Thursday, October 30, 2008

What Kent Wears

This is a post I did for Charles Henry's famous online cotton blog. Spelling Errors have been modified. Ideas have been mildly expanded.

This Motorhead shirt features a great oversized logo and a classic
slogan. It was purchased at Hot Topic. Yes, Hot Topic. I first saw Motorhead in May
of 1999. I was a senior in high school and mainly went to see the
opening acts, which featured Dropkick Murphys, Hatebreed, and

Skarhead opened the show and shared some classic banter with the
people who decided to come early. A Motörhead show, similar to a
Slayer show predominantly features 40 year old auto mechanics yelling
the name of the headlining act during every opening band. Lord Ezec
kindly asked , "If you see anyone yelling motörhead, punch them in the
fucking face."

'Kings At Crime' had just come out so most of the songs they played
were off that record. They sent out 'Y.A.S.' to Chubby Fresh who later
allegedly got into an altercation with the band outside the show. I
purchased a Skarhead t-shirt at this show which I wore proudly for
many years.

Hatebreed was notorious for cancelling shows around this time and I
was relieved to see they had made this show. Their set was
unbelievable. They exploded onto the stage and played all of the hits
off 'Satisfaction...'. Was any song not a hit on that record?

Hatebreed were just crossing over into the metal world at this time,
so having to see them with a barricade was a bit foreign. They made up
for it with their energy and intensity and even threw me the mic
during 'Last Breath'. This was one of Sean Martin's first tours with
the band and I remember him smashing his guitar when it started

During Hatebreed, a white trash gentleman in a TOOL shirt, asked me
who was playing. I told him,"Hatebreed from Connecticut."
He said "They are called Connecticut?"
He then yelled Motörhead at the top of his lungs and proceeded to push
everyone around him.

Dropkick murphys were in the direct support slot. "The Gang's all
Here" had just been released and they focused on that. Their reaction
was lackluster, which was surprising because they had a huge skinhead
following in Cleveland at the time. Earlier in the day, I walked in on
original guitarist Rick Barton taking a shit in a stall without a door.
I thought it was strange at the time, but being on tour now, I have shit in stalls without doors, shit in bags, and well...shit my pants.

Motorhead closed the show and played what seemed like every song in
the history of recorded music, and they played them very loudly. I
don't care how awesome you are, a 2.5 hour set is overkill. Too much
of anything can get old, even pizza and suck jobs. I didn't see
Motörhead for 3 years after this, and their next clevo appearance
featured Morbid angel, Ringworm, American nightmare, and Striking
Distance. That is a different story for a different day.

Ask Chucky how to wash and dry this, I just sell the things, I don't
launder them.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Ozzfest '07 Remembered

Ozzfest 2007 allowed me to do many things. I got to meet some professional wrestlers, football players and c-list actors, eat great catering, sweat outside in the sun for a minimum of 12 hours a day, and most importantly I got to interact with some of the best people in Middle America.

I saw pregnant woman guzzling beer out of $9 souvenir whalebone glasses, new born babies literally dying, projectile vomiting (male and female), stampeding crowds (RIP Hatebreed Merch Table), women in sports-bras with coverall shorts, shameless displays of obesity, and bad dental plans.

Tons of shirtless men (and women) allow you to do some great tattoo spotting! Some of my favorites included: 2 PePe le Pew tattoos (1 on a man), tons of swastika tattoos (my favorite wearer of the swazi tat also had a tattoo of TRU, the New Orleans rap supergroup containing Master P, Silkk The Shocker, and C-Murder, he obviously didn't get the memo that those three gentlemen are not white), 2 tattoos that read, "Trust No Bitch", and both of the men that had them were definitely holding hands with a ... well, bitch.

*** "Do you know Hatebreed?"
"Yeah, I work for them."
"Can you call them for me? Can you call Jamey Jasta for me, man?"
"Bro, why would I call them?"
"Because, that pit is fucking bullshit, and I need them to make sure it gets going!"

***A guy walked up to the giant red HATEBREED tent (where it is clearly spelled out to you 4 times in that classic flaming lower case old english font) and said, “Hateblood, huh? Y’all got any stickers?” Then this great Wisconsinite walked to the Behemoth tent next to me and said, “Hellmouth? Do Y’all got any stickers?”

***“Where are the fuckin’ Kiss shirts at man?”

***“I see you got a shirt that says, FUCK YOU! I LIKE HATEBREED. Where are the shirts that say, FUCK YOU! I LIKE OZZY?"

I replied sarcastically, "They are on the back of the "FUCK YOU! I LIKE HATEBREED" shirts."

"Really? I'll take one in a 3x."

***“Is Hatebreed going to be making an appearance today, man?”

“Yeah, they sign at Jager at 2:30 and FYE at 4:15.”

