Hi again. It’s been a bit of a while. A while that took up a bit of my life. Everything changes so fast and my downtime has been limited to a point where I was to stop writing some blogs. But I am currently on a flight to London and I figure, why not start now. After all, I just accidentally drank my mouthwash. So let’s go for it. I am business class per frequent flyer status upgrade – not usually how I fly, trust me I am not as baller as you might think. Just a normal guy with a camera and a lack of follicles protecting my scalp from solar contact. Anyway, the flight attendant has offered me wine 6 times now, and I can’t figure out her angle. Surely after the first 5, you might think “maybe he doesn’t want to drink”, maybe she gets commissioned by *insert wine company name that I don’t remember* for every bottle she gets someone to drink. I highly doubt it but what do I know right? I have never flight attended.
The European festivals season is my favorite. Both as a photographer and music fan and live concert-goer. I think it starts in May and goes through August. I have been every year for the past three years. Basically every other year we do the same European festivals. We is me and ADTR. Although it’s really just them and I get to come along. But I say we to keep it simple. But this year we were doing some of the festivals we had done in 2013. Wow has it really been that long? Time is a constant reminder of just how little control I have over my life. Along for the ride and I haven’t ever been given another chance. The moment you think you can fully control your life is the moment it stops becoming enjoyable. I mean, you can guide it, but most of it is “hey this is happening now so I am going to do this and be happy about it”.
You will see a lot of photos below. They tell most of the story. Most of my story. Most of the band’s story, but they are missing a part I am afraid I might not even discuss. Not because I don’t want you to know, but because it’s – to put it bluntly – boring. But in-between each show, we travel. Usually, by bus or plane but once in a while, we take a chunnel or something weird. But just keep that in mind. I have a lot of work to do each day but at night we have another whole realm of activities that get us from country to country and hotel to hotel. If it were up to me I would just say hey we are gonna play 20 shows in some middle area like Berlin or something. Come see us. Tomorrow is London day. Come if you are from London. Pretty evident why music wasn’t my path at this point as my business model is destined to fail and I can barely convince my girlfriend to leave her country and come to see me let alone 10k people who speak a different language. IN CONCLUSION. Learned that closer in 12th grade. Probably couldn’t even tell I had a high school education but I did learn a few things that I actually retained after I was tested on it. Tour is a lot of things other than concerts. It’s unpacking, packing, constantly organizing, managing my business, maintaining my relationships, and somehow sneaking some food and a good workout in when possible. If there is one thing I love about touring with A Day To Remember is that every day we have stories worth telling about. We do so many different things and create so many memories together and I value that. The hardest part for me is knowing what is interesting. Because what is normal to me, is a vacation to others, or the best day of their lives. And I don’t mean that in a patronizing way, I just mean- as we do a lot of things that most people don’t ever do- every day. I just do them every day so my judgment is a bit skewed and sometimes cool things don’t occur to me.
By the way, I made a 2-hour video about this tour so you can watch that now, here if you want… it has things in it which I couldn’t even begin to describe to you. Actually that’s a lie I am going to describe them to you right now. I am a liar.
June 4th, 2015 at Rock In Vienna in Vienna, Austria – European Festivals
Our first show was in Vienna, Austria. I’ve been to the city a few times but last time it was snowing and the only thing I saw outside of a venue was a McDonald’s I was obliged to go to. But Vienna is beautiful. Amazing architecture and known for its classical music. The night we arrived I got a nice steak dinner with Jeremy and Alex and hung out on the roof of our hotel. Also went souv shopping with the Nutt cause he likes souvs. I don’t like souvs. I don’t buy physical things unless they are Magic cards or camera gear.
