October 12, 2013
... so if you read the last post, you'd know we had to haul ass outta Lloyd(minster) last night pretty much as soon as Papa Roach hit the stage. Winnipeg was an 11 hour drive... so including stops and whatnot... we were looking at a 13-14 hour trip.
We left last night at 11:30pm, arrive at the hotel/venue here at 2pm... made pretty good time if I might add.
I was debating doing a longer post (lol... of course!) but yesterday was pretty relaxed... I think it was the first time in a while everybody in the band got some sleep. It was nice not having to rush to the venue either... although I was joking internally we'd still find a way to be late/end up rushing.
We had breakfast at the hotel, stopped by Walmart to grab a few things for out merch table, and then headed over to the venue to load in.
I like this club... The Kooler. It's definitely got an edge to it... and I think it's a strip club most of the time... but it's got a good stage and setup. Sound system could use an overhaul but more drinking equals sonic indifference.
There's a few balcony type areas and I grabbed a pic from up top. It probably looks like complete mayhem but that's what bigger (organized) stages look like. You set up in front of whoever is playing after you. Very easy system, especially when striking the stage. By the time the headliner hits the stage, it'll look nice and clean.
The show filled up pretty good... crowd response was good again. It's kind of a bummer when you have to leave a show early... unless the show sucks of course... but these shows are awesome... so I like staying til the end... you never know what might happen at real rock shows.
We packed up our merch after Papa Roach hit the stage, tossed it in the van, and were on our way... directly to McDonald's. Two bacon cheeseburgers and small fries. That's the ticket there... you get the taste... but less guilt... and probably less gut... and gut rot.
Oh I gotta say one more thing about stage/gear/packing stuff. When we're done... our gear is off stage so friggin' fast and Pop Evil is up and line-checked in 15-20 minutes.
There's no reason to pack up your gear on stage. Take it off stage, pack it somewhere else. The only thing I sorta pack on stage is my in-ears rig because if I lose anything there, I could be screwed. It's a couple cables and a mixer I just shove into my empty cymbal bag beside me. It's still quick, but that's as much as I pack up on stage.
Our gear usually ends up outside the venue near our van/loading area. We pack up there. We have it down to a science now packing/loading. Some people will argue switching up jobs keeps things fair... but it gets down to efficiency. If you do the same job every night, you'll fall into a routine and that speeds up the process and minimizes mistakes. Of course mistakes will happen from time to time... nobody is immune from nightly variables... but again, it certainly minimizes them.
Everyone packs up their own gear, and while I'm packing my drums, Trevor and Matt are loading the trailer. It's Tetris, but it works.
The same I'd say goes for every other aspect of running a band... trade off jobs when you aren't sure who's good at what, but eventually people will fall into rolls they're reliable at... hopefully.
So the drive... I rode shotgun from 11:30pm to 8am maybe? I know I passed out a couple times (probably 30 mins total) but I was aware I was asleep at least. I hit my second wind around 3am so it wasn't too bad overall.
We did stop off at a Tim Horton's that was just putting out it's "freshly baked" donuts. That was torture... I really wanted to buy a dozen, eat them, go crazy on sugar, then pass out for good... but that would've been selfish and irresponsible.
... only a large french vanilla was purchased.
During Trevor's shift driving we saw a ton of wildlife over the span of about 10 minutes... coyotes, deer, I wanna say a cow... I might have been dreaming though. There were a half dozen splattered coyotes... I'm just glad we saw everything far enough in the distance... definitely not interested in seeing anything up close... like "through the windshield again" close.
We stopped for breakfast in Neepawa...bacon and eggs... served by typecast movie grandma... she was awesome... then I switched off riding up front in the van to try and get some sleep.
We arrived at the hotel around 2pm (I called it!) and I finally took a quick nap.
I officially feel tired now though... last night was ok but I'm definitely feeling it now.
Why am I not sleeping now?
Just waiting to setup and do sound check...
October 11, 2013
I'm trying to do this from my phone since I probably won't have internet access until sometime tomorrow afternoon... it's a long drive to Winnipeg.
I snapped this pic just before our set tonight. It's my 1,000 words about 100's of 1,000's of bands out there.
This is what back stage looks like... most of the time.
... I feel like there's some funny business going on... because empty toilet paper rolls seem to be everywhere I turn... that or someone in this band is using way more squares than necessary.
October 10, 2013
... today I finally did something I've needed to do badly since day 2 into the trip. I feel like I've been playing a harmonica covered in sandpaper all week. My lips have been sooooooo dry since I got out west... to the point I find myself licking them, painfully, the entire day. I probably look like an idiot during shows... or LL Cool J during any music video... but seriously, my lips have been in pain.