“OK, so they are going to be signing, but are they going to be playing, man?”

“Bro, what do you think, I am standing in a tent full of their merch.”

“Well, maybe they just sell it here; it doesn’t mean they are playing.

***“Hatebreed…I want to get one of those shirts for my brother, man. He is prejudice.”

“The band isn’t into that stuff, actually.”

“Oh, it’s a band? I just thought it was a racist clothing line, nevermind."

Thank you Ozzy. Thank you Sharon.

Friday, November 2, 2007

A Long Winded Run On.

Look all the way to the right.

As I sat in a loading dock beneath the Hard Rock Café Casino in Las Vegas, with $50 dollars in my pocket that wasn’t there when I woke up that morning, it all momentarily made sense. I sat Indian style on a road case and watched 9 men adorn their half naked bodies with mountains of latex and fiberglass. I know that might sound like an everyday activity for me, but this time it was a bit more special.

I was able to feel the camaraderie as grown men from Virginia …er…I mean, Antarctica by way of outerspace, changed into GWAR right in front of my eyes. This was always the step that I had missed. I had seen them during the day; I had seen them during their performance but I was normally too busy to see the actual transformation occur. For 20 plus years they have gotten to experience those 30 minutes together everyday, and it really meant something for me to be a part of it, even if it was for only one evening.

It brought back to mind the first time I saw Scott Vogel of Terror readying himself for a performance. He was shadowboxing in a dark New Jersey room, adjacent to the stage, with a boombox on the floor blaring classic NY hardcore and Hip Hop. The band’s intro hit, he immediately stopped, and was handed a mic. I remember thinking that this dude really is as intense offstage as he is on it. That show was stopped after three songs due to the 15 fights that occurred in those 6 minutes. Scott was definitely able to rile up a crowd. He was definitely able to rile me up as well. We both proved that a few days later as we almost got into our first of a few physical altercations with each other; but those are different stories that Kitzel would probably want me to post in some zine of his.

It also made me think of being in Europe with Hatebreed. Joking with everyone backstage, then walking onstage alongside them to face tens of thousands of people at a different European metal fest every day for 5 weeks. Laughing with Sean one minute, then watching him turn into an unbridled reverse head banging machine the next. Yes, walking onstage with Hatebreed is cool; but it is obviously cooler to do the same thing with New York’s Rider Man. (See Previous Entry).

I take so many things for granted, but it is moments like these that truly put it into perspective. I have stood on all corners of the earth with people who do nothing more than yell really loud into a microphone. Something so dumb has taken me so far. Something so dumb means so much.

I recently read a blog post by Blacklisted. Their roadie, Chucky, shares his thoughts about being on the road. He seemed so excited to be a part of something that it reminded me of the first tours that I was ever on. His enthusiasm is a stark contrast to the complete lack of excitement I currently carry with me. It wasn't always like this. His post made me think of that first Terror tour where I was bruised from stagediving every night over huge barricades, where we were stopping at a gas station every 4 hours, buying tons of candy, and eating pizza every night with 5 people who would become close friends. Although I was 23 at the time, I was living like a 12 year old and I couldn’t have been happier.
I dropped out of college to go on that tour with Terror. I only wanted to do the one tour, but other things kept getting added. I was having such a great time, I just kept coming back... coming back for 15 straight months on the road. We had played shows alongside Unearth, The Black Dahlia Murder, Hatebreed, Sick Of It All, The Warriors, Comeback Kid, Modern Life is War, Madball, Throwdown, Everytime I Die, Gwar, Chimaira, Murphy’s Law, 100 Demons, Shadows Fall, Converge, Turbonegro, Donnybrook!, Outbreak, Dio, and Iron Maiden. Yes, THE Iron Maiden. I was even able to appear in their video for, “Keep Your Mouth Shut,” which according to the program director at MTV2 is the “worst music video of all time.” Not many people can say that, except for Lil Wayne and Baby after they made “Leather So Soft.” Weezy should NOT play air guitar.

After 7 US tours, 1 Canadian tour, 1 Puerto Rican tour, and 1 European tour, I was completely burnt out and jaded. I was angry at everyone in the band and myself. I left Terror for what I assumed would be the greener pastures of Throwdown. We embarked on a 2 month tour, and although I liked everyone in the band personally, I never got that same indescribable feeling that I got on those early Terror tours. I got $8,000 in merch money stolen from me in Arizona, $2000 of which I had to pay back, and upon the conclusion of the tour, I went home with no intention on ever returning to the road. I figured I could find better things to do than overdose on sugar and sleep on the floor of a moving van.