I woke up in the morning before our first show and went for a bike ride. The weather was San Diego like … so perfect… a little bit hot but this is just me being a spoiled snob. It was perfect. Vienna has bikes that are pretty much free to everyone, or they cost like a few bucks to rent. So I rented one and rode around the city. I ended up at a nice looking building, took a selfie, and biked back to the hotel. I think we had to leave by 10 am and I woke up extra early that day… maybe 5 am, just so I could get some work done/ workout/ eat nice food. I usually wake up before the band, a few hours before. I got things to do!! Plus I don’t need more than 7 hours of sleep… most of the time.
The venue was a short ride from our hotel and upon arriving we usually check out who is playing each show, who we want to watch that day, what kind of food there is, and what activities there are to do.
Who was playing that we wanted to see – Metallica and Body Count
Activities – swim in a river (which no one else thought was a good idea… yet)
Food – pretty nice, they had a juicer so I pulverized some nutrients and jammed them into my bloodstream
Body Count is Ice-T’s band and on every flyer it says Ice-T. Ice-T because basically that is how they get so high up on festivals, they have a famous dude. No hate, that’s sick, and their music is so intense sometimes I wonder if it’s a parody of itself or he is actually being serious. Music intentions aside, he had a crew of about 20. I don’t even know what they all did. I think some were entourage. All I know is there were two buses parked outside of ours and almost every single person working for him was fully covered in Body Count merch – shirt and hat and bandannas. I loved it. You could pick them out so easily at every festival (we had like 10 more shows with them after this.
This festival was honestly kind of crappy. Not the bands, not the venue – just how it was setup. I think it was their first year running it. Someone explained it to me and basically this festival was set up very last minute and just put on a bunch of big bands. I mean, they have Metallica on their bill… it honestly doesn’t get much bigger than that. The bands were great, the fan experience looked awesome, it’s just that the dressing rooms were hotter than it was outside (and it was hot outside) and how it was produced on the backend was poor. Poor security and setup. To give you an idea of how poor it was: I really wanted to shoot Metallica that night. I tried for like four hours to get a photo pass through my connections and ultimately ended up just walking in the photo pit and no one even asked to see a pass. I kind of prefer the poorly arranges festivals because I am able to get a lot closer to large bands without being turned down. In this case, Metallica.
There was water surrounding the venue so after ADTR’s set we were all sweaty and hot and we went down to a dock and jumped in the water. It took some convincing but once we got down there, two of the guys and I jumped in. I can’t swim that well so I just hung out. It was freezing! But so fun. I was honestly in long enough to take a photo with the guys and swim for a few, but then I got out. It was freezing and just being in the water drained my energy. Somehow Josh and Neil swam across the river and back but I still swim at a 4th-grade level, maybe less. I remember being a camp counselor when I was like 17 and having my 8-year-old campers teach me how to dive which inevitably just ended with me gracefully belly flipping with my hands connected over my head. I slept well that night.
June 5th, 2015 at Rock AM Ring in Mendig, Germany
Rock AM Ring! Yes! This is honestly one of my favorite festivals. They had moved it since the last time I was at it. It used to be at Nürburgring racetrack, world-famous racetrack. Now it… was at an airport? This was a huge show. Big for me, but even big for the band, and when something is big for the band that means it is actually huge. We call these festivals “infinity crowds” because honestly… the crowds go on forever! I think this crowd was about 80-100k… but who is counting right? Anyway, ADTR plays these festivals every few years and grows each time. It’s so rewarding to see.
I think it’s cool to be in the band, and I really like to shoot their shows but I like it even more when they are able to help me, or send photos they took home to their parents. So for this show I put a GoPro on stage and basically told them to pick it up and take some selfies whenever they could. They took advantage of it and I got a few GoPro selfies, I think they look quite surreal. Just to see their POV blows my mind. One human, and then a good 100k as a background.
I photographed Rise Against live that night. They played after A Day To Remember on the same stage. I don’t really know the band, but I know their techs and they were very kind to me and let me shoot them. I didn’t really get any good shots so backup plan is get a good crowd shot and that is what I did.
