Scared Kids

I took this picture for my memory. But really, my mind was a mess when I took this photo. This photo is nothing, really it is nothing except for me, taking notes. It is something new I started doing on this last tour, I only did it a few times, and this was one of them. I took it so that after the tour, I could look back and say “oh yea, I took this photo cause this and this happened to me on this night”, but really, I can’t remember what happened that night, or why I took the photo. I should really get a note pad, or an audio recorder, I’ll figure it out come next tour. Any suggestions? Now I am just stuck with 12 megapixels of mush- shot from the backseat of a booty-stank scented tour van. What the hell am I going to do with this? Start my blog entry out? Damn straight.

Ratatat is my official blog writing band.

I met Scary Kids Scaring Kids two years ago in Texas, while on my first tour with Four Letter Lie. I photographed them for Electric Zombie that day- and here is that ancient image, looks pretty terrible if I might say so myself.


Dang that was awhile ago.

About a year and a half later I road with them for a little over a week on the Vans Warped Tour, that was an adventure, a very very interesting adventure.

I went into Warped Tour not really knowing the guys personally at all, I knew their tour manager a little bit (Sal) and had hung out/shot them practicing for Warped tour about a week prior. But other then that, I knew nothing about the guys as people. I knew a little bit about their music, I can recall the day I heard them for the first time. I was driving with my friend Dan Polans, well actually he was driving me to camp. We worked together at this camp called Camp Shalom, doesn’t get much more Jewish than that. Anyway we were driving along Mineral Point road passing West Towne Mall and we had just gotten some bagels for breakfast, he said “check out this band, the singer always sounds off key, but somehow it works” – since then I have listened to them from time to time.

Anyway I saw that they were doing their last tour with almost all of their original members and thought “damn that would be a fun time”. I hit up Pouyan and asked him if I could ride along, he said sure but we are riding in a van….this will be a good time. I told some friends I was going out with them and their response was “Why, they are done, aren’t they? You won’t make any money!”. But let’s take a step back and think about this, 6 dudes, been touring for the greater part of the past six years, doing their last tour in a van- the last thing I was worried about was making money. This was going to be the most party packed, tree chopping, friend filled hangout tour of all time. The shows each night were going to be the last things on everyone’s mind- not doubting the shows’ importance, they are just relatively more routine than the hangout possibilities that would most likely ensue for the left over twenty and a half hours of each day. By this time in their career they had at least one pal in every city they hit, and this was the last time they were going to see some of these people. Scary Kids knows how to have a good time, and their last tour (from what I saw) proved to be the epitome of “going out with a bang”.

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Date: January 16th, 2010
Location: Anaheim, California
Venue: The Chain Reaction

There is this Amtrak train called The Surflner, basically runs up and down the western coast of the United States. I boarded the train around noon with an arrival time of two-something at the Angels Arena in Anaheim, California. I usually try to snag a window seat, facing toward the ocean so I can watch earth blur. A surfer lady waved at us, I waved back, but I don’t think she saw me. What did the ocean say to the surfer when she spoke to it? Nothing, it just waved.

I arrived in Anaheim and had no idea where I was, so I just started walking left and gave Steve a ring. Told him I was at some address on some street in front of a Rubio’s, I told him an exact address and street, I just don’t recall the specifics. A few minutes later he showed up in a truck with a girl by the name of Summer driving. I would soon learn that Summer ruled. Not only was she a model, but she was a massage therapist for a living. She taught me how to stretch my arms so that they were healthy and I asked her why my knee hurt sometimes, but she said I should go to the doctor. I should get on that. Summer rules.

We drove back to Summer’s place, which had an interior lined with camouflage hanging from the ceilings and walls. I felt like it would be appropriate to play paintball inside, I presented the idea and I was unanimously told that there would be no paintball in Summer’s living room- only football game watching. Maybe next time Summer. Most of the guys had been at her place for the majority of the day, sleeping bags matted the floor, clothes littered the couches, and suitcases puzzle-pieced into any open crevasses that the living room had to spare. Pouyan and Derrick were off shooting a MOD SUN music video somewhere in LA, so we would meet up with them later at the venue.

We had to be at the venue by 4:00, so in Scary Kids Scaring Kids fashion, we started packing up the trailer at 4:15.


Merchandise first, then road cases and gear, then suitcases, then my suitcase with a laptop that shall be placed gently and securely on top of this amalgam. Amalgam was one of fifty wordmaster words that we had to memorize in the 8th greed. Amalgam is among the few I can remember, Rejuvenating, Invigorating, Curmudgeon, Termagant and Jargon are rest.

