JUMPING DARKNESS PARADE: DAATH’S EYAL LEVI ON THE “INJURY PARADE”
So in metal it seems like one of the highest honors your band can get is to score some high rankings on the brutalometer. If you hear “THAT WAS FUCKNG BRUTAL MAN” and the dude is covered in sweat and looking at you like you have led him through war victoriously, you have won him over via metal.
It’s really amazing to me that music can be described as brutal. What an emotion to try and communicate. I can’t think of anything more cathartic than playing a brutal show where the band and audience are 100% on their game (It’s a two-way street, dudes.). But the other part of the brutal coin isn’t as much fun or psychologically rewarding. I wonder before every tour about which injuries I’m going to come home with. What new permanent marks will I have to add to the collection?
Well this past time it was a whole amazing array of bruises all over my body and random cuts on my hands and wrists and last but not least, a broken rib. Yes, a broken rib.
The last night of the tour took place at The Norva in Norfolk, VA. They have a very welcoming backstage and I felt very at home getting blackout drunk to celebrate the last night of such a killer tour. At some point, Kevin Talley and our tech, Eric, had me pinned against a wall and were punching me. I grabbed Kevin’s wrists and started smashing them into a brick wall… and then I got kneed in the ribs. And then I bit a chunk out of Eric’s neck. Interesting reaction to getting kneed.
Anyways, I didn’t even feel it and kept of partying. The next day we had an off-date show and I played it. I tried to warm up by doing pushups… No dice. I tried jumping jacks… no dice. Anything involving my side felt like I was getting stabbed. I still played the show. Headbanging at that show was one of the more painful things I’ve ever done in my life. It seriously felt like I was getting stabbed. But somehow the show ended up being a great one.
A week later my rib was still hurting, so I got an xray, and whadda ya know? It’s broken.
The badass thing is that on this upcoming tour (Goatwhore/Abigail Williams), I won’t be starting from zero on the injury list. I’ll be injured going in.
That’s the worst I’ve been hurt on tour but there’s always something. There’s always something that’s going to hit you in the head and take you down, like when Emil’s head got clocked by Jeremy’s bass or when some random object hit me in the head at a show and took my ass straight to the ground.
(That was interesting, by the way. I got right back up but then my body started failing me slowly. I couldn’t play guitar and then my legs got limp and I started swaying and then I got the fuck off the stage. I got to listen to the band from a listeners perspective for half a song while I regained myself, but that’s a whole other conversation.)
Fact is, people get hurt on tour. I remember being in the back lounge of the bus on some Ozzfest date when Kevin Talley came in and his foot was bleeding from the bottom because there was a piece of glass the size of a small knife blade that had cut through the bottom of his flip flop. I remember being amazed by how much blood there was and by just how thick the blood was. He took the glass out, bandaged himself up with duct tape, and then played a great show the next day.
And that’s pretty much how we do out there. We get hurt and unless its seriously debilitating, we move on as if it didn’t happen. Being that I still have a lot of touring ahead of me, I’m going to consider this an open topic. I’ll definitely revisit tour injuries in the future. In the meantime I’d like to hear about some of the worst injuries you guys have ever sustained in the presence of metal. From the stage or from the crowd. Just tell me about it. I’m curious.
Visit Daath on MySpace to get the full itinerary for their summer tour with Goatwhore, Abigail Williams, Abysmal Dawn, and Success Will Write Apocalypse Across the Sky. Please go see a show so Eyal can continue to pay his doctor’s fees.