I met another photographer that night and he was very kind, he even snapped this photo of me backstage and sent it to me. However I can’t remember his name and that sucks, so please if you see this send me your name.
I give GoPros to the band, so they can take selfies with 100k people.
Rise Against’s crew was nice enough to let me shoot from their stage. I love this band.
June 6th, 2015 at Rock IM Park in Nuremberg, Bavaria
Rock IM Park is the brother festival to the previous festival – Rock AM Ring – same lineups just different days and different locations. I have been here before! Two years ago. This festival is right where Hitler gave his famous speech. Kind of creepy, but historically important to this world and this is why it is maintained until this day. PLUS, CONCERTS.
I worked out that morning with Neil from A Day To Remember, we did 10 minutes of CrossFit and 10 minutes of this workout I had in a nearby field. I forget the exact workout, all I know is by the end we were both very sweaty. I enjoy working out with the people I work with, good vibes.
They had good food. Really good food. I ate it 4 times. I ate it 4 times. I ate it 4 times. I ate it 4 times.
More Rise Against, I did better the second time.
After Rise Against, I quickly ran back to our dressing room after. Well, I took a shuttle and then ran, cause it was a good 10 to 15-minute trip one way. I knew we were going to try and go swimming as we heard there was a pool by our dressing room.
We found that swimming pool out back that night. Out yonder. Yes in the concrete jungle that is a stadium parking lot of Germany. No but really I guess part of the packages the fans are able to buy include passes to a swimming pool and half of it was desolate aka ours for the taking. The half that was unoccupied also had a poorly closed off high dive which we took upon ourselves to open up. It was a blast. We took turns performing various life defying stunts. Kinda. See more in the long-ass video at some point. I omitted it from the video for obvious reasons, but Josh definitely went off the highest high dive naked. A sight to see for sure.
Sooooooo we found a pool. No one on guard… definitely was shut down… definitely still used it.
June 7th, 2015 – Off Day in Münster, Germany
Off day in Münster Germany. I had been to Münster before but never spent time in it for an off day. It was actually… very beautiful. We got in and settled in our hotel and then played a game of frisbee in this park across the street. There was a road that divides the park in half but we just kinda played over it. We had our favorite noodle place for lunch and dinner, Vapiano. It’s a noodle place that the USA is missing out on dearly. One day hopefully, one day. I went for a run around this lake with Josh, Kevin, and David. We did one lap and then Josh and I looked at each other and said *again*? I don’t think either of us REALLY wanted to do it, but when you challenge and push each other, it gets fun. It was far longer of a run than each of us was used to going on. But it was absolutely gorgeous, again there is some video of the run but I didn’t take any photos, so you will see it I hope.
I think it was a Sunday or Saturday and there were 100s of families, friends, pretty much the whole city hanging out around the lake. It made the run all the more interesting, just seeing what people were like on this side of the world.
After we got back to the hotel I jokingly asked the front desk if we could snag a conference room to game in. He said he would hook us up. He also offered us any drug we wanted and drinks. I told him beers, water, and a few snacks would be perfect…. we are good on drugs… sketch. The room started out as a gaming room but eventually transformed into Kevin’s birthday room. Fellow friends in The Ghost Inside, another band ADTR has toured with in the past migrated over and formed a good time in our conference room. It was awesome. I was just trying to game. We all were, but drinks, friends, and gaming just resulted in more fun and no one was opposed.
June 8th, 2015 at Skater’s Palace in Munster, Germany
I went around that lake one more time running. Solo this time.
I had been to this venue twice, one time with Bring Me The Horizon and ADTR, and another time with ADTR and Pierce The Veil. It was good to be back. Basically it’s a skate park they transform into a venue.
I snagged some solo shots of Jeremy practicing guitar outside. It can be hard to shoot a person when they are in their zone. I don’t want to intrude, I want to get the moment, but I don’t want to be too far away. I hope they care about me, but sometimes I hope they just ignore me and forget me.
