In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, Matt Pond of the indie pop band, matt pond PA, talks about some of their crazy moments from touring. You can check out the feature, after the break.
There is a wildness to touring that’s unlike anything else. Sleeplessness, strange cities and beautiful strangers. An in-the-moment energy that turns the lifeblood iridescent and neon.
But the forces of nature on the drives were always the most striking. The dust storm in western New Mexico knocked semis on their sides. The hail in Louisiana, thundering down from heaven, nearly punching through the roof. Tornados in Birmingham, the sirens blaring across the highway. Driving the wrong way on the highway outside of Dallas to dodge a deluge.
And our band hurtling across the landscape in a metal box, holding onto plastic and pleather, gritted teeth, nervously laughing all the way up to the final scene.
About ten years ago we were driving south on 5, overnight between Seattle and San Francisco. At dawn, we hit an intense blizzard, just as we were ascending the mountains in southern Oregon. Highway patrol forced us to the side of the road to attach chains to the van and trailer. After that, there was no stopping. Flipped, stranded cars dotted the median. Beached whales with headlight eyes poking out of the drifts. The snow was coming down so hard the windshield wipers couldn’t keep up — I had to sit in the driver’s side window with someone else steering while I beat the snow back. Tractor trailers started sliding sideways, coming at us from behind, crunching into each other, metal on metal. I was hitting sixty, going uphill with no real definition to the road. Just that soft curve in front of us and the hope that there was pavement underneath.
When we got out of the mountains and the snow let up, no one would help me remove the chains. Nobody ever cut this singer any slack.