I went back to my old job at The Mortgage Zone, Inc. (R.I.P.) and became a licensed loan officer in 13 states. It really was as exciting as it sounds. I started going to bed early and getting up during normal hours. I did things that normal people did and celebrated such activities as I hadn’t been able to do them for almost 2 years. No one at my new job could understand what I used to do, and the few that did couldn’t understand why I would ever leave it. Some Holy Roller lady once said, “So it would be like me working for Amy Grant? That would be an absolute dream.” I had described my experiences to everyone as a nightmare, but statements like these made me reconsider.

Throughout that summer, I had mended a lot of the relationships with Terror that I had burned. I went to see them when they played in Cleveland and realized how much I missed being around them. I saw a new guy selling the merch (Fat Jugs Hernandez), and it really left a strange feeling in my stomach. I realized how easily replaceable I was and how I had possibly pissed away a great opportunity that many people would truly love to have. The night of that show, I remember telling Nick that I wanted to do 1 last tour and go out on my own terms.

I was unsure how the dynamic of the band would be because they had some lineup changes as Carl had left to make First Blood a full time band and Frank had gone on to join Hatebreed. What a resume he has: Ringworm, Integrity, Terror, and Hatebreed. Wow. Frank was the person who brought me on my first tour, and I had trouble imagining touring without he and Carl, yet I knew I still wanted to be back out there one last time.

Even though Frank and Carl were gone, I was excited to hang out with Martin and Buske; Terror’s newest members.

Martin was the guitarist who took Frank’s spot and was someone that I always enjoyed being around. He was the brain behind Donnybrook! and I always loved when Terror would play shows with them, Some of the most memorable Terror shows were with Donnybrook! and included such events as: Martin being stabbed by a bottle by a soundman in Baltimore, a riot in Central Cali involving one of our friends beating people up while wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers Poncho, and Martin’s brother, Dre, getting Scott so wasted that they would sleep in the van every night, even when they weren’t on tour.

Buske was someone that I met in the early 00’s when I used to post on his former band’s messageboard. I could tell from his posts that we had many similar interests. Actually I remember him from before that because he stagedove once and ripped the hood clean off my sweatshirt. Prick.

I remember he was playing a show in Erie, Pa and I E-convinced him to burn me a copy of the then unreleased Meraduer – Bluetality album. I saw him at the show wearing the first pair of Nike Shox (which were horrible) and some boot cut jeans which had a real strange cut to them, topped off with a sparkling new tech vest. Buske has always been fashion forward. He wanted me to get him an Integrity hooded sweatshirt for him in exchange. I never got it for him and we fell out of touch. Buske felt that I was “dissing” him during the next 2 years, but I just didn’t think his memory was as good as mine. I assumed he meets tons of people and just wouldn’t remember me. I was wrong. Buske still brings up that goddamn hoodie when he is piss drunk.

I quit my Mortgage job two weeks after my meeting with Nick and Terror, and was back on tour after being home for 6 straight months. The first shows we played were with the Gorilla Biscuits and Comeback Kid. I had talked a lot of shit throughout the years about bands reuniting, but GB made me eat my words. I had every intention on hating on them, but they just blew me away. Every member of the band and crew had so much fun on those 5 days that it cemented in my head that I had made the correct decision.

Unfortunately Martin couldn’t make those shows. His father passed away the night before the first day. I never told Martin how sorry I was for his loss, a loss that I can’t truly comprehend and hopefully won’t have to for some time. I had a whole speech mapped out in my head to let him now that I was riding with him, but the words never came out. This has happened to me repeatedly in my life. If I could only be half the person I am in my daydreams… In my dreams, I am a soap star, I am in my own band, I’m famous, I’m not an idiot in relationships, etc. I always have grandiose visions of things to say to people, things I need to do, and things to become the person that I want to be; however most of them are left on the cutting room floor. Hopefully Martin was able to see by my actions how important he is to me, even though I wasn’t able to vocalize it in his time of need.

Buske and I laid it out on the first day as he confronted me about not talking to him for a few years. I told him my side of the story and we were inseparable from that day forward. I loved hearing him talk about his twisted and terrifying masturbation stories from his youth. I really miss Martin and Buske.

After the GB shows, Terror headlined for a few weeks then joined up with Unearth and Bleeding Through for a 3 week tour. Half way through the tour, Scott got really sick and flew home. The rest of us were stuck in a hotel room in Texas with no idea what our next move was to be. This wouldn’t be the last time we would be stuck in a hotel room not knowing if it was the end, but once again, that is a story that doesn’t fit here, and may never fit anywhere. We decided to drive to New York and stay at Buske’s. We drove straight through the night and had the best time together for the 5 days until Scott returned. I really felt part of something again.

After the Terror tour, Frank came through on his promise and got me a job with Hatebreed. I had only wanted to do 1 final tour, but I thought this was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up. He always said he was Cam and I was Jimmy and he would eventually get me out of 5-H. Years before he also told me, “I put you on and I can take you out whenever I please," so I guess you take the good with the bad.

