I was telling my friend Nicole, who somehow lives above me now that I am writing a blog for my trip to Europe, it’s gonna be really long and it’s hard to remember everything I did. She said, you are writing it now? Why didn’t you write it on the road. I told her, if I write it on the road, I won’t be on the road, I’ll be writing a blog about writing a blog because there will be no roadage if I am on my computer the whole time? Does that make sense?
I have been meaning to go to Europe for a long time, trying to snag a tour over there, but I never really got a chance. Luckily the guys in A Day To Remember were nice enough to take me out with them. I received a phone call sometime during the start of October while I was driving around in San Diego from Sal saying that the tour was a go. Man, I was so stoked. I had just done Warped Tour for a few days with Sal while he was with Scary Kids Scaring Kids and had a blast, so I was sure this would be a good adventure. I booked my flight the next day and tried not to think about it until I had to pack my suitcase.
Come October 20th I packed my bag and was ready to go. This was probably the tightest pack job I have ever done. My goal was two pack three different bags, and sneak them all on as carry-on. It worked, here is what I packed.
I had my basic suitcase, a small one, that would normally fit on an airplane, and put the laptop bag inside of it. This made my two bags, one. Once I was about to get on the pane I just took my laptop case out and stowed it beneath the seat in front of me with my camera.
I had two pairs of pants, lots of underwear, lots of socks, four shirts, a book, and some almonds in my bag. I also had my bathroom items and some of my equipment.
Equipment in my suitcase
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
3 Pocket Wizards
Ball Bungee Cords
So my flight to London was quite the trip. I left my place at about 7:00am, as my flight left at 10:15am, landed in Chicago at 4:20, departed at 5:40pm, and arrived in Manchester either hours later. My flight was alright, long, and I sat next to a larger women- maybe 28 years old? She was a little wild. Her armrest kept her from spilling onto my right thigh, I embraced the window with love and gave her body some breathe room. She gave me a lot of her food they served though and that ruled, cause I eat a lot. She also gave me a blanket and tried to convince me to sleep on her shoulder. At first I thought I was imagining it, did this lady really just invite me to nest on her left shoulder? Then she patted her shoulder and I knew it was real. I respectfully declined her offer then she giggled and dozed off. I guess weird is good, I have never had a complete stranger offer a shoulder to me. She also gave me some chocolate which I had a nibble of. I don’t trust strange ladies’ chocolate, she might have slipped some Rufilinin in it prior and then ask me to join her wolf pack or something. I don’t know, crazy folk, I love ’em, just don’t poison me please. I love you.
Then I had to connect for a short hour flight from Manchester to London with a final arrival time of 9:25am – London time. Our flight had landed late in Manchester so I made a mad dash to customs (I think) where they wouldn’t let me through. I needed to have an address where I was staying, I said I live on a tour bus..she said a hotel address, I said we got bunks!…she said okayyyy, and then thought about it for five minutes. She told me next time, bring an e-mail, or something that proves what you are doing. I wasn’t really listening, just concentrating on how to pack all my junk up in the quickest fashion possible. I lost my boarding pass between customs and the gate and had to have some lady with a nice accent print me off a new one. Luckily our flight was running a little bit late and I made it fine.
All the people on my flight were dressed in suits or button up shirts. I am pretty sure I was catching some kind of flight that people took on a regular basis, as everyone there seemed like they were just doing every day business, but I am not sure. I couldn’t really understand what everyone was saying, even thought it was in English. I was offered tea so many times, I just said I wanted water. I can’t handle caffeine. By the time I arrived there I was a mess, I had successfully skipped a sleep cycle pretty much and looked like shit. I got off the plane new I had to rush, because the tour bus was scheduled to leave at 9:30, and my plane was 30 minutes late. So I rushed to the terminal transport and took a trolly to terminal one. I got there and rushed down three flights of escalators/ramps. Walked around and had no idea where I was. So i went back inside, exchanged 50 bucks for about 23 pounds and purchased some web time for two pound/ten minutes. Sent an e-mail to Sal and waited for my 10 minutes online to be up, no email response. All I could think was, well I am sorta fucked.
So I got my bags, and went back down the hallway, outside, and down to the bus pick up and asked if any bus had came and picked up a band. They said yes, about 30 minutes ago, now I am sorta really fucked. So I went back inside, walked about fifteen minutes back to the web station, two pounds, back online, 10 minutes, no email. Back outside I went, search around, no bus. I was mentally and physically exhausted by this point, and I just wanted to pass out. So I tried to think what else I could do. I emailed Sheep, Bring Me The Horizon’s tour manager and asked if he had any phone number contact for Sal , he hit me back with his US cell number and said that’s what he was using. Go figure, I could contact him on a number I already had. So I gave him a ring, and it cost me a good ten bucks total to talk to him for a few minutes tops. He gave me an address of where they would be parking for the night. Back to the computer and time to Google map this. The computer couldn’t find the location or I mistyped it- I don’t know what was going on, but after about 30 minutes of searching I took a stroll on over to the cab area and asked how much it would be. They said 100 pounds, I said where’s the train station?
I went to the train station help desk and asked for some help, the guy reluctantly gave me a print out of what I needed to buy and where I needed to go. He said “I could be smoking a spliff with my friends right now, next time do your homework”. I think he was joking, but his face was so serious, I think he wanted to beat my ass. Bought some tickets, hopped on a train, got off a train somewhere, got on the underground somewhere else and got off it about half a mile from where I needed to be. I asked the person at the train station where the intersection was and walked on over. I got there and I was 100% at the wrong building, it looked like a small office building, a Tonka Truck couldn’t fit in this parking lot. So I crossed the street and went to a grocery store and called Sal’s number which I had strategically place on my forearm with marker. He answered the phone and yelled “Adam” real loud. I thought, is this real life? I turned around and saw Sal standing there. Man, I was so relieved. He was heading to the mall and invited me, wanna come? I said sure, it had to have been about 3/4 o’clock by then, but I can’t really remember. So I went down to the underground parking and threw my stuff in the back lounge. Went back upstairs and walked a few miles to the mall. I was running on- I have no idea what at that point, but I was wide awake. My first impression of a mall in London was, man everyone just wears whatever the hell they want here, this rules, I fit in! I fit in!!
I woke up in Glasgow, UK, somewhere between the venue and the street and there was a line that wrapped around the bus.
Alright morning routine on tour is all kinds of fun. Basically wake up in a bus with a sore throat. Buses are almost always really dry, unless you have a humidifier in your bunk or the bunk area. So when I wake up I usually make a run to the bathroom right away, do my morning gig, take a shower if the venue is open, and then eat. Eating is sometimes challenging on tour, I try to get some food the night before for the next morning, but the fridge is only so big and remembering at night can be quite a task, depending on how much partying is going on. So anyway, that morning I got off the bus to a line of kids with hair more colorful then my vocabulary and walked to the left with Alex. I woke up late and all the guys had already gone to this fish and chips place around the corner. Alex and I went and got some food, I got fish and chips, it ruled, and stank up the whole bus.
Anyway, off to the venue.
