Drum Lessons Orange County News

Touring Is Scary

With 3 shows to go on this very limited run, we will have completed about 52 shows on this TOUR OF INFINTE POWER, so named after the most recent album out last October. There are of course a few places that we did not get to but there’s always the next run on the next record. Already have many riffs and ideas from Mr.Balch that I am going to try and put beats to when I get home and hopefully have the makings of some tunes by the late fall.

So going back in time without the aid of a Delorean, wanted to share a few road highlights since New Orleans. The playing seems to have gotten better as the traveling intensified. Not only were we going to be trying to outpace a hurricane, but we were doing it on what seemed to be the worst roads in America, save for a few of the interstate moments in Virginia. This is the part of the county where they have left the tree’s intact for the most part, with no clear cutting it seems. Woods so thick they remind you of the Black Forrest in Germany. I tried to imagine as we rode by those great fields and forests the troops of the Civil War trying to out outsmart and anihilate each other and what it must have been like to fight not only in the cold but the searing humidity that was following us.

In Washington DC, we played the great Black Cat venue that we had not been to since 2002. There was the infamous “mustard” incident where a certain condiment got sprayed on one of the dressing room walls, in written homage to one of the venues more famous owners. We of course knew nothing of this or how mustard does not mix with purple paint, the acidic content leaving a permanent stain on the walls . We were subsequently banned from said venue, but all has been forgiven, time has healed all wounds and there was only a half a bottle of mustard to curse when we arrived.  We proceeded to slay( a musical term) the Thursday night crowd, which seemed extremely glad to have us back. I could actually see two kids about 10 or 11 in the back of the club in an elevated seating area when we were playing. They were running around with so much energy, jumping over each other and Kung-fu fighting in the air, it made for the perfect visual accompaniment to all the noise we were making. All high praise to the Black Cat for a great show!!

Then it was the hell drive until the break of dawn to just past New York City . A quick sleep and bad breakfast later we were back on the 95 to Boston. Despite being physically exhausted we managed to somehow get it together and play the best show of the tour, as the crowd threw us as much rage and screaming as our amps and drums could throw back at them.

New York City was a breeze literally, as the wind picked up finally chasing the heat away, giving the best early fall weather you could hope for in the city. Managed to get some amazing pizza and super strong espresso in Little Italy on a solo walk before the show. The Reverend James Rota was in town with his brother from New Jersey as well as friends from San Diego and transplants from Brooklyn, John Magill and his noise fest known as V-Panther(the cleaned up version here). In Pittsburgh we took the tour to church in the Alter Bar, an old house of worship that was converted to a venue. I could not help thinking it would have been cool to see Sabbath in a place like this when they were coming up, our music seeming a little out of place in a venue like this. The crowd was not as boisterous as the last few Pittsburgh shows we had played, causing Scott Hill at one point to comment to them” You’re all being quiet because its a church, right?”  In Detroit we got to go with a rep from Reverend Guitars to a great Polish restaurant called”Polania”. As soon as we walked in I was transported to Europe and felt a pang of “I wish we were there” instead of touring America. Its usually the same when I am in Europe and after about 3 weeks in start feeling like being home.  Cleveland was great as always as well as our old home in Chicago, the Double Door, at which I managed to get some decent “ Drum Cam” footage,which I will post up soon.  Tomorrow we finally will hit Minneapolis after having to cancel the show back in the fall because of being stranded in the blizzard of Fall 2009.  Then Denver, Vegas and HOME, best venue of all!

As a post script, when I was in DC, I did a little horror movie field trip and went and saw some of the locations they used for THE EXORCIST over by Georgetown University. We in FU MANCHU are all are huge horror movie buffs, (especially the bad ones) and one of our disappointments on this tour was not having time on a day off to get in a theatre and see PIRAHNA or THE LAST EXORCISM.  I’ve never made it to Martha’s Vineyard to see any of the JAWS locations or to Amityville to see “the house”. But here you can actually see what I think is probably the creepiest staircase in America and the house that overlooks it.They, at least, are real. And even though I know its only a movie, a slight chill creeps up my spine to look up those stairs…must be Halloween in the air..or something else.



Until Next time and tour..


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