Saturday, Jan. 30
I want to start this entry by letting you all know that Dexter is feeling
100% better. We want to thank everyone for their concern, but when my father
in-law calls my wife up to make sure the tour is still on because he heard on
MTV that Dexter is very Ill, I guess I'm not making myself clear enough. I am,
However, glad that so many of you are tuning in. Please keep it up.
It is snowing here this morning. In fact we've seen a lot of the stuff over
the last few days. These last four or five days have been the most brutal of the
tour. I spent 21 of yesterday's 24 hours on the bus driving here from Warsaw.
The last four shows have been hit and run where we have to leave right
afterwards in order to make it to the next show in time. It usually takes all
day to set up production- sound system, lights, and such- but we got to Warsaw
with only three hours to do it all. Our crew is the best out there, so they
managed to do it, but it wasn't easy. It was definitely worth the drive as well
because the Polish audience was the best so far. This is partly due to the fact
that there were about 2500 people in a space big enough for 600. There was no
room for anything other than vertical movement so that when the crowd jumped up
and down, it did so in waves. It was awesome to see and be a part of. Warsaw, we
will definitely be back!
Wednesday's show in Prague was probably our best performance for this tour so
far. As we opened with "All I Want" the crowd exploded and, for the next hour
and fifteen minutes, it never stopped moving once. This was one of those shows
that drives home the meaning of why we do this as a band. When the four of us
are able to connect musically, extend that connection to the audience, and then
keep it going for an hour or more, well that is what we live for. Forget drugs
to get you high. They can't compete and, in fact can only bring you down
afterwards. I believe that a lot of musicians drink and drug themselves to death
because the high of performing can be too intense. And, just like getting high
on drugs, there is a comedown after performing that can be pretty devastating.
You can experience a huge range of emotions, from believing you can move
mountains to feeling like the shit being scraped off someone's shoes. These, of
course, are the extremes. Most of the times it is just pretty cool or mildly
So anyways, Prague and Warsaw were both great shows. Some guy called Oxygene
from Budapest showed up backstage and made a nuisance of himself, but I promised
that I'd try to mention him so there you go. On Tuesday we played just outside
of Frankfurt. It was a good show as I remember. Things are going very well.
February 7, 1999
Howdy, Folks. Let me see if I can piece together the last few days here. In
my last entry I mentioned all the snow we had been seeing. I asked one of the
locals about it in Munich that night and he told me that he hasn't seen it snow
like that since he was a kid. He was about my age, so I'm guessing that we were
seeing a rare amount of snowfall. The next night, Sunday, we were in Stuttgart
at the Longhorn. We had played this venue before once, and when I decided to do
a stage-dive the crowd parted and I hit the pavement hard. It wasn't the first
time I'd done so and it probably won't be the last, but I remember limping the
while rest of that tour, so this time around I decided not to tempt fate. My
knee has been kinda fucked up anyways. I twisted it as I jumped off the drum
riser or something. In the heat of the moment you don't even feel it happen. It
is just a nuisance really. After Stuttgart, We played in Zurich. Again it was a
venue we had played before, except this time the crowd was bigger and way more
energetic. After our fist song Dexter asked, "So where were you guys last time?"
It was our best Swiss show yet. It was also Ron's birthday, so afterwards the
Sprung Monkey guys and Fitzjoy took him out for drinks. Tuesday, the 2nd, was a
day off, so Ron, Fitz, and I took our bus to St. Moritz for some snowboarding.
We had been planning on it since before we left on tour. It was going to be a
birthday celebration for Ron and me, but unfortunately I decided that I should
let my knee have the day off. It was beautiful there though and I did walk
through town a little. Ron and Fitzjoy were stoked to be able to board for the
day. We were also joined by our photographer friend Geoff, and our promoter
friend Lars, who stoked us out with some Burton demos. Many thanks, Lars!
We've spent the last three days in Italy playing the biggest shows of this
tour. The first of these shows was in Rome and it was our first time ever there.
I wish I would have been able to see more of the city. Greg and Dexter flew in
on their day off and were able to see a little bit of it. Greg said that the
colosseum and the Sisteen Chapel were highlights for him. I only saw the inside
of the venue. Great show though; Italian crowds always rule and they were only
going to get better. The second Italian show was in Bologna on my birthday. I
thought about celebrating by getting naked on stage, but decided against it when
I couldn't get a hold of my wife to ask for permission. She really hates when I
strip on stage but is willing to tolerate it as long as I let her know ahead of
time. Another time perhaps! Our last show in Milan was the biggest show we're
going to have on this tour at just over 8000 people in the audience. But more
important than size is attitude ( there is a joke here somewhere, but I really
mean it ). I will play in Milan any fucking day, the crowds there are the
enthusiastic in we've ever played to.
I've been given a lot of demos on this tour, some of which I think deserve
mention. If I don't mention your band here it means that I lost your tape, never
got it, didn't listen to it, or it just plain sucked. Here are some of the
better ones: Borderlands (Germany, I think), Mixtwitch (Ire.), Aqua Lung (Ire.,
signed to an Irish label?), Ex-Cathedra (Scot.), Ruckuss and Fruit Cocktail (Eng.).
The tape I'm listening to most is by a group called The Go. It is Jack Grisham's
(The Joykiller/TSOL) new band. Playing guitar on it is our own Chris "Pretty Fly"
Higgins. Also playing on it are Angry John from Down By Law, Frank Agnew from
everything, and Mr. Brett from Bad Religion. I truly hope this gets released
because it rules!