Trying to document, not trying to interfere, also don’t want them to start posing. I can usually tell when some snaps into *oh shit someone is photographing me act normal, now your not acting normal, act normal c’mon* mode from just hanging out. I usually put my camera down and stop shooting cause I am not looking for thought out moments, but I think Jeremy on this roof was all legit. I had to stand on the roof to get these shots, but he seemed to have tuned me out. Kinda like my teachers in 1st-12th grade.
The show itself was amazing, I didn’t get many great shots but it was kind of funny going from a 100k cap festival show to a 2k cap club show. A fraction of the people, but the energy remained the same. I love ADTR fans.
June 9th, 2015 at Rawk Attack in Hannover, Germany
This show was a weird venue and dressing room. USA shows can be at weird venues. But Europe takes it to a whole new level. I went for a run with Kevin that morning. It was beautiful out, and the run was beautiful. We ran through a bunch of nature and along a small lake. I had no idea where we were nor had I ever been to Hannover before… I think.
Papa Roach was playing the show that night. It was quite fun to watch them as I had been a fan since I was a teenager. Their live show is solid and Jacoby is always turned “on” – some people are just their stage person on and off stage. It’s not to say that other artists are fake on stage. But for example, Jeremy from ADTR is very commanding, loud, and in charge on stage. Offstage he is a relaxed guy who enjoys food and playing some games. Jacoby however takes it to another level. He is stoked on everything to the Nth degree. He talked to us about running and if I were to write out what he said every sentence would just end with a “!!!!”.
I met a young girl with my merch that night!
I snagged this group shot of the band that I love. The lighting backstage was special so I wrangled them for this photo.
June 10th, 2015 – Off Day in Interlaken, Switzerland
Best off day ever!! I would like to take some credit for scheduling it. Basically we jumped off waterfalls and slid down rivers.
This is one of my favorite places I have ever been to. I usually say it’s not the location, it’s the experiences… but this a combination of the two. We started the day by pulling into our hotel, unloading all of our lives from the bus and creating a camp in our room. Every band member has their own room, except Alex – he and I share. I wish it was because he loved me, but it’s because he doesn’t want to miss out on adventures and he knows I either plan them or am at them, so if he sticks with me – he is going to have a good time.
I went to breakfast….lunch… I don’t know, I went to the first meal of our day at around 11am with Jeremy at a place close by. Most people just went to McDonald’s but I opt out of intaking death on a daily basis and prefer to invest in my body cause… I don’t know… I feel it’s important. To each, their own and I would never hate, but I just try my best to stay healthy.
I never really plan many adventures too far ahead of time… I mostly do it on the day of, and they just somehow have a way of working themselves out. For example at this restaurant Jeremy and I were eating at, I asked the waitress what we should do and she suggested this company which could basically set you up with anything you wanted to do. Canoeing, canyoning, skydiving, parading, adventures, etc. From there a few dudes sitting next to us suggested we go canyoning because they just did it. Canyoning it was. I had never been, nor did I really know fully what it entailed – but I knew I like canyons and ing mean I was doing them so let’s do canyons I thought to myself and canyons we did.
I went back to the hotel excited and with a mission. Time to convince 12 men to come to the mountain with me and go on a trip. Step one, get them to the storefront to sign up. I kinda call this… my wrangling phase. Long story short about 2 hours later we were walking with 8 people soon to be 12 to the store to watch the video on what exactly canyoning was, cause none of us REALLY knew, we had some learning to do before we lunged into this adventure headfirst. The videos look promising and actually everyone was stoked. We returned to the store an hour later and headed off on our adventure.
This is where… my story will kinda get basic. You see our adventure was amazing. But I can’t even really begin to explain how it went, You need to watch my Month in the Life of a Music Photographer video to really grasp how beautiful it is – and even then, it’s quite underwhelming. Long story short. We drove a few miles up a mountain, hiked a good 20 minutes, and spent a little over two hours sliding, jumping, repelling, floating and swimming down a canyon in freezing cold water. We all had wet suits, life jackets, butt armor, and helmets on. It was one of my favorite experiences in life. I loved it.