I was touring with the biggest Hardcore band of all time and one of my best friends was actually in the band. It didn’t seem real. I juggled Hatebreed and Terror simultaneously for 6 months. It always seemed to work out that when one of them was on the road, the other wasn’t. I really got to have the best of both worlds. I got to hang out in shitty motels with my friends, then I got to go and be on some huge metal tour the next month and have great catering.

Earlier this year, I had to commit to Hatebreed due to their intense touring schedule that they had mapped out. The same thing that happened to me in 2005, started happening to me in 2007. I was getting aggravated by everyone and I just wanted to go home. This year alone, I have done 3 U.S tours (I am currently on my 4th), 1 UK Tour (w/ stops in Russia, Ukraine, and Israel), and 1 European festival tour. I figured that enough truly was enough.

After Ozzfest with Hatebreed, I wanted nothing but to lay in my brand new bed and not leave it for months; if ever. I had nothing lined up and wasn’t really concerned about it. I knew Terror would be touring in November and secretly hoped I would be free so I could go and eat shitty food and act ignorant with my friends. That dream died 2 and a half weeks into my stay at home when I got a phone call from Gwar. Gwar was going out for 12 weeks and needed somebody to accompany them.

This was the first time I ever went out with somebody that I didn’t know at all. It was a very intimidating thought, but I knew I had to do it. I am so thankful that I did and that brings me to the present. I'm in albany, Jizmak is my boss, and I hang out with slaves all day.

Although, this post was quite long, I really have only skimmed the surface. Writing this has triggered so many individual stories of people being passed out underneath the van in a dirty Florida street that it could end up being 30 more posts.

While on tour, I question my existence daily. I think I am wasting what’s left of my youth. I have no idea what I am going to do with my life. I feel old and young simultaneously. I have missed out on so many things by being gone. I haven’t had a relationship with a woman since 2004. I haven’t seen any episodes of Nip Tuck season 5. I can never keep up on Guiding Light or As the World Turns anymore because by the time I get home there are 10 new characters and 4 of my favorites have been replaced by even shittier daytime actors than the original ones that I had come to enjoy. I don’t know what the hell is going on in my life. I force myself to be in love with someone at all times. I am lonely. I want people to think that I hate everything. I do know that I wouldn’t trade any of these daily thoughts or situations for anything because sometimes you realize how lucky you are. Sometimes all it takes is a little peek of Antarctic alien ass to realize that you are really part of something special.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Jim Jones Has A Cheetah Print Neck Pillow and Other Tales from Norway.


We all readied ourselves for a crash landing. Here we were, thousands of feet in the air attempting to land at our Norwegian destination. There was just too much turbulence. We had to pull back up and try again. We all looked at each other in an “Almost Famous” type moment and just waited for someone to admit they were gay. Most people would have put their money on me spilling that; but I held out.

The small propeller plane was just being thrown throughout the air. Some people were praying, some people were clutching the seat in front of them, and others just buried their head in their hands. What was looking to be the last day of my life, turned out to be the greatest.

We eventually got the plane safely on the ground and boarded a shuttle to take us to the festival we were scheduled to play. We had been in Europe for over 2 weeks and played some of the biggest festivals that every country had to offer. We had played in front of hundreds of thousands of people and performed alongside: Ozzy, Korn, Megadeth, Motorhead, Converge, Unearth, Dropkick Murphys, Cannibal Corpse, Sick Of It All, As I Lay Dying, Mastodon, Machine Head, Black Label Society, Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Type O Negative, Life Of Agony, Velvet Revolver and countless others.

I had asked our sketchy German Tour Manager, Schlumpf (see previous entries), who was on the festival and he told me “Its just a bunch of bands who I have never heard of with names I can’t pronounce.” I just assumed they were all insane Norwegian Black Metal bands, who are into: severed pig heads, makeup, church burnings, black denim, and white Zack Morris era Converse high tops. I don’t mind any of those things separately, but I just wasn’t stoked to have them all in the same place on the same day when I am already in jail…a.k.a.: Europe.

We got to the hotel and our artist representative was there to meet us. She was looking over our schedule for the day and giving us our instructions. Looking over her shoulder (because I like to eavesdrop and be nosy about EVERYTHING that doesn’t directly concern me) I saw the artists set to appear for the day:

Jim Jones & Juelz Santana




Wait! These were the “bands” that Schlumpf couldn’t pronounce? Are you fucking kidding me? Hatebreed is playing with the Harlem Diplomats in Norway?

I rushed to the fairgrounds to count in our merch and catch the events of the day. Papoose was scheduled to play at 3:30 but of course didn’t make it onstage till well after 4. Jamey and I were convinced he wasn’t showing up. He proved us wrong and more importantly, he proved to be a legitimate performer. He went through some of his mixtape standouts and then did 4 songs off of Nacirema Dream. Is that thing ever coming out? Im sure it will be out the same day as Cuban Linx II, Chinese Democracy, and The Greatest Story Never Told.