First day of tour, time to meet everyone. I have had a few shoots with the Bring Me The Horizon dudes before, and toured with them as well for a few days by chance. I knew some of their crew and all the band, and I didn’t tell any of them I was going to be on the tour. It was funny, walking around and seeing them all be say “WACKO, WTF”. Oh, a nickname story, gotta fill you in here. I have a few different nick names, one of them is Wacko Jacko, or just Wacko, or just Jacko, whatever works. I have asked them why and they basically just say I am weird like Michael Jackson, which could be an insult, but Ill take it for what it is and move on. The A Day To Remember guys usually just call me Milonakis (you know,
Andy Milonakis) or Kevin calls me Maki because we used to tour together when he was in Four Letter Lie, and that’s what they call me.
That night Ashley Maile was shooting Bring Me The Horizon for Kerrang!, he did a creative set up where a bunch of kids were holding up Oli (front man for BMTH) over their heads. They took the first 40 kids in line, let them in early and used them for the shoot. I have never seen kids so stoked in my life, it was fun to watch.
Come show time, the floor was packed, sold out, sweaty and full of really drunk 18 year old kids. The drinking age is so young there, well relative to our 21 age limit it is. So lets say in the states you get 18 and 19 year olds sneaking drinks, well in the UK you get 15 and 16 year old kids, and this insures that ridiculous shit will occur. I remember standing in back of the venue while I was grabbing some crowd shots, and seeing three very young kids dancing in that swaying/ wobbling kinda grove that I thought only 40-year-old-pissed corn fans did. In the UK pissed means drunk, not angry. Just so we are on the same page here.
First show day for A Day To Remember, usually the most out of control/ sloppy day as far as the show goes, just because everyone (crew/ band) are just getting into the swing of things again. I try to stay out of everyones way as much as possible on the first day, crew is usually really stressed, band is nervous, people getting used to the swing of things, and all I do is take pictures. I could get shot in the face and the show would still go on. Being a photographer on tour is probably one of the least important jobs ever. You can pretend its worth a lot, and you are doing a lot for a band, which in a way you are, but as far as how valuable you are to the tour is quite minimal. Thats why being friends with who you are touring with plays a big role, in order to get good photographs they have to want you there, trust you, and know that you know what you are doing. I feel like a lot of people photograph bands because its the closest they can get to being in a band, without playing an instrument. Its like a groupie, subtract the sex and add a soul stealer. Photographers are the male version of groupies , and just like a groupie, its just a phase in your life. Maybe its just a phase for me, I have no idea. I am not a groupie. That was a very confusing analogy. Shux. Two years in as a full time photographer and I’m not bored yet, thats pretty good coming from a guy who can barely concentrate on a conversation. I want more.
Man, I love blogging, I can say whatever is on my mind, and no one even has to read it, but I can still say it. It would be nice to see who actually read this, leave a comment (bottom of page) with your blog, so I can check them out. I’ll remind you at the end as well, you got a way to go if you are gonna read this whole entry.
Back to the show…..Bring Me The Horizon’s set was insane, sold out Barrowlands, they were headlining for the UK dates and had a whole light set up out with them, ome ramps and a huge ego riser. I could tell they were stoked to use this set up, they had been touring alone for three days before A Day To Remember joined ’em, so the set up was still rather new, either way, the dominated the stage. Each member probably ran a few miles each during the set, heck they probably jumped a few miles total each night.
This first night was probably the hardest show to shoot, I didn’t know anyones set yet, when they jumped, crawled, or did some kinda cool stage gig with each other. A Day To Remember is a little easier to photograph then Bring Me The Horizon, they do pretty similar things everyday and there music is straight forward. Personal I enjoy A Day To Remember’s music a lot, I love pop and anything that makes my head shake. Bring Me The Horizon is a lot quicker on stage and leave the stage more often, which means faster shutter speeds and less light on them at all time. I thought about writing down what happens, and when on a set list, but figured I could memorize it pretty well, and after a few days I got it down. After the show I asked Oli when he jumps into the crowd and such, and he said ” I don’t plan it out, I just go with it Wacko” , well I learned my lesson. I suppose even if a band DID plane something out, they weren’t gonna say “well we all do backflips two minutes into song four”, might sound sorta cheesy. August Burns Red was really fun to photograph live, I had never met them before, but they are really technical, their drummer kills it, and their vocalist just does epic stances that always reach out towards god/ jesus in some way or another. I knew I’d get better shots, first nights live photos were pretty terrible, not too motivating think I got one keeper during the live set.
That night there was an after show kinda deal at a goth/ hipster place called the Catwalk. Oli was DJ-ing with Matt and It was a lot of fun, we got our own little room to party in and then when we felt like dancing we went out. We had 20 beers or Strongbow, I cant remember, leftover by the end of the night and I was supposed to bring them back to the bus, but while we were waiting for the taxis, my inebriated self sold one for two pounds and gave the rest away. Everyone else was too drunk to care and I was just stoked on how many people were saying cheers to me. Some girl gave me a kiss on the cheek as a thank and I was stoked. Then some drunk dude followed and kissed my check as well, not so stoked.
Hello bunk, goodbye world.
Date: October 23rd, 2009
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
My bunk was right above the driver- in the US our buses are not double decker, just single. In Europe you can never really stand up straight if you are over 5′ 8” and everything is just a little bit smaller on the bus.. Anyway, I woke up, got my bathroom supplies , now off to figure out where the venue was, and where the bathroom was located. It was a gloomy day, I would soon learned that everyday was a gloomy day in europe. If you ever want a little less sun in your life, move to Europe, where everything looks depressing. Anyway, got off to bus and as the automatic door slid open there were eight scene dude/girls/ idk kids standing right outside the bus door, trying to look into our bus. I was like shit, look like crap, am I going to get beat up, what do they want, money? Tea? Biscuits? They said with there accents, Ol!, Oli?! OLI! and got as close to the entrance of the bus as they could with out actually being in it. It reminded me of gremlins or goblins scurrying around in that what scene where the big ass Orc comes out in Lord Of The Rings. So I shut the door and started walking to the bay in back to grab a change of clothes when they asked me to take a picture with me. I said, I am not in a band, I just wanna shower. They responded with, its okay, you look cool, i took that and rubbed it all over my ego and took a picture with them. Whoever has a picture of me right after I woke up, hook it up, please.
Come lunch Alex and I went to a McDonald’s around the corner. I had my camera with me and knelt down in front of a giant McDonald’s sign, tried to grab a shot of Alex and then he said “Adam, stop making me feel awkward”.
I stopped, and in retrospect I understand what he was saying/feeling. Sometimes I lose track in my head and don’t realize I am walking around with what to some people is a large camera, photographing a kid, in front of a McDonald’s, I guess I that could draw unwanted attention. It’s just muscle memory now, I have a hand, I have a foot, I have a camera, whats so weird about that. Sure enough, four people ran up after recognizing him and ask him to sign various objects. Oops.
Neil and I did a quick photo trip to a Church across the street, Neil is really into photography so it was easy to hang with him, all we had to do was take pictures of random junk. I didn’t really enjoy what we were photographing but I enjoyed hanging out, so all is well.
