|Summer Slaughter Tour Blog With Mike Justian of The Red Chord - Part Two|
|Monday, 06 September 2010 20:56|
August 18, day off
We spent 8 hours at a mall. That's right, EIGHT hours. Granted, it's the biggest mall in North America, but uber mall or not, it's still a mall. After an hour or two, it just feels like a layover at an airport.
August 19, Vancouver, BC, Canada
I remember the last time I was here. It was dire and depressing and I couldn't believe just how bad it was. Everyone looked like an extra in Taxi Driver and Zombie Apocalypse. I hoped that this time the venue would be downtown but much to my dismay, I was right back in East Hastings, the heroin capital of Canada. Upon arrival, we saw a decrepit withering man snorting heroin from his hand and a woman shooting it on the street, as well as several drug deals. Some of The Red Chord guys thought it was amusing but there is no part of me that finds the plight of the oppressed and addicted to be entertaining. I was so disturbed by it that I couldn't finish my breakfast. We loaded in through the alley and basically hung around there all day and night. There was no backstage so I ate before the show just to have
someplace to go. The show itself was fine. I think that it was hotter than I expected. Was so glad to leave that place, especially since I have such a fondness for Seattle.
August 20, Seattle, WA
Got in late last night, cleared customs without even having to exit the vehicle. The venue is definitely not the best in terms of its location in the city but I have lots of friends to scoop me up and take to where it counts. On this day, where it counted was a vegan restaurant called the High Line. All that I can say is HOLY SHIT. Vegan Poutine, Reuben, Buffalo wings and a Philly cheese steak. I very seldom eat before I play but today was an absolute exception - some of the best vegan dining I've had all tour. I was so full that I honestly thought that I would throw up on stage. Well, not only did I not throw up, but I played really well. I'm getting quite fed up with the intro malfunction every other night, but as a band, we were good. Afterward I met up with some friends, drank champagne and listened to records. I don't want to leave.
August 21, Portland, OR
Woke up and we were there. Felt a bit hungover so I looked up a reputable pizza place then grabbed a coffee at a cool little cafe. Portland is one of those cities that I like in theory but have yet to find anything worth loving. Funny enough, the Roseland is one off the nicer venues on the tour, but one of the worst turnouts. For some reason, I just didn't have a very good show. There was nothing particularly bad about it, no real infractions to speak of, but the set just felt like it lumbered along. Sick Drummer Magazine was there filming everyone and I hate being filmed up close. It's just uncomfortable for me to play when there's a video camera looming over me,s o I think that affected my set. Not that I'm fishing for excuses but I'm not fond of situations where I feel like I'm being audited or scrutinized, call me crazy. After we played, I saw someone eating Vietnamese pho so I asked where it came from and headed out. The only food that I love almost as much as sauce, cheese and dough, is broth, vegetables and noodles. I wish that every venue had a Vietnamese street vendor. For 6 dollars, I got a massive bowl of vegetarian pho and it was everything that I hoped for. Eventually we got out of there and went to a friend's place. Krimh from Decapitated came with us because he heard that we were going to the Redwoods on our day off. It's going to be epic.
August 22, day off/drive day
We woke up, ate breakfast at a legendary local spot. I ordered the "half order" omelet and I still could only eat half of the half order. Their portions were absolutely monstrous. It was just absurd. If I collected every mound of food in the restaurant and made one colossal mound of food, I could ski off of it. I will say that it was delicious but there's far too many impoverished nations to justify eating or serving that much food. One full order of hash browns could literally feed a family in India for 3 days. After we got "airlifted" out of there, we waddled to a flea market down the road. There was an arcade game for sale so 200 dollars and one very full trailer later, Guy is the proud owner of Buck Hunter. After a number of hours driving, we finally came to the Redwoods. We practically skidded to a stop and
jumped out of the van. Krimh immediately sprawled his arms as far around the tree as he could. We spent dusk running around the forest, marveling at the awesome beauty and majesty of these giants. I only wish that we arrived a bit earlier so that we could've experienced a beautiful sunset drive along the Pacific Ocean.
August 23, San Francisco, CA
Well this is it, the final day is upon us. This is my third time playing the prestigious Fillmore and it couldn't have been a better last show. When we played, it was so much fun. Greg wore a banana yellow suit and Krimh came on stage wearing a children's Spider Man costume. Tosin sang part of "Dog Years" as one of the crew guys on the tour wore a thong. People were throwing paper plates everywhere and we actually played well too. After our set, I broke down, loaded out and hit a nearby piano bar that also served Ethiopian food. I treated myself to a vegetarian platter and a glass of Reisling. Can't think of a more perfect way to end a death metal tour than eating Ethiopian food, drinking a glass of one of my favorite wines, and listening to a piano. Then I went across the street to listen to some nice jazz and fantasized of one day being a great blues/jazz drummer that makes a living playing small lounges and pubs around town. Eventually, I wandered back to the venue, only to find that I missed out on everyone from the tour getting on stage during the last Decapitated song. Oh well. We stuck around for a while after so that the other guys could say their goodbyes. For me, I'm not big on goodbyes. I've been on the road too long to believe in them. It's not to say that I'm sick of touring, but I'm not getting any younger and uncertainties aren't becoming any less of an issue. But every time I really think of it, I can't believe how fortunate I've been to remain as healthy and as active as I have. I must thank Chris and MEINL, Ben and VIC FIRTH, Chris and AQUARIAN, as well as West and TAYE. If I didn't have such amazing companies supporting me, I really couldn't do this anymore. Also,it would be unfair to not thank my friends in The Red Chord for making me laugh at least once a day and Justin Hiltz for being an expert merch slinger. Maybe next tour I'll be out with my ambient group, Saail. Until then, I'll be looking forward to the road ahead and remembering it fondly when it becomes the road behind. Cheers.