I was raised on such Texas rap pioneers as The Geto Boys and U.G.K. When the new wave of Texas rap erupted, I liked Slim Thug and a few of the others but slept on Chamillionaire. In a live setting, the dude seriously gets BUSY. He was NOT playing over a vocal track, he was performing whole songs, and he was working the crowd. This wasn’t a local gig for him…we were in fucking Norway, and he had every pale faced individual there claiming to ride dirty.

After Chamillionaire, Chris Bridges came out and broke into “#1 Spot”. A spot he has some credibility in claiming. He outshined everyone on the day. Ludacris has 5 albums out, with at least 3-5 hits per record. Needless to say, his set was packed with crowd favorites. I had to leave midway through his set to catch Hatebreed who was playing on a different stage.

Hatebreed hadn’t played Norway in over 5 years and we were all a bit worried about what was to come. 5 minutes before set time, which was well after Midnight, there was only 100 people in front of the stage. However, the second the band broke into “To The Threshold”, thousands of people had made their way over, to give the band one of their best responses of the tour. Afterwards, I think some of the kids were mistaking Jamey, Sean, Matt, Chris, and Frank for Paul, John, Ringo, George, and um…well…um; Jordan Knight because people were screaming and almost fainting when they went to meet all the fans.

After the set, I ran across the fairgrounds to catch Juelz and Jim who were set to go on at 12:30. It was well after 1 a.m. and no one was onstage. Jamey and I ran backstage and saw Jim Jones surrounded by an entourage exclusively fitted in ill fitting white t’s. If this was 2005, the ill fitting t’s would have touched their knees; but in 2007 the ill fitting t’s wouldn’t fit an anorexic gap model. Quite the turn of events. We had a video camera running and the gaggle of security gave us some dirty looks as they walked past. Jamey yelled, “Yo Jim!, It’s Jamey from Hatebreed.” Jim was at the steps to walk on the stage and turned around and gave us an even dirtier look. He took a few steps forward and said, “Did somebody just say Hatebreed?” He rockegnized Jamey and gave him some dap and then looked at me and said “ Is this your people?” When Jamey told him I was cool, Jim shook my hand.

Jim Jones shook my fucking hand…in Norway! Ha! I’m not some casual fan of “We Fly High” nor am I claiming to be down since Jimmy appeared in Cam’s “Horse and Carriage (with that white suit and amazing straightened hair),” but Jimmy is someone I definitely look up to and consider superhuman. He is one of the most exciting and quotable people in hip hop today. I remember first seeing the video for “Certified Gangsters” in 2004 on late night BET and being blown away. Since then I have given my life and money to the ‘Set and never looked back. Now, I am standing with Jim seconds before he is about to go onstage!

Jim looked into our camera and said “Yo, its your boy, Jones, New York’s rider man, One Eye, Capo Status, Mr. New York City, and whatever other nonsense Jimmy blabs before he spits a 16 and shouted some more nonsense about being down with Hatebreed (which he is through a few degrees of separation). Jamey and I just looked at each other dumbfounded, and just like that Jim turned and made his way towards the stage as his intro music had been playing during this entire exchange. Jim once again made it half way up the steps and turned around and saw us still standing there. He waved both of his arms for us to join him. Do I still need to set this up for you, Jim Jones is inviting us to walk him onstage alongside his entourage…in Norway.


Jamey and I positioned ourselves on stage right and watched Jim break into “Crunk Muzik” as thousands of Norwegians lost their minds. Jim went into a few more songs before cutting them off after a couple of bars. By this point, I was in such shock that I had completely forgotten that Juelz was supposed to be up there as well. Moments later, Juelz comes onstage looking like a fake Jimmy; which means he was wearing an extra medium T-shirt, a large skull belt buckle, a diamond encrusted wallet chain, and skintight pants which still left his entire ass exposed. In other words, he could have passed as “euro-trash.”

Jimmy and Juelz alternated between tracks from their respective solo catalogues and performed some songs from Diplomatic Immunity I and II. Even though they were cutting songs in half and performing over tracks over their own voices, the entire 45 minute set was surreal. They finally broke into “ Gangster Music“ and abruptly walked offstage, leaving the crowd of 20,000 fiending for more.

A day that I wasn’t looking forward to ended up being one of the greatest of my life. A day where we almost died ended up being filled with life. To think, we owe it all to a former New York City drug dealer. Dipset Bitch!

European Tour Part I

Can I bore you with stories of the Waterbury dirt mall, how confusing “Pirates III” was, why I have bought so many pairs of Air Jordans this year, a 10 hour flight to Copenhagen with no in flight movie, etc? There is truly no point. You know the drill by now.