My first photographer meet up on this tour was with Jordan Green. I have known Jordan for a little while through Flickr, but never hung out with him for obvious distance difficulties. Anyway, we met up, talked shop and walked over to subway. Sal, Neil, and Kevin were all eating there so we sat down with them. Sal had gotten a donut and it tasted like fluffy cardboard, I guess there are some health guidelines in the UK that ruin all food that you actually enjoy to taste. According to Jordan there has to be under XX amount of sugar int he product, and a Subway donut was no exception. Right about now you are probably wondering, why the hell are you going to McDonalds and Subway while you are in a different country, you should try different foods! And I would say, that is exactly how I feel, but everyday on this tour all the guys went to McDonalds, not an exaggeration. I tried my best to try out different kinds of food, but its weird going out to eat alone. I had a kabob that night, it ruled.
Show was cool, venue was fun. I got a little more of a hang on when to shoot what during the show. I hopped into the photo pit after the three song limit was up so I didn’t have to deal with other bodies blocking me. At the end of Bring Me The Horizon’s set they had a stage rush which I would climb up behind their drummer for, snap some picture and then climb on down. I didn’t know at the time, but there stage rushes weren’t really discussed prior with the venues, because if you ask, they can say no, if you don’t ask, you can apologize. Some days stuff on stage would get ruined, others the security guards would try to stop the kids. There were some pretty brutal attempts. Some kids would jump from the barrier right on to the stage, or just walk on top of the friends. Every day it was something else new and hilarious. Again, I wouldn’t really learn this until later in the tour, but you get the idea.
After the show I went for a long walk with Sal to buy some soda and drinks, we passed huge buildings that resembled Hogwarts to the max. I’m pretty sure Harry Potter was kicking it somewhere in the general vicinity. After that we snagged a taxi to a place called Satan’s Bar or Devil something. I forget who I was with exactly, but there were five of us. We couldn’t find the bar at first, but some how we stumbled upon this hole in a wall down some alleyway that was it. We got in free with our laminates, I love free shit. Ever bought something and gotten more stoked on the deal than what you actually bought? It rules, its like buying something and getting two things in return, sorta.
The whole bar was covered in satan sculptures and had blood/flesh dripping down the walls everywhere. I felt like i was in a really warm stomach partying with a bunch of foreign folk that enjoyed hairspray a lot a lot. I could never handle such preparation. Again Oli was DJing some music I didn’t real enjoy, but the drinks were good and the people watching was priceless.
Now after a long night of partying, I usually go back to my bunk, grab my bathroom bag and do the night time gig. Depending on the venue I’ll go back inside and do it, if they are still open. Or if I was smart that day I would have done it all before I went out and before the venue closed. Either way, I do my night time gig, and debrief with some addicting online game, my favorite site so far is Armor Games. I try not to actually own any video games or my life would cease to exist. While I’m playing the game I download all the images from the day onto my two harddrives, label the folders and then see how long I can stay up before I pass out. After being on the road a handful of tours I am pretty sure I have developed some kind of passive reflex to pass out when my bed starts to rumble. I remember back in the van days how I couldn’t sleep until we started moving, something about sleeping on a carpeted metal floor while it shook with the cornet cracks felt relaxing after awhile. I should probably just sleep on the dryer for a week back home, I might sleep better.
Date: October 24th, 2009
Location: Birmingham, United Kingdom
Venue: O2 Academy
Woke up to a powerless bus today. Basically in Europe when you park your bus you can not leave the generator running- it violates clean air laws, you have the plug it in. Which means if we a) get to the venue early b)can’t find an outlet or c) are not parked by electricity – we can’t hang out very comfortably on the bus. So Neil and I went for a walk to a mall around the corner. I enjoyed walking around the city so much, sometimes its hard to get away before the work day starts, but we did a good job that day. We went to a mall and it was the most crowded mall I have been to in my life, we waited in line at pizza hut for 30 minutes before we got a place to eat. Pizza hut in Europe is as fancy as lets say Olive Garden in the states. Maybe that’s how all Pizza Huts are, but for some reason I never pictured it like that, I don’t really eat there. It was super gloomy that day and rainy as well, but the city was beautiful and I felt like I was in another world, everything look so different. I can’t pin point what it was, just the overall feel, so weird how that works out.
I am making a mental note to try and take photos of the scenery in addition to the bands I am with next time. I always get in a bind on weather or not to take my camera or not. Sometimes I have to live stuff before I can really photograph it, if I am always photographing it, I feel like I am not actually doing it. I will touch more on this come Amsterdam.
The line was huge! Went down the block, under the street, back up, and around the corner.
Sold out, forget the capacity, but it was huge. PHOENIX played that night in the venue next to us, Sal hooked it up with some passes and I went and watched them with Jeremy and Sal. I don’t even know how to explain .PHOENIX, if you haven’t heard them, check it out for sure. The live show was fun, but the lights were too intense for my eyes, so I only stayed for half the show.
Venue was crazy. After the show was over, the whole floor turned into a dance party, and some goth like women on stage dancing in weird hot topic outfits. Then there was a smaller room where Oli was Dj-ing . People don’t have dance parties Usher and Beyonce here, it’s more Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach and Slipknot, which I think rules, but it’s a change. No one grinds each other, they just dance in a circle and hang out, get pissed.
There were four or five different bars around the edges of the club, and everyone visited them every 15 minutes. A good portion of the tour got very trashed. I remember standing in a circle with about fifteen of the guys, and we were each taking turns getting into the middle of the circle and doing different dance moves. I couldn’t even describe some of the moves I saw go down in the circle, but I remember mine, I basically just shook my body in every direction that felt right, and finished a new man. Don’t you ever just get an overwhelming accomplished feeling that you just did something awesome? And then you look around and everyone has a “wtf” look on their face, and you still feel like you did something THAT awesome. That was me, who knows if it was really a good dance, I was content with my moves, that is what matters.
The dance circle went on for awhile, and the walking to the middle slowly turned into pushing each other into the middle That mixed with alcohol and slippery floors from all the beer we knocked out of peoples hands turned into some kind of rock concert mosh pit. I remember this Rage Against The Machine song started playing, and shit went crazy. I can’t put names/face with memories, but one guy slid tackle another dude, someone else was running around the edges of the circles swinging his arms like windmills and punching everyone. Someone ticket off this one girl and I remember her getting real worked up about it and started punching him. It was chaos. Then this Slipknot, you know “I push my fingers into my eyes” song came on, and by now the circle was huge, you could sprint for a few seconds before you covered the diameter. Anyway, Slipknot came on and it was just a huge mosh pit with a slip-n-slide floor. I didn’t really take part in it as much as I should have, I stayed back and watched in awe. I remember my high school dances, Chamillionaire, dudes swaying, and girls shakin’ there booties in every which way. This was better, don’t get me wrong I like the whole booty thing, but this ruled.
I don’t really remember much after that, but I went to get Kabobs with Tom. Tissue was on a hill out front with a girl he was friends with I yelled something inappropriate at them, and Tissue later told me I shouldn’t do that, I said sorry. I’m learning
Hung out in the bottom lounge of the bus for a bit, went to bed stoked about the night, slept really well.
Date: October 25th, 2009
Location: London, United Kingdom
Venue: The Roundhouse
I remember waking up going in this venue and being blown away, it was crazy. Its basically a huge circle (roundhouse), and was so old they built another circle around it to hold up decaying inside original structure.
Took a stroll around, said my good mornings, found the shower and washed all the night crust away.
