January 29, 2017 - 2:42pm
… so I meant to do this in the morning… I woke up around 9am to grab hotel breakfast (aka oatmeal) and handle some emails. We got some good news and some urgent news… next thing I knew it was 11:30am (1pm checkout) so I thought going to the pool for 30 minutes sounded like a better idea.
… gotta live a little… can’t work all the time.
… well… “all” all the time.
… I pretty much feel like I work all the time… but it’s for a good cause!
So the good news… since we arrived in the US our socials have been very active… and since Three Days Grace gave us a shoutout on their Facebook page, it’s only picked up more… and still picking up!
… and that was still after Octane put us in Test Drive and then Accelerator.
These are all good things.
… the next on our list of “things that’d be very cool” was to get on Octane Big ‘Uns countdown… scrolling through my Facebook notifications this morning, I saw it.
One of the things about what we’re doing so far is accepting… “there are no independent bands on those charts.”
… and there aren’t really.
… so to see us at #15 on that chart… behind bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Starlet, Ghost, Chevelle, and Metallica… I was ear to ear grinning… and now wondering how do I share this on our socials… and how long until Reid sees it and tells me… lol.
It’s awesome though… the response has been great for the music and the band…. and even though it feels sometimes you reach out to people and don’t get a response… just keep at it… keep doing you... keep making it better… everyday, make whatever you’re doing better… general maintenance included!
… now that I’m thinking about it... what I’m noticing is a lot of bands either rest on small victories, when they should’ve already moved onto their next task… or they expect big moves to happen sooner.
… "one week you’re in a van, next week you’re headlining shows in a bus" type of thing.
… it doesn’t work like that... and if it does... you'll wish it hadn't when the wave is over.
It’s about constant and consistent steps forward… and even if you take a few steps back (or just feel like they’re steps back), you realize they’ll have added up to forward to momentum.
… Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks comes to mind.
That’s what it’s like being in a band that’s made it a career choice… it’s not always graceful, but it’s what gets you moving forward.
We’re all pretty stoked though about it… #15 on the Sirius XM Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown… and if you can guess what our next goal in mind is...
… we’ll see.
So yesterday… driving through the night in order to make the show yesterday caught up to us… which is why I went to sleep without posting.
… I gotta sleep a bit more… either in the van or at venues along with hotel.
The rest of the drive to Clarksville was easier… the promoter wanted us there for 1:30pm… we had it pushed back to 3pm… I kept looking at the GPS as we were leaving the hotel (5 hr stay!) and couldn’t do the time math… wasn’t that tired… but… TIME ZONE CHANGE!!
We gained an hour.
So instead of being 30 mins late, we were now 30 mins early.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter but if you’re trying to be professional, you do your best to be places on time… and for shows, sometimes it’s an early load in so the techs/crew have time to grab dinner before the show.
… which totally makes sense.
We arrived at a giant silver barn looking structure that is The Warehouse.
… was sorta expecting someone to have a bus… just so used to seeing buses from Age Of Days tours for headliners… but there was a van and trailer that turned out to be Kissing Candace’s.
We hopped out of our van, shook hands, made friends… apparently A Killer’s Confession (headliner) wasn’t there yet.
… maybe traffic or bus problems.
We loaded in and I set up off to the side… apparently 6 bands total tonight...
… I understand promoters try and throw a bunch of bands on shows to help get people out… reality is, they often don’t bring people out… unless they’re asked to sell tickets in order to play... which does get people out but has it's own catch(es).
… 6 bands is too many bands on any evening. Luckily there was tons of space side stage for gear… seriously, 6 drum kits in there… and still space to walk around… but with 6 bands, and 15 minute change overs… that’s an hour of change over… for an evening that’s (responsibly) 5hrs long.
(… yes, I’m old and think headliners should be done by midnight. *cough*)
The bands were decent and super nice at least…and I should also mention this show was a late add for us and from the sounds of it, AKC.
It was pretty cold in there so we all had our coats on most of the afternoon… we heard from the “backup sound guy” to just load our amps/cabs up in order and we’ll backline everyone that way, then put drums up for each band.
… ok cool… I’m ready to go… so I sat down on the couch and dozed off.