We recently finished the Jagermeister and Monster Engergy Drink Present: Ladies night at the Monsters of Mayhem II tour Featuring: Hatebreed, God Forbid, Evergreen Terrace, Terror, The Acacia Strain, & After The Burial. It took us to some disgusting parts of the Midwest and Southern United States. The first 150 females over the age of 21 got in for free. Therefore, about 7 trolls and 2 hot chicks with boyfriends took advantage of this promotion everyday. It was just another tour, meaning that; it damaged personal relationships, forced me to not shower for days, and had me made me contemplate the rest of my life and how I am compromising whatever dignity I have left. Great times, plus Misha was there!

We are currently overseas performing at European Festivals. The first one was the Hultsfred Festival in Sweden. This thing was so fucking un organized that it made me yell at a sketchy German with a face tattoo. Sorry Schumpf! In retrospect, not a good idea!

We played on the first day of the fest and people were already disgusting! There was 30,000 people in attendance all camping out in little dome tents. By noon, people were covered in mud, missing shoes, and had written dumb things all over themselves in permanent marker. I am pretty positive these things are viewed like the prom to the Europeans, which means, a lot of people are fucking in those gross little tents.

Jamey and I wandered around the general population and scrounged up some Swedish Drones to purchase carnie vendor food. He just kept saying how sketchy the food was. That worried me because this is the kind of stuff that I eat everyday! We had hot dogs with garlic dressing which were put in a circular bun with a hollowed out center, disgusting cardboard pizza, hot donuts, and meat bread. Yes, meat bread. What is meat bread? Well, it is meat baked into bread.

I watched Converge and they were great once again. They mainly played selections off their last 3 albums but threw in ‘Forsaken’ for good measure. I then decided it would be a good idea to take a 4 hour afternoon nap.

I slept through Velvet Revolver, but got up in time to see Korn. Yes, Korn. They played songs from their entire catalog including, “I Did My Time”, “Got The Life”, “Somebody, Somewhere”, “Chutes And Ladders”, “Twisted Transistor”, “Falling Away From Me”, “Freak On A Leash”, and “Blind”. They only had 3 original members this time but had Joey from Slipknot filling in on drums.

Hatebreed went on at midnight. People were pretty dead at this point but still hung out late with America’s favorite hardcore band. Some of the Lamb of God guys showed up midway through the set w/ a member of Buske’s gang to catch the set. It was a huge party on the stage and a great way to close out the day.

After the show, Matt proceeded to get completely bombed and tell us about his personal favorite president, Franklin Delanor Roosevelt. Matt listed all his accomplishments, but failed to understand the relevancy when I asked if FDR enjoyed the company of naked ladies.

After Sweden, We flew into Finland to play a small show with Velvet Revolver and Patti Smith. Seriously.

On Sunday morning, we flew into the Netherlands and met back up with our bus. We arrived to the fields of rock festival pretty late due to all of our early morning traveling.

The lineup to the festival was insane! Backstage, I ran into Ozzy Osbourne, Munky and Fieldy of Korn, Slash, Life of Agony, Peter Steele (who looked taller than he did in PLAYGIRL), Dave Mustaine, Rob Flynn, Mike Clark (Suicidal Tendencies), Evan Seinfeld, Mikkey D from Motorhead and countless others. It was a pretty wild time. Frank actually got kicked out of the bathroom so Slash could take a shit by himself.

Before the show, Jamey and I talked about Biohazard for 2 hours. We talked about the oft slept on classic, New World Disorder and the 2 banger ballads that said disc contains. We started listening to Ill Blood by No Warning. Man, if the tail end sing along of track 4 doesn’t get you fired up; you aren’t alive.

I got to see Suicidal Tendencies for the first time in 9 years and they were great. The crowd was dead for them and Hatebreed, but I assume the masses in attendance were completely baked on hash.

Later on Zakk Wylde (Yeah, that Zakk Wylde) came on our bus and woke Wayne up by kissing him. Zakk is Wayne’s favorite guitar player of all time, so it was very cool to see it all go down.

Zakk said that he knows Hatebreed thinks he plays “piano Elton John shit” but he respects them and referred to our tour bus as a “box of sexiness.” Alcohol is one hell of a drug.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Destroy Everything - April 29th & 30th

Tel Aviv, Israel

The above isn’t a typo. We really went and played a show in Tel Aviv.

After Groezrock, we quickly went to a hotel and showered. The water that was building up in the shower was black and disgusting from all the dirt that had settled on our bodies throughout the day. We then immediately drove to Germany to board a plane to Israel.