I didn’t have a cell phone in Europe, too expensive. So it made for some very difficult meet ups with friends and family. Today I was going to meet up with my cousin Elyse who I had never met before. Half my family lives in Israel… well my dads half of the family, except for his brother, who lives in London, hence meeting up with Elyse there. Anyway, we were supposed to meet at the market on a bridge around 1:00ish I went a good 20 minutes early and waited around.
It was sorta hard to find her cause I had never really seen her in real life. That is the weird thing about photos, no matter how many I see of someone, I can never really tell what they are going to look like in real life.
Eventually she showed up and we walked around the market, lots of people, lots of shops, very confusing.
We went to this one underground shop that had women dancing on the walls, it was wild. I am not sure how people work there, it’s just as loud as Hollister music, only its like bump bump boom boom techno jams.
After the market we went to grab my first pint at a bar across the street, and she came back to the venue with me. I showed her the bus, the venue, and explained how everything worked. Like anything you do in life, it all becomes so routine and normal from your eyes, that you don’t really realize how much of your daily routine isn’t really common knowledge, until you explain it to an oblivious soul. Thats one of the hardest parts about writing these blogs, I write them for myself, but at the same time I want others to enjoy them. It’s hard to know what people don’t really know, so I just cover it all and hope some of it interests you.
The guys got free Atticus stuff that day, which means I get free stuff that doesn’t fit. Woohoo!
The show that night was sold out, 3500 cap, biggest show on the tour. There was a riser for Matt, the drummer of Bring Me The Horizon, that started beneath the stage and then lifted him up to stage level as their set stared.
Apparently good old UK photographer Tom Barnes was there that night and we didn’t even realize we missed each other until we had similar photos after the fact. I hate when that happens. I needed Google latitude in Europe, too bad I didn’t bring my phone.
During a usual show day we get three catered meals. You either get buyout (money) or catering from the promoter. Most days we had catering, which meant that when we woke up (12ish) and went into the venue, there would be Lunch/ Breakfast out and ready scarf down. The majority of the time we had sandwiches, drinks, some sides, things like that. It really varied from venue to venue, but thats usually what we got. As for dinner, a kitchen prepared home cooked meal (usually), unique to whichever part of the country you were in. The last meal was the best, after-show meal, usually pizza, or something that we ordered to the bus. In retrospect, it probably wasn’t the best meal, but it tasted so good after a long nights work.
After the show there was a little industry party, London is the Los Angeles of Europe. I went to the party for ten minutes, didn’t know anyone and saw Oli’s dad do some trick where he puts beer cups on his nipples and decided to call it a night.
Before we pass out we usually hang out in the back lounge or bottom lounge depending on what we are doing. In this case, fire tricks.
Date: October 26th, 2009
Location: Norwich, United Kingdom
The venue for this day was kinda weird, we were definitely at a school, on campus, and there were students walking around everywhere outside of my window. I don’t think I have ever felt so out of place on a campus. It was a really dull day and all I could think about is let me get some foooood. Eventually stumbled upon a reasonably priced school cafeteria and got some food.
Some guys from August Burns Red’s crew were getting there haircuts in the bathroom, I am sure we have all done this at one point in our lives.
The guys were all hanging out in the backstage area getting ready for the show, so I snagged them on the spot and got a pretty fun photo. This wasn’t really posed, more of a “look at me”, *cha ching*, done deal.
Neil wanted to take an image with my flash behind him, so we took it, turned out awesome, then he went on stage and melted peoples faces off.
The next day we had a ferry ride, well it was actually the morning. Basically how it works is you have to get out of your vehicle, and go chill inside, while we cross whatever body of water. But, we had a choice, either stay in the powerless bus and potentially be a dead man in the ferry sinks, or leave and go get some grub/ hang out up stars. I choose to get off the bus, I never really think of myself as lazy, and I always am trying to stay active and see new things, a ferry was new for me. We had to decide before we went to sleep so that Sal knew who to wake up.
Date: October 27th, 2009
Location: Norwich, United Kingdom => Munster, Germany
The food on the ferry ruled, it was expensive as hell, but was so good. Somehow I finished almost my whole plate and got an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, I was also perfectly full.
I absolutely hate when I am feel too full, I will seldom overeat. But after this meal I just felt perfect, I think my body sends out some endorphins when I eat the perfect amount, cause I was in such a good mood. I took a sausage in a napkin and saved it for later.
We went back upstairs and watched The Jungle Book.
Some people used to call me Mowgli when I was younger. I don’t think I look much like him at all.
For some reason they offered us three different kinds of weed, and hash, for about 2x the price it should have been, we happily declined and started to walk away. The drunk guy got real persistent and we exchanged words on how we didn’t to pay that much, would wait tell morning. Alex told them he only had twenty and they continued to try and rip him off. If this was up to me, I would have left the second they offered us coke, but sometimes you do stupid things. I can’t remember exact words but us refusing eventually turned into one guy getting pretty angry and yelling at us. Alex bought the weed with fear for this getting ugly and we walked away quickly. The sober guy started walking ahead of us on the other side of the road, and was ready to turn the corner. The drunk guy was probably fifteen feet behind us yelling at us “I’m gonna fight you”, but with his accent it sounded like “I’m going to fuck you”, I couldn’t stop laughing at this point. Desolate street, drunk dude following two dudes yelling “I’m gonna fuck you”, man that moment was priceless. He eventually gave up and walked to his friend. We got back to the bus and sat down. We looked at each other and thought man, we almost got mugged a second ago. That was not a good plan at all.
After everyone woke up we decided to go do some sight seeing. We went to where Ann Frank hid out during the holocaust but didn’t actually go inside, there was a huge line.
Oh well, seeing it from outside was cool enough. The guys got McDonald’s and I went to some local sandwich shop, so good. I went to Amsterdam with my dad once when I was in high school, we had a connect there for about 9 hours on our way to Israel and we took a city tour with our free time. Man, I miss my dad. He rules, his name is Yehuda. All of Amsterdam is pretty much built on and around water, so all the building lean in towards the streams. Our bus was parked about one foot from the water, then there was 10 feet of water, and the wall of the building. Sorta crazy if you ask me, we don’t really have places like that in the states.
I hung out in the venue for awhile, and the guys filmed a promo video with DrewDrew
Here is the video.
There were a lot of kids on stage that night, no barricade so they could just climb right up on stage. Jeremy gave them a five second rule before he pushed them off.
After the show, I had one of the wildest nights of my life. Eight of us went to a Local shop called “When Nature Calls” and purchased some truffles. Truffles are basically shrooms, but legal. It cost us 15. The cool thing about truffles are that if you ever want to come down from your trip, all you have to do is eat sugar, so they sell sugar pills there as well, but Orange juice works just as well.
We went back to the bus and took them, they tasted absolutely terrible, one guy actually threw his up and had to eat half of mine. Anyway, Me, Dave, Quinn looked at the sky and flipped out.
Quinn: “the northern lights, holy shit! ”
Adam: “doubtful at mind, but i figured what the hell “yea you are right!”
Quinn: ” yes thats them, they get that shit her, take my picture with this phone”
Adam “okay okay *snap*
Poker: ” you guys are dumbasses, thats the moon behind the clouds”
Adam: ” ahahaha”
Quinn: ” dude i have a picture of me in front of the moon”
We all laughed it out and hopped into another taxi.