… this is the new plan. If I have time to sleep… sleep I will!
Attendance was a little light… but doors were early… 7pm… we weren’t on 'til 9:45pm, so we had time wander around for a bit.
… the opening bands were pretty heavy.
… like… a lot heavier than us.
I’d listened to AKC and KC before agreeing to take the show (would’ve been an off-day otherwise), but these opening bands were heavy.
I’ve been here many times before so I don’t worry… but a lot of bands out there freak out a little thinking they need to match “the heavy”… or magically become “heavier”.
The trick and I guess, reality… if you’re a pro band, you should be able to match your audience’s expectations/energy, but at the core, I think your show is your show. If you have good songs, even if someone doesn’t like them, or you, or the style of music… there’s a lot of people who will at least acknowledge when a bands is “good”… or played well... and hopefully entertaining.
I should also mention… if you haven’t checked out A Killer’s Confession or Kissing Candace… you maybe should… it’ll help put things into context.
… because the opening acts were HEAVIER than them.
… ok… our time to set up and do our thing.
We were finally into the 30min set we’d actually rehearsed prior to learning about some headliner (60min) sets.
The sound was good… stage was great… I thought we played really well.
…. crowd was tough though.
There was applause but it was difficult for Reid to get them to engage in some of our crowd response moments… which is fine… play Toronto enough, and you get used to people simply staring at you with their arms crossed… to only unfold them to clap or use their smartphone.
… 9/10 times it’s ok though… if people really don’t like you, you’ll know.
… this was just a bit quieter than what we’ve been use to so far.
… I will say the highlight was hearing a guy half yell in his buddies ear… “I thought this was a metal show??”
… and it was! We were just the mellowest metal band at the metal band ball…. and if anything, we made AKC and KC sound that much heavier.
Not saying I don’t think we can sound heavy… we’re just a different kind of heavy. :-) <— emoticons, not metal... I know.
We got compliments from both KC and AKC after our set though… that meant a lot… like, one of the bands wears masks and is “covered in blood and fluid stains”… meanwhile the headliner’s kit is “covered in blood splatter”… you know... metal.
… we rank in (probably literally at this point) as unshowered and I have chippy nail polish.
It was good though… after merch we had a post show powwow in the parking lot.
High on the list was “did they like us?” and “were we heavy enough?”
I say we have a lot of energy in our set… and that translates… and I think we have good songs… so even if someone isn’t wild about our brand of “heavy”… they’ll be entertained.
It was good though… I think it was good.
… and like all the shows so far… it wasn’t long until a few people came up and let us know they drove a while to see us.
I was pushing to run over to Arby’s (coming back asap obviously)… I was starving by this point… but we ended up sticking around and the promoter got us a pizza from the kitchen.
… that’ll do.
Again, attendance was light so doing the math... and we were a late addition to a show thrown together late… so I considered that pizza as payment…. and merch sales were looking like $0.
… all that being said, AKC and KC had pretty sweet merch setups… and they have way more overhead that us so they need those merch sales too.
… a tide can lower all ships as well.
(We ended up selling 1 CD as I was packing up our merch... better late than never!)
Everyone put on a solid performance still though… and that’s what you do… you create a moment for this in attendance to… as always… have people telling people the next day “you missed it.”
We said our goodbyes… not sure anybody noticed… the promoter and staff seemed pretty into the “punch strength game”… pretty entertaining actually.
We need food… I was ok from the pizza but the guys were still hungry.
… Wendy’s… McDonald’s… Taco Bell.
(… damn democracy and peer pressure.)
I’ll admit Taco Bell hot sauce reminds me of a lot of good times in high school... but it’s not high on my list right now… and drive-thru Taco Bell is even lower.
… but they do that Doritos Taco Bell shell thing… so I figure now is as good a time as ever to cross that off my bucket list.
… note to self... re-evaluate bucket list items.
In bed by 2:30am I think… somehow it got that late, that fast. I’ve accepted we’re in bed between 2-4am on this trip… something to keep in mind driving after shows or hotels in general.
Now that we’re all caught up… I’ll go back to staring into the void as we roll down highway 44 towards Jackson… just saw a sign… 44 miles.
- Mike :-)
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!