It was 6 am and none of us had slept yet. What should you do in this situation? FIND A MCDONALDS! The golden arches had never shined brighter than they did on this fine morning. What is a good thing to eat at this hour? A fucking Mc-Rib. It’s back my friends. I normally hate McDonalds but nothing makes you feel more at home (for better or worse) than a microwaved artificial pork sandwich. God Bless America. Shame on Germany for their constant need to charge you for dipping sauces, though…

Touching down in Israel was a surreal experience. Applause rifled throughout the plane. You could tell that many passengers had been waiting their whole lives for this moment. There hadn’t been one day on this tour that Israel had not been mentioned and playing this show had really split the band. Some were excited and some were very upset but one thing that united us all was that NO ONE knew exactly what to expect.

We were greeted by the promoters of the show and they picked us up in 2 mini-vans. They were definitely younger than expected one of them was wearing a Terror shirt. I was scared to wear my “Peace in the Middle East” shirt, but a local was wearing a shirt that said TERROR on it? Amazing. Sitting in the back of the van, I saw palm trees, sunshine, and a beautiful cityscape. This is Israel?

We got to the hotel and I turned the TV on and they had American Vh1 and MTV. It was wonderful to be watching trash TV in a war torn country. Who doesn’t need to know about the 100 Sexiest Celebrity Hook-Ups?

I roomed with Wayne and we contemplated going to sleep (since we still hadn’t) for the 2 hours we had before load in, but we decided against it. I normally never venture outside of the club, but I realized that today was special and I really needed to take part in what was going on.

Our hotel was one block away from the Mediterranean Sea. It was gorgeous outside and the scenery was equally impressive. One thing we noticed was that people were just living their lives. A guy walking his dog, a fat girl with a Mohawk, people hanging out on the beach, it showed us how normal these people were. It was Sunday and we just imagined people being pissed that they had to go to work the next day. It was so far removed from what I had envisioned. By the beach there were memorials that detailed the history and struggles of the country’s people. That is when it really started to hit us. These people have been through so much. Not just what went on during the last one hundred years ago, but what they are going through now.

After my 2nd McDonalds visit of the day, We met the promoter to take us to the club. I told him how impressed I was with the country. I explained that all we see in America are bombings and war. He told us that is why it is so important for him to do this Hatebreed show, because people truly have to live each day as if it is their last. He said he never knows when it will all literally all explode.

The promoter explained to us that everyone has to enter the military for 2-3 years (depending on sex) upon their 18th birthday. He told us that in a time of crisis ANY former member of the military may be called to active duty. Meaning, if Israel goes to war this summer, there is a good chance that the promoter of the show and many people attending it would be called upon to serve and probably die for their homeland. This show really was important and it meant something to these people that we cared enough about them to be there.

The club was dirty, dangerous, and amazing. It had multiple levels to it and looked like it would be in a movie. This was the kind of place Hollywood would have you believe all shows took place at. A huge cross section of people came to the show. Punks, Skinheads, Metalheads, Hardcore kids…you name it, they were there. No one here was too spoiled to miss the show. This was an event. This was a celebration of life.

All night kids would come up to me and just ask me questions. They wanted to know my thoughts about their country, they wanted to hear about America, they wanted to know about George Bush, American hardcore, my thoughts on Metallica’s “Load”, and anything else you could imagine. I never felt more honored to share my opinions and experiences with anyone.

The show was an afterthought at this point, but it was a fucking RAGER! Kids knew the words to every song and sang them until their voices gave out. I met some great people, and no one in the band or crew left that club the same way we entered it. We might have needed Israel more than it needed us.

We went back to the hotel and ate some great hummus before going to sleep for a few hours.
We were in Israel for 12 short hours before we were back in the familiar customs line at the airport. We once again got interrogated, but after 4 security checkpoints, we made it through.

The plane ride to NYC was just your typical 12 hour fare. So, it fucking sucked! I was in the middle seat and the woman next to me puts her seat all the way back before we even take off. The couple behind us were none too pleased. The man got up and reached over the woman sitting next to me and put her seat up. Then the woman next to me put it all the way back again. This brought the flight attendant over and he put her seat back up. This led to all 4 individuals standing up and screaming at each other in Hebrew. We hadn’t even taken off yet!

The band and I were definitely the only Americans on the flight. Everyone on the plane appeared to have never flown before. The fasten seat belt sign meant nothing to these people. The restrooms said OCCUPIED during takeoff. Sure enough, once we were coasting in the sky, someone exited the toilet. Takeoff is probably pretty interesting when you are sitting on an airplane shitter.

I couldn’t fall asleep with the woman next to me speaking jibberish and constantly elbowing me, so I watched 4 movies, including The Queen, The Pursuit of Happiness, Eragon (unwatchable), and Hollywoodland. The Kosher meal was disgusting and getting off the plane couldn’t come soon enough. During landing, someone got up just to throw something away. Lord knows you can’t land when someone is holding a piece of paper.