Watch the video.
We got back to the store and decided as a group to go back out and do another thing. They had this “extreme adventure challenge” or something like that… I can’t recall. BUT it was basically a rope lift that took you up about 30 meters.. maybe more, into the air and then once you were up top they attached you to the tree and you stood on this small base and chose one of 4 activities. Base jump simulator – basically jumping off face first. Swig- swinging off of the side sitting down and out over the road. Slackline tight rope walk… all the way up there, and a zipline to finish it off and take you back to the starting point. All of it was equally as scary. As soon as I got up there my knees gave, it was insane. I never knew how scary it was to be attached to a tree so high up. I have gone skydiving, but that didn’t take much thought, you just jump and cruise down. This, this made me wanna pee my pants. Most people bailed. I think it cost like $100 a person, and 6 people didn’t even go up to the top! Again, watch my video, please.
We headed back to our hotel after our day of fun and explored the swimming pools the hotel had to offer. In the rear of the building with the mountain as our background, we had a heated saltwater tub with chairs in it… kind of amazing if you ask me. After that we went to the sauna where I am always to see more men dicks than I really want to, but… the saunas are so nice. I just have such weird friends that love to get butt naked. We are weird together.
We had a wonderful dinner at a very nice restaurant by the hotel that night and then I stayed up late with Alex and Josh in a hotel room. We made a time-lapse of the sunrise the next morning.
June 11th, 2015 at Greenfield Festival in Interlaken, Switzerland
The next morning we woke up, repacked our lives and headed a few miles to the festival. We had some time to kill so Josh, Kevin, Jeremy and I went on a run. Josh and I did the whole thing but it started as a group. Over the years we have grown pretty close especially through working out. He started insanity with me about 3 years ago? 2 years ago? I have lost track. But we are workout buddies. A beautiful run! Again… please see the video. We left the venue and ran towards a mountain. I think the run was about 4 miles in total and we ran with a river, up a mountain, through a small village, and back towards the venue on a different higher up path. It was so beautiful. I need to start using a thesaurus. I just say everything is beautiful. But it was!
Shooting went nice that day, nothing too out of the ordinary. I photographed Parkway Drive, A Day To Remember, and wanted to shoot Slipknot but we had to leave early as we had a very long drive. Next time Knot, next time.
This is the real reason ADTR takes me on tour – photo by Alexey Makhov
June 12th, 2015 – Travel Day
We traveled all day, my girlfriend traveled a few hours to see me for a night, bless her, was a rough day, didn’t get to see her for another few months.
June 13th, 2015 at Download Festival in Leicestershire, England
The mighty Download Festival fully encompasses all that is what makes UK music so awesome – rock, mud, people, rain. That kinda makes sense. We will go with it… I love it because the band is always so excited to play it which makes for great vibes all day and show. Download is a big rock music festival! You don’t get many rock festivals in the States.
There was so much mud and rain that pretty much everyone stayed in their dressing rooms for the majority of the day. It’s okay though, sometimes that happens. I took advantage of this free time to get my cameras ready for the show. I shot with 4 GoPros and two handhelds. I hired another photographer to shoot my front of house images, I always do this when I don’t have more than one camera on me and I am not able to trigger it.
Download was rather difficult for me to photograph. It had a giant walkway out into the crowd which made for some different looking photos, but overall I had a difficult time shooting. I have some stuff to learn – I’ll do better next time.
This was shot with GoPro
I had an infection on my left leg and got it checked out by a medic that night. They gave me antibiotics, the infection went away. Good story.
That night we drove straight to the airport, it was only a few hours away so not much sleep for band and crew. We had a flight to Russia in the AM.