I tried to illustrate a basic van layout for everyone, here is what I came up with.

 

Basically each number is where one person sleeps, obviously more then one can chill on the bench if more than one person wants to sit up, but otherwise we just kicked it like so.

We arrived at the venue and I helped the guys load in a a little bit, not to long after we got there we took a drive with summers truck to a Wal Mart around the corner. Plan? cookout in the venues parking lot. We purchased forty dogs, forty buns, charcoal, lighter fluid, and some condiments. We drove back and unloaded everything, and started up the grill. I lit the charcoal and the flame got too big so I put the cap on, then the flame went out- so we had to light it again. Not more than a minute after we threw five dogs on the grill the lady next door decided she wasn’t fond of our idea- which is understandable, who wants fire anywhere close to anything they own? Especially when its a bunch of tattooed folk sporting it. Venue security came over and told us we had to stop. We reluctantly complied with their demands and wheeled the grill around behind the van, out of authorities view. Let the covert hot dog cookout commence. I was a hungry boy and I wasn’t about to let this law abiding termagant stand in between me and my chow. Throughout the night we successfully dished out almost all of the hot dogs to the Scary Kids Scaring Kids guys / crew and Dance Gavin Dance (opening act for tour) joined in as well. Munchies satisfied, and we beat the man, the night was off to a good start. Oh the small things in life.

 

Soundcheck at the Chain Reaction
Soundcheck at the Chain Reaction

I should probably address this and get it out of the way early, but Scary Kids Scaring Kids smokes more weed on a daily basis then I breathe in fresh air, except for Pouyan, he is too high on life to suck on plants. He wanted me to make sure I mentioned the fact that he didn’t smoke.


The show was a blast that night, well played to a sold out sweaty mess of Scary Kids Scaring Kids fanatics, couldn’t have asked for more. It is always nice to see friends doing their thing, and having a good time as well.


T- Mills was hanging around, quick snap shot of his face

After the show we partied in the lot for a few hours.


I guess Pouyan had coordinated an after part at a wine bar in Pamona, about thirty minutes south east of the venue. However me being me, I forgot my trainer ID that claims I am a 27 year old Mexican named Victor. I was hesitant at first, but I collapsed under pure pressure and decided to test my luck. No one carding at door, I was in. The place was classy, modern, and simple. But full of not so classy band folk, with the exception of Pouyan who was still wearing his skin tight show pants but somehow changed into a button up dress shirt, a slick vest over it and a tucked in tie to top it off. He looked like a gentlemen and acted like one as well. Relative to the rest of us he looked like the richest man in the bar- did I forget to mention his hair back tied back in a pony tail? Classic.

I approached the bar with Ref, Scary Kids Scaring Kids merch dude and official chiller. He just hangs, and says some ridiculous things. Anyway approached the bar and we asked if we could get hooked up, unfortunately he said the good beer was only for band members, but we could have something a little cheaper. His bottom of the line beer was at the top of my list, especially because it was prefixed with the best word ever created “free”. He filled up two glasses, came back to the counter and handed Ref his beer, looked at me, squinted, hesitated. Shit I thought, so close, just let me have a drink, I am thirsty. ” You are 21 right?, you look like a baby” he asked while smiling with the left side of his face. I guess that is called grinning, he grinned. I looked back it him, and said “Yea, I just shaved, puts me back a few years” – and then I stroked my naked chin with my thumb and index finger as if a large beard once existed in the now stoked area. He laughed it off and put the beer in my palm. Good to go!

Derek Smith was opening the tour as MOD SUN as well as playing drums for Scary Kids Scaring Kids. He is a good friend, and was in Four Letter Lie when I went on my first tour with them. Derek is a character, he is the kind of guy that has so much fun with life that people just want to be around him. He brought this ghetto ass boom box on tour with him that was the size of my torso and had an ipod player in it instead of a tape player. Along without his boom box, he had a microphone, and a laptop packed with his backing beats. Guess who was walking into the bar right now holding all of the above? Derek Smith, MOD SUN, twenty,( he has lots of nick names)- he was smiling ear to ear with an eager twinkle in his eye. He was doing this half walk half strut kind of walk because his pants had sagged down so low that he couldn’t really walk normal without them falling off and his hands were busy carrying his gear. Impromptu rap/ dance/ hip hop party would surely ensue within the next few minutes, quick get camera, my spider sense in tingling. But then again, I had a drink, and I don’t trust myself with anything pricey after a drink. So words will have to suffice this time around.

Sure enough, he gathered everyone, blasted his beat and spit his game. He raps positive hip-hop and calls it hippy-hoppy, I don’t question his motives but I know his intentions and I always support them. Everyone was having a good time, smiles from east to west. What a good time.