It should've been an easy solution to pick something up but believe it or not, we haven't been close to a drug store during any stops... and all the stuff I've seen in gas stations have been the kind an 11 year old girl would buy... and I just don't want to have to explain what that's doing in my pocket to anybody.
So we finally went into a little plaza today and there she was... Shoppers Drug Mart... it was like a much needed knee surgery... for my lips!
So where did I leave off... today was a travel day from Regina to Lloydminster... no need to go into more detail with what the actual drives are like... so I'm gonna make this more of a photo diary blog post... because I can!
We stopped off at a nearby Humpty's for breakfast. I love Humpty's. It's affordable and mostly breakfast food... with proper hash browns. This is actually the same infamous Humpty's we stopped at last year during the Buckcherry tour... were the great "you guys can't park there" incident took place.
In short... we parked our van/trailer across 4 spots (since it was easier to get in/get out of the parking lot. I guess the owner didn't like that... but in reality, if all 5 of us drove, we'd be taking up 5 spots. The waitress told us we couldn't park there in a pretty bitchy way, and I sorta went all Ice T/Spock on her about it. Too hungry... and her case had not enough logic.
This time we just did a "pull through park" over top of two spots on either side... taking up four spaces. It was awesome. No complaints this time though. Bacon and eggs were ordered... consumed... and check this out...
... how frightening is that! lol.
On the wall behind the cash, they had these kid's colorings on the wall. I had to take a picture of a couple... I want to meet the kids that did these.
Let's start with the shoes... yellow... that's ok... pants... brown... sounds good... blue shirt, classy... face... blue mustache... ok kinda weird but this is through a child's eyes. Speaking of eyes... what's going on Humpty? Sleepless nights? Been having a little too much fun with the boys down at the pub? Did you forget to bring a towel? Seriously... those are some red eyes you've got there... might need to grab some Visine Humpty.
I wonder what's going on at home if this is what normal eyes look like to this kid... red hat is solid though.
Picture number two... brown shoes, blue pants, blue shirt (denim on denim perhaps... not my style but to each their own)... mustache... why so sad in the eyes Humpty? Trouble at home again? Get passed over at the office for that big promotion? Red hat... I figured they'd all be wearing green hats in Regina.
My favorite thing about the picture though is the hand gesture/body language. It's"WTF?".
"WTF!? You took my parking spot!?"
"WTF!? How was I supposed to know when you said cheese, it meant you wanted me to pick up cottage cheese on the way home?!"
"WTF!? ... like seriously guys... WTF!!?"
Poor Humpty... can't catch a break these days. Hopefully the kids that colored these pictures turn out alright down the road.
We arrived in Lloydminster around 5:30pm (I think), checked into our hotel, then went downstairs for dinner. I've been craving an actual "dinner" dinner for days now so I had chicken, mash, and veggies. There's a grocery store down the street so I was thinking if I still had space in my gut, I'd grab one of those big ass pre-made salads. We headed there after (in the wrong direction at first... my bad guys) and picked up a few things.
Basically, we all bought bananas. Just a bunch of dudes all buying bananas and heading back to their hotel room... nothing weird about that...
Speaking of hotel... when we got back I felt everything was wrong... like as soon as we walked in the door, it felt like bizarro world. I said to the guys about 10 times... all the way up to our room... "I think we're in the wrong hotel."
Nobody else seemed to notice until we reached "our room." We went back down to the lobby and tried to sneak past the front desk girls as to not look (even more) like losers. Mind you, Brent had just asked them where the gym was and we all went to have a look at it... what a waste of harsh elitist criticism.
... anyway... wrong hotel boys... we're next door.
Back to the room... I decided now was a good time to Skype with the lady for a bit. I haven't had much quality WiFi time (or time in general) and tonight I was planning on taking it easy. I found a quiet corner in a stairwell and we chatted for an hour or so. It's awesome we have video chat these days... it's one thing to be able to hear someones voice but it's awesome to be able to see the eyes and smile of someone you miss and that misses you.
It's midnight here now... I'm about to call it a day... apparently the show tomorrow will be rammed... should be awesome if the venue is as big as I remember. Big drive after the show tomorrow night to Winnipeg... not looking forward to that... but it'll be a great test to see if we can rectify our tardiness issue.
... one more thing... spotted this at the hotel. That fire is clearly on the stairs... I'd take my chances with the elevator.
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!