EXCLUSIVE TOUR BLOG FROM BISON B.C.’S DAN AND (PART II)
Sep 28 ’09 (Albuquerque NM @ Launch Pad)
The first thing that struck me about this venue was the framed posters that line the walls… Melvins, High on Fire, Fu Manchu… some killer bands have been through here over the years. I was also struck by how nice and clean Albuquerque seemed. I would later find out that the town is ranked in the top five for violent crimes in the US. Okay then, never mind.
Played with a rad band called Roñoso. Weirdest guitar tone ever but it totally worked in their crust-saw sound. Kylesa sounds fucking huge tonight. Their (hilarious) sound guy Dave is working the system like it owes him money… and it probably does.
Sep 29 ’09 (Scottsdale AZ @ Chasers)
Was really looking forward to playing with Landmine Marathon at this show and they did not disappoint. The singer Grace paces around like a maniac while the boys dole out punishing riffs like they’re going out of style. Awesome. Weird little bar that LM’s Matt explains hasn’t had a metal show since Neurosis played here in the 90’s… which explains the old timer crowd that turn their heads at us when we load in. Aside from the oddness of eating Vietnamese food in Arizona, have an interesting interaction with the clerk of the corner store that’s in the same strip mall complex as the bar. He doesn’t seem to understand that Canada is a separate country from the US (he’s especially interested in how easy it is to cross our borders… no joke). He seems to be under the impression that Canada is a densely forested frozen wasteland and I have to explain to him that although the west coast and more northern regions are densely forested that the majority of Canada is made up of prairies. He is also surprised to learn that we have cities too.
It’s James’ birthday tonight and he gives me the finger me when I dedicate a song to him. He cheers up when I offer to buy him an Alabama slammer (which we have to look up on the internet to find out what the hell it is) but then I can’t find him so I buy myself one instead.
This is my fourth time in Arizona in ten years and every single time has been in August and has been absolutely miserable (except for the show in Dapper Dan’s Barber Shop in Tucson we played two years ago). It’s nice to finally enjoy myself in the desert… maybe I don’t hate it as much as I thought. No, I do.
Sep 30 ’09 (Hollywood CA @ Knitting Factory)
And my second least favorite place in the world… Los Angeles. I’m not even going to bother getting into why I hate LA so much. I mean what’s not to love about being surrounded by Criss Angel and Kat Von D clones and people just waiting to be discovered? Guess what, I just discovered that you are all useless pieces of shit. Congratulations. The only saving grace on our visit here is that there is a huge zombie walk going on down the strip… it reminds me of being back in Vancouver and that both disturbs and comforts me. I didn’t slag LA too much last time we were through because our super tight lil’ bro Sarah is from here and loves the shit out of it… but she’s off cheating on us with an indie rock band (also from Vancouver!) so now I can unleash all my rage upon this useless town.
It’s our first of two nights with Saviours and I’m excited. Over the past couple of weeks I have been given several messages from people here and there to give to Sunny. They include but are not limited to “ask him about the Budweiser bikini” and “pinch his nipples as hard as you can.” Totally awesome bunch of guys and I finally have someone to talk to about Yaphet Kotto (Scott and Austin’s old band, not the guy). Cyrus is also an old bud of James’ from the STREETS days of touring with Drunkhorse so we’re all fast friends.
Our show goes a lot better than our last time in LA with The Sword… which for us was nothing short of a complete disaster. I wonder what the members of Limp Bizkit and Tool who were there thought of us… and then I laugh. Did Adam Jones just come down for the zombie walk and think, “Oh hey, there’s a show here… I don’t have to work in the morning so maybe I’ll go in for a beer?”
We hear some rumors about a possible tour with Saviours in the new year. After seeing the fine form they were in at the end of the night as they took off for some warehouse rager, I can only imagine the kind of trouble our two bands could get each other into.
Oct 01 ’09 (San Francisco CA @ DNA Lounge)
Finally get to be back in our second home: SF! It’s been over a year since we played here and it was an amazing backyard BBQ mix-tape show at our friend Emily’s with Hightower and Orb of Confusion. I love this town like no other in the US and if it weren’t for the whole ‘living in the states’ thing I’d have a permanent 415 number in a heartbeat. Kowloon Walled City opens the show and they just kill it. I’ve been a fan of theirs for a while and it’s great to get to see them live. Crushing ‘noise’ rock? Those guitar tones need to be heard to be believed. There’s so many rad old friends out it seriously feels like we’re playing a home show. We fill the balcony with loved ones and watch Saviours and Kylesa from the bird’s eye. This is our last show with Saviours for the time being and they have to head back to Oakland tonight so we say our sad, wasted goodbyes and head to the Mission. Make a mandatory stop at Pop’s Bar before we all head back to Dave from Hightower’s place for cocktails into the wee hours.
Oct 02 ’09 (San Jose CA @ Voodoo Lounge)
Wake up to my hangover screaming at me to get it some insanely strong coffee and a breakfast burrito the size of my thigh. Done and done, buddy! Please stop yelling…
We were just out here in San Jose a month and a half ago but I don’t really remember the show because I was just getting over a brutal heatstroke that made me puke and shit for three days straight… while we were broken down in the Nevada desert… I’d recommend that experience for anyone who wants to be in a touring band. Try that out then tell me how much you wanna be a rock n’ roller.
