Sunday - January 18, 2015
… I know I technically could use the data on my iPhone to post this… but I can wait until we get to the hotel in Winnipeg tomorrow… why? Because I'm that kinda guy.
Today was pretty easy… slept in til 10am (noon Toronto time) which felt pretty good. I'm actually surprised I slept that long… it's very rare. It's 12:12am right now and we're planning on hitting the road by 6am. Some people would be freaking about having to get up so early… I'm smiling right now… sorta excited about living on a 24hr schedule the next few days.
I'm going to set my alarm and take a nap until 5:40am.
… right… so today was simply rehearsing for the tour. Please note I said rehearsal and not practice. I believe practice is what you should work on in your solo time… that way you bring everything necessary to the band, and rehearse what you're going to do during the show... together.
#DearBands - Don't just run your set and pretend you're practicing with a purpose. Figure out what goes on in and around the songs in the set. The devil is in the details, especially when it comes to playing live. Let mistakes and hiccups happen and figure out how to correct them (or simply deal with them) next time around. Most importantly, police yourself!
We ran the set about 6 times today. I won't lie… I'm pretty sore. I don't usually play drums that long. In the studio I get lots of breaks around tracking… generally only play a song 3-4 times when I'm tracking then have an hour or 2 before changing tunes. This was straight at it today… for a good chunk of the day.
It's sounding pretty good to me though… and I'm pretty tough of bands… especially my own stuff.
There's a bit of a surprise involved too with these shows… I'll save sharing that until Tuesday night…
My nail hasn't completely fallen off yet in case you were wondering. I showed the guys today and I'm pretty sure Matt left the room because he thought he was going to be sick.
It's pretty gross looking… but I wouldn't expect blood that's been sitting between a finger and a nail for 6 weeks to look any different.
When we were packing up the gear tonight I had The Sole Pursuit record I just finished producing/mixing. It took about 30 seconds for someone to ask what I was listening to after they came down.
It passed the test.
Often I play stuff I think its good around people and see what they do… will they stop talking? Will they talk over it…? Maybe they'll ask what it is… maybe like it, maybe hate it. Worst way they can comment is to be indifferent… aka talk over it.
It was nice they noticed and complimented the songs and production. Everyone in the group has been doing music a long time… so it means a little more coming from them.
I should get to sleep… get this nap going… I have a date with my 2007 iPod tomorrow and a book.
P.S. The guy at Long & McQuade tried to convince me I didn't need cases for the rental kit… said they didn't normally give them out with the mid-level kits. I assured him the cases weren't for me but for them… these drums are going to spend close to 40 hrs bouncing around in a trailer the next 10 days.
I'm sure in an alternate universe I didn't get cases… and those drums are a mess.
P.P.S. There's a water slide at hotel tomorrow. Once Dane found out he was pretty sad he didn't pack swim gear. I've known Dane a long time… and I'm sure he was born with a solution to that problem.
P.P.P.S I haven't even McDonalds yet… nobody has. We've ordered pizza twice though.
Saturday - January 17, 2015
… well… another tour means another tour blog.
I don't think these will be as long as the others but like usual, I'll try and touch on the highlights… and food… and lowlights… like the crappy start I had this morning… I've been awake since 3am (Toronto)… it's 11pm (Calgary) but my laptop is mocking me by saying it's 1am (Toronto time).
Little story... about 6 weeks ago I was hit in the fingertips with a hockey puck. The pain and annoyance it caused was up there with paper cuts and splinters… except X100. I had that grey, spaced out, fuzzy vision feeling after it happened… I tried to play another shift then decided I should go back to the dressing room for a minute. The puck had jammed my nail back into my finger and blood was pooling behind it.
Again, it hurt like crap.
I've kept an eye on the injury, my nail turned black over the past few weeks. Many sources have said my nail would eventually fall off, or should I say, almost rip off… anyway, today was that day… conveniently happening while going through airport security… which is already unnecessarily stressful and unpleasant enough.
Minutes before that my backpack zipper broke. I'm not a light packer on trips. I find it hard to pack light as a drummer but I tend to grab odds and ends just before I head out the door.
So now I'm trying to carry my cymbal bag, carry on suitcase (personal in ears/monitor rig), and my broken backpack… with a fingernail wanting to finish ripping off.
The flight to Calgary from Toronto was decent. I passed out a couple times which made the 4 hour flight go by quickly… mind you we were in the plane almost an hour before we took off.. de-icing… but WestJet did bump us up to "Plus" (so we could all sit together I guess) which was nice… but they had no TVs on the plane which kinda sucked. I'll admit, I do love watching that map channel… and the news.
Once we got to Calgary we ran errands picking up our trailer, gear rentals, and odds and ends such as a new drum carpet.
For the drummers out there… just go to Home Depot and get them to cut it for you (cut a rug! lol). Something 6X4 should be fine and will come in at under $30.
If you're out tour, I highly recommend getting a rug with your kit mapped out/marked on it. If by chance you have people helping you move your kit on/off the stage, that drum rug is the map to put the puzzle together!
Don't be cheap.
So we set up in Tim's basement and started rehearsing… our plan was to set up, then grab some food/naps but we just sorta start jamming out the tunes.
Truth is we're all pretty happy to be playing… and that's coming from someone who really doesn't care much for jamming.
We ran the set for a while, took a pizza/movie break, then went back downstairs to rehearse a bit more.
… I wonder if the neighbours can hear us… then again I don't really care too much... it seems like a pretty boring suburb so at least they'll have something to talk about if they can hear us.
We have the day off tomorrow as well to rehearse (and relax), then we leave early Monday to head to Winnipeg. It's the same place we played with Papa Roach so it should be good.
They have a pool… I have my swim shorts.
P.S. Props to the guy on the plane behind me for letting those man-tears flow at the end of whatever movie he was watching on his iPad.
P.P.S. There's no Wifi at Tim's so perhaps I'll get creative tomorrow to post this.
P.P.P.S. I fixed my backpack zipper in the car today… it can be done!
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!