I met this girl named Lacey that night, she lived right by Sal in Portland and any friend of Sal‘s, is a friend of mine. She was going to school in LA and attended the show and after party. Probably one of the coolest girls I have met, a stoney lizard to the max. She had a drink with her that contained THC from a medi shop, consider my mind blown, why am I so sheltered?

Eventually everything died down and we headed back to the bar-tenders place which was about a block away. He was the guy who knew Pouyan hooked everything up, good dude. On our way out there were some very overexcited people who had been in the bar, I think they were too exited, possible they could have been hitting the slopes all night. I try to avoid such people so i veered around them. Once we got to the bar tenders place I talked with lacy about life and we discussed various things we both pondered. I cant get much more vague then that can I? Either way, I had a fun time.

 

The smokers doing their thang

At one point Derek and I sprinted to a food store, I think it was Mexican, that we were told was closed. However, we are both stubborn and needed something to do. We went for a run, no food, but I got a sick image! So no worries.


At 6am I passed out on a bench square cushion in the corner. It was not that big, Pouyan tried to sleep on it with me at first, we called it the Yin Yang, disbanded due to discomfort and slept separately.

 

The Yin Yang

 

I slept on and off for an hour, I wouldn’t even really consider it sleeping, just more like chillin’. The house was freezing and I didn’t bring a blanket with me or anything, there was no way I could sleep right now. Got up and I was so exhausted, dirty, oily, and my eyes never really left the back of my head as slept walk to the van. Once I got to the van I knocked on the window until Jaime woke up and let me in. I dug around Pouyans passed out body until I found the keys and turned the van on. Warm air, so nice, hung out in the drivers seat for a few hours and thought about how I wish i could fall asleep. Eventually everyone woke up and we were on the road by 9:00am. I grab slot number 4 (refer to diagram above) , the floor was rock hard, but I was in another world as far as I could tell, so I passed out.

Before I went to bed I had a short conversation with Pouyan about touring in a van. He said “Man I forgot what it was like to tour in a van, we have been in a bus for the past few years” I said, “yes”. At the time I was too tired to think, which makes sense, cause we were in a van.

This is where my head went, man that floor was anything but soft. Yes, I took some photos with my cell phone because my camera was a little out of reach, but just for blog purposes. Cut me some slack this one time.


But really, I totally forgot the feeling. You wake up from sleeping, but your sleep didn’t really do anything other than pass the time and then you have to get to work right away, it’s difficult. Especially when your job involves being with seven other guys 24/7 and having to get along with each other, it’s rough. Running on empty for months at a time really takes a toll on you. Its’ like being a zombie except you have more daily missions then just feeding your hunger. Analogies, take them or leave them, I love them but mine usually don’t make sense.

Pouyan thinks that I play the weird card, I wish it was a card. I am a really socially awkward person, especially when I am talking to people that I get nervous around. I say weird stuff sometimes, but it makes sense in my mind, I swear. It’s just, somewhere between my thought process and throat= stuff gets jumbled and trickles out with a different meaning than it started with. Remember that game telephone? It is like that, but all in my head.

I guess when I think of one word that would describe my health on tour it would be “stale” however my state of mind is better than ever. Even though it is hard, rough, and difficult, I would leave for a van tour tomorrow without even second guessing it, I love them. You get to see the world at eighty miles an hour with your friends. What more could I ask for? and I get to freeze frame the fun parts on a CF card and brag about them later. Lovin’ it.

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Date: January 17th, 2010
Location: Tempe, Arizona
Venue: The Clubhouse

I actually slept surprisingly good that day, I think out of mere exhaustion my body was like forget the world we are sleeping. I woke up in Arizona as we pulled up to the venue. Home show! This is where the guys were from, so lots of family and friends today. I got out of the van and unloaded my suitcase myself to insure that my laptop was safe. All good! Grabbed some photos, did my bathroom routine, now time to eat.


We went to this wing place across the way, It had some awesome wings. They were crunchy, but not fried, something in between, and the perfect spiciness.

Tim Harmon came to the show that night. He is a great guy, the first time I met him was in Arizona, he was nice enough to come out in kick it. Back then I idolized him, now he’s a good friend, crazy how stuff changes. He used to manager Scary Kids Scaring Kids back in the day and they were on his label, so they were all real good friends.