This taxi ride rule, picture a dog with his head out the window, with his tongue waving in the wind and how much he loves life. That was me, but my tongue wasn’t long enough to express my joy. I felt like everything I could feel was underneath my skin, not in an annoying way, I could just feel it that deeply on my body. Intense and extreme.
Next stop, back to the bus. Wear I ran into some familiar faces, we picked up Sheep and a new tour guide with pink hair, and got another taxi. We had to convince him to take us all, cause we were one to many. Eventually with the sweet talking of the pink hair lady we got into the taxi. She was so cool, she had a backpack and new the streets of Amsterdam like the back of her hand. Sheep was just giving me a hard time, apparently if you looked at me I looked like I was on truffles, I told him to piss off or I’d kick his ass. He proceeded to make fun of how I was Jewish, and I laughed along, Sheep rules. We eventually ended up in some ally where she tried to convince us to go in rooms we definitely did not want to be in, we will leave that at that. Somehow we ended up in an area where we sat down on a ledge by a stream, sidewalk at our back. There were these huge swans in the water, and we were all just hanging out staring at them, talking about whatever we wanted. The area was lit by a few old fashioned street lamps and the air brisk. The swans white bodies lit up in the water, similar to a license plate in your headlights. I remember talking to Sheep about life, I’m not sure what we talked about, but I told him life was great and he said I looked really messed up. Its okay, I really love that guy, he gets shit done, and thats where its at.
We were all sitting in line and eventually this dude in a trench coat strutted up to my back and quickly shuffled down the line of us, one by one, looking at our faces by leaning forward a little before continuing on. We all looked at each other, heart racing I just sat there and hoped he didn’t push me in. He did another walk by, circled some dude 3 feet from me, then circled back the other way, gave him drugs, received money, and cruised off. In retrospect I think he was checking if we were cops, but I am not sure. Either way, shady man. I stood up after that and leaned on some metal thing a good 5 feet from the water. Drowning, according to Dan Brown is one of the worst ways to die, and I think I’ll take his word on that one.
Eventually we cabbed back to the bus and I took some photos. My camera nuzzled itself in my hands so perfect, I felt like I was reunited with part of my body. What a peculiar feeling, but it ruled either way. Alex got long underwear somewhere along the trip, he cracks me up.
This was one of my last shots of the night, I really like it, from left to right we have Quinn, Flip, and the pink haired lady in back, but you can’t tell her hair is pink.
Date: October 30th, 2009
Location: Paris, France
Venue: Le Tradendo
We woke up in some industrial work zone, the venue was right next to it. Very weird, definitely not what I pictured Paris to be like. But not every show is smack dap in the middle of the city, and you might just see a small portion of the area.
The bartender lady was pretty cute so I told Sheep that. He said let’s get her to come to the show! I said oh no, just for looking. He said you are doing this Wacko. She came over and Sheep said something really out there and she laughed. I forget what it was, but it was raunchy and I definitely blushed I was so embarrassed. Anyway, she came back with my drink and I asked her if she was coming to the show. She said she couldn’t it was sold out, I told her no big deal, I’ll put her on the list, and then brushed my shoulders off. That last part of that senate isn’t true, but I’m sure I sounded like a cocky douche. Either way, she wrote her name on my arm in giant permanent marker (thanks Sheep, for this genius idea) and her number as well.
The venue wasn’t close to anything. Drew and Jeremy got a ride by the runner to the Eiffel tower and did some filming, other than that no one saw any tourist attractions, I will have to go to Paris some other time.
That girl came to the show and I got her in, I think Sheep’s intention was for something more to go down, but I don’t really roll like that. At the door I had to convince the door dude to let one of her friends in that wasn’t on the list, which took awhile, but I am so intimidating that he caved. That’s a joke also, I am really not intimidating at all. I wish everyone that reads this had met me before reading, that way people would get all my sarcasm.
I guess I should probably discuss where I shoot from at these shows. I am with band that I am photographing about 20 minutes before they go onstage. Usually they are getting ready and stretching about then, so I basically just hang out, talk, snap some photos. As soon as the first person leaves to go stand side stage and put their in ears in, I follow them and wait there for everyone to come. About a minute before they go on stage, right before the lights dim, or right after they dim, I run to the hardest to access location to shoot from. Usually this means I’ll be stage on the opposite side of the stage where the enter from, at the front of stage behind a speaker or something. I am a small guy so I sit down and curl in a corner. I usually shoot there until the first break, so most likely the end of the second or third song. After that I head to the pit, because by then all the photographers have been cleared out. If usually helps to let security know you will be there after the three song mark, prior to the song starting, or they are just gonna be all up on your case when you could be shooting. I shoot down there for a song or two, depending on what shots I need to get. Next I make my way to the backstage area and basically creep behind the drums, sound board, speakers, anywhere I can fit. I have a flash that I clip around and then use as back light a lot. For Bring Me The Horizon on this tour, they had a stage rush on their last song, so I always climbed up on the front of the drums for that. It didn’t matter if I was smack dab in the middle of the stage cause, there wes also 50 kids on stage. I helped fend of the kids who tried to overrun the drums and get on the riser, today I got shoved over, it sucked, luckily Matt grabbed my camera for me.
You can see me at 1:45 in this video, read shirt, back center, until I sit down 20 second later and eventually get fallen on about a minute later.
It was a pretty simple day, walked to McDonald’s with Alex at the end and I actually got some food this time. It was a long walk. I enjoyed hanging with Alex a lot, he sorta grew up on the road and has a killer young personality. He bought a lot of toys/ collectibles on the road which was awesome, I never buy anything but he brought back so many cool little items to the bus. I have no idea where he found half the thing, but they were fun.
Date: October 31st, 2009
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany
Venue: The Underground
There is no Halloween here, boring. Each of these entries is getting progressively short, you are almost finished!
I woke up to a tilted and powerless bus. Our plug kept coming undone and we were parked at a slant. Parking at a slant sucks, you are permanently confused and disoriented as long as you remain in your bunk. You can’t even really sleep, cause you roll.
We had two shows at the Underground, in on day. One of the shows started at like 3:00pm and ended by 6:00 and the next started at 8:00pm and ended late that night. Those hours might be off, but it was something like that. The venue went with its name, it was underground. There was a four way intersection, and you walked down a flight or stairs, or ramp and there was a venue, those sneaky folk.
I left my wallet in the shower that day, luckily someone from August Burns Red hooked it up.
The venue was poorly designed, there was no backstage bathroom, that meant if we wanted to pee we had to cross through the crowd. Doing that isn’t even possible for some of the band dudes. So we probably filled 20 cups that night with pee, sometimes you gotta do it. Water bottles are rough, vitamin water and gatorade are a little bit easier cause there opening is larger.
I got gelato from a mall across the street that day for one dollar of what ever currency I was using. It was so good.
Late night snack with some of the guys at a Burger King down the road. I am pretty sure a few dudes took a taxi to a McDonald’s that night for 20 bucks each way, so weird.