June 14th, 2015 – Off Day in Moscow, Russia
We went right from Download festival to the airport, which meant lots of sleeping at the airport. It was a long travel day but at least we didn’t have to do a show on the same day.
Russia kinda sketched me out. I don’t really have any reasoning behind my unsafe feelings, but I know the feelings are real and generated by my gut and I tend to go with my gut cause, after all, it has gotten me this far. The flight and travel experience as a whole was one step after sleep and one step before time travel. I don’t remember much until I got through security and realized no one was there with me. It’s because I don’t check bags, I made it through very quickly. Alone in Russia kinda freaks me out. I think I am sheltered in this aspect, but that is okay. It makes me feel funny. I hung around for a good 30 minutes and was worried I had missed everyone somehow. Luckily for me, they all eventually came out of customs and we got in our vans and headed to the city.
The ride was a little over an hour long and we arrived at our hotel. It was a Radisson Blu and was actually quite nice. The downside was our room smelled like death and half the rooms our floor were under construction so our whole floor had power tools going during the day and we quickly requested a room change.
I was exhausted. It had been a long time since I had food, also was operating on very little sleep. We walked a good few miles for a Chili’s and it was closed. We ended up eating at some expensive restaurant’s lobby and the food felt life-saving. Afterward, we walked to the Red Square and explored a tad.
We taxied back. I wish we would have Ubered. I tried to roll down my window. The cab driver got very angry. I tried to speak with him, that was a no go. He looked at me with death in his eyes. That night we didn’t do much, just hung out in our hotel rooms and called it a night.
June 15th, 2015 at Ray Just Arena in Moscow, Russia
Show day in Russia! We worked out and had some food at the hotel, pretty simple morning. We headed to the venue with a nice little car transport pick up from the front of the hotel. Fans were asking for a guest list… what the hell?? Haha. Basically they just wanted free entry. Never heard of this before, was kind of annoying. Once we got to the venue I went outside to try and find my photographer friend and was mobbed by about 70 people for a photo, and about 10 people and one drunk man kept begging me for a guest list and it was one of the most annoying things I have ever experienced. “No” to them just meant beg harder and I was trying to talk with people as I didn’t have much time and there was just some drunk man towering over me dropping words out his mouth in whatever order he seemed to think was correct when in reality it just went bla bla bla guestlist bla bla. I try not to be too rude to other cultures, and maybe there is something I am missing – but to me regardless of what culture you are, asking a person to get into their show for free (or someone that works for them) is just out of line.
June 16th, 2015 – Travel Day
We had two days off in Copenhagen. Well, a day and a half. One day we had to fly from Russia to Copenhagen. I had never been to this city before but I slowly came to love it. Once again the hotel, drop off our lives and hit the city to find some dinner. After a brief walk around I realized that this was very similar to Germany – everyone was outside! It is because its summer, and their winters are brutal – so during the summer, they spend as much time possible outside! I get it now. We crossed this bridge in the area and everyone was sitting on the ledge, hanging out on the ground, having some drinks, a smoke, talking with their friends- people were just being active. It was good vibes and the sunset for about 4 hours as we were so far north that it never really gets dark.
June 17th, 2015 – Off Day in Copenhagen, Denmark
My first time in Copenhagen and I promise myself it won’t be the last. They are much more advanced than in the USA. I had a great time just walking around the streets and looking at the architecture. That morning I got some breakfast at the hotel and holy crap I think I want to move to this city for their food. You can always understand how seriously a culture takes their health on what they serve at their continental breakfast. Go to any hotel in the States… even some of the nicer ones… it’s just embarrassing what we eat first thing in the morning. Sugar and bullshit. I had fruit, vegetables, and treated myself to a really nice waffle. Copenhagen gets it. I also randomly met another guy from the States and figured out I went to high school with his nephew. Small world. Creepy.