If my ears don’t deceive me the two opening bands apparently are Incubus and Korn? Seems weird but San Jose just that kind of a weird town. Don’t get me wrong, this bar and the people that work here are fucking awesome, and they spoil the shit out of us… but take a walk around town on a Friday night and you’ll see what I mean. I don’t know where all these bar stars and fake gangsters are hiding the rest of the time but this town is full on shitty rape-kit meat market on the weekends. Anyone spent any time on Granville street here in Vancouver? Take that and make a town out of it. I’m glad we brought a big posse out from SF so that we aren’t the only ones taking in the sights and sounds San Jose has to offer.
Jello Biafra shows up but thankfully we don’t bust him trying to steal beers off us like we did a couple years ago. What’s the matter Jello, Alternative Tentacles ain’t making enough that you gotta steal PBRs off the opening bands? For shame, bud!
We get the fuck outta dodge as soon as we can and head back to Mission for more cocktails into the wee hours at Dave’s. I’m not looking forward to leaving SF but at least we got to have a couple days here this time. Crucial.
Oct 03 ’09 (Eureka CA @ Nocturnum)
Being the Bigfoot enthusiast that I am, I’m always excited to get a chance to drive through the California Redwoods. Pretty uneventful day though, and not a single bipedal humanoid sighting. You win this time, Samsquantch!
Eureka’s a pretty interesting little town that also reminds me of being in the mountains of BC somewhere. There’s a pretty interesting mix of metal kids, crust punks and hippies all moshing, doing the evil claw and rave dancing together? Our set instigates the first mosh pit in this club’s short six month existence which is a lovely honour to have bestowed upon us. The small crowd sure seems to get excited for Kylesa’s Pink Floyd cover… one couple can’t stop making out the whole time. Set the controls for the heart of the sun, indeed.
Oct 04 ’09 (Portland OR @ Satyricon)
Portland is my other favorite US town and we actually get to play at Satyricon tonight. Rad. Last time through we played a few blocks away at the Ash Street and Carly and I wandered over here to check out a crust fest our buds in Mass Grave were playing. The Ash Street’s a pretty rad bar with a nice stage but I’ve always wanted to play Satyricon. Chicago black metallers Velnias are opening the show but I somehow miss their set while catching up with old friends outside…sorry dudes. Iron Lung are next and I make sure to catch their comedic doom-violence set. Awesome as always. Our set feels really good and the place is packed then Kylesa takes command and finishes everybody off. Portland rules and oddly enough our buds in Evil Survives are in town with our good pal Jon from Winnipeg. Joe from A.N.S. is also randomly in town.
We head out to stay with the always awesome Emily and Jay and we keep them up later than we should but hey, that’s just what we do.
Oct 05 ’09 (Seattle WA @ Chop Suey)
Seattle can be really hit or miss but tonight feels good. We’re first of four tonight with Iron Lung, Red Fang and Kylesa but there’s already a lot of people out when we play and we get to run down the street between Red Fang and Kylesa to see the powerhouse that is Heiress play at the Comet. Get to see a bunch of the folks from El Corazon and make some loose plans for a possible Bellingham show with Heiress in the upcoming months. Dope.
Getting to finally hang with the hilarious dudes in Red Fang bums me out that it’s our last night of the Kylesa tour cuz they’re all meeting up again with Saviours. I have no doubt that the last chunk of the tour would have been an absolute piss up which is really where we excel. We say our goodbyes to our TM Mark and the Kylesa camp and hit the road to cut some time off our final and bittersweet drive to Spokane.
Oct 06 ’09 (Spokane WA @ Cretin’s Hop)
…I say bittersweet because although we are almost ready to head home the only reason we are going back to Spokane is to scrap our beautiful van. The infamous Blue Bitch has been with us for years (and before that with S.T.R.E.E.T.S, Pride Tiger, etc.) and despite the few problems we’ve had recently we still ended up with over 400,000 km’s on her. We get our plates, empty out our crap, sit inside her for one last smoke then watch her get towed off into the sunset. R.I.P. Blue Bitch, we love you.
Play one last show before we head home and it’s pretty funny that it’s a small black metal show. Velnias is playing again though and I actually get to see them this time. The show’s a weird mix of ambient instrumental and black metal but it’s cool getting to play with bands totally different from us. I really wish Mike Hill was here to see this… but only because I’m enjoying it and him being the black metal purist he is, I’m sure he would have some fucking hilarious angry observations about the whole thing.
All in all the tour was great and I had a surprising blast in the South, an area that’s fairly unfamiliar territory for us. Thanks and shouts out to the Kylesa camp (Laura, Phil, Corey, Carl, Marshall, Dave and Mike), Tombs (love the shit out of you brotherrrs!), Saviours, Red Fang and all the awesome bands we got to see and play with. Thanks to all our friends who put us up and got us hammerder and everyone who helped out with the shows. We’ll see y’all in the future… stay rad, fuckers!
-Dan And/BISON B.C.