recreation.