For our day off we went on a bit of an adventure. We went to Christiana – which is basically where everyone goes. If you don’t know what it is just give it a quick Google. Basically there is a small plot of land within Copenhagen that remains without a government and is separate from the country. Everything is legal once you enter it and it’s pretty sketchy to be honest. I felt safe but then again safe is relative when everyone around you is wearing bandanas over their face and hoods to hide their identity. It was a good experience, I don’t think I would really go back but after we went to a place where I would definitely go back to – and I did… two more times haha.
We went to this market. It was inside an old shipyard and consisted of about 20 restaurants all made of shipping containers. We walked around and checked out each option before deciding on where we wanted to spend our money. I honestly don’t remember what I got other than this one pulled pork sandwich that I then proceeded to convince every single person I was with to get as well. It was so bomb. I can’t even describe it. HERE IS PHOTO
We went to dinner at the same place we went for dinner the night before cause it was so delicious and sometimes reliable food choices are better than new choices when you have 8 people’s palettes to please. Wouldn’t be my first choice, but honestly, it was just easier.
We ended up getting a conference room that night to game in again and this time, we actually gamed. It was just me, Josh, Jeremy, Alex, and everyone played Minecraft and I played Hearthstone. Actually I think that maybe Kevin or Neil was there as well, but I don’t think they were gaming.
June 18th, 2015 at Copenhell in Copenhagen, Denmark
That morning we went back to the shipping container spot to get the sandwich again before we had to go to the venue. Then we went to the venue and took an Uber back to the sandwich place for the 3rd time… kinda ridiculous but it was just that good. We also climbed to the top of this tower and it was a great view of the whole city. After that, we caught an Uber back to the venue and what was supposed to be a 20-minute ride ended up being a 75-minute ride cause our Uber driver made a stupid mistake.
The festival, Copenhell, was one of the more metal fests we played on this run. Some are metal, some more mainstream, this was metal. They played pretty early as they are not that big in Copenhell, I would say there were a couple of thousand people watching them- but they made a lot of fans so it was a good day!
I got to shoot Slipknot finally. What a show, lots of fire, masks, water dripping from their faces. I only got 15-20 minutes to shoot total but their head of security was super kind to me and looked after me in the pit. Overall one of the best bands/crews I have ever worked for. Very limited contact but what contact I did have was very kind. Couldn’t ever be late to bus call but I definitely stayed at Slipknot’s set as long as I could then made a 5 minute run back to the bus with my gear.
June 19th, 2015 at Jera On Air in Ysselsteyn, Netherlands
This festival kinda blows, to be honest. We showed up in the morning and the local crew wasn’t even there. It was just a show in the middle of nowhere in a tent in the Netherlands ran by a young team. I would expect them to improve as we played the same one a few years ago, but no improvement. I guess they kinda improved cause there were horses next to the venue but that is it. Sorry for the negativity, here are a few photos to explain the day we will move on now.
June 20th, 2015 at Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel, Belgium
I was very sick this day. Very very sick. I woke up and I could barely walk. I have no idea what I got or how I got it but I napped in the morning and ate what my body would accept.
I got one good image.
Slipknot was good, they let me shoot, again, I got a few more images. Even though I had an hour to shoot I was just so out of it from being sick I could barely get any nice shots. View all of my Slipknot photos on this blog.
June 21st, 2015 at Hellfest in Clisson, France
Hellfest! Last time we played this festival it was pretty fun. It’s a lot of very very metal bands and then NOFX somehow was on the bill last time and this time.
I always run into trouble with security. I try my best to avoid it by always having the right credentials, walking very quickly past them, never making eye contact… basically, I never acknowledge security and they basically never acknowledge me, it’s a good relationship we have going. But, on this day I went to the photo pit after the allotted three songs for ADTR as I usually do to grab some stage shots and they weren’t having it. I think I have the audio of this interaction in the long as video I am making. Long story short whenever I get in trouble, the person who okays me being in the pit is just another person on our crew with the same credentials as me so I just tell them “look another person with the same pass is going to come down here and tell you the same thing, just let me through” – I don’t remember my exact words but it’s somewhere in the video if you want to check it out. That’s some real-life shit yo.