I just wrote a bunch of keywords in my notepad to job my memory as I write this blog and the next item I have written down is “bathroom booty”. Basically some concert goers did the dirty in a bathroom that door was ajar at the show. C’mon now, step it up, that is just dirty. The head of security for the venue that night was a former member of Hatebreed and Madball, he yelled at me for doing something wrong at one point during the night, I was so frightened I avoided him eye contact with him for the remainder of the night.


The show was fun, MOD SUN killed it. Scary Kids Scaring Kids as well, crowd was wild. Lighting was pure rubbish, no photographic proof.

After the set I was sitting in the dressing room while the guys were drying off the sweat, drinking water, you know recovering from the show. It is usually understood that the dressing room is a private area, but every once in awhile you have some ignorant human who doesn’t really get that, this was one of those days. I turned around and there was a 40 some year old woman with a video camera taping everyone, while they were doing their everyday life stuff. I did my best to just sorta stand in front her until she left, but really? So weird, why would you do that? I don’t bust into your cubicle and hide under your desk with a notepad and binoculars. What I said doesn’t even really make sense.

After the show we all hopped in the van and cruised back over the the wing place, it was past midnight by the time we walked in the door. They asked how many, we said eight, so they pointed us towards some tables. We asked how many can fit in that booth, six, we will take it! It was a squeeze, but very fun none the less.

There were actually only six of us, but two more were on the way! We sat down, now to decide what to order. We were all discussing what we wanted to get when Derek looked at me and said “hey mark (my nick name) ,im getting pineapple juice” . I responded with “why is that so special” and he said, “you knowwww”. I didn’t know, i was clueless. “No I don’t” . “God Damnit Mark” he looked one person to his left at ref and said “Ref you know why, righhhhht”. Ref said, “of course it makes your, you know…man juices taste better. I have heard of it, it must be true”. I was doubtful, and before I could say anything the waitress was at our table requesting our drink choices. It went like this “what would everyone like to drink?” said the waitress as she pointed to the person sitting to her left- “beer” – “beer” – “beer” – “water” – “pineapple juice” – “beer” . I said “Derek you don’t need pineapple juice”. He said “waitress lady, what does pineapple do for a guy”. She said with a grin “Well I heaaaar that it make your (whisper) cum (unwhisper) taste better”. Great, I am stubborn and wrong, double bad form. Derek added on “Yea, it’s true, I have tried it”. Silence…think about it. I said “Wait what!?” He quickly tried to recover but by the time he could get any words out the whole table was laughing. I love innocent mistakes that are half embarrassing and half hilarious, classic.

 

WINGS!!

We all went back to the van and drove for about thirty minutes to Chad’s lady friend’s place. Chad, Ref and I went in and I downloaded some images and checked my Facebook. Chad had two dogs, one had a broke leg and the other was so weird I couldn’t comprehend. I forget their names but I think one of them was along the lines of “poop”. You probably wondering Why? and I am wondering why I didn’t ask them. Hopefully Chad will read this and I can updated me accordingly. Anyway I went and took a shower, washed my faced, cleaned my sinuses you know all that good shower stuff, I felt refreshed. Covered myself in some clean clothes and strolled on out to the TV room. Chad and his girlfriend were watching home videos of Ref’s band back home. How the hell did we get a VHS of this? He must have brought it, they just seem so ancient to me, I can’t imagine trying to bring more then five of them with you anywhere. I did something surfing not he inter-web until the couch freed up and passed out. I was exhausted, I think it was 4:00am. Wake up time? 6:00am.

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Date: January 18th, 2010
Location: Alberqurque, New Mexico
Venue: The Launchpad

8:00am we wake up. Off to a good start. I kid. Piled in the van and had to find Tyson and some other straggler. An hour later we hit the gas station, fueled up. I purchased a banana and scarfed down a bottle of water. It was a cold gloomy day but man, it was a tour day, so I loved it. It eventually started raining and I fell asleep with one hood as a pillow and the other to block the sunlight. My iPod shuffle was dead so I fell asleep to the pat pat pat of the rain on our roof.

 

This is what a Doritos bag looks like when it sits next to a van heater for too long

I woke up around 4:30pm when we pulled up to the venue, we were late again. It was still raining and the sun had just fallen below the horizon. Time to load in, in the rain, right by the line of kids that already have their camera phones unholstered and aimed. Hurry don’t get wet, or shot.


Soundcheck

After we loaded in tried to get some bottled water for my Emergen-C and so I could take some Muscinex. I had been sick since the first day of tour and hadn’t gotten much better yet. My sinuses shot. I wasn’t aloud in the backstage area because I wasn’t 21, so I couldn’t get any water. The guys were busy working , so I went for the vending machine, which ate my money. Ahhhhh. I told a security guard my sitch and he pulled a few strings, bottled water? Check!