Date: November 1st,, 2009
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Venue: Ancienne Belgique
Rainy rainy day! Met up with Martijn Leenaers and Lode Scildermans that day. Martijn Leenaers is a graphic designer, not exactly photography, but its all so closely related we could talk shop as well. Lode Schildermans is a photographer from the Belgium area and he tours with bands as well, good times. My favorite thing is meeting up with other that share the same love as me on the road. I am only two or three years into this, depending on when I count that I started, and every day I learn to love photography more and more. I remember when I first started I didn’t really have much emotion attached to it, partly because growing up I my dad wasn’t really big on me having emotions, but by nature Im more Emo than a Simple Plan show. Up until recently I never really applied myself to my images. I think it makes a difference, to look at an image and have it effect more than just your eye is pretty powerful to me. They basically showed me around city as it rained, and we got some beer at a really fancy restaurant, underdressed for the win. I payed 8 for a glass of Duvel. It was some good beer, expensive, but good. They came back to the venue and hung out until the show started, unfortunately I couldn’t afford to spend more time with them cause I had to work, but it was still fun.
The venue was great for live shots that night. Big stage, lots of open side stage /stage room, I set my flash up in at least four different places that night.
Tissue kicked everyone’s asses in c-low, I lost two bucks.
Date: November 2nd, 2009
Location: Saarbrucken, Germany
Another off day, parked outside of a venue in some random foreign place. We walked to Micky D’s and hung out in the bus for a good majority of the day. It was rainy out so we couldn’t do much. I got some organizing work done just because there was almost nothing to shoot, and debriefed my mind a little bit.
On our way back from dinner at a local steak house we stopped at a peep show, it cost one whatever the currency was in Germany, so we figured why not. Probably one of the grossest experiences of my life. Actually, I don’t even want to go into detail on this. Just don’t go to peep shows.
I went back to the buses and played some Fifa with the Bring Me The Horizon guys. Got real hungry and ran to some noodle place around the corner. Warm pasta was so good, rainy day, warm pasta, think about it. Pretty uneventful day, so I passed out early and got up early the next day.
Date: November 3rd, 2009
Location: Saarbrucken, Germany
Venue: The Garage
The show was really simple. I basically walked around all day with flash in one hand, and camera in the other, clipping it to things and playing around with the light. I did a new light set up on the drummers that night which gave a cool kinda angelic look. Basically just put the flash right behind them, fired it at a rather high power and killed a lot of the ambient.
Date: November 4th, 2009
Location: Munich, Germany
We didn’t buy tickets, we couldn’t figure out where we were coming from or going, just sorta rode it and talked with some old lady I named. I forget what I named her, but it was some old name like Greta or Ruth. She didn’t speak a word of English, just kept rambling in language and making hand motions. Josh sorta pretended we knew what she was saying.
She told us to get off at a stop with her and led us to some train station. Told us what stop to go to on a map, and we trusted her. I guess it made sense, she told us to get off at Dachau and that was the name of the camp, so we went. Now, to buy tickets. It wouldn’t take 20s, so we were screwed. I had some change so I got one ticket and we all got on the train. We took it for about 20 minutes and got off at the stop she told us to get off at.
Even if we were headed in the wrong direction, there was a McDonald’s there, so guess what we ate. Yea, aha. Then we got on another bus out front of the McDonald’s and went to the concentration camp.
It was wild, I have never been to one before, I have seen movies, read books, but never been to one. Don’t get me wrong, I think Hitler did a lot of damage, I mean he killed million of people. However, all politics, ethics and emotions aside, I think Hitler was a genius. I never really respect anyone that takes another persons life, nothing justifies it to me. Sorry army folk that may be reading , not my thing, I don’t see the difference between a suicide bomber or a US solider with a gun, it’s all terrible. However you put it, it’s people killing people. However, if you put how many people he killed aside, he single handily convinced people to change the world , which I think is insane. He was one smart dude, heck convinced thousands to kill millions, that takes brains.
Anyway, the concentration camp was one of the most disgusting places I have ever been. Pretty upsetting knowing so many people killed each other here.
We walked through a museum part for a good two hours and just looked at images and read about it all. They had photos of people dying and being torture on glass, and then you would half look through the glass and see the room right behind it. There was a class of teenagers in there for school, and two of the recognized Jeremy and took a picture with him. I got a good laugh out of that. I felt dirty being in there, we walked around the camp grounds as well and visited some memorials.
A little to intense for my mind, but I think it was just something I had to do, just to see and prove to my self that people actually did this to each other. I am such a sheltered US boy, I try my best to experience as much as I can.
Catering here I come, I destroyed it that night, I was starving.
My arrival was filled with “Adam came back from the concentration camp? What” jokes. Get it? Cause I am born Jewish, and they killed a lot of Jews ha ha funny…
Date: November 5th, 2009
Location: Winterthur, Switzerland
Walked around a Market with Alex, Matt, and Jade- beautiful day, first time sun was out in forever.
Did a quick Vic Firth drum stick shoot with all the drummers. Shooting with a 580EX is great, but it helps to have ambient as fill.
The power went out during the show that night, so A Day To Remember just messed around on stage for awhile. It was entertaining but a photographer, Stefan from the area pulled me aside and we talked about random stuff. I dropped my camera off with Quinn while he was doing mercy. Stefan bought me a few drinks and I met his girlfriend, keepin’ it real. I went back to grab my camera and it was just full of over 100 random images. Bad call on my part. Here are a few…
Date: November 6th, 2009
Location: Vienna, Austria
Venue: Wiener Arena
I woke up in a giant garage with tons of giant junk everywhere, it was probably three stories tall and one notable item was a giant disco ball made of beer caps, classy. Stumbled off the bus and found my way to some an elevator, took it up to the top level and there was food already out and four showers. I was hoping to run into Arnold on our first day in Austria, unfortunately somehow he is the Governor of the current state I live in. So wild.
Slowly all the dudes woke up and we hung around the venue for awhile. There is a lot, a lot of down time on tour. We play a lot of video games and go site seeing when possible.
The unfortunate side of it is that sometimes it leads to drugs & other junk for some. Most of the tours I do are pretty safe, so I have never been in any weird situations, but I know it will happen some day. You would think that because there is downtime there would be a lot of time to shoot, but one member a band is probably sleeping. Another is talking to his girlfriend, and the other is on the phone with his girlfriend. The last two are three miles away at a mall and you are on a couch in Vienna, Austria playing Kitty Cannonand trying to debrief your mind.
How did I end up here in my life? I get asked that a lot, what did you do to get where you are. Most people are at point A and and trying to get to point F. I am at point E and have no idea how I got here. I never really planned on anything unfolding as it did, I just kept doing what I enjoyed and followed it along. Its hard for me to tell people what I did right and where I went wrong because I honestly have no idea. Its not like I was 16 and said I want to tour with bands and keep their back lounges company. I mean sure, in the back of my head I thought it would be cool, but I never made plans on how get form A to B to C to you get the idea- I think? The thing about the music is that its not how good you are, how bad you are, or how big your lens is. Its who you know, and how you get alone with everyone. I still have no idea why people take me on tour and probably never will, but if they let me come along, I’ll kick it.
The guys had a signing at a local clothing store called Snakebite that day, it sold Oli’s clothing line, Drop Dead, soA Day To Rememberand Bring Me The Horizon went there to support them. In order to get there though, I had to get a ride, and the two runners from the company were full, soooo I got a ride for some random guy who was having the dudes sign his car. He was nice , that was just so random. It was a really well run signing, quick, controlled and we got food.
Afterwords they gave everyone a bag and said fill it up with whatever you want. I wasn’t in the band so I took very sparingly- got a Snakebite shirt to rep, and some new headphones that ruled. They were so good it made me want to listen to all my songs just to hear how they sounded in the headphones.