We hung around most of the day in the backstage outdoor area. It was very hot but we had good times with each other. Everyone had a good amount to drink that night and we went and watched NOFX, then went back to the bus and everyone tried to beat their drum tech up but he ended up grabbing a bunch of silverware and somehow the whole fight ended with friendly blood everywhere. Kind of nuts, never see a friend fight go to that level.
June 22nd & 23rd, 2015 – Helsinki, Finland
The first night in Helsinki was nice. We got in from our flight to our hotel about midway, grabbed some lunch at Hard Rock Cafe I was out of clothes at this point and by that I mean my current outfit had holes in it so after we ordered food I walked to the H&M and purchased a new hoodie, shirt, and pants for about $35 and walked out of the store feeling fresh. I just need all black everything, it’s pretty easy to please my fashion taste.
That night we worked out in a conference room at the hotel. We had our gear stored there, so we figured – why not work out there as well? We took it upon ourselves to use some of their tap water and they got very angry so no more water but our Insanity workout was still nice. After Insanity Josh and I went to the gym and lifted a bunch to finish off the workout nicely. Everyone in Helsinki looks great normally when you walk around in the street. Just a great amount of healthy guys and very attractive women. The gym… was like next level. Everyone looked straight out of a magazine. I couldn’t get over it. Well, I eventually did cause we had to get back to our workout, but very impressed.
That night we hung around at the hotel. There wasn’t much going on in the city. I was sitting in the hotel room hallway talking on the phone with my girlfriend when a random man, much larger and much less sober guy than me walked up and sat next to me. He didn’t even say a word, just looked at me. I asked him a few questions, then I told him to leave… then I told him to fuck off. He just made me feel so uncomfortable and I think he was just too fucked up to even process what was actually going on. So I retreated to my hotel room and kinda felt mean for being so rude to him but he really entered my personal space for no reason and I wasn’t sure how to react.
I was up super late that night working on my Slipknot blogs. We were back up north so about 1 hour of dark *maybe* at night. I made a little camp for myself in the lobby and just worked for a few hours. It was nice, very relaxing, and it was good to have some time to myself to get some work done.
The next day we woke up and basically went right to the festival. It was a four-hour drive to and from the festival. We had a big van we all got to hang out in and what I thought was going to very boring was actually very fun. I had some good talks and it was nice to just hang with everyone.
June 24th, 2015 at Provinssirock in Helsinki, Finland
The festival was in the middle of the woods and it was another early set, so not very many people but actually a very fun crowd. We played with Die Antwoord that day but had to leave so we couldn’t watch them. Oh well.
We went back to the airport hotel that night and All Time Low by chance was staying at the same hotel. I was super excited I tried to hang out with them but I think everyone just went to sleep. It was my birthday so I tried to spend it with some people but it didn’t really happen. A few of the ADTR stayed up and hung out and then I saw Alex. We had an early flight to Sweden.
June 25th, 2015 at Bravalla Festival in Norrköping, Sweden
I love Sweden! Well, I love the Bravalla festival. We had played it two years ago and they treat you very nice and it is a nice festival. Good food. I love festivals with good food.
I photographed Joey Bada$$ from the pit and A$AP from the pit and side stage. Josh loves A$AP. Check the photos out here. It was nice to shoot A$AP from the stage. I like photographing rappers.
June 26th, 2015 – Travel Day
June 27th, 2015 at Loudwire Festival in Grand Junction, CO
Ended the tour with two shows in the States. Nothing too crazy happened. I think the best part was we lost 55/56 bags coming from London to Colorado and had to use Linkin Park’s gear.
June 29th, 2015 – Off Day in Chicago, IL
My best friend Crague drove down from Madison, Wisconsin and hung out with us for a few days in Chicago and Milwaukee.