February 14, 2016 - 12:11am
... travel day! Probably a short(er) blog for a change... plus I'm pretty tired... despite sitting in the van for 14hrs today.
I set my alarm for 7:30am... plans to shower, grab breakfast and be on the road for 9am... but I barely woke up at 8am, pulled on my adult winter boots and walked over to breakfast... love the layout of this hotel *cough*... figured I'd grab a shower after I eat then get ready for a full day of sitting in the van.
It was so cold in Winnipeg... can't stress that enough. The air hurts your face... hurts your lungs... and instantly dries you out... it's awful. Apparently it's just as cold in Toronto right now... but I am (I was) in Winnipeg and I'm associating Winnipeg with attempting to stop all molecular motion.
We managed to get on the road by 9:30am. Again, it was a bit of a late night after the show yesterday and a later night for me because of "this"... ah well. It's better to leave early and hopefully get to the hotel before midnight. The hours can add up quick if you leave at 9am vs 12pm... and again, things can happen on long drives to really push back your arrival time.
We plugged Lethbridge into the GPS... 12hrs... + 30%, I'd say 15hrs.
Not much to really talk about... we hit bad weather a couple times... felt the van skid/slide for the first time when we stopped for food in Swift Current. It wasn't scary or anything, but we were wondering how the 3-season tires would do in a little bit of snow... there really hasn't been much snow at all so far.
Most of the day I either rode shotgun, played Hearthstone (iPad), or tried to sleep... wasn't able to sleep much though... it was pretty loud in the van today... we dragged out a few jokes for a long time... laughing can get quite loud... which is a good thing.
... I'll say it again... this is a really fun group so far. There's been a bit of a revolving door for guitarists over the last 4+ years I've been playing with Age of Days but this is a solid line up and the chemistry is really good so far... good times!
... the temperature going up! We drove out of -35C in Winnipeg into -3C in Lethbridge. It's amazing how awesome -3C is when you step out of the van. *tear*
... Tim's "bus battle". For some reason, when Tim is driving... weird shit seems to happen on the roads.
Seb and Matt drove 90% of today... Tim drives for 10 minutes and we have this "Carefree Bus"... like... a huge bus... constantly trying to overtake our van and trailer on the highway... then slow down.
Of course Tim isn't having this... so he'll pass the bus... granted the bus is passing us and slowing down... we aren't exactly speeding and this bus isn't exactly speedy... so while it's annoying... Tim's reaction is priceless... and hilarious.
We... softly raced with it for a few km's... then the bus just took up both lanes... maybe the bus driver was a bored... or not a fan of how much fun was going on in the van (again, van is basically transparent with the amount of windows it has)... eventually an off ramp gave us the ability to part ways... and Carefree Bus will be forced to make a new friend... or enemy.
So long Carefree Bus.
... Reid was practicing the set in the van... our guitars are in the back so he pulled one out, threw on his headphones and went through it.
Nobody said anything which was cool... Reid's new and he cares... I'll say he played great last night and I can tell he's more comfortable with the tunes (live) considering how much he was moving around. It's not easy going from jamming along at home to... here's 3,500 people watching you! Go! Go be good now! I have a method of mentally running the set (against my clicks/tracks) so I do that daily...
I hope most people run the set daily in their own way... not just in AoD but in their own band too.
It's funny because you think playing often will keep a set tight... but you don't really get to warm up on tour as an opening act... you just "go"... and I know how I play when I get to warm up for an hour or 2... but that's just not possible sometimes... and a practice pad doesn't cut it. The limbs feel different after you loosen up and really play for a bit... you can pretend stretching is going to help but unless you warm up, stretching is useless... more for mental show... my opinion at least.
We had McDonald's for dinner... think about what you want... order 2/3... you feel less bad.
... another thing... I'm noticing my energy level dropping already. Sitting all day and not getting my typical amount of exercise takes its toll. There's a "fitness center" in the hotel we're at tonight... but it's not the same as my daily amount of cardio. I'm going to try and figure something out asap... there's a lot of "hurry up and wait" so far... I need to find an hour... I brought proper footwear for that too!
... so the hotel we're staying at... I'm usually the first to explore it and report back what we have and how good (or not so good) we have it.
... the only way I can describe it is The Shining meets Blair Witch Project.
... this place gave me the chills... I say "gave" because I've excepted it has a personality and I'll just stay on it's good side.
... seriously though, whoever designed and built this place... nightmare fuel.
I took a couple pics... they don't do it justice... the place has a "vibe"... if you see anything in the pics... ghosts... etc... let me know... there's something going on with this place... I swear!
I showered... finally... oh yeah I forgot to mention... not showering this morning (post show) and then sitting in a van for 14 hrs... horrible idea! I smelled "me" all day... and felt the grime.
It's obvious in hindsight and I'm sure the usual suspects will be all "well duh" and "eww" but sometimes you don't have time... you seriously don't have time... and/or run out of time. There are 6 people who all run on their own schedule during a fixed amount of time. Sometimes you just deal with it.
... and there are some tough drives coming up where we might not really have a hotel for 2-3 days... play, drive, play, drive, etc... you do what you can to stay hygienic... but sometimes you're just...
... and get back in the van after the show... they're long nights too... these are the lines in the sand though... you either want to be here or you don't. Either you want to do this (for the right reasons) or you don't... it's not for everyone.
There's a dream being sold to fans sometimes... but when you take a photo with your favourite band then think about the fact they might not have showered in 3 days... or haven't washed their stage clothes in just under a week... it happens though... we ignore it... focus on the good, silence the bad... for as long as you can... that's why we all wear hoodies... they keep us warm (and keep in the smell!).
... anyway... showers are awesome if you've been regretting not having one for 10 hrs.
So I'm sitting in the lobby/breakfast area of the hotel. Breakfast starts at 6am so I will be destroying it in 5hrs and 15min. I'm so hungry right now but all that's available is junk... sometimes it's better to just sleep off being hungry.
There was trouble brewing at the front desk when I started writing this... sorta glad I was here but also wish I wasn't... I hate confrontation... since things can get out of hand quickly.
Two sorta drunk/aggressive guys showed up to book a room... the lady at the front desk... I can't remember what happened but they started getting on her case about how they were going to pay for the room or something...?
... sounds bad but I was waiting for one of them to either punch her or push the computer monitor off the desk. I positioned myself to keep an eye on the situation but still... I sorta assume everyone has guns or knives now too... she stood her ground and convinced them (that it was their idea) to leave.
... after they left the lady at the desk started talking to (at) me about it... she was shook up a little, as was I, it is tricky dealing with drunks though... since the world they're in is different than everyone else who is sober.
... and yes I'm aware they'd been drinking and drove here/away, but we're in Lethbridge... and I'm not about to tell Lethbridge how to Lethbridge... I'm just passing through.
Bed time for me though... Snortallica be damned, I'm getting a full nights sleep!
... well... until I wake up to binge at 6am, then go back to sleep!
Mike Langford - Official Blog
Being on both sides of the glass, I get the chance to wear many hats in the music industry. This is a place to share my thoughts, views, predictions, rants, stories and news!