Apparently Tom looked like the guy on their currency there, weird, he really does now that I revisit this image.
Rock out, hang out, pass out
Date: November 7th, 2009
Location: Milan, Italy
The dressing room in Italy sucked, it fit two people. Not sure why we played here, but we did. Our buses were parked far away as well so we had to hang out outside most of the time. Then it rained, and we were all screwed.
Josh and I were looking for Mcdonalds and asking people where it was, no one knew what we were saying. We came up to this guy on the street and asked him, and he said what? McDonalds? and made fun of how we said it. He said nononoo its MACdonalds. We looked at each other and were like…same thing dude. And he laughed with his friends and continued to make fun of us. Maybe we missed something there, but the words sound almost exactly the same. Oh well, we never made it to MACdonalds, it was too far away.
I met a local guy Cilio who was great. Taught me a little about the area and introduced me to all the photographers shooting that night. I took a few pictures with them, which always feels weird, but fun.
Oli got ripped apart by the crowd that night, cracked me up. Kids love that dude.
I got a chicken sandwich from a little stand outside after the show, it was so good I went back and got another.
We stopped at a gas station a few minutes after we left, snack time!
Date: November 8th, 2009
Location: Rome, Italy
Rome, holy shit I am in Rome! This was sorta crazy. We set off early. First stop, Colosseum , it was walking distance from the venue, maybe two miles. I live for this, hanging with friends and enjoying the world. We passed this ad on the way, I laughed, I bet that movie was terrible.
I guess Rome is sorta like a concentration camp, its sole purpose wasn’t to kill people, but tons of people were killed there, and we get to view it as well, we just look up to it more. Weird how that works out such polar opposites. The Coliseum wasn’t as huge as I thought it was going to be. It was still crazy.
Here are some photos from the day:
Neil pretending he’s some beggar.
We sorta disrespected some church, Pantheon? I forget the name, sorry. We ran into this building on our way to McDonalds
On our way to the Vatican.
Drew being a goof
Da Vinci Code
Venue sucked, leaky water, super dark, sweaty. Step it up Italy!
Date: November 9th, 2009
Location: somewhere in Austria
We had a day off in Austria, it was crazy, so beautiful wherever the hell we were.
We walked too our hotel and got two rooms.
The rooms there were expensive and small. Which makes no sense at all, but I guess its like food, the more you pay for it the smaller the portions get. Anyway, threw our stuff in the room, showered and made our way to the local shops. There were shops everywhere and the town had a very small/ weird/ Doctor Suess feel to it. We eventually ended up at some steak house for dinner which I was told was some of the best food ever. I didn’t really eat, a little bit out of budget for me, but I had a good time hanging out.
Back to the hotel to hang out, watch movies, nothing like relaxing when you are walking around every other day of the week.
JB and and I went to McDonalds later that night and had a good talk, he had been in a touring band for a long time and explained to me how he felt about touring. To me, I love to tour, I can do it whenever I want and with whoever I want. Not saying I have a ton of connections, I am just saying I can pick and choose. For him though, weather he likes touring or not, he has to go back and keep doing it, it’s not a choice for him. I understood where he was coming from and I was just happy I hadn’t ever put myself in that position.
Come late night we walked back to the bus and peaced out.
Date: November 10th, 2009
Location: Linz, Austria
This place was intense, it was like a castle. It was freezing out also. To think people had to wear little or nothing in this weather blew my mind. We toured the whole area and looked a lot of interesting things. There were so many different ways that they killed people there, thats pretty much all they did, torture and kill people.
A lot of this hit close to home for me just because growing up in a Jewish family I learned a lot about it all. I could never really handle it holding up, the movies made me cry and the books made me depressed, so much hate it’s disgusting. A lot to take again, I suggest visiting one if you are ever in the area.
Afterwords we asked the cab driver is he could make a pit stop at McDonalds, he took us there and we got some food. I didn’t but all the guys did.
The venue that day was perfect, huge backstage area, great food. I did a quick photo shoot with our bus driver that day, he loved his bus.
We had a Nazi Zombies tournament that night, I was stoked. I have always been pretty good at Call Of Duty. My best friend back home, Ian, basically has no life outside of COD, well he does, but COD takes up a lot of his time. I have him tattooed on the back of my calf, along with my other best friend Crague. They still live in Wisconsin, I miss them a lot. I just started playing Nazi Zombies on this tour but I had gotten pretty decent at it. We had teams of two and we were each matched up against another team, and whoever survived to the highest level , won that round and moved on to battle another winner. That night was long and there were four teams before us. I was paired with Stoks and by the time it was our turn we were inebriated and lost on level 7. Oops.
We got in trouble with Sheep for burning a big box that night by the buses. If the bus drivers were moms, the their buses would be babies, and we almost lit there babies on fire. Fire has two syllables, weird right? My 7th grade teacher, Big Ms. Smith (we had two Ms. Smiths, and she was the larger of the two, so she was big Ms. Smith), said there was one syllable, but I just looked it up and it has two. Orange has two syllables as well. Get on it.
Date: November 11th, 2009
Location: Nuremburg, Germany
I had a shoot with Jona.
A shoot with Dean.
Ate some food. Played some fifa.
Date: November 12th, 2009
Location: Cologne, Germany
I shot Bring Me The Horizon in front of their backdrop, Oli had told me he wanted to shots for myspace, I will post these when I can.
Did a shoot with flip, Bring Me The Horizon’s crazy merch guy
Michael Polenz had contacted me about meeting up with me during the night and buying a dvd. I totally forgot about him, luckily he yelled at me from the gate and we hung out for a bit. He was a really nice guy, and his son was attending the show. I showed Michael our bus and gave him a walkthrough of what we do everyday, it was chill. His son wanted to come up front so I got him an extra photo pass I had and brought him up front. It made his night, I was stoked to see him so stoked.
I also met up with Zaran Zaric that night, we basically just hung out side stage, and watched the show, talked shop for a bit, all the good stuff.
Oli and I chose what shots look best shots from the shoot we had earlier, just to cut down on e-mails we would have to send in the future.
I did a shoot with A Day To Remember that night as well and it worked out well. The guys always crack me up when we shoot.
After the show some of the guys were playing some sorta drum game, its like H.O.R.S.E but they play a drum beat and mimic it. Dorks.
Sometimes people have so much fun they get hurt.
Date: November 13th, 2009
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Ahh, last day of tour, Im bummed, but stoked, but bummed. I have a long ass flight to get home, bad form.
The venue was in the middle of some kind of sex district. Every way you went from the venue, there was some kind of sex store. It was pretty nasty, never felt so dirty. However I try to have an open mind and take the area for what it is, it was interesting, different lifestyles for sure. I went for a walk with the guys to get some food for dinner and we saw so many prostitutes, BUT these aren’t your everyday normal prostitutes- noNonononoo. These folk must kick it with Napoleon Dynamite or something, cause they were decked out with huge moonboots, fanny packs, and skin tight leggings. They all looked like the stereotypical ghetto-white-girls from my high school that couldn’t speak right and pulled there hair back so tight I could see their scalp hurt. Does that make sense? I hope thats not offensive, Im just saying, thats how they were. Anyway, these girls were the most proactive prostitutes I have ever seen. They would pick out guys and stand in front of them/ block their path and try lure them into their evil sex traps in trade for money. Culture shock. I wanted to throw up, this was disgusting. But hey, they do their thing, I’ll do mine, and as long as it doesn’t effect me, I couldn’t care less what they were doing.