I huddled in my two sweatshirts to stay warm and hung out by the merch tables during the set changes. I didn’t real pack correctly for this tour, for some reason I just assumed the whole South was warm all winter, not the case at all. I had some cold times.


Once the set was over we packed up all the gear by the door and quickly shuffled it into the van. Some guy almost got arrested for trying to break into cars and being really drunk, but they just made him walk home and all was well. We didn’t really know where we were staying that night or what we were doing, but we had two options.

a) party house with drinks and green and places to sleep, a pool table
b) a hotel room suite that this guy and two girls got close where we could all chill and sleep

This is how it usually works, the fans try to promise stuff and say they live close, when usually they live far away and have no where for us to sleep. The not so fans are more litigate and everything they say is usually true, as they are treating us like people not a “band”. After thirty minutes of not knowing where to go the guy with the two girls and a hotel tried to convince us he had eight pounds of weed. Cool, we are going to the house, these guys are liars. We told them to follow us and come hang if they wanted, and they did.

We drove a good ten minutes, nothing too far from the venue. Got out and all walked into the place. It was a one floor two bedroom place with a living room, kitchen, dinning porch and pool room to hang out in. This ruled, big couches and a giant bean bag, plenty of places to pass out. There were about ten other people already at the place, time to party.

I was hungry, one of the girls that lived there was going to the gas station, I asked if I could come along and get some fast food. She said taco bell, I said yes please. I guess she was stoked cause her boyfriend was letting her use his truck, which was quite the truck. I don’t know the terminology, but this thing was elevated off the ground to about head level. It was a monster.

 

This is the truck at the gas station

When we pulled up to the drive through window at Taco Bell, the bottom of our window was at the top of the drive through window. Ridiculous, but none the less soooo flippin’ sweet. I got a grilled stuffed burrito and a big taste taco, both awesome meals of mush. OH and two waters.

Got back to the house and just as we pulled up the Dance Gavin Dance dudes were walking in as well. Everyone was hanging out, kicking it, and all the dudes wanted some of my tacos! Yea right, I went for a ride to get this, yawl are lazy. I swallowed each taco in a few gulps and went on to socialize with people. I was walking by the door when I look down and see, four pounds of weed. What the fuck? This dude was serious, he actually had multiple pounds of weed. I was in shock, I said why the hell do you have this much weed? He said they drove down from San Francisco to help a friend open a restaurant or something of the sort. Either way, this guy drove down the USA with weed that weighted more than I did at birth.

There was the tiniest dog at the party I have ever seen, and it was fluffier than fluff. Pouyan insisted on a shoot with it.


This is me with the dog

Derek got his mic, we got the people. Kitchen dance party commence. This went on for a few hours.

People can get to be too much for me so I passed out on a giant bean bag ball thing. It was so comfy, I had my iPod charged and listened to number one fan. The bass feels so good on my brain after a exhausting day and a long night. Nothing better.

I think we woke up around 10:00ish. Not really sure, my time stamp on my camera has never been set correctly, I need to get on that.

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Date: January 19th, 2010
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico=> Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

We woke up and had to cruise on over to the hotel where two of the guys had passed out with those other folk. First we took some blonde girl home, she was cool, but she was sitting on our cooler, which meant she was an obstacle between me and my water- she is gonna have to go.

 

Blond girl

I’m kidding, but we dropped her off, picked up two stragglers and made our way to a Sonic. So unhealthy, I ordered a banana and they didn’t have any. The guys made fun of me for that one. I went ahead and order four different dollar menu items, hamburger, chicken burger, tatter tots, corn dog and then got some kinda lime-aide.


It was cold out, I looked stupid, luckily I take photos and don’t care if I am wearing two hoodies and some dirty pants. My hood is over 2 years old, I got it on my first tour with Four Letter Lie. The day I took a Greyhound to Minneapolis and Brian Nagan (their singer) picked me up, we went to the Mall Of America cause I got there so early we had nothing to do. H&M sale, two for twenty, we got two. I love the hoodie and I miss Brian. The mountains were all around us and I felt like photographing some ish. So I did.


We headed off , time to drive.

I passed out, and woke up to a beautiful sky.

This shit is ridiculous, photo shoot we gotta do it. I told the guys, they were down. Two of them were sleeping so I just took whoever was awake. It was really windy and cold as hell, but the sun was shinning in a way that everything could be properly exposed in one shot with minimal processing.


Derek wanted some solo pictures, of course aha. Every tour I go on there is someone who wants a lot of photos, you can probably pick them out of each gallery, cause there will be surplus of someones face floating about.


