Monday, April 20, 2009

All Is Quiet On The Eastern Front...

Time flies! Great song, good band, yet a very depressing fact! It seems like just about the time I start enjoying myself, it is all wrapped up the next second. Now that is definatly a bundle of shit house rats (Energy and Defeater will get the term "shit house rats")! I guess what I'am snipping at is the Energy/Defeater 2009 U.S. spring tour was an all around success! Everything blended into place and not a moment was to be damped by a downer. So within the next knapsack of lines, I will sum up the majority of tour highlights.

It seems like everytime I hit the road on a tour accompanied by another band, we are very lucky to expierience a solid communication sect with the unit. Defeater is definatly one for the wax of fame wall! I had no idea what to expect from them prior to the tour. I had only really known Jay through working with him in the studio, and assumed that if the rest of Defeater swagged in the same direction as Mr.Maas, then Energy was in great company. When working with Jay Maas, I realized what true witt, intellegence, and criticism was. Jay definatly brought the best out in me when I was stumped on arranging new fills that were different on the "For Redemption" lp, and he even took that advice to the live setting when he confronted me on what I needed to step up in my live set. He also scented out some pure gold in comebacks since he is the sharpest kid in existance. So I owe him royalties when I shred the next comment someone makes about me being a straight edge mod!

And behold, my ability to read people is sharp as a tack yet again. Defeater ended up being what I had anticipated. Each member of Defeater embraced a unique quality. Mike was a delight to recap past days of hardcore with since we both had a similar scent in the palate. Not to mention the boy is a ladies man, and I definatly picked up some pointers that can surplus my suprisingly modest luck in that department. Andy is a true inspiration as a percussionist. I cannot rant how lucky I'am to finally be back on tour with a drummer that is just as motivated and driven to be behind the drumkit as myself. He corrected a slight knack in elbow mechanics, and preached a very beneficial stretch technique that saved my limbs every 25 minutes of my nights.

Derek is a frontman that gives me faith that people still bleed music with actual substance and sincere motives. Listening to him spit some sweet banter in between songs was enlightening and moving. Plus, the fact that he is a huge fanatic of The Clash and The Smiths made me feel at home as a friend and a spectator on the dance floor before I would go on stage and get fresh. His fellow veganism also brightened the company of the tour package. And of course we have Dan. This guy joins the ranks of people that can always make me laugh. I would kill to have his personality traits of being funny and consistantly upbeat! I could just sit at the merch table bummed on the way my hair looks on a humid day, and I could look to the Defeater section during a really silly "mosh" band, and just crack up by the priceless face he would make in reaction of that nonsense. He also has the ability to sweat a fresh newsie cap that would make Studio A proud!

So you can imagine how fun it was to be side by side with those kids every night for 30+ nights! No matter what the attendance, venue, or environment was, it was all laid back and natural. Which leads me into summing the most important perk of touring. That would be Energy. I'am literally blessed to become a part of this band. And I mean this in just a relief to be alive way since I'am by noooooooo means religious at all. This tour was the clincher for me as far as realizing that this is going to be my life for what will hopefully be one of the most amazing journeys ever! Tank, J Neurosis, Dan, Conor, and Eric definatly give me a reason to wake up every day and actually feel like I have a purpose. This is by no means a sweet talk trip, it is the cement soiled truth!

8 hour drives would feel like 15 minutes just listening to Joe talk about anything, and when you can make anything intresting and amusing, then you are a wonderful person. The next cat I invest in, is going to be named Dr.Neurosis! Then we have Tank. I can talk to Tank about anything and not feel like I'am a novelty, or completly "bat shit insane" as he quotes. I feel alot less wacky knowing there are kids like Tank that I can enjoy discussing the same picture with. Both of us have a very leveled balance of having similarities and differences that exchange ideas of diversity. My favorite Edgeman and vocalist as well! Dan is just the most positive spirit ever. He makes me wish I never retired my pos top, and is always good for reminding me that its ok to put your serious socks in the hamper for awhile to have some fun for once! Everyone can learn from Dan Mancini. Hell of a stage diver as well. Conor is a good example of the staple! He keeps the scenary moving with being fully organized and consistant with making sure shit does not hit the fan with the tour. The boy can drive any vehicle known to earth, and can figure out logistic games pretty rapidly. And then we have the nihilist, Eric! What a prime example of comedy and trouble in a single second. Sarcasm at it's pure finest, lover of fireworks, mix master of playlists, and #1 Blink 182 fan. I hope he head walks all of you if they play "Josie" on the Weezer tour!

We covered the whole map in a matter of a month and tad more. Shows for the most part were consistant. And when I mean consistant, I'am saying that we could show up and there would be kids that know who we are making us feel welcome and loved regardless of the surroundings. Some shows were insane and very moving, some were small and modest, but somehow or another, they all made sense in their own aspects. In South Carolina we played a packed venue with kids jumping off my kick drum. In Dallas we had a line of noding heads, and one kid that was just blown away by our art. In Twin Falls our show was shutdown by the 5-0, so the next day we finished our set in a new friends basement. In St. Louis, we had no expectations and feared that we would be ignored, yet it was one of the craziest reactions Energy has had! I mean tour is like a ramp transition. The vert can either be in the pocket, or an angle that you need to grind few times. To me, it's all about the quality in the audience, and not the quantity. As long as I leave a city knowing that one kid was painted in admiration from what we do, then I will have an easy night of sleeping. It's nights when kids have the wrong idea of our rukus and hurt people in reaction of our art when I will be having couch therapy with owls! Music is for everyone to enjoy, uplift, feel, and think. No one should have to worry about getting their nose bashed while appreciating a moment of substancial expression.