We got some KFC and Burger King, because you can’t get KFC from Hamburg in San Diego, it would be KFC from San Diego in San Diego. Gotta experience new things!
The venue we were playing at had a catering room that was rather large, and was once used for shows. The catering ruled, they brought everything in road cases and cooked great meals for all of us. I had four deserts, it was yogurt and berries.
It was actually where the beetles played over 50 times when they were first starting out, pretty wild? How the hell did I end up in Hamburg.
This was inside Sheep’s area.
Crowd shot for the night
They had signs on the club windows that said “black music” and had pictures of various hip hop artists, including but not limited to, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Jay Z, you get the idea. I should have taken a photo of this, but the streets were crowded and no safe for my camera.
When I tour with bands, I somehow watch their set every night. I usually tour with bands that I enjoy the music of, so not that big of a deal. Still, I have seen some bands over 20 times, in a row. Try it out sometime, it’s wild. One of the hardest parts of tour, but also the most fun parts is figuring out something new to do everyday, something new to capture, create or even just experience- while staying cleanish. This tour really put that to test, 20ish days of straight touring and hanging, it was rough. I think being overseas made a huge different, cause even the sides of buildings entertained me more than some shows in the US, it was all new. I love(d) it.
I went to the red light detract in hamburg with about then guys and two girls later that night. Curiosity got the best of me. We were all english speaking and I guess you can’t bring girls into the red light district. Which, looking back, makes sense, but we couldn’t read the signs. Some lady got up out of her chair, opened her window, and threw water at the girls, and I laughed, the girls left. Good times. I felt gross, and left as well. Back to the bus to hang for a few hours before I had to leave.
I said my goodbyes, so weird leaving a tour in the middle of it. Oh well, I am gonna miss these guys.
Bus call was 2:00am, and I left at 1:30am, aint no way I’m standing outside with a suitcase, laptop, and camera alone. I’d get robbed quicker than, uhhhh, really quick, thats all I got. Anyway, Taxi to the Airport, got there at about 2:00am. Once we get there the Taxi driver told me the Airport didn’t open until 6:00am, it was a ghost town.
I thought, why the hell did that not even cross my mind? Most airports aren’t open 24 hours Adam. Ahhh bananas! For A second I was thinking I would be sitting outside for four hours, which would not be so great, but I could handle it.
I began walking towards a Raddison Hotel in the distance, five minutes tops, it was basically connected to the airport. I knew I couldn’t afford to get a room for just four hours so I asked if they had any kind of 24 hour cafe I could kick it at. The guy behind the desk with a nice suit on responded “there is a 24 hour cafe open at the airport, bottom floor.” Told him thanks and walked back to the airport. For some reason almost every stair/ escalator/ elevator that took me down was shut down or locked off. Eventually found one and and took it down. Hello cafe, hello coffee to stay awake.
I never drink coffee, it tastes terrible, I like the smell, but taste, yuck. I had an Emergen-C as well, to help keep me strong and powerful. I couldn’t fall asleep cause I would probably sleep past my flight and I couldn’t risk that. I sat down and began reading my Bathroom Reader for a little while. My Ipod was broken and my computer dies in 40 minutes on a full charge.
I sucked as much of John Mayer’s new album that (thankfully) leaked early, into my ears as possible and relaxed. I had four hours to hang out, debrief and gather as many thoughts as possible. I wrote down my plans on workflow for when I got home, and all the different events from tour I wanted to blog about. I ended up losing those sheets somewhere between now and then, I still think I’ll find them sometime, but then again, probably not. Four hours went by pretty slow, but eventually it was 6:00am and my flight didn’t depart until 7:45 am. For some reason in my head I feel like the wait was way longer, maybe my flight left later? I am not sure what happened, I can’t really remember, I was exhausted, I had skipped a night of sleep. Anyway, board my flight, land in Brussles. I don’t remember much, other than feeling like total crap and just drinking as much water as possible. I also had almonds to keep my stomach right.
Time for the long flight, boarded and sat down. Older guy next to me this time. He loved Jesus. I don’t really do the whole Jesus gig, but this guy did. He had just gotten done with some sorta mission trip, not sure what to really call it? Basically he goes to Africa and talks to people about spreading the word of Jesus. He was very against turning his Jesus loving into a money maker, he expressed great dislike against expensive churches and such. I listened to what he had to say. It went something like this…
He said “Do you speak with jesus or have him in your life”
Wait, I have to stop here. The whole people talking with Jesus thing creeps me out. It just seems like a socially acceptable form of hearing voices. Which I have no problem with, like I said it doesn’t effect me do you think. Its when you start telling me I am going burn post-mortem if I don’t hear voices that I get a little eh eh on the subject. I have met people that hear voices, in mental institutions, and they say the same thing this guy did, just about other people.
Anway. I responded, nah “not really my thing”
jesus listener said, “oh well you should try it”
Being open minded, and slightly excited I asked “how do I do it?”
jesus listener , “just take a few minutes out of you day-thats all it takes!, and pray to jesus, about whatever you want, he will listen”
I said “I don’t know man, I usually just talk to my friends and hang out with them”
He said “That’s good, but if you speak with jesus, you wont go to hell” and before I could respond he continued “Now you see, if I’m right, you are going to hell, and if I’m wrong, you wont go to hell, but who knows, I could be right”
Respectfully disagreeing, as I could see jesus meant a lot to this guy. And weather I agree with him or not, I should respect him, not to mention he sits two inches from me and he could clearly destroy me. Anyway, I responded “I guess I just try to live in the now, and not really worry about what happens later, I am not saying there is or isn’t a hell, I just don’t really mind where I end up, as long as I do my thing.” I thought that was a fair response.
He took a second to think and I could see in his eyes he wanted to say “you are confused and young, you need jesus “, don’t get me wrong, I am very confused, and young as well, but I don’t want a grown man in my mind. We talked about my trip for a bit and then I started watching UP, which was an awesome film. I passed out for a bit and woke up in Chicago, time to transfer. I had to pass customs and go through security another time. They got mad cause I had three bags and made me siteon the floor for 15 minutes until I could fit my laptop in my other bag. I looked like a street dweller with tight jeans. I can’t remember if my flight was delayed, but I think it was. I got home and passed out so fast. It was a a blurry mess in mind, still is. Love it.
Overall this tour was a lot of fun, learned a lot and next time I go out I am going to try to capture more. This time I just focused on their lives, however I didn’t get enough shots of down time or shots of environments, mostly just portraits. The majority of the images in this blog I took without even thinking and wasn’t planning on using them even, but they worked, next time I’ll be more conscious of everything I am snapping away at and try to grab two stories while I’m out, mine and the bands.
hope you had a good read, keep shootin’
here is your friendly reminder
…..Man, I love blogging, I can say whatever is on my mind, and no one even has to read it, but I can still say it. It would be nice to see who actually read this, leave a comment (bottom of page) with your blog, so I can check them out. Ill remind you at the end as well, you got a way to go if you are gonna read this whole entry.