Derek’s turn to drive

For some reason he took it upon himself to stop at a post office for forty minutes, so I made a quick run to some grocery store and got an orange, a kiwi and a banana, NUTRIENTS embrace my blood stream.


So much driving that day, good thing we had the whole thing off to drive. Our final destination was at a band friends place, it was some lady and her husbands place. Legit, clean , grown up style housing. Carpeted floors! Who is sleeping good tonight? Me. How many people can say they get that stoked on carpeted floors? They had this cute Husky puppy that I played with for awhile.


We played some Wii and hung out. Steve had a computer screen and xbox 360 with him, fully equipped with a headset- out came the CODMW2, I had to fight my urges to get on that, I love that game like you could never believe.


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Date: January 20th, 2010
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Venue: The Conservatory

I think I passed out late that night, I can’t really recall. I slept in late and when we woke and got some pizza. Ref was singing and eating.


Loading in

It was a small sorta eh eh kinda venue that night, nothing to out of the ordinary happened. I hung out, tried to not be sick in the uncomfortable man made humidity – but good times none the less.


Tim from Dance Gavin Dance got pretty shitty, a good laugh.

Our original plans that night were to party and then go out and light off a bunch of fireworks. BUT it was raining, really really raining, flood status. So we went to this square dancing bar where I slept in the van because I was too young. Man, i really love to dance, i was bummed.

We went back to the house at about 1:00am and I stayed up until 8:00am writing some other blog on the carpeted floor. Snagged a few photos.


I always figure I can work at houses, but not in the van. So I tend to work all night, or play some game, and then during the day pass out in the van. I think I work better at night? I am not sure why, but it works and that is enough for me.

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Date: January 21st, 2010
Location: Dallas, Texas
Venue: The Door

The next morning, was beautiful. I think I slept for two hours at the house, woke up and grabbed some more creep ass images of people waking up before heading out. Some genius that will go unnamed peed on Chad’s comforter and tried to wash it, and dry it, but the drying part didn’t really work. So what did we have? A damp down comforter spread out over the road cases in the trailer with hopes of it drying out somehow. Yea, that is not going to work, oh well, what ya gonna do. I laughed.


We almost died during our drive to Dallas- Ref was driving and I guess he swerved around something that started our trailer to rock from side to side. Basically when this happens you are supposed to speed up to straighten it out, but he slowed down and shit got a little rocky on the interstate. I am pretty good at not freaking out over anything, I have had my fare share of self inflicted “oh shit” handle grabbers and till take more than some zig zaggage to make me screech.


We arrived at the venue, loaded in and I stole the guys right after soundcheck for a quick photo shoot.

Back to the venue for some backstage hang out. Of course the guys get to the tree chopping.

Venue wasn’t having it, not too long after lighting up some lady came in and was like “no no no no, not inside guys”. The guy complied and stopped smoking. It must have been pretty smelly in there cause two more times in the next two hours two more people yelled at us, but they had never lit up sense the first time. Oh well, I found it funny. They venue came in and said something like “what are you doing stop smoking in here, you can’t do that”, I was just hanging out and watching, so they were not really speaking with me. But after the said that there was silence and no one said anything, until she left, pure silence. It was funny. The room was a hazy mess.

Pistolita opened the show, I haven’t seen this band forever, I guess they went through a bunch of member chances and are back in action. They were sick, randomly ran into Johno from Sky Eats Airplane, he is playing for Pistolita now, cool stuff. Long night, show was fun. For some of the shots I lit the stage with my flash hitting off the ground in some angelic kind of way. Ended up looking perfect in my eyes. Hopefully you enjoy it as well.

 

MOD SUN live

This was one of Zac’s last shows with Dance Gavin Dance, I didn’t know this at the time- as he was booted just recently. But this guy was a treat to watch on stage, went wild. Here is my favorite shot of him.

 

Zac of Dance Gavin Dance

more Dance Gavin Dance images


Scary Kids Scaring Kids

After the show we couldn’t find the van keys, eventually we did, in the van. The van was locked. Go figure right? So Matt from Dance Gavin Dance called the AAA and hooked it up. We had to wait outside the venue until the locksmith man came, it was chilly, I tucked my arms in my hoodie. We all piled in the van and drove to this bar a few blocks away. I hung out in the van with Pouyan, plugged my laptop in and battle some monsters online. A few hours later the guys came back and we headed to “moms house”. I guess some lady houses bands when they come through and hooks it up.

