Holy shit. We are driving through Hungary right now with our new driver (Bloodbath and Jaki left tour yesterday when we played their home-town- Budapest), it's pouring rain, he's speeding and we almost just ran into the back of a tractor trailer. Every tour I say, "Man if we don't die, this tour is going to be so amazing!", but it's at times like this that I try to remind myself of Peter Pan's timeless words, "To die would be a great adventure."... but, not really an adventure I'd like to go on quite yet. Someone tell our new Hungarian friend to slow down!
Ok. We have a lot to catch up on. We only have 6 days left of this tour and I have 12 days to tell you about. Let's start where we left off.
It's after day 4 in Ipswitch, UK and the wan is dead. After getting towed to the "carriage" as the Hungarians called it (garage) and sleeping and farting in the waiting room for hours, the Hungarians tell us it's going to be at least a day and that we have to get a hotel.
We protest, because you know we're like punk rock or whatever and don't want to sell out our diy ethics on single serving soaps and clean sheets when we could so easily freeze in our own filth in the broken down wan. But the Hungarians are not having it. We are not allowed to stay at the carriage for 2 days, and are ferried to the hotel in little groups by the mechanic (who did this for free, out of the goodness of his heart. Americans, take note) Dave and I go in to rent a single room for "just the two of us" (for 10 people), me trying to look extra pathetic on my crutches, and him trying to act extra responsible when we all know he's a fucking idiot. (J/k!) We are given a handicapped room and on our way up Dave adds that we will have "a few" friends in and out of our room visiting us since we are so rarely in town. The hotel tells us that it's no problem.
Oh, but what a lie was that.
Here's the thing. Our "few friends" came in, of course, with 40 pound suitcases and sleeping bags, and never left our room. Then us and our friends fell asleep like a tightly packed can of snoring sardines for a few blissful hours.
Now maybe you're heard of a man by the name of Mean Pete. He sings for Bishop, sang for Remembering Never and Until The End. All those bands are awesome. But tell me, how awesome is THIS: In the midst of our most delightful sleep, Mr. Mean Peter stumbles into the bathroom to take a whiz and simply cannot find the light switch (btw, it was not hard to find)... so what does he do? Pulls the bright red emergency alarm cord by the bathtub. Brilliant! The light, of course, does nothing but now the people downstairs believe that a handicapped person (me) has fallen and can't get up, so they come knocking at the door. Dave, still sleeping, runs the obstacle course of human bodies to the door, opens it a crack, and says, "Yessss?"
They need to come in to turn off the alarm. There are only 2 people in the room, right? Dave says yes, just the two of us. Then the hotel employees start to come in. There is no where to run. There is no where to hide. Dave quickly adds, "There are.. uh.... more than two of us." An employee starts screaming. The cops will be called. We have 5 minutes to get out. This cannot happen. It simply cannot! Out! Out! Out!
Then I fell asleep. FTW you know? Dave went downstairs to talk to the manager, and when I awoke Bishop had rented a 2nd room and we were allowed to have 3 people per room. We spent the night hiding each other in closets and taking long, luxurious showers.
Check out was at noon. The Hungarians had gone to the carriage to get the wan (the £3,000 axle was replaced) and were coming to pick us up shortly, so we were told..... but destiny never came. (!) We sat in the lounge of the hotel, our bags strewn all around us, being eyed by unhappy hotel employees for hours. And hours. And houuuurs. Come 3 o'clock, they told us we had to go. We explained our situation and they didn't believe us. They legitimately thought we had no other place to go, that we invented the wan, that there were no Hungarians, and that our true plan was to squat their lobby forever. And there was no telling them any different. We confused them enough with all of us telling our stories at once that they left us alone for awhile, until Sam Kooby felt parched. He walked up to the woman who had just recently told us to leave, and asked for a glass of water.
A shouting match was followed by us getting kicked out onto the sidewalk.
It was freezing. The Hungarians were nowhere. Maybe they never existed. The wan was a dream. We were stranded in Somewhere, UK. At first it was funny, but as the sun sets (!) being cold and lost becomes less amusing. We put on all our clothes. Got into our sleeping bags. I layed down, unable to stop shaking. Dave put his sleeping bag over mine, and the little warmth I felt sent me fast asleep, with the concrete as my pillow.
But this story has gone long enough. Eventually the Hungarians came, wan and all, and we busted thawing ass to the ferry so that we didn't have to miss another show.
To Kassel and Rhauderfehn Germany, we're sorry we had to cancel!
Day 9, FIRE AND ICE FEST, Linkoping, Sweden
I woke up as we arrived at the fest, stumbled out of the wan on my crutches (which I am only now getting the hang of) to see some of my favorite people in the world.... ANCHOR! I haven't seen them since we toured together last year. If you have not listened to them, do so now.
I was super excited about this fest because one of my favorite newer hardcore bands was playing, Death Is Not Glamorous (from Norway.) Of course their set was awesome and I picked up their new record and a poster. So, sometimes I get really excited about bands (since finding a band that I can really get behind in this day and age is so rare) and nerd out over them, which is the case with me and DING. Not only have I asked them to tour with us, but I had Jaki (Dream Long Dead Booking- he does our Euro tours) ask them to tour with us, and then, upon seeing them at Fire and Ice, I said, "HI! Nice to see you again... tour with us this summer!" People like me embarrass band members. I know this. But I cannot help myself. They're so good! (Btw, we aren't touring together this summer. They have other plans)
We were fed delicious food which was revitalizing after 2 days of barely eating (making no money- spending no money), and hung out with old friends (Shatterproof! Stockholm vegan straight edge kids!), and then Dave and I were interviewed for a zine. We generally like to speak in as many lyrics and band names as possible, so during the interview Dave said that "Straight edge kids 'share a bond of unity'" (that's a Black My Heart lyric... and Dave used to be in Black My Heart.) Yesterday we were sent the final version of this interview, and the interviewer did NOT catch the lyrical reference (or notice our laughter as Dave said it), and went out of his way to directly quote it. A bond of unity. Wrap your mind around THAT.
Our set was out of control that night. We should have video soon!
And a soon as it was over, it was right back into the wan for an overnight drive/6 hour ferry to Germany.