The tour also had some flashbacks. I met up with some old friends in many cities. Some visits felt like home as usual, some felt different for the better and some different but confused. Some were brand new and exciting. I met alot of new individuals on this tour and look foward to keeping in touch with them. I never have expectations of meeting even more people than I already know since I well exceeded the 500 people memory card in my brain, but I feel like I'am 95% consistant on my name and face memorization. So maybe I'am a machine in a good way of having alot of disk space in this nifty head of mine.

So there you have it. It may not be the best summary of the expierience, but it's an inkling of the perks from the past month. I'am so happy there is a ton expieriences to come in 2009. I'am home in NY until May 15th, and in that time I look to cram in mass improvement. I have a ton of interior malfunctions to focus on so I don't have to be so quiet in the van when I'am feeling down on myself sometimes. I have a floorplan of becoming a more unique performer in a stage presence format and an even more fresh wardrobe menu! I dunno, I guess we'll have to publish the results when they are all legit and fit! Wow, too cheesy! I will step out on that note kids. Take care, peace n' jav, and always stay involved! - xCFKx

My personal tour playlist:

Tegan And Sara- Almost everything available in audio format
Bad Religion- Against The Grain
The Smiths- Louder Than Bombs
Zombina And The Skeletones- Everything
Descendents- Everything
Krs- One- Return Of The Boom Bap
A.F.I - B/Sides, s/t ep, Black Sails
Bjork- Post
Fugazi - 13 Songs
Big L - Lifestyles Ov Da Poor And Dangerous
TSOL- Only the good songs
The Faint- Wet From Birth
The Killers- Sam's Town
Joy Division- Everything

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

This Very Moment....

Hot snap, it has been lightyears since I've updated this deal! Please excuse the neglect since I do not have my own laptop in possession on tour. Not to mention, this Twitter phenomina has swept me into an addiction of 160 letters summing up my every day nonsense. So anyways, Whats up everyone. I'am sitting in El Paso Texas right now, after a very fresh show we played at a venue called "Chics". I honestly have been missing out on what El Paso brings to the table the past few years. Tonight was legit. Met alot of very sincere and passionate individuals that really pour all of their passion towards the bands. And it is never taken lightly on my part. Every night when I'am up on stage ( or a floor, skate ramp, etc) sided by 4 amazing friends, it feels as fresh as the first time I ever heard the song "Monday, Monday, Monday." And since you all know me to well with the history from that song, then you know that it is the best feeling in the universe to be playing for Energy every single night.

We have been very lucky to be accompanied by our labelmates Defeater on this U.S tour. You can not ask for a better cluster of great people to spend every day with. Great personalities, outstanding musicians, onpoint sense of humor, and just all around incredible kids. I love watching them every single night, and have learned so much from them. Andy is one of my favorite current drummers. He is a serious player that is well rounded in all departments, and I'am so honored to recieve advice from him that is so beneficial towards my agenda. I already feel 110 times better with his tips towards better stretching techniques, targeted power areas in your body, and just being more aware of your stage presence. I look foward to even more results in myself as the second half of the tour starts in California. I love touring with like minded players. I guarentee a whole new me will be exposed by summer touring. Believe me, I need it.

The shows for the most part have been quite consistant. Long Island,Jersey,W.VA, South Carolina, Tampa, and tonight have been my personal favorites so far. South Carolina delivered my first actual Energy moment on the Debaser/Beartrap tour with the insane events that took place as we sweat out our last 3 meals in 25 minutes. This time around was no different. We played a storage facility crammed with javinated kids falling into my kit yet again! I finally found use for the South thanks to the Charleston area.

As good as the tour has been, I have had some emotional moments that kind of tripped up my sprits socially. It has to do with real life things I lack back home,
and it can keep me quiet in the van or during post show hang outs. I dunno, I won't get too in depth with it since I feel embarrassed about having some doubt in certain traits, but luckily its a temporary cloud over my head. As much as I have solidified my activities musically for the next bundle of years, there is just an environment I want to build for myself when I have downtime from touring. Financially my ass has been getting kicked so hard and it bothers me since I yearn for that relief of money making dependence so I don't feel like a scumbag. Relationships are utterly impossible either due to my travel schedule or cause I mostly feel like a novelty to most girls because i'am " in a band". That just depresses me so much since it's not the reason I would want a girl to be intrested in me, but it happens every single time and it is terrible. I also do not get to see my best friends as often as I like, and I fear that one day they might forget about me since I'am always gone, and that scares that rukus out of me because next to music, my sect of friends is the only thing left that keeps me grounded. So once again, I suppose I'am human spitting this all out.

But once again, that static only ruins my mood every other day or so for a brief second, and by no means taints my shade on what I'am doing. If anything, I do not want to go home, it will destroy me in so many ways. Yet, I want to see alot of my friends. Jeez, I guess that makes me a walking contradiction. Speaking of, we have been making the best mix cds for the van on this tour. I mean comon, you cannot deny Green Day, Common Rider, Big Rig, Last Wave Rockers, Smashing Pumpkins, Dead Kennedys, Set Your Goals, AFI, and so many other jams that make an 8hr drive feel like 15 minutes. I know alot of you might have "outgrown" some of those bands, but that is your loss. And of course, nothing can get me down when the sun is shining down over my ridiculous sunglasses as I lounge out to Tegan And Sara. And that is where I will leave off with this blog since it is such a high note to end on. But everything is perfect! 11 kids just living it up every night, playing so on point, and making fresh moments. Talk to you all soon. Peace and Jav!