There were only three of us in the van, and we were the last of the eight car caravan over to moms house. Everyone else had befriended various locals with their own set of wheels- thus they opted out of the van for a comfy car seat, good form. We were slow, we had a trailer, and got left behind. Made a quick call for an addy and got to the house a little late, but no worries. I walked inside with my camera in one hand and laptop in the other. I didn’t plan on partying, I was still sick and wanted to just kick it. Whats on TV? Jurassic Park you say? I am down! I grabbed a seat and kicked my feet up on some cushion. Just chillin’.

 

Chad and Kurt kicking it

I made a few rounds, talked to some people in the house. The house wasn’t too big, just regular sized, packed with about fifteen people I didn’t know and then everyone I was with. I went to the kitchen, they were making Waffles? Yes they were making some big ass waffles, I took two in my hands and inhaled the textured tiles of goodness. I always have a hard time eaten waffles, I never seem to chew them quite enough and I have no idea why its only for waffles. I always choke and sneeze or have a really big chunk stuck in my throat. Twenty years and counting without an umbilical cord and I still can’t eat right. Give me twenty more and we will all party in Belgium.

Mom ruled, she made me some White Hot Chocolate in one of those instant one cup coffee maker things. I forget their names. I am looking at my tweets and I am glad I tweeted this, but at one point in the night mom was like-

 

Derek and Pouyan talking with Mom

Chocolate in my palm and stomach packed I returned to my seat. I just sat around, relaxed, everyone was hanging. I don’t fancy myself much of a drinker at all, I have had maybe two night that I drank in the last two months. I don’t enjoy anything but IPA’s, so no point in it really. Maybe later. By the time everyone had calmed down I was the only person really watching TV. I don’t really watch TV but I stumbled upon Captain Planet- this brings back memories. Me and my brother used to wake up super early to watch Biker Mice From Mars, Might Ducks, and Captain Planet. Weird blue dude that emerges from rings? Totally down- and its educational.

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Date: January 22nd, 2010
Location: Austin, Texas
Venue: Emo’s

I woke up to the sun shinning through the windows. I love that effect, always make me so stoked about the day. The weather was perfect- think the last bowl of porridge temperature for good ol’ Goldilocks but apply it to the world.

Next stop – Emo’s in Austin.

 

I told Ref there was too much of his ugly face in this photo
So he covered up, well done Ref.

I have never been here for a real show, just for SXSW two years in a row. Last time I was here was with The Devil Wears Prada and the venue had 3000 people who couldn’t get in, pretty ridiculous if you ask me. Here is the walkway to the backstage area, I thought it was wild.

I wear size 6 1/2 shoe, my feet looked like they just went stupid at the age of twelve and have not grown since.


I have oily hair, by this point I could pull off the Ace Ventura look if I ran my hand through my hair.
Zac shredding
Super Ref!

We did a quick little shoot that day, just on some seats, here is my favorite shot from the series.


This is the top of Derek’s hat.

Another day that I was too young to go to the green room for, big surprise. Say hello to two big X’s on my the back of each of my hands.

 

That is me

Oh well, I don’t mind. I sat down by the merch and had a good talk with Tim from Dance Gavin Dance about random things that night. He told me about their new album and where they are recording and such, what was going into the album. Very interesting and while I do not remember specifics I enjoyed everything he had to say very much, cool dude, hopefully I can kick it with him again somewhere down the road.

 

MOD SUN before getting on stage

I had plans to meet up with a fellow photographer, Travis Tank, that night at a bar called Nuno’s. He seemed like a rad dude and I am always down to meet up and hang out. He texted me around nine and I exited the venue and went and found my Clean and Clear wipes, X’s off, time to go to a bar. Luckily his father in law owned the bar and he hooked it up so I could hang out. We kicked it for awhile and then back to the venue for me. X’s on, I like Emo’s its outside for the bigger shows, so not a sweaty venue.

My friend Dennis who I know from Warped was kicking it that night. He runs a nifty clothing company that goes by the name of Revert, scope it. After the show me and him cruised with Travis back to Nuno’s, X’s off, and had a few drinks. I guess there was a party at Dennis’ friend’s place down the street, so we were getting ready to head down that way. We went back to the venue and met up with the guys, everyone had already started their night of drinking. We grouped up and walked as one big mob to this party down the street.

About half way down Derek decided to go get his boom box and such so he could put on a house show. We lost half our crew but they said they would meet up with us later. I walked into the place, it was brands spanking new, legit. Something out of CSI, you know when they find the really rich person that lived on the 10th story of this nice condo building dead in the morning? Thats what this was, but no one was dead, one wall was all windows, the couches were red, and there was a matt on the floor that was cow skin or some kind of animal, I don’t recall. Super neat and tidy. Perfect place for a party, not a lot to break. The lighting was really dim and there were probably forty people in total.