The strange behavior of the passengers on the airline spilled over to the baggage claim. This was easily one of the best parts of the entire tour. The customs line was so long that people’s bags kept continually going around the carousel. They started to pile up and bags began sticking out and clipping people standing close to them. They bags would then tumble off to the ground. We would run over and pick them up and just heave them on top of the already high piles. People noticed our aggressiveness and asked us to retrieve their bags for them. We were jumping on top of the carousel and grabbing people’s bags. When we would get our own we would throw them on the ground just to make a scene. Hey, it was a 12 hour plane ride; we needed something to get excited about. We were being loud; cheering on people who were getting their bags and yelling at others for grabbing the wrong ones. People were bumping into us and running our feet over with their luggage. Well, they were running over our feet until Beattie started kicking their bags. I guess nobody understands his humor.

At this time I looked over to notice Wayne was still carrying a strange looking object with a garbage bag wrapped around it. Wayne carried this Dimebag Darryl guitar for the entire tour. Jamey gave it to him at the airport on the first day to hold for him. Jamey needed to paint it for an auction, so he brought it with him to paint in his free time on the tour. Needless to say he never once touched the thing and Wayne was stuck with it for over 2 weeks. Wayne always gets the short end of the stick, but he is quitting to work for Rihanna, so fuck him anyways.

After a successful 17 day tour in multiple foreign countries, that included so many moments that will stick with us all for the remainder of our lives, we walked away into the sunset. Well, Frank and I actually just walked a mile to a different terminal with our luggage, re-checked it in and waited 3 hours, only to board another flight to reach our final destination of Cleveland...but it seemed like sunset nonetheless.

Destroy Everything - April 28th


Happy Birthday Kyle Sinkler.

I woke up to horns blaring at us in Belgium. Jerry Don’t had the bus blocking an entire street. The day before in London, Jerry turned around in the middle of the highway (which took 15 minutes…seriously, and resembled the scene in the first Austin Powers involving the golf cart) and blocked traffic coming from both ways and hit a building and fucked the trailer up in the process. A city bus driver got out and was yelling at him…so Beattie got out and threatened him. The English do not seem to understand Beattie’s humor.

We got out of our 2nd traffic pickle in as many days and headed to the Groezrock Festival. I was very excited for this show. It was sold out with more than 10,000 people in attendance and had some cool bands playing alongside Hatebreed. Terror, Converge, Ignite, Rise Against, The Lost Prophets, Jimmy Eat World, Tiger Army, Strung Out, and many others all played throughout the day.

The fest was held in a 2 tents in the middle of a dirt field. DUST WAS EVERYWHERE! It looked like a mushroom cloud of smoke, and I am sure it was good to be inhaling it all day. Well I guess it couldn’t be worse than the 2 cartons of cigarettes I have inhaled everynight at every single show. Thanks Europe. It was definitely a black booger day.

It was nice to be so far from home and run into friends in the bands and crews of Terror (yes Misha and Fat Jugs were there), Tiger Army (what up Albert?), Converge (How great is Nate?), Ignite (I don’t know them but their new album is awesome), etc. etc. etc.

I was happy to catch up with all the entire Terror family….even Misha. Buske left 2 pairs of shoes, and his stage clothes at a venue. He then bought a pair of shoes to replace the others, and left those at a venue too. All he had left to wear were sandals. “How is the king of NY rocking sandals with jeans?” Some bands borrow heads or cabinets everyday to play their set…To play his set, Buske has to seriously borrow someone’s shoes!

Frank and I had been keeping up on Terror’s European exploits through their video updates (available here). Needless to say; they could have filmed a lot more footage at this show with their actions.

I was swamped all day, but I managed to watch a few songs from Converge, Terror, and Ignite. Every band was absolutely inspiring. The energy and emotion that they not only bring but evoke from their fans is breathtaking. Converge’s live set has completely evolved. They played with a new tightness and urgency. Every member was doing something completely different than the other, making it impossible to focus on just one thing. Terror brought out true aggression in people and had them climbing tent poles and jumping off them onto the sea of heads below. Ignite probably had people in tears, because the audience was hanging on every word out of Zoli’s mouth and singing it back at a deafening level. Hatebreed did what they always do…DESTROYED! Standing on that stage sporadically throughout the day and witnessing 4 honest and completely different sounding bands deliver such important messages definitely gave me goosebumps. Yes, Scott Vogel, “It’s good to be alive.”

So After the show, Terror continued to get completely drunk (sans Nick Jett: ex. Carry On). They pulled down a 10 foot tall inflatable Jagermeister bottle and jumped on it like it like it was a trampoline. Later, someone said something out of line and BIG DOUG hit him with a Weber grill over the head! OUCH! Doug had to hideout because the police were there in no time. Thankfully, he reconnected with Terror later and everyone was ok…except for the guy who got hit in the head with the Weber grill.