Just hung out, kicked it, played beer pong. Derek arrived eventually and put on some good MOD SUN beats. I enjoyed his house show, so did everyone else. We hung out there for a few hours of kickage and eventually strolled back down to the van. Dennis gave me a lift so I didn’t have to walk, but we got back a little cause of some streets being closed off. When I got back there were three people outside of our van I didn’t recognize.


One was this girl, she was plastered, falling over. I dislike this very much, when people rely on others to take care of them at night? C’mon, get your act together, we don’t want to spend our nights babysitting 24 year old women, we wanna kick it too. Well, I wasn’t about to be mad at a band’s friend, so I just stood back, laughed, and took pictures of her. I pay myself on the back, you handled this situation well Adam.

At first she was holding on to this sign they told her to hold on to, but she kept swinging around it like a tether ball, never really touching the ground, but constantly falling in some diagonal direction.


Eventually it got to be too much and they put her in shot gun while we waited on everyone to decide where we wanted to go. Actually I take that back, we knew where we wanted to go, just didn’t know how to get there. Steve had gone off with two friends to this hot tub at their apartment complex, and we needed an address. Eventually got one and now I just had to map it on my phone. Meanwhile I was standing in front of the shot gun door when it slowly opened and that lady began to fall out. I quickly caught her so that she didn’t hit the floor. Thats a lie, I looked at her and without hesitating I raised my camera over my head and stepped out of her way. Ain’t no drunk lady messing with my Canon. She went face first into the concrete, I have no idea how she didn’t break skin, a tooth or anything of the sort, but she hit the ground with a thump and a smack. Sorry lady, your face will heal at no cost to myself, my camera however costs me big bucks. I have no sympathy for drunk acts of ignorance, but I do have a sense of humor, that ruled in every way possible the more I replay it. We scooped up the fallen mercenary and gathered up crew, packed it up and rolled out. Hot tub here we come.

The apartment complex was huge, and gate protected, and we definitely didn’t know the password. But one of the ladies stuck behind us in the long line of cars trying to get in did. We were in! Park the van, climb a fence, hello hot tub. We are stripped down to our under garments and went for a swim. It was 2:00am by now. The hot tub was perfect. I kept inhaling too much chlorine smell, tickled my brain a bit.

 

hot tub time

We kicked it in there for a few hours, headed back to the apartment and snagged floor space. I grabbed the corner with power outlets so I could recharge my equipment while I slept. They put in the movie 500 Days Of Summer, I didn’t watch it that night, but I have since then, and that movie makes me emotional.

 

I will never understand Ref. He did this horse trot and horse noise thing that was hilarious.

_______________________________________________
Date: January 23rd, 2010
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Venue: The White Rabbit

Ahhh last morning of tour. It was so sunny out, instant good mood.

 

all packed up!

Time for breakfast, we went to Taco Cabaña. It sucked, I do not like that place, I will never go again. Back in the sun, good mood. Drive was short, something like an hour and a half.


Last day of tour. The White Rabbit, I have been here four times now I think, they always have awesome graffiti walls. We parked and the guys had to load in then dip off and do some kind of signing.


I tried to grab a few group shots of them before they left, sorta worked. Then again, not really, but they make me laugh so I am down.


While the guys were gone I shot some photos of Dance Gavin Dance. They were one of the first bands on photographed on that Four Letter Lie tour back in 2008, we did this soccer team pose that they loved, terrible old image first, a step in the right direction new image second.

 

 

I don’t expect this will ever get used as they lost a member a few days after this short tour was over. A shame, but it happens.

 

Kurt warming up
Scribble that Sun in
MOD SUN
Kurt shredding the national anthem on guitar, this was so sick

Scary Kids Scaring Kids

Exhausted

My friend Chris Pichado came out and kicked it. He has always been a good dude to me, hooking me up with rides and giving me a place to crash. We went to the store and grabbed some late night drinks, Sierra Nevada I love you. The show was over and we all went back to the one of the girls places from the night before. I forget her name but she had a rad house, her parents were nice as well. We played apples to apples for a few hours, had some drinks and partied. I think I stayed there until about 4:00am, not really sure. My flight left at 6:30am, Dennis took me to the airport around 4:00ish and I had a long night of partying, I don’t really remember going through TSA and boarding the plane. But I made it to Madison by noon and passed out somewhere comfortable.

I hope the first paragraph of this post confused the you. If it didn’t give me a call cause we should kick it. Until next time gang- please just have a good time with whatever it